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Third World Development
What are the growing problems of ethnic tensions and violence in the developing world?
It is impossible to state all of the growing problems of ethnic tension and violence in the developing world, because old tensions are constantly being revived. Because most instances of ethnic tension do not lead to large-scale violence, when violence does erupt, it can be a surprise, even to seasoned observers. Of course, it is not always a surprise. Currently, Africa is the area most plagued by ethnic tension and resultant violence. Africa's conflict death tolls far surpass those on other continents, despite the minimization of violence in Africa (Shah, 2010). Moreover, Africa has a huge number of refugees and internally displaced people (Shah, 2010). The legacy of colonialism and the artificial boundaries it established among different ethnic groups make Africa ripe for growing ethnic tension (Shah, 2010). Moreover, the fact that many areas of Africa are resource poor for things like food and water means that violence will almost certainly result from those tensions, as people fight over things that are necessary for survival. In addition, there is little hope that these tensions will ease or that the violence will decline, because the Western world generally ignores ethnic conflict in Africa. Anywhere else, this type of ethnically-inspired killing and displacement would be called genocide, but Africa does not receive the same consideration as other continents. Therefore, one can expect Africa to continue to be an area where ethnic tensions and violence continue to grow.
2. Explain the difference between the following: nationality, tribe, race, and religion. How do these terms relate to ethnicity?
"Ethnicity refers to selected cultural and sometimes physical characteristics used to classify people into groups or categories considered to be significantly different from others" (O' Neill, 2006). Therefore, ethnicity refers to a myriad of sub-components, including, but not limited to nationality, tribe, race and religion. Nationality refers to one's nation of origin, or, perhaps, the nation from which one's ancestors came, depending on how one chooses to define nationality. The term tribe refers to a more local group of people, but it can also be a group of people tied together by a common ancestor or culture. Therefore, one may have tribes of different aboriginal groups in Africa, and still refer to the term tribe when describing groups of Jews that have been far-flung by Diaspora. The idea of race seems to be partially a mythical construct. Races are believed to be groups of people who are genetically closer to one another than people from other races. However, the degree of genetic similarity and differences within race is not as high as was previously believed, and some consider race an artificial construct. Religion refers to a set of fundamental beliefs and practices to which a particular person adheres.
3. Name the different types of solutions for dealing with ethnic hostilities in developing countries. What are the some of the outcomes from attempted solutions?
There are a number of solutions for dealing with ethnic hostilities in developing countries including, but not limited to: genocide, relocation of ethnic subgroups, coercive intervention by peacekeepers, and mediation. Almost all of these solutions create their own problems. For example, genocide may not seem like a solution to ethnic hostilities, but, by destroying an ethnic group, the cause of ethnic tension disappears. However, the impact of genocide on the targeted subgroup is clearly bad. Relocating ethnic subgroups can have some positive impact. However, one need only look at the existing tension in Israel, where the Arab minority has been relocated, to see that there are negatives to that solution as well. Coercive intervention by peacekeepers can be successful; who knows what the conditions in modern-day Kosovo would be without such intervention. However, none of the above solutions seems to offer any long-term solutions to the underlying ethnic violence. Instead, when one increases political participation and legitimate political competition, one sees a resultant decline in ethnic tensions (Mars, 2001). The more democratic and pacifistic the approach, the more likely one is to find a long-term solution to underlying ethnic tension and violence (Mars, 2001).
1. Explain how women have been the primary victims of underdevelopment and discuss how women can be the key players in solving development problems.
Women have been the primary victims of underdevelopment because they are denied educational opportunities, are treated like reproductive slaves, are not as highly valued as males and are at higher risk of abortion or post-birth abandonment, and are targeted by sexual violence. However, women can play a tremendous role in solving development problems. Women can be trained as health-care workers to tend to health issues in small villages and rural communities, where access to a doctor is impossible. Women can be given independent means of wealth, so that they may own their own businesses. This can be as simple as providing a woman with livestock, so that she may sell milk or cheese or provide that for her family. Women have been instrumental in stopping the global spread of violence against women. Women can help change conditions for children, reducing infant death rates and increasing life expectancy in developing nations. As women become more education, one sees an increase in standard-of-living in the local community. Moreover, when education becomes a priority for women, one sees a delay in marriage age and childbearing. Because childbearing continues to provide a significant risk to women in developing nations, delaying childbearing automatically improves life expectancy (See generally, Haeberle, 1983).
2. What is GEM (Gender Empowerment Measures) and what do the variables measure?
Gender Empowerment Measures are variables that measure inequalities between men and women in certain countries. The GEM looks at political participation and decision making, economic participation and decision making, and power over economic resources. "GEM looks at women's representation in parliaments, women's share of positions classified as managerial and professional, and women's participation in the active labor force and their share of national income. In short, it attempts to capture women's political, economic and social participation. But there is a reliability problem of political power as measured by women's share of parliamentary seats" (The African Center for Women, 2002). Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the GEM is a helpful, but inaccurate means of measuring women's relative power in a country.
3. Explain why women are restricted from educational opportunities and have lower literacy rates than men.
Women are restricted from educational opportunities for several reasons. The primary reason is that education is a limited resource, and that many families feel that they cannot afford to education women or delay marriage (and continue to provide for a daughter) so that she can attain an education. However, it is erroneous to assume that the educational disparity that exists between men and women is simply a side-effect of sexist societies. Women are denied an education because of the power to transform that educating women has:
the educational achievements of women can have ripple effects within the family and across generations. Investing in girls' education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty. Investments in secondary school education for girls yields especially high dividends.
Girls who have been educated are likely to marry later and to have smaller and healthier families. Educated women can recognize the importance of health care and know how to seek it for themselves and their children. Education helps girls and women to know their rights and to gain confidence to claim them (United Nations Population Fund, 2008).
1. Why are the majority of impoverished people in developing countries living in rural farming areas and not in cities?
The majority of impoverished people in developing countries live in rural farming areas and not in cities for several reasons. First, developing countries have large urban populations. Second, they are poor because they either own or have access to few assets or have few links to the economy:
The poor's physical assets include natural capital (private and common property rights in land, pastures, forest, and water), machines and tools and structures, stocks of domestic animals and food, and financial capital (jewelry, insurance, savings, and access to credit).
Their human assets are the labor pools -- comprising workers of varying ages, genders, skills, and health -- in the households and communities. Their infrastructural assets are publicly and privately provided transport and communications, access to schools and health centers, storage, potable water, and sanitation. Their institutional assets include their legally protected rights and freedoms and the extent of their participation in decision making in households and communities, as well as at the supra-community level. The first two categories of assets are largely regulated through formal and informal networks among individuals and communities. Most rural people, particularly women and those in landless households, are greatly handicapped by inadequate assets and the low and volatile returns on them (Kahn, 2001).
2. Describe some of the barriers that the rural poor face in trying to better their lives, including their limited…[continue]
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