Author: Needum Lekia

Needum Lekia is a law student with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in History. She is passionate about international issues, human rights, and social justice. Needum enjoys writing and traveling.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — For centuries, women in Iceland stayed at home while their husbands went out to sea for work. Without men present, women undertook responsibilities such as farming, hunting and building to help support their families. With this newfound contribution to Icelandic society, women became outspoken about their place in society. This disapproval prompted the women’s rights movement in Iceland in the 1850s, in which women demanded equal pay and more political visibility. During this time, women in Iceland began campaigning for equal rights, and soon the nation became the first to grant unconditional equal rights regarding inheritance. In…

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WASHINGTON, D.C — Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution grants legislative powers to the Congress of the United States, which consists of a Senate and House of Representatives. The House of Representatives has 435 members, and the Senate has 100 members. To obtain a seat in Congress, all members must be voted in by the people. Each state elects two senators to the Senate and at least one representative to the House of Representatives. The number of representatives a state can elect is determined by its population. For example, Alaska and North Dakota have only one representative, while the state…

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SEATTLE — Since its opening in the 1800s, the White House has been home to every president except one; George Washington. Though Washington was the first president of the United States, he was unable to live in the White House because he oversaw its construction. Therefore, John Adams, the second president of the United States was the first to live in the White House. As Donald Trump was recently sworn into office, discussions have surfaced that he and his family may live in the White House on a part-time basis. While these reports have shocked some, there is no law…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — America is called the land of the free and home of the brave. It is depicted as a place where dreams can come true. This notion allows every citizen to grow up and work in the profession of their choosing, including running for political office and the opportunity to become a congresswoman. The United States government is comprised of three branches: the executive, judicial and legislative branches. The executive branch is controlled by the president, the judicial branch by the Supreme Court and the legislative branch by Congress. Congress consists of two chambers: the United States Senate…

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabian women live by the rules of the guardianship system. Under this system, Saudi women are required to have a male guardian at all times. If a Saudi woman wants to work, travel or obtain medical treatment, she must first seek permission from her guardian. A guardian can be the woman’s father, spouse, brother or son. These guardians have the right to make decisions on the woman’s behalf indefinitely. All Saudi women are affected by the guardianship system regardless of social status. Many Saudi women have spoken in opposition to this system in interviews. A 25-year-old…

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, heavily populated and rich in culture, with more than 2,000 official languages. While Africa has been called ‘the hopeless continent’, filled with poverty and devastation, South Africa hasn’t suffered the same perception. In the past, the country was named the Union of South Africa, established by the merger of four British colonies. More recently, South Africa’s economy has become more developed through competitive trade and investment. Unlike other African economies, South Africa is less dependent on the patronage of foreign markets, as its natural resources have been a significant…

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NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — In the Western world, fashion icons and celebrities push the notion that thin is always in. However, beauty in Mauritania is held to the, “big is beautiful and stretch marks are sexy” standard. There, obesity is viewed as a sign of wealth and status. Girls are encouraged from a young age to gain weight in order to fulfill their culture’s perception of beauty. Although the country is plagued with food shortages and droughts, Mauritanians practice the tradition of “leblouh” or “gavage” which means to “fatten up.” Girls usually begin this process as early as age 5. It…

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ABUJA, Nigeria — In September 2000, the U.N. established a list of goals which were necessary for a country to achieve in order to enhance their standard of development. These millennium goals included the following: Put an end to extreme hunger and poverty; Create a universal primary education; Raise awareness of gender equality; Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health; Fight against HIV, AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Environmental sustainability; Create global partnerships for development; Though these goals are beneficial, several countries were found in violation of six out of the eight because they allow the taboo practice of child brides.…

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ABUJA, Nigeria — Nearly 60 million people in Nigeria lack access to clean and safe water. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is comprised of 36 states, a Federal Capital Territory and 774 local government areas. These governments are responsible for water quality in Nigeria. The federal government is in charge managing water resources; the state government focuses on responsibility for urban water supply and the local governments, together with communities, are responsible for water supply to rural areas. Although significant progress has been made at the federal level to define institutional roles and develop supporting policies for water supply and sanitation service…

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