News + What You Can Do About It | September 2021

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single day for humans. And so, I share 7 news-article once a month in these posts. A mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. Along, I share a practical tip on what you can do to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a social media campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!

Texas Makes Abortion Law More Strict Again 1-9

From the 1st of September, pregnant people in Texas can only have an abortion until they’re 6 weeks pregnant. 85 to 90 per cent of all abortions are undergone after 6 weeks because it takes pregnant people are while to notice that they’re pregnant when they don’t want to be. There is only one exceptions to the law and that is when the pregnant person’s life is in danger. So no abortion either after 6 weeks even if you have been raped. Also, any person who undergoes an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy can be sued by anybody. That person then receives 10,000 euros if they win the case. So basically, you could rape someone and then receive 10,000 euros if they get an abortion and you sue them. I cannot explain in words how infuriating this is. This law is horrifying and simply dumb. If you want less abortions, you should not make abortion illegal. Because abortions will still happen, just illegally. You should offer free contraception, offer good sex education and protect people with a uterus. People have been protesting this law extensively and so there’s still hope for change. 

Personal practical tip: as I said, this new law doesn’t mean that people who are pregnant don’t want to have abortions. When abortion is illegal, people seek to other countries to have an abortion. There are organizations which we can support, organizations which then again support these people who want to have an abortion. Good Dutch organizations are Woman on Waves and Abortion Network Amsterdam.

Dutch Pension fund Horeca and Catering Stops the Finance of Fossil Fuels 2-9

Pensionfund Horeca and Catering is the pension fund in the Netherlands for people who work for in hotels, restaurants and catering. People who are in this sector have been protesting with the slagan ‘you have a dirty pension’ for a long time now to stop the fund from investing in fossils fuels. And today pensionfund Horeca and Catering have finally surrendered. They will stop investing in the fossil fuel sector all together and that’s amazing news! They’re also the first fund in the Netherlands to do this. Protesting works. 

Personal practical tip: look into your personal pension fund. See if that fund invests in fossil fuels. If they do, switch to a better one. However, not all people can switch just like that. People who work in government for example. They can’t switch to another fund, that’s only possible in the private sector. Since it’s not possible to change to another fund, people have been protesting for years to force the fund (ABP to be precise) to stop investing in fossil fuels because it’s destroying the world. Join the movement.

Free Contraception for People from 18 to 25 in France 9-9

Until today only people with a uterus from age 15 to 18 in France could get access to free contraception. When this was implemented in 2013, the number of abortions among teenagers decreased significantly. Today, France has expanded this law. From now on people with a uterus till age 25 can get free contraception. Contraception is a human right. If you don’t want to get pregnant, you should have the option to prevent that, no matter your income. This new law is a good thing. I just wish there would be no age limit. All people with a uterus should have access to free contraception, not just people in age groups from 15-25. We’re getting there, slowly.

Personal practical tip: along with contraception being expensive, menstruation products are also expensive and not all people who menstruate can afford them. Please make sure that there is free access at your workplace or any other public place on your area. You can contact schools, the municipality and other places for this. If you can, donate period products directly. You can give those to your local food bank or another charity.

Dutch Government Does Not Ask Citizens to Eat Less Meat 10-9

In a Dutch environmental governmental campaign in 2019 called ‘everybody does something’ the Dutch government consciously left out the part where people are asked to eat less meat. The government did not do it because they thought it was too politically sensitive. However, there are also strong implications that this advice was not included due to lobbying. This news was really disappointing to me and it shows that the Dutch government does not have the gut to do what it takes to battle the climate crisis.

Personal practical tips: in this post you can read all the ethical reasons to not eat meat. I have not written anything on the environmental reasons yet, but I will do this soon. Conclusion: stop eating meat. 

Dutch Week Against Food Waste 7 till 13-9

In the first week of September there has been a huge campaign against food waste in the Netherlands. It’s the waste free week. People could sign up and receive information every single day to reduce their food waste. It’s a great initiative to combat a major problem. We waste 2 billion kilos of food every year in the Netherlands. 

Personal practical tip: sign up next year if you weren’t participating this year. Also, I can really recommend the book Lekker Koken met Restjes by Daisy Scholte.

More People than Ever Killed When Protecting the Environment or their Land in 2020 14-9

In 2020, 227 people have been killed when protecting the environment or their land. That’s the highest number ever. The biggest part of this happened in the logging industry and in deforestation. People fighting for a better world are being killed every single day. Sometimes I am ashamed of humanity. 

Personal practical tip: this subject is just too big to grasp in one tip. I would say for now: donate to organizations who fight for conservation. A good example is the Virunga Park (there’s also a documentary about this subject on Netflix, called Virunga). 

The US Soccer Federation will Finally Pay Women and Men Equally 15-9

Women* in the US soccer team will finally be paid the same as men. They get the same contract and salary from the US soccer federation. This is a great step forward. However, this only accounts for the national teams. That’s when the soccer players represent the US in tournaments like the Olympics. In the regional teams this is not the case because the federation does not influence this. The salary in regional teams is decided upon by the individual soccerclubs. But let’s keep it positive: this is a good step in the right direction.

Personal practical tip: if you work at a company, inform to see whether there is a pay gap. Ask if research by an external company has been done to see if there is a pay gap. If not, ask the company to do this research.

*I try to avoid using binary language when writing these articles. It’s not just men and women on this planet and the gender spectrum is broad. However, some articles don’t give me room to do that. This article about sports unfortunately does not because sports are still very binary.

Yours sincerely,
Romee

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