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Alternate titles: Aves, fowl

By Robert W. StorerSee All Article HistoryTable of Contents


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basic body feather tracts on a generalized songbird
basic body feather tracts on a generalized songbird
feather types
feather types

bird, (class Aves), any of the more than 10,400 living species unique in having feathers, the major characteristic that distinguishes them from all other animals. A more-elaborate definition would note that they are warm-blooded vertebrates more related to reptiles than to mammals and that they have a four-chambered heart (as do mammals), forelimbs modified into wings (a trait shared with bats), a hard-shelled egg, and keen vision, the major sense they rely on for information about the environment. Their sense of smell is not highly developed, and auditory range is limited. Most birds are diurnal in habit. More than 1,000 extinct species have been identified from fossil remains.

lesser flamingo

See all mediaKey People: Jean Theodore DelacourAlfred NewtonJohn James AudubonW.H. HudsonErnst MayrRelated Topics: pigeonflightless birdsongbirdornithologybird-watching

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Since earliest times birds have been not only a material but also a cultural resource. Bird figures were created by prehistoric humans in the Lascaux Grotto of France and have featured prominently in the mythology and literature of societies throughout the world. Long before ornithology was practiced as a science, interest in birds and the knowledge of them found expression in conversation and stories, which then crystallized into the records of general culture. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and paintings, for example, include bird figures. The Bible refers to Noah’s use of the raven and dove to bring him information about the proverbial Flood.

Various bird attributes, real or imagined, have led to their symbolic use in language as in art. Aesop’s fables abound in bird characters. The Physiologus and its descendants, the bestiaries of the Middle Ages, contain moralistic writings that use birds as symbols for conveying ideas but indicate little knowledge of the birds themselves. Supernatural beliefs about birds probably took hold as early as recognition of the fact that some birds were good to eat. Australian Aborigines, for example, drove the black-and-white flycatcher from camp, lest it overhear conversation and carry the tales to enemies. Peoples of the Pacific Islands saw frigate birds as symbols of the Sun and as carriers of omens and frequently portrayed them in their art. The raven—a common symbol of dark prophecy—was the most important creature to the Indians of the Pacific Northwest and was immortalized in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” Eagles have long been symbols of power and prestige in many parts of the world, including Europe, where their representations are often seen in heraldry. Native Americans sprinkled eagle down before guests as a sign of peace and friendship, and eagle feathers were commonly used in rituals and headdresses. The resplendent quetzal—the national bird of Guatemala, which shares its name with the currency and is a popular motif in art, fabric, and jewelry—was worshipped and deified by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Highly symbolic birds include the phoenix, representing resurrection, and the owl, a common symbol of wisdom but also a reminder of death in Native American mythology. The bird in general has long been a common Christian symbol of the transcendent soul, and in medieval iconography a bird entangled in foliage symbolized the soul embroiled in the materialism of the secular world.

downy woodpecker
downy woodpecker

In modern times the recreational pleasures of bird-watching have grown in tandem with the rise of environmentalism. Evolving from the American and European “shoot-and-stuff” mania of the 19th century, bird-watching became a sportlike activity based on rapid identification—the rarest being the most rewarding—with the aid of binoculars and spotting scopes. The change from shooting to sighting coincided with campaigns, beginning about 1900, to halt the slaughter of wild birds for food and millinery. Bird-watching was advanced by the publication of excellent field guides and improvements in photography and sound recording. By mid-century the watcher’s enjoyable but rather unsophisticated tallying of “year lists” and “life lists” of species personally observed was being augmented, if not replaced, by interest in careful studies of bird behaviour, migration, ecology, and the like. This trend was abetted by bird banding (called ringing in the United Kingdom) and by such organizations as the British Trust for Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, which coordinate professional and amateur observations and efforts with scientific studies.

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General features

pigeon skeleton
pigeon skeleton

Birds arose as warm-blooded, arboreal, flying creatures with forelimbs adapted for flight and hind limbs for perching. This basic plan has become so modified during the course of evolution that in some forms it is difficult to recognize.

Among flying birds, the wandering albatross has the greatest wingspan, up to 3.5 metres (11.5 feet), and the trumpeter swan perhaps the greatest weight, 17 kg (37 pounds). In the largest flying birds, part of the bone is replaced by air cavities (pneumatic skeletons) because the maximum size attainable by flying birds is limited by the fact that wing area varies as the square of linear proportions, and weight or volume as the cube. During the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) lived a bird called Teratornis incredibilis. Though similar to the condors of today, it had a larger estimated wingspan of about 5 metres (16.5 feet) and was by far the largest known flying bird.

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The smallest living bird is generally acknowledged to be the bee hummingbird of Cuba, which is 6.3 cm (2.5 inches) long and weighs less than 3 grams (about 0.1 ounce). The minimum size is probably governed by another aspect of the surface-volume ratio: the relative increase, with decreasing size, in surface through which heat can be lost. The small size of some hummingbirds may be facilitated by a decrease in heat loss resulting from their becoming torpid at night.

When birds lose the power of flight, the limit on their maximum size is increased, as can be seen in the ostrich and other ratites such as the emucassowary, and rhea. The ostrich is the largest living bird and may stand 2.75 metres (9 feet) tall and weigh 150 kg (330 pounds). Some recently extinct birds were even larger: the largest moas of New Zealand and the elephant birds of Madagascar may have reached over 3 metres (10 feet) in height.

North American bird migration
North American bird migration

The ability to fly has permitted an almost unlimited diversification of birds, so that they are now found virtually everywhere on Earth, from occasional stragglers over the polar ice caps to complex communities in tropical forests. In general the number of species found breeding in a given area is directly proportional to the size of the area and the diversity of habitats available. The total number of species is also related to such factors as the position of the area with respect to migration routes and to wintering grounds of species that nest outside the area. In the United StatesTexas and California have the most—approximately 620 for each (the figure varies based on criteria used for inclusion on state lists, such as unconfirmed, accidental, hypothetical, extirpated, and extinct species). More than 920 species have been recorded from North America north of Mexico. The figure for Europe west of the Ural Mountains and including most of Turkey is 514. More than 700 species live in Russia. At least 4,400 species live in North and South America. Although several South American countries boast well over 1,000 species, Costa Rica, with an area of only about 51,000 square km (about 20,000 square miles) and a known avifauna of more than 800 species, probably has the most diversity for its size. Asia accounts for more than 25 percent of the world’s species, with 2,700 species, and Africa slightly less, with about 2,300.

Importance to man

red jungle fowl
red jungle fowl

In addition to their importance in literature and legend, birds have been significant to human society in myriad ways. Birds and their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies. The eggs of some colonial seabirds, such as gulls, terns, and murres, or guillemots, and the young of some muttonbirds are even now harvested in large quantities. With the development of agrarian human cultures, several species of chickensducksgeese, and pigeons were taken in early and have been selectively bred into many varieties. These domestic birds are descended, respectively, from the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus), mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), greylag goose (Anser anser), and rock dove (Columba livia). After the discovery of the New World, the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), which had already been domesticated by the Indians, and the Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) were brought to Europe and produced several varieties. Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) from Africa were also widely exported and kept not only for food but also because they are noisy when alarmed, thus warning of the approach of intruders.

Besides being a food source, pigeons have long been bred and trained for carrying messages, their wartime use dating to the Roman era, according to Pliny the Elder. Messenger pigeons were widely used by German, British, and American forces in World Wars I and II and by the United States in the Korean War. In the South Seas, the ability of frigate birds to “home” to their nesting colonies enabled island inhabitants to send messages by these birds.

California quail
California quail

With the development of modern culturehunting evolved from a foraging activity to a sport, in which the food value of the game became secondary. Large sums are now spent annually on hunting waterfowlquailgrousepheasantsdoves, and other game birds. Sets of rules and conventions have been set up for hunting, and in one elaborate form of hunting, falconry, there is not only a large body of specialized information on keeping and training falcons but also a complex terminology, much of it centuries old.

Feathers have been used for decoration for many thousands of years. Their use in the headpieces of indigenous peoples throughout the world is well known. Feather robes were made by Polynesians and Eskimos; and down quilts, mattresses, and pillows are part of traditional European folk culture. Large feathers have often been used in fans, thereby providing an example of an object put to opposite uses—for cooling as well as for conserving heat. Whereas most feathers used in decorating are now saved as by-products of poultry raising or hunting, until early in the 20th century, egretsgrebes, and other birds were widely shot for their plumes alone. Ostrich farms have been established to produce plumes as well as meat, and some ostriches have been raised specifically for racing. Large quills were once widely used for writing, and feathers have long been used on arrows and fishing lures.


Many birds are kept as pets. Small finches and parrots are especially popular and easy to keep. Of these, the canary (Serinus canaria) and the budgerigar of Australia (Melopsittacus undulatus, often called a parakeet) are widely kept and have been bred for a variety of colour types. On large parks and estates, ornamental species such as peacocks (Pavo cristatus), swans, and various exotic waterfowl and pheasants are often kept. Zoological parks in many cities import birds from many lands and are a source of recreation and enjoyment for millions of people each year.

European, or common, starling
European, or common, starling
red-billed quelea
red-billed quelea
View a flock of red-billed queleas at the Etosha National Park
View a flock of red-billed queleas at the Etosha National ParkSee all videos for this article

With the rise of agriculture, man’s relationship with birds became more complex. Vast quantities of guano (bird excrement) were mined from island breeding colonies for use as fertilizer for crops. However, in regions where grain and fruit are grown, depredations by birds may be a serious problem. In North America various species of blackbirds (family Icteridae) are serious pests in grainfields; in Africa a grain-eating finch, the red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea), occurs like locusts, in plague proportions so numerous that alighting flocks may break the branches of trees. The use of city buildings for roosts by large flocks of starlings and blackbirds is also a problem, as is the nesting of albatrosses on airplane runways on Pacific islands. As a result of these problems, conferences on the control of avian pests are commonly held.

Although birds are subject to a great range of diseases and parasites, only a few of these are known to be capable of infecting man. Notable exceptions are ornithosis psittacosis, or parrot fever, a serious and sometimes fatal disease resembling viral pneumonia. The microorganism responsible for the disease is transmitted directly to man from pigeons, parrots, and a variety of other birds via their excrement. Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, is also serious, but this infection is transmitted to man and to his domestic animals via biting arthropods, including mosquitoes. West Nile virus can likewise be transmitted. Wild birds may also act as reservoirs for diseases that adversely affect domesticated birds.

Track how Galapagos finches underwent adaptive radiation from a single ancestral lineage and their contribution to Darwin's theory of evolution
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The study of birds has contributed much to both the theoretical and practical aspects of biology. Charles Darwin’s studies of the Galapagos finches and other birds during the voyage of HMS Beagle were important in his formulation of the idea of the origin of species through natural selection. Collections of birds in research museums still provide the bases for important studies of geographic variation, speciation, and zoogeography, because birds are one of the best known of animal groups. Early work on the domestic fowl added to the development of both genetics and embryology. The study of animal behaviour (ethology) has been based to a large extent on studies of birds by Konrad LorenzNikolaas Tinbergen, and their successors. Birds also have been the primary group in the study of migration and orientation and the effect of hormones on behaviour and physiology.

dusky seaside sparrow
dusky seaside sparrow

Man’s impact on bird populations is very strong. Since 1680 approximately 80 species of birds have become extinct, and a larger number are seriously endangered. While pollution and pesticides are important factors in the decline of certain large species, such as the peregrine falconosprey, and California condor, the destruction of natural areas and introduction of exotic animals and diseases have probably been the most devastating. Concerted efforts of research and conservation are required to ensure the survival of rare species.Robert W. Storer

Natural history


Because of their body structure and their feathered covering, birds are the best fliers among animals, better than insects and bats. There are, however, considerable differences in ability among various birds. Penguins cannot fly, instead spending much of their time in the water swimming with their paddlelike wings. Birds such as ostriches and emus have rudimentary wings but are permanently afoot. At the other extreme, long-winged swifts and frigate birds move from their perches only to fly, never to walk. Most birds alternate some walking or swimming with their flying.

black guillemot
black guillemot

Birds usually fly when they have any considerable distance to travel; there are exceptions, however. The mountain quail of California make their annual migrations up and down the mountains on foot. The guillemots of the Greenland coast migrate southward by swimming; they begin their journey before the young have grown their flight feathers and before some of the adults at least have regrown their recently molted ones. The Adélie penguins may ride northward on drifting ice floes; at the approach of nesting time, they swim back to the Antarctic continent and then walk over the ice to their breeding grounds many miles inland.Load Next Page 


The Balance


7 Causes of Unemployment

What’s Behind Each Type of Unemployment


Kimberly Amadeo

Updated on September 1, 2022

 Reviewed by 

Erika Rasure

 Fact checked by 

Aaron Johnson

In This Article


There are seven causes of unemployment. Four causes create frictional unemployment. This type of unemployment is when employees leave their job to find a better one. Two causes create structural unemployment. That is when workers’ skills or income requirements no longer match the jobs available. The seventh cause leads to cyclical unemployment.1

Frictional and structural unemployment occur even in a healthy economy. The natural rate of unemployment is between 4% and 5%, according to the Federal Reserve.2 The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines unemployed people as those who are jobless and have actively looked for work in the past four weeks as well as those who have been temporarily laid off from a job. If they don’t keep looking, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t count them in the labor force.3

An image of a man holding his head in his hands in sadness. Text reads: The seven causes of unemployment. Cyclical: Demand-deficient unemployment, Structural: Advances in technology and Job outsourcing, Frictional: Voluntary, Relocation, Newly entering the workforce, and Re-entering the workforce.

Four Causes of Frictional Unemployment

One cause of unemployment is voluntarily leaving the workforce. Some of the unemployed have saved enough money so they can quit unfulfilling jobs. They have the luxury to search until they find just the right opportunity. The second cause is when workers relocate. They are unemployed until they find a position in the new town.

The third cause is when new workers enter the workforce. This includes students who graduate from high school, college or any higher degree program. They look for a job that fits their new skills and qualifications. That is a primary cause of youth unemployment.4

The fourth cause is when job seekers re-enter the workforce. These are people who went through a period in their lives when they stopped looking for work. They could have stopped working to raise children, get married or care for elderly relatives. These four causes are an unavoidable part of the job search process. The good news is that frictional unemployment is usually voluntary and short-term.

Two Causes of Structural Unemployment

Structural unemployment is neither voluntary nor short term. These next two causes lead to long-term unemployment. The fifth cause is advances in technology. This is when computers or robots replace workers. Most of these workers need more training before they can find a new job in their field.

The sixth cause is job outsourcing. That is when a company moves its manufacturing or call centers to another country. Labor costs are cheaper in countries with a lower cost of living. This situation occurred in many states after NAFTA was signed in 1994. Many manufacturing jobs moved to Mexico.5 It also occurred once workers in China and India gained the skills needed by American companies.67

What Causes Cyclical Unemployment?

The seventh cause of unemployment is when there are fewer jobs than applicants. The technical term is demanddeficient unemployment. When it happens during the recession phase of the business cycle, it’s called cyclical unemployment.81 

Low consumer demand creates cyclical unemployment. Companies lose too much profit when demand falls. If they don’t expect sales to pick up anytime soon, they must lay off workers. The higher unemployment causes consumer demand to drop even more, which is why it’s cyclical. It results in large-scale unemployment.9 Examples include the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Depression of 1929.

Raising the Minimum Wage and Demand-Deficit Unemployment

Demand-deficit unemployment sometimes occurs when wages are too high.8 That’s one of the arguments against higher minimum wages. Critics argue that when businesses are forced to pay a higher salary per person, they must let other workers go.10


In some price-sensitive industries, that’s true. But most companies can pass the cost onto their customers. 

Not All Causes of Joblessness Create Unemployment

If someone gives up looking for work, on the other hand, the BLS does not count them in the unemployment rate. If someone retires, goes back to school or leaves the workforce to take care of children or other family members, that is not unemployment because they no longer look for work. Even if they would prefer a job, the BLS doesn’t count them as unemployed unless they looked in the past month.

People who have searched in the past year, but not the past month, are called marginally unemployed. The BLS considers this the U-5 and U-6 alternative measures of labor underutilization, or known more broadly as the “real unemployment rate.”1112 Some people say that the government undercounts unemployment by reporting the official rate, rather than the “real” rate.1314

Key Takeaways

  • For the BLS, unemployment is the state in which one has no job and has been looking for work for the past month. Those who have stopped job searching are not counted as part of the unemployed labor force.3
  • Unemployment may be classified as either a frictional, structural, cyclical, or demand-deficit type.
  • The natural rate of unemployment is between 4% and 5%.2
  • Unemployment is a key economic indicator. High employment rates can be symptomatic of a distressed economy. Conversely, very low unemployment rates can signal an overheated one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is counted as unemployed?

The BLS defines unemployed workers as those who are out of a job and currently available to work, and who have actively looked for work in the past four weeks. It also includes workers who are temporarily laid off but expecting to return to the workforce, whether they have been actively looking for a job or not.14

Who qualifies for unemployment benefits?

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, a person must be unemployed “through no fault of their own,” have worked during a specific period, have met minimum state wage requirements, and be actively seeking work. These are the minimum federal requirements, but some states have additional requirements.15

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Image shows a man in a suit and tie jumping from the roof of one office building to another. The first building says "Old Job" across it, and the second building says "New Job." Text reads: "What is frictional unemployment? Frictional unemployment is when workers are jobless and looking for work in a healthy economy–whether they leave voluntarily or are fired. Differentiated from other types of unemployment because it's part of normal labor turnover."

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Encyclopedia Britannica


animalTable of ContentsHomeScienceBiology



Alternate titles: Animalia

By Leigh M. Van ValenSee All Article HistoryTable of Contents

Top Questions

What is an animal?

What are the two major groups of animals?

When did animals first appear?

What are the basic functional systems of animals?

How are animals different from plants and fungi?


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Watch a fight between meerkats and see how a dominant alpha female meerkat expells a subordinate from the pack
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freshwater jellyfish
freshwater jellyfish

animal, (kingdom Animalia), any of a group of multicellular eukaryotic organisms (i.e., as distinct from bacteria, their deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is contained in a membrane-bound nucleus). They are thought to have evolved independently from the unicellular eukaryotes. Animals differ from members of the two other kingdoms of multicellular eukaryotes, the plants (Plantae) and the fungi (Mycota), in fundamental variations in morphology and physiology. This is largely because animals have developed muscles and hence mobility, a characteristic that has stimulated the further development of tissues and organ systems.


See all mediaKey People: Charles EltonCarl E. AkeleySpencer Fullerton BairdKarl P. SchmidtRoss Granville HarrisonRelated Topics: animal social behaviourreptilefishanimal behaviourinsect

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Animals dominate human conceptions of life on Earth not simply by their size, abundance, and sheer diversity but also by their mobility, a trait that humans share. So integral is movement to the conception of animals that sponges, which lack muscle tissues, were long considered to be plants. Only after their small movements were noticed in 1765 did the animal nature of sponges slowly come to be recognized.

Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) breaching.

In size animals are outdone on land by plants, among whose foliage they may often hide. In contrast, the photosynthetic algae, which feed the open oceans, are usually too small to be seen, but marine animals range to the size of whales. Diversity of form, in contrast to size, only impinges peripherally on human awareness of life and thus is less noticed. Nevertheless, animals represent three-quarters or more of the species on Earth, a diversity that reflects the flexibility in feeding, defense, and reproduction which mobility gives them. Animals follow virtually every known mode of living that has been described for the creatures of Earth.

Animals move in pursuit of food, mates, or refuge from predators, and this movement attracts attention and interest, particularly as it becomes apparent that the behaviour of some creatures is not so very different from human behaviour. Other than out of simple curiosity, humans study animals to learn about themselves, who are a very recent product of the evolution of animals.

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 A Is for Animal Quiz

The animal kingdom

Animals evolved from unicellular eukaryotes. The presence of a nuclear membrane in eukaryotes permits separation of the two phases of protein synthesis: transcription (copying) of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the nucleus and translation (decoding) of the message into protein in the cytoplasm. Compared to the structure of the bacterial cell, this gives greater control over which proteins are produced. Such control permits specialization of cells, each with identical DNA but with the ability to control finely which genes successfully send copies into the cytoplasm. Tissues and organs can thus evolve. The semirigid cell walls found in plants and fungi, which constrain the shape and hence the diversity of possible cell types, are absent in animals. If they were present, nerve and muscle cells, the focal point of animal mobility, would not be possible.

A definition of animals

Cytoplasm is contained within cells in the space between the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane.

characteristic of members of the animal kingdom is the presence of muscles and the mobility they afford. Mobility is an important influence on how an organism obtains nutrients for growth and reproduction. Animals typically move, in one way or another, to feed on other living organisms, but some consume dead organic matter or even photosynthesize by housing symbiotic algae. The type of nutrition is not as decisive as the type of mobility in distinguishing animals from the other two multicellular kingdoms. Some plants and fungi prey on animals by using movements based on changing turgor pressure in key cells, as compared with the myofilament-based mobility seen in animals. Mobility requires the development of vastly more elaborate senses and internal communication than are found in plants or fungi. It also requires a different mode of growth: animals increase in size mostly by expanding all parts of the body, whereas plants and fungi mostly extend their terminal edges.

All phyla of the animal kingdom, including sponges, possess collagen, a triple helix of protein that binds cells into tissues. The walled cells of plants and fungi are held together by other molecules, such as pectin. Because collagen is not found among unicellular eukaryotes, even those forming colonies, it is one of the indications that animals arose once from a common unicellular ancestor.

The muscles that distinguish animals from plants or fungi are specializations of the actin and myosin microfilaments common to all eukaryotic cells. Ancestral sponges, in fact, are in some ways not much more complex than aggregations of protozoans that feed in much the same way. Although the sensory and nervous system of animals is also made of modified cells of a type lacking in plants and fungi, the basic mechanism of communication is but a specialization of a chemical system that is found in protists, plants, and fungi. The lines that divide an evolutionary continuum are rarely sharp.

Mobility constrains an animal to maintain more or less the same shape throughout its active life. With growth, each organ system tends to increase roughly proportionately. In contrast, plants and fungi grow by extension of their outer surfaces, and thus their shape is ever changing. This basic difference in growth patterns has some interesting consequences. For example, animals can rarely sacrifice parts of their bodies to satisfy the appetites of predators (tails and limbs are occasionally exceptions), whereas plants and fungi do so almost universally.

History of classification

Except perhaps for the possession of collagen, the criteria used above to distinguish animals from other forms of life are not absolute. The first catalogs of animal diversity were based on overall form and similarity. Aristotle and other early biologists regarded all organisms as part of a great chain, divisions of which were more or less arbitrary. The 18th-century Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus divided all animals into six classes: MammaliaAvesAmphibia (including reptiles), PiscesInsecta (Arthropoda), and Vermes (other invertebrates). In the early 1800s the French zoologist Georges Cuvier recognized that vertebrates were substantially different from invertebrates, and he divided most animals on the basis of form and function into four branches: vertebrates, arthropods (articulates), mollusks, and radiates (animals with radial symmetry). Cuvier’s divisions formed the basis for all subsequent classifications.

Just after Cuvier’s classification, the French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire outlined the importance of homologous structures. Homology is correspondence between features caused by continuity of information. Thus, a bird’s wing is homologous to a bat’s wing insofar as both are forelimbs, but they are not homologous as wings. Homologous structures need not resemble each other; for example, the three bones in the middle ear of humans are homologous to three bones in the jaw apparatus in fishes because the genetic and developmental information controlling them has been continuous through evolutionary change.

Before evolution was generally accepted, homologies among different animals, when they were recognized at all, were regarded as aspects of God’s pattern. Evolution provided a testable explanation for homologies. By carefully tracing selected homologies, it has been possible to show that previously proposed classifications established inappropriate relationships based solely on form or function, or both; for example, the radial symmetry of starfishes is not homologous to that of coelenterates (such as jellyfish).

Protozoans were once considered to be animals because they move and do not photosynthesize. Closer study has shown, though, that their movement is by means of nonmuscular structures (cilia, flagella, or pseudopods) and that photosynthesis in them has often been lost and gained. Protozoans do not, therefore, form a natural group but with algae form a eukaryotic kingdom separate from plants and animals, called Protista.

Like plants and animals, fungi arose from protists and are now accorded a kingdom of their own.

Animal diversity

early sea animals
early sea animals

The diverse appearance of animals is mostly superficial; the bewildering variety of known forms, some truly bizarre, can be assorted among a mere half-dozen basic body plans. These plans are established during the embryonic stages of development and limit the size and complexity of the animals. Symmetry, number and relative development of tissue layers, presence and nature of body cavities, and several aspects of early development define these fundamental modes of organization.

Parazoa: a cellular level of organization

Freshwater sponge (Spongilla).

Although the two phyla in this subkingdom, Porifera (sponges) and Placozoa, lack clearly defined tissues and organs, their cells specialize and integrate their activities. Their simplicity has been adaptive, and sponges have remained important in benthic marine habitats since their origin. The sessile, filter-feeding way of life shown by sponges has favoured a body plan of radial symmetry, although some members have become asymmetrical. The shape of the creeping, flattened placozoans is irregular and changeable.

Radiata: a tissue level of organization

Lobed comb jelly (Lobata)
Study a jellyfish's muscular contractions and learn how the carnivore uses its tentacles to catch prey
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The two coelenterate phyla (Cnidaria and Ctenophora) advanced in complexity beyond the parazoans by developing incipient tissues—groups of cells that are integrally coordinated in the performance of a certain function. For example, coelenterates have well-defined nerve nets, and their contractile fibres, although only specialized parts of more generalized cells, are organized into discrete muscle units. Because discrete cells of different types do not carry out the internal functions of the animals, coelenterates are considered to be organized at only a tissue level.

The integration of cells into tissues, particularly those of nerve and muscle, permits a significantly larger individual body size than is possible with other modes of body movement. Flagella and cilia become ineffective at rather small size, and amoeboid movement is limited to the size a single cell can attain. Muscles contract by a cellular mechanism basically like that used in amoeboid locomotion—interaction of actin and myosin filaments. Through coordinated contraction of many cells, movement of large individuals becomes possible.

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 Animals: Fact or Fiction?

Coelenterates, like parazoans, have only two body layers, an inner endoderm primarily for feeding and an outer ectoderm for protection. Between the endoderm and the ectoderm of coelenterates is the mesoglea, a gelatinous mass that contains connective fibres of collagen and usually some cells. Both layers contain muscle fibres and a two-dimensional web of nerve cells at the base; the endoderm surrounds a central cavity, which ranges from simple to complex in shape and serves as a gut, circulatory system, and sometimes even a skeleton. The cavity is also used for gamete dispersal and waste elimination.

Cleavage of a fertilized egg produces a hollow sphere of flagellated cells (the blastula). Invagination of cells at one or both poles creates a mouthless, solid gastrula; the gastrula is called the planula larva in species in which this stage of development is free-living. The inner, endoderm cells subsequently differentiate to form the lining of the central cavity. The mouth forms once the planula larva has settled. Although the details of early development are different for parazoans and coelenterates, most share a stage in which external flagellated cells invaginate to form the inner layer, which lines the cavity, of these diploblastic (two-layered) animals. This is characteristic of invagination during the development of all animals.

All coelenterates are more or less radially symmetrical. A radial form is equally advantageous for filtering, predatory, or photosynthetic modes of feeding. Tentacles around the circumference can intercept food in all directions.

Bilateria: an organ level of organization

All animals except those in the four phyla mentioned above have bilaterally symmetrical ancestors and contain three body layers (triploblastic) with coalition of tissues into organs. The body plans that are generally recognized are acoelomate, pseudocoelomate, and coelomate.

Acoelomates have no internal fluid-filled body cavity (coelom). Pseudocoelomates have a cavity between the inner (endoderm) and the middle (mesoderm) body layers. Coelomates have a cavity within the mesoderm, which can show one of two types of development: schizocoelous or enterocoelic. Most protostomes show schizocoelous development, in which the mesoderm proliferates from a single cell and divides to form a mass on each side of the body; the coelom arises from a split within each mass. Deuterostomes show enterocoelic pouching, in which the endoderm evaginates and pinches off discrete pouches, the cavities of which become the coelom and the wall the mesoderm. The animals in these major divisions of the Bilateria differ in other fundamental ways, which are detailed below.

Unlike sessile sponges or floating jellyfish, the Bilateria typically move actively in pursuit of food, although many members have further evolved into sessile or radial forms. Directed movement is most efficient if sensory organs are located at the head or forward-moving end of the animal. Organs of locomotion are most efficiently arranged along both sides, a fact that defines the bilateral symmetry; many internal organs are not in fact paired, whereas muscle layers, limbs, and sensory organs almost invariably are. The diffuse nerve net of coelenterates coalesces into definite tracts or bundles, which run posteriorly from the anterior brain to innervate the structures of locomotion.


Prostheceraeus, a flatworm of the class Turbellaria.

Flatworms (phyla PlatyhelminthesNemertea, and Mesozoa) lack a coelom, although nemerteans have a fluid-filled cavity at their anterior, or head, end, which is used to eject the proboscis rapidly. The lack of a fluid-filled cavity adjacent to the muscles reduces the extent to which the muscles can contract and the force they exert (see below Support and movement). Because most also lack a circulatory system, supplying muscle tissues with fuel and oxygen can be no faster than the rate at which these substances diffuse through solid tissue. Flatworms are thus constrained to be relatively flat and comparatively small; parasitic worms, which do not locomote, can achieve immense lengths (e.g., tapeworms), but they remain very thin. The larger of the free-living flatworms have extensively divided guts, which reach to within a few cells of the muscles, thus compensating for the lack of a circulatory system. Most flatworms have but one opening to the gut. Nemerteans, in addition to a coelom-like housing for their proboscis, have attained a one-way gut and a closed circulatory system. Both increase their ability to move food and oxygen to all parts of the body. Flatworms are considered to be the ancestors of all other Bilateria.

Pseudocoelomates, or aschelminths

The pseudocoelomates include the nematodes, rotifers, gastrotrichs, and introverts. Some members of some other phyla are also, strictly speaking, pseudocoelomate. These four phyla of tiny body size (many species no larger than the bigger protozoans) are placed together in part because they lack mesoderm on the inner side of the body cavity. Consequently, no tissue, muscular or connective, supports the gut within the coelomic fluid. For tiny organisms, this is advantageous for conservation of tissue: there is no reason to evolve or to maintain a tissue that is not functionally important. The inconspicuousness of most of these phyla has led to a slow advancement in understanding their phylogenetic position in the animal kingdom.

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Overview of Pakistan’s Economy


The economy of Pakistan is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and 38th largest in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product. In 2014-15, the GDP was recorded at 4.24 percent up from 4.02 percent in 2013-14.

Traditionally the economy of Pakistan has been semi- industrialized with agriculture as the major contributor to GDP, with centers of growth along the Indus River. Over the decades services and industrial sectors have developed significantly. The service sector has grown to become the biggest contributor to GDP, calculated at 58.8 percent in 2014-15. During the same period, the agricultural and industrial sector respectively accounted for 20.9 percent and 20.3 percent of the GDP.

With a large population, majority of which is young, Pakistan is a consumption oriented economy. Consumption, investment and exports are the drivers of the country with exports being the biggest driver of economic growth. Most of Pakistan’s exports are to Afghanistan, United States of America, United Arab Emirates, European Union, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Major exports include agricultural products, textile products, sports goods, leather & leather products, surgical instruments, light engineering goods and services. The import bill accounts mostly for the import of fuel, heavy machinery and industrial equipment. Major sources of imports are China, Saudi Arabia, United States, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the European Union and Japan.

Pakistan is a fast urbanizing country. The biggest industrial hub is the port city of Karachi (Sindh Province). Other industrial centers are located in major cities of the Punjab Province. A vast population lives outside major urban centers in small towns and villages practicing traditional trades of economy i.e. agriculture, animal husbandry and small scale cottage industry.

The country’s economic management is based on liberalization including privatization of state-owned corporations as well as de-regulation and economic restructuring. The objective is to create a market-based competitive economy through innovation and investment. Pakistan is implementing extensive fiscal control programmes aimed at reducing non- developmental expenditures and increasing government revenues through tax reforms.

I n 2014 Paki stan ranked 3rd amongst the top ten best per formi ng capi tal markets in the worl d for the thi rd consecutive year. A series of initiatives have helped stabilize the capital market. This has led to a stable financial outlook on the long-term rating by Standard & Poor.

The historical agreement with the Chinese Government on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), good reviews from IMF, issuance of Ijara Sakuk Bond, Euro Bond after a period of 9 years, decline in unemployment rate from 6.2 to 6.0 percent all point to a faster growing economy.


Services Sector

Sector Overview

In recent years, the services sector has grown at a considerably faster rate than the commodity producing sector of the Pakistani economy. It has emerged as the most significant driver of economic growth. In 2014-15 the services sector contributed 58.8 percent of the GDP and registered a growth rate of 4.95 percent. This sector has potential for further growth.

The sub-sectors are: Transport, Storage and Communication; Wholesale and Retail Trade; Finance and Insurance; Housing Services (Real Estate); General Government Services (Public Administration and Defense); and Other Private Services (Social Services).

During 2014-15, the growth of these sub-sectors were as follows: Transport, Storage and Communication – 4.21 percent, Wholesale and Retail Trade – 3.38 percent, , Finance and Insurance – 6.18 percent, Housing Services – 4.0 percent, General Government Services – 9.44 percent and Other Private Services – 5.94 percent.

Investment Potential

  • Pakistan is home to a host of multinational companies and financial institutions. There is room for further investment in fi nancial and insurance markets.
  • The demand for large scale commercial transportation and mass-transit systems is growing with the expansion of road infrastructure. Foreign investors can take advantage of this opportunity and invest in the transport sector.
  • With a 190 million population, over 50 percent of which is the middle class, Pakistan is now a consumption driven society. Demand for branded products and international franchises is also increasing as new and modern shopping malls are coming up in major cities.
  • There is tremendous potential of investment in the tourism industry in Pakistan which is endowed with many tourist attractions. These are historic sites such as remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization at Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Taxila as well as architectural marvels of the Mughal era and the breathtaking beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan where the second highest peak of the world i.e. K-2 is located.

Agriculture Sector

Sector Overview

Pakistan has a rich and vast natural resource base covering various ecological and climate zones. It also has one of the largest canal water irrigation systems in the world. This gives the country the potential for producing a variety of food commodities. Land totaling 22.45 million hectares is already under cultivation, 16.5 million hectares of which are located in the Punjab Province.


Pakistan has huge dairy industry, with the country ranking fourth among milk producing countries with a production of 45,529 tons of milk which is worth Rs. 177 billion (approximately US$ 1.77 billion). This sector has immense potential for further development . Milk production can easily be multiplied by applying mechanized farming techniques and scientific breeding methods. Foreign investors have found the dairy sector as an attractive avenue for investment.

Livestock and Poultry

Pakistan has the 3rd largest livestock population in the world. Traditionally this sector has been dominated by small producers to meet their food security needs and supplement this income. The livestock and poultry sector performs a vital role in Pakistan’s economy with contribution of around 12 percent of GDP. During 2014-15, livestock share in the agriculture sector value addition stood at 56.3 percent. Livestock recorded a growth of 4.12 percent. Major livestock and poultry products include meat, eggs, animal and hides. The major share of production is consumed locally. Meat demand in Pakistan is growing at approximately 6 percent per annum and there is increased potential investment in production and distribution of meat, poultry and good quality slaughters houses.


Pakistan has a total coast line of 1050 km. with a total fishing area of approximately 300270 sq.km. These fishing areas are rich in marine life and are home to species of commercial significance. Apart from marine fisheries, inland fisheries (based in rivers, lakes, ponds, dams etc.) are also commercial significant. Fisheries add substantially to the national income through export earnings. In 2014-15 the fisheries sub-sector registered a growth rate of 5.75 percent.


With a share of 11.1 percent in value addition of agriculture sector crops contribute 2.3 percent to the GDP. This sub-sector has grown mildly at 1.09 percent over the last year. Similarly growth has been registered production of crops such as onion, grams, lentils, chilies and potatoes. The fruit and vegetables production has remained stable.

Cotton Ginning

Cotton Ginning has 7.4 percent share in the crops subsector and 2.9 percent contribution in agriculture sector and contributes 0.6 percent in GDP of the country. Cotton ginning has witnessed significant growth registered which was at 7.38 percent last year.

Investment Potential

  • Of the total 16.5 million hectares of cultivable land in Punjab, a vast 1.7 million hectares is still available for corporate farming.
  • As much as 30% of horticultural produce that goes to waste every year can be converted into economic gain by investing in agribusiness value chain industries.
  • Despite being 4th largest milk producer globally and an average annual milk demand growth of 20 percent, only 8 percent of milk is processed in Pakistan. There is significant potential for setting up processing units and chillers for local consumption and export.
  • Despite having the 3rd largest livestock population, the average yield of milk per animal is one of the lowest in the world. Opportunity for investment exists in breed improvement, animal husbandry, veterinary medicines and genetic research labs.
  • Meat demand in Pakistan is growing at 6 percent per annum. Fattening farms using modern techniques are a potential area of investment. Likewise, slaughter houses, meat processing units, Halal meat export, organic farming are significant areas of investment and growth potential.

Industrial Sector

The industrial sector in Pakistan contributes 20.30 percent to the GDP. It has four sub-sectors including mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and gas generation and distribution, and construction. Each sub sector of the industrial sector has its own role and significance in the economy. Performance of these sub-sectors is given below:

Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing sector accounted for 13.3 percent of GDP and employed 14.2 percent of the total employed labour force. There are three subsectors: Large Scale Manufacturing, Small Scale Manufacturing and Industrial processing.

Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) contributes 10.6 percent of GDP and dominates the overall manufacturing sector, accounting 80 percent of the sector share. Small Scale Manufacturing accounts for 1.7 percent of total GDP and 13.0 percent of Manufacturing. Industrial processing accounted for only 7.0 percent of overall Manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing sector showed growth during July-March 2014-15 in products such as Iron and Steel at 35.63 percent, Automobiles at 17.02 percent, Leather Products at 9.62 percent, Electronics at 8.21 percent, Pharmaceuticals at 6.38 percent, Chemicals at 5.94 percent, Non-Metallic mineral products at 2.56 percent, Petroleum Products at 4.73 percent, Fertilizers at 0.95 percent and Textile at 0.50 percent.

Construction Sector

The contribution of construction in industrial sector is 12.0 percent. It provides employment opportunities to 7.33 percent of labour force. This sub-sector has potential for growth as demand is high, especially for low cost housing. The construction sector recorded a growth of 7.0 percent last year.

Electricity generation & distribution and Gas Distribution

This sub-sector of industr y plays an impor tant role in development of the country and also contributes to the growth of all sectors of the economy. Its share in industrial sector is 8.2 percent.

Mining and Gems

Sector Overview

Pakistan has enormous mineral potential including precious metals and dimension stones. Availability of abundant raw material, low cost of production, talented, artisans and mining concessions by the government makes this a primary sector for investment.

Pakistan has abundant reserves of coal, copper, rock salt, limestone and onyx marble, China clay, dolomite, fire clay, gypsum, silica sand and granite, as well as precious and semi- precious stones. This sub-sector contributes 2.9 percent of GDP. Mining and quarrying recorded a growth of 3.8 percent in 2014-15.

Investment Potential

Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation offers joint venture in the following projects:

  • Gold and Base Metals Exploration in the Northern Areas of Pakistan
  • Coal Briquetting Plants
  • Coal mining for small thermal power plants
  • Production of Ultra Refined Salt


Sector Overview

Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile products in Asia. This sector contributes 8.5 percent to the GDP and provides employment to 40 percent of the industrial labour force. Pakistan is the 4th largest product of cotton with the third largest spinning capacity in Asia. The major markets of Pakistani yarn during 2011-12 were Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt and Colombia.

Development of the textile Industry and making full use of its abundant resources of cotton has been a priority area in industrial policy. Following the GSP Plus Agreement with the European Union, Pakistan products now have a competitive edge in the European market.

Investment Potential

  • As the 4th largest cotton producer and well developed textile industry, significant opportunities exist in setting up value-addition units, such as apparel lines.
  • With the rising quantity and quality of domestic consumption, the textile industry is looking to expand capacity to meet the local demand. This provides investment opportunity.
  • The investors in textile sector can take advantage of the Pakistan’s GSP Plus Status with European Union, which allows Pakistani products to enter the EU markets on concessional rates.


Sector Overview

As the Pakistani economy develops, the country face a severe power deficit as the demand for electricity has grown at a faster pace than the generation capacity. Power deficit is estimated to cost the economy 2 percent of GDP per annum. Current power deficit stands between 5,000- 8,000 MW. Current energy mix for power generation is heavily dependent on power generation (approximately 70 percent of generation mix). The Government’s focus is to encourage investments in indigenous resources to generate cheap electricity such as coal, nuclear, hydropower, solar and wind energy generation.

Investment Potential

Pakistan offers attractive incentive packages for power generation.

These include:

  • Guaranteed uptake of power produced by Independent Power Producers (IPP) at profitable prices per unit.
  • Liberal and transparent policy for investors to set up IPP projects.
  • One-Window facilitation for power projects – Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB).
  • Guaranteed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for IPPs, backed by sovereign guarantee of Government of Pakistan (GoP).
  • 20 percent return on wind energy and between 14-17 percent return on equity in coal and solar energy.


Year 2014-15 was a good year for Pakistan’s economy, with projected GDP growth crossing 4 percent, driven by vibrant manufacturing and service sectors and improving energy availability.

With tax reforms and collection and restricted current and development expenditure, the economic indicators have improved. The Inflation Index (CPI) is the lowest since 2003, steady at 4.8 percent and the fiscal deficit is contained at around 3.8 percent of GDP. External reserves have grown with coordinated monetary and exchange rate policies. Private investment is also on the rise along with increased FDI.

In addition to monetary and fiscal policies, Pakistan’s recent economic growth has been driven mainly by the services and manufacturing sectors. Acceleration in growth of large-scale manufacturing comes from strong performance of agro-based industries, iron and steel, construction, cotton yarn and textiles. On the demand side, growth continues to be driven by increase in household consumption.

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houseing and market



The Housing Market Is Worse Than You Think

Buyers, sellers and renters are in for more twists and turns, as soaring mortgage rates and stubborn inflation signal belt tightening ahead.

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Credit…Mariaelena Caputi
Stefanos Chen

By Stefanos Chen

Nov. 4, 2022

Everyone is feeling the squeeze.

“Mortgage rates are sky high, prices are sky high, and there’s no inventory,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This may be the worst time in my living history for the home buyer — it just doesn’t make sense.”

Mortgage rates recently broke 7 percent, the highest since 2002, and more than double what most borrowers paid near the start of the pandemic.

Between soaring prices and rising rates, the typical home buyer in October paid 77 percent more on their loan, per month, than they would have last year, according to Realtor.com. With a national median asking price of $425,000 and a 10 percent down payment, that works out to an additional $1,117 every month.

Home contract signings fell for the fourth straight month in September, down 31 percent, compared with September 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. The same month, search interest in the phrase “U.S. Housing Bubble” reached a 15-year high, according to Google trends data. The searches were most popular in Idaho, where the median home price in Boise was $549,900 — an eye-popping 51 percent increase since September 2019, according to Realtor.com.

The days of record-low mortgage rates are over, but juiced-up home prices have not fallen in kind. And sales are stalling, as both buyers and sellers wait for the other shoe to drop.

To make sense of the current housing market, we spoke with economists, mortgage brokers and real estate agents to plot the course ahead. Much can change, especially with economic headwinds on the horizon, but they all agreed that the market is cooling fast. Home prices are going to drop, just not to the extent some buyers have hoped for. Sellers are going to have to work for their closings again. And renters may finally get a reprieve from surging prices, even as prices stay well above prepandemic levels.

ImageCredit…Mariaelena Caputi

Most analysts don’t expect home prices to free fall as they did after the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, in part because of stricter underwriting practices, a big bump in home price appreciation and a class of all-cash investors waiting to swoop in when prices dip. But the cuts are coming, analysts said, perhaps as deep as 20 to 30 percent in markets that saw the most appreciation, particularly in the Mountain West region and the South. Still, most homeowners will have gained some equity over the past two years, even after a slide in home values.

Existing home prices soared 45 percent from December 2019 to June 2022, the start of the pandemic to the summer peak in pricing, the biggest jump ever recorded in such a short window of time, according to Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

In July, the same index recorded its first month-to-month price drop since January 2019, a relatively small decline of 0.3 percent — a sign that a reversal could be underway, though prices were still up a whopping 15.8 percent above July 2021.

Morgan Stanley, the investment management firm, predicted home prices will fall 7 percent, from the peak of pricing in June 2022 to December 2023. Moody’s Analytics expects prices to drop 10 percent, from June to summer 2024, but if a recession hits, an increasingly likely scenario, prices could drop 20 percent. In some supercharged markets, like Boise and Phoenix, Moody’s predicts prices could drop by more than 30 percent.

Another firm, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, predicted in May, when mortgage rates reached 5 percent, that national home prices would fall 10 percent through 2024. But with mortgage rates climbing higher, the cuts will be deeper, said Rick Palacios Jr., the company’s director of research.

“Affordability was the worst it’s ever been, and that was before 7 percent mortgage rates,” Mr. Palacios said, adding that the only option for sellers will be to cut prices.

Other predictions are less dire. Rick Sharga, an executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM, a real estate data company, said he expects prices to fall about 5 percent over the next six to 12 months before stabilizing.

A More Populous Country, but Fewer Homes for Sale

Fewer single-family homes are listed for sale than in previous decades, even though the U.S. population has risen more than 40 percent since 1982.

Peak month:

July 2007

3.4 million












By The New York Times | Source: National Association of Realtors

“This is about weakness in sales volume, more than sales prices,” Mr. Sharga said, adding that the forces that caused prices to plummet after the great recession — irresponsible lending and a glut of supply — aren’t in play. There is very limited inventory for sale, he said, and because the typical homeowner now has a mortgage with a low 3.5 percent interest rate, few would choose to sell today for fear of facing much higher borrowing costs on their next property.

“People are in wait-and-see mode, because the numbers don’t work out,” said Danielle Hale, the chief economist at Realtor.com.

Inventory has shot up since the summer, when mortgage rates started to climb, but still remains far below normal levels, Ms. Hale said. Active listings were up nearly 27 percent in September, compared to September 2021, but still 40 percent below September 2019, before the pandemic.

Listings Pile Up

While few markets have given up pandemic-era price gains, big jumps in supply in September could be a precursor to price drops.
























































Raleigh, N.C.


Austin, Texas

Tampa, Fla.

Las Vegas

Jacksonville, Fla.


Orlando, Fla.


Riverside, Calif.



San Antonio

Charlotte, N.C.



Portland, Ore.

San Diego

New Orleans


Los Angeles

Oklahoma City

Birmingham, Ala.

San Francisco

Kansas City, Mo.


San Jose, Calif.


Louisville, Ky.


Columbus, Ohio




Richmond, Va.

St. Louis






Rochester, N.Y.

New York

Providence, R.I.



Virginia Beach


Hartford, Conn.

Source: Realtor.com

By The New York Times

While few markets so far have given up price gains from last year, she said, big jumps in supply could be a precursor to price drops. The Phoenix metro area saw prices rise more than 4 percent in September, compared to September 2021, but inventory shot up 167 percent in the same period, the most among the 50 largest metros. It also had the biggest share of homes with price cuts, with two out of every five listings taking a trim — an average discount of nearly 8 percent, or about $47,000.

ImageCredit…Mariaelena Caputi

Today’s rates are far from record territory — some loans in 1981 had over 18 percent interest.

But in late October, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular home loan, hit 7.08 percent, more than double the rate that millions of buyers relied on to calculate their budget. This week, the rate dipped slightly to 6.95 percent. In January 2021, the loan sank to a record low 2.65 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

The spike in mortgage rates has largely been the result of the Federal Reserve raising the rate at which banks lend to each other, in an effort to cool inflation. The rate hikes tend to drive up the rate of the 10-year treasury note, a close proxy for mortgage costs.

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

Source: Freddie Mac

By The New York Times

The rapid reversal has been head spinning, with the added pressure of surging prices.

Tahera Tilson, 44, a nurse educator who was living in New York, bought a one-bedroom condo in Harlem for $399,000 in 2019, with a 3.75 percent mortgage. After two years of isolation in the pandemic, she decided to buy a two-bedroom townhouse in Clifton, N.J., for $425,000, with a 5.25 percent mortgage, and planned to sell the Harlem apartment.

But just as she listed the apartment in late spring of this year, the Fed announced plans for more aggressive rate hikes, and mortgage rates soon pushed 6 percent.

“I got a lot of traffic, but no offers at all,” she said about the listing, which she started at $460,000, but soon dropped to $450,000. “It basically came down to the interest rate — that is what was scaring people off.”

Unable to carry two mortgages at the same time, Ms. Tilson had to change tack, and decided to rent it out instead. In the rental market, which is especially starved for affordable listings, she quickly found a tenant willing to pay $2,500 a month. The median rent in Manhattan was nearly $4,000 in September, according to Douglas Elliman, a real estate brokerage.

The Fed raised its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a point this week, its sixth increase this year, and suggested more increases are coming. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said it “may be another year or two” before mortgage rates begin to fall.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, a large trade group, has a more optimistic view, with rates for the 30-year fixed mortgage dropping to 5.4 percent by the end of next year.

In the meantime, agents and mortgage brokers have dusted off a prepandemic slogan: “Date the rate, marry the house.” In other words, buy the house you can afford now, and refinance when mortgage rates dip.

“We’ve been spoiled — 7 percent is not crazy,” said Maria Kazakos, the senior vice president of sales at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Companies.

As power shifts to buyers in Charlotte and nearby markets, she said she is seeing requests for the seller to cover the cost of a lender fee, called points, to reduce the buyer’s mortgage interest rate.

Other buyers are reconsidering adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, a type of loan that drew scrutiny after the subprime mortgage crisis. A 5-1 ARM, for instance, is a 30-year loan with an enticing fixed rate for the first five years, which then resets once a year for the duration of the mortgage, based on the prevailing interest rate and other guidelines. Many are offered with a starting interest rate of around 1 percentage point lower than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Adjustable-rate loans have gone from about 4 percent of the mortgage market in 2021, to more than 12 percent in the last several weeks, the highest share in more than a decade, said Mike Fratantoni, the chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. In 2005, when rates hovered around 5.5 to 6 percent, more than a third of borrowers had adjustable rate loans.

The loans, which were widely criticized for saddling borrowers with ballooning debt, are safer today, because of new regulations enacted after the financial crisis, Mr. Fratantoni said.

But borrowers can still get in over their heads, if rates are higher when mortgages reset, increasing the overall cost of the loan, said Andrew Pizor, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center. He expects lenders to offer even more enticing versions of the adjustable loans in the coming months, as high interest rates slow down the mortgage business.

“But just because they say you can afford it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea,” he said.

ImageCredit…Mariaelena Caputi

A few months ago, sellers were turning down bids that were $100,000 over the asking price, said Jasmine Harris, a real estate agent with Redfin in Atlanta. Now, offers are coming in at, or even below, the list price, and sellers are hearing an unfamiliar word: concessions.

“I’m still in the shock of the past two years, so whenever I write an offer and ask for closing costs, I’ve been holding my breath,” she said, referring to the once common practice of sellers paying some of the buyer’s transaction fees. “But I’ve been getting it.”

Even in markets where prices have not declined, sellers are becoming more open to sweeteners, agents said, like agreeing to contract contingencies in the case of financing trouble, or offering to pay for loose ends to lubricate the deal.

But the best strategy for sellers is to start at the right price, said Steven James, the president and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties. He expects prices to come down 5 to 10 percent in Manhattan because of higher mortgage rates, and said sellers should get ahead of the curve, because lingering on the market has risks.

“The last thing you want in a shifting market is to have something sit,” he said. “The consumers are watching, and they’re thinking, ‘That one’s tainted.’”

ImageCredit…Mariaelena Caputi

There may be some moderate relief for renters, but a return to prepandemic pricing isn’t likely, analysts said.

After record levels of demand for rental housing in 2021, there has been a significant slowdown in leasing this year, and price growth is also beginning to slow, according to Jay Parsons, the head of economics for RealPage, a rental housing software company.

Demand for market-rate rentals in the third quarter was negative, meaning there were more people moving out of apartments than into them — the first time this has happened in the typically busy summer months in 30 years, Mr. Parsons said.

The slowdown led to the first month-to-month price reduction since December 2020 — a measly 0.2 percent drop in September. Still, the national market-rate rent — $1,797 a month — was up 9 percent from the same month a year ago, in part because inventory remains low.

RealPage predicts that national market-rate rent will rise 3.3 percent next year, which is more in line with typical rent growth.

That is cold comfort for renters in high-cost markets like New York City, where rent growth outpaced increases in wages by 23 percent in August, when adjusted for inflation, according to Kenny Lee, an economist with StreetEasy, a listing website. Besides the major real estate disruption early in the pandemic, that marks the widest gap since the 2008 financial crisis.

The median rent in September, $3,982, was up nearly 24 percent from a year ago, though it was down 2 percent from the previous month, according to a report from Douglas Elliman, a real estate brokerage. Renters could have more leverage in the typically slower winter months, said Jon Leckie, a researcher with Rent, a listing portal.

“If you’ve got a few months to work with, and you don’t need to sign now, I’d just hold off,” he said.

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.


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Jobs and Positions

New research on jobs and positions from Harvard Business School faculty on issues including job design, staff learning and outsourcing.

Page 1 of 30 Results 

Looking For a Job? Some LinkedIn Connections Matter More Than Others

by Michael Blanding

Debating whether to connect on LinkedIn with that more senior executive you met at that conference? You should, says new research about professional networks by Iavor Bojinov and colleagues. That person just might help you land your next job.

It’s All in a Name: Reputable Investors Help Startups Shine

by Rachel Layne

Attracting high-quality talent is a challenge for any young firm. Shai Bernstein says startups get a reputation boost and draw more job applicants when they’re backed by well-known venture capital investors.

Launching a Career in the COVID Economy? Here Are 5 Tips.

by Carolyn DiPaolo

The pandemic roiled education and the economy, but it doesn’t have to derail a new graduate’s career. In The Unspoken Rules, Gorick Ng offers advice to help job seekers find the right path. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Where Do Workers Go When the Robots Arrive?

by Rachel Layne

Marco Tabellini and colleagues investigate where workers go after losing their jobs to automation and Chinese imports. Open for comment; 3 Comments posted.

Hunting for a Hot Job in High Tech? Try ‘Digitization Economist’

by Roberta Holland

Amazon has more economists on staff than any university economics department, and technology firms are snapping them up the minute they graduate, says Michael Luca. Why? Call it the economics of digitization. Open for comment; 0 Comments posted.

Kids of Working Moms Grow into Happy Adults

by Dina Gerdeman

In earlier research, Kathleen McGinn and colleagues discovered that adult kids of working moms are high achievers at work. Now it turns out they are happy, too. Open for comment; 91 Comments posted.

Cut Salaries or Cut People? The Best Way to Survive a Downturn

by Rachel Layne

When times are tight, companies usually respond with employee layoffs. But what if they held on to workers and cut their salaries instead? New research by Christopher Stanton and colleagues has the answer. Open for comment; 23 Comments posted.

Experience Markets: An Application to Outsourcing and Hiring

by Christopher T. Stanton and Catherine Thomas

Online labor platforms are like experience markets. Sellers vary in their fit with individual buyers’ needs while buyers new to the market are uncertain about their own value for what sellers offer. This analysis shows that most potential new employers find the market far less valuable to them than wage differences would suggest.

Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity: Reply to Ayash and Rastad

by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ron S. Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda

In 2014, the authors published an influential analysis of private equity buyouts in the American Economic Review. Recently, economists Brian Ayash and Mahdi Rastad have challenged the accuracy of those findings. This new paper responds point by point to their critique, contending that it reflects a misunderstanding of the data and methodology behind the original study.

5 Career-Related New Year’s Resolutions (and 5 Tips for Keeping Them)

by Carmen Nobel

Here are well-researched tips from Harvard Business School faculty to help you keep your career-related resolutions this year. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Why Employers Must Stop Requiring College Degrees For Middle-Skill Jobs

by Joseph Fuller

Employers are guilty of “degree inflation,” requiring lofty academic bona fides for jobs that don’t really need them. Joseph Fuller says the practice is hurting American competitiveness. Open for comment; 32 Comments posted.

‘Be Yourself (Within Reason)’ and Other Job Search Survival Tips

by Sean Silverthorne

In some professions, successful job hunting depends as much on a healthy body and cleared mind as it does on a well-performed interview, says Ethan Rouen. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

The Accounting Rookie Job Market: A Practitioner’s Guide

by Ethan Rouen

Aimed at accounting PhD students but potentially useful to other new academics and job seekers, this first-person essay offers suggestions for the dissertation process and subsequent job search. The writer tries to relieve some of the stress and confusion that inevitably comes with completing a PhD and finding a first academic job.

Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows

by John Horton, William R. Kerr, and Christopher Stanton

Digital labor markets aiInternet-based platforms connecting workers worldwide with companies seeking to have tasks completed. This paper describes the markets, evaluates their rise and global span, and reviews academic studies of how they function. It includes cases to suggest the range of ways in which digital capabilities extend access to talent over long distances.

Bad At Your Job? Maybe It’s the Job’s Fault

by Dina Gerdeman

A poorly designed job can work against even the most dedicated employee, setting the person up to fail. Robert Simons explains how to gauge whether an employee’s position offers the right mix of organizational support and responsibility. Open for comment; 12 Comments posted.

The Right Way to Cry in Front of Your Boss

by Roberta Holland

Crying at work can be more than embarrassing—it can hurt your career. Elizabeth Baily Wolf discusses a technique to reframe distress as passion. Open for comment; 18 Comments posted.

Is the Next Jobs Crisis Just Ahead?

by James Heskett

SUMMING UP A looming service sector jobs crisis would dwarf anything we’ve seen in manufacturing, many of Jim Heskett’s readers agree. But what can be done about it? Open for comment; 28 Comments posted.

Man vs. Machine: Which Makes Better Hires?

by Michael Blanding

New research by Danielle Li and colleagues finds that computers make better hiring decisions than managers when filling simpler jobs. Open for comment; 8 Comments posted.

The Real Jobs Tragedy in the US: We’ve Lost the Skills

by Joe Fuller and Matt Sigelman

Upgrading domestic skills is far more relevant to the future of American workers than potential job losses through expanded trade with other Pacific-rim nations, say Joe Fuller and Matt Sigelman. Open for comment; 15 Comments posted.

These Employers Pay Higher Salaries than Necessary

by Michael Blanding

Some employers using online freelance marketplaces for the first time pay more than they have to for workers. Why? An information imbalance that job seekers can exploit, as explained in research by professor Christopher T. Stanton. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

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Article on Importance of Education

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  • Nov 22, 2022

7 minute read


Education entails acquiring knowledge to have a greater understanding of the various disciplines that will be used in our everyday lives. ‘Education’ refers to the information we gain and experience outside of books or classrooms, as well as the knowledge that we receive and experience in schools, our homes, and as members of society. Our ideas on life alter as a result of learning, education is crucial for personal development and growth in society. In this blog, we will see why we need education for growth and will also look at some articles on the importance of education.

  1. Importance of Education
  2. Mental Aspect of Education’s Importance
  3. Articles on Importance of Education
  4. Article on Importance of Education: 100 words
  5. Article on Importance of Education: 200 words
  6. Article on Importance of Education: 350 words
  7. Article on Importance of Women’s Education

Importance of Education

YouTube: Jo L

The value of education at a much younger age. Our first tryst with learning begins at home, and our first teachers are our parents, grandparents, and often siblings. The importance of education lies in its continuity, learning is a lifetime process that will stop with our death. It is the foundation for the development of a healthy individual and society. Our world cannot have a bright future if our culture lacks education.

Education is the key to change. It is an important tool that allows a person to understand his or her rights and responsibilities to his or her family, society, and nation. It improves a person’s ability to view the world and to fight against misdoings such as injustice, corruption, and violence, among other things.

Mental Aspect of Education’s Importance

Education is meant to hone talent, sharpen our mindsets and educate us on a myriad of things. In school, we cover a variety of topics such as history, arithmetic, geography, politics, and so on. These subjects sharpen children’s minds and allow the kid to absorb knowledge from all subjects, his or her mental level is increased. Here are some cognitive benefits of learning and education that ensure growth and development in children:


Education’s importance in our lives provides us with stability in our everyday lives. Everything may be split, but not your education, you must be told. You can improve your chances of getting a better job with the aid of your degree and expertise.

Financial Security

Our financial stability is helped by education. Higher-qualified individuals receive higher-paying employment in this era, allowing them to guarantee their future.


Education teaches us to be self-sufficient in our daily lives. A person’s education is his alone, and with it, he may feel safe and self-sufficient.


Equality is a right that everyone deserves. If everyone had the opportunity to pursue higher education, there would be a greater likelihood that everyone would earn a large sum of money, and there would be less disparities across social classes. It aids in the pursuit of equality.


Confidence is one of the finest aspects of success. Education boosts a person’s self-assurance. You can go further into a topic that you are already familiar with. With the information you’ve obtained through your schooling, you can converse about that issue far better than others.

Articles on Importance of Education

The process of learning and increasing abilities through courses, literature, training and other mediums is known as education. It assists us in developing our talents and seeking employment to suit our requirements and obligations.

Article on Importance of Education: 100 words

Education is vital to one’s success in life. It is essential for an individual’s entire growth. The process of learning and improving one’s skills is referred to as education. Wisdom and the ability to handle challenges come with knowledge. Education enhances one’s quality of life while also granting social recognition. Though education is essential for everyone, the need for it is most acute during childhood. Starting with children under the age of 10, school education is critical. It serves as a solid basis for their life skills and goals. A person who lacks education is powerless and vulnerable. H/She will find it difficult to deal with life’s challenges.

Article on Importance of Education: 200 words

Education is a valuable tool for gaining learning and wisdom. Though books are essential to education, the notion encompasses more than just books and bookish knowledge. It isn’t required for education to be only based on books. 

The most important goal of education is to help people with how to read and write. The first step toward literacy is reading and writing. Education provides a person with endless opportunities for growth and advancement. People who have had an education tend to be more calm and self-assured. People who have been educated are disciplined and understand the importance of time. Education allows a person to be more expressive and opinionated. H/She was able to readily communicate his/her viewpoints, which were supported by a clear aim and rationale.

Education benefits not just the individual but also the community. The most important aspect of education is that it goes from one individual to another, then throughout society, and eventually throughout the country. An educated individual makes an effort to teach and inspire everyone with whom he or she comes into contact. Education brings one up to speed on technological advancements as well. A well-educated person can easily adjust to technological developments. Education, more than anything else, is a source of hope. The desire for a better life; the desire for a wealthy and poverty-free existence.

Must Read: Importance of School Education

Article on Importance of Education: 350 words


Human education is a critical instrument in their lives. It is a significant distinction between a civilized and an undisciplined individual. Even if the country’s literacy rate has increased in recent years, more individuals need to be made aware of the importance of education. Every child, whether a male or a girl, must attend school and not drop out. Education is beneficial not just to the individual but also to society. A well-educated individual is a valuable asset to society, contributing to its social and economic development. Such a person is always willing to assist society and the country. It is true to say that education is a stairway to a person’s and a nation’s achievement.

Education makes a person productive, allowing him or her to contribute to society in a positive way. It teaches us how to face many challenges and conquer them. A well-educated individual understands how to act in a polite and non-offensive manner. It shows us how to live a disciplined life while yet making a respectable living. Our future is built on the basis of education. Education is also the sole weapon that may be used to combat numerous issues such as illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, and so on. A person’s education makes them more sensitive to the predicament of their fellow beings. A well-educated individual not only comprehends the issues but also possesses the essential abilities to address them.

An educated individual possesses competent skills and is more capable than someone who is uneducated. However, it is incorrect to think that education alone ensures success. Indeed, success necessitates a solid education, as well as devotion, attention, and hard effort. An educated individual is more sensible and capable of rational thought.

Education allows a person to become self-sufficient. An educated individual does not rely on others and is capable of meeting his or her own requirements. A well-educated person also educates their family, and education benefits, not just the individual but also society and the nation. Education has a significant influence on our outlook, making us more optimistic about life and its objectives.

Also Read: Importance of Education in Child’s Life

Article on Importance of Women’s Education

There was a period when it was considered that women didn’t need to be educated. We’ve now realized the importance of women’s education. The modern era is the phase of women’s awakening. In every aspect of life, women are striving to compete with males. Many individuals reject female education, claiming that women’s rightful domain is the home, and therefore that money spent on female education is squandered. This viewpoint is incorrect since female education has the potential to bring about a silent revolution in society.

Female education has numerous advantages; educated women may contribute significantly to the country’s growth by sharing the burdens of males in several fields. They may contribute to society as teachers, lawyers, physicians, and administrators, as well as play a key part in wartime. In this time of economic distress, education is a blessing for women. The days of wealth and prosperity are long gone. Middle-class families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet these days. Female education is important for a country’s growth, thus it should be supported.

Everyone has hope for a better life if they have an education. It’s a type of magic that works in a person’s life to make it far better than it would be if he didn’t have knowledge. To sum the blog, we believe that everyone should be educated so that they can contribute to making our country proud. Increasing literacy rates can prevent tens of thousands of crimes. Every country should encourage its citizens to receive an education.

Also Read: Importance of Education for Growth and Betterment

This was all about articles on the importance of education! We hope the information provided was helpful! Follow Leverage Edu on FacebookYoutube, Instagram and LinkedIn for more educational content and exciting quizzes! Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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woman Rights in Pakistan

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Women in Pakistan

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Women in Pakistan make up 48.76% of the population according to the 2017 census of Pakistan.[3] Women in Pakistan have played an important role throughout Pakistan’s history[4] and they are allowed to vote in elections since 1956.[5] In Pakistan, women have held high offices including that of the Prime MinisterSpeaker of the National AssemblyLeader of the Opposition, as well as federal ministers, judges,[6] and serving commissioned posts in the armed forcesLieutenant General Nigar Johar, attaining the highest military post for a woman.[7][8] Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan on 2 December 1988.

Gender Inequality Index[1]
Value0.538 (2019)
Rank135th out of 162
Global Gender Gap Index[2]
Value0.556 (2021)
Rank153rd out of 156

The status of women in Pakistan differs considerably across classes, regions and the rural/urban divide due to the uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of tribal and feudal social formations on lives of women in Pakistan. Gender Concerns International reports that the overall women’s rights in Pakistan have improved with increasing number of women being educated and literate.[9][10][11][12]

However, Pakistan does face issues where woman are kept behind in the field of education. This is also associated with low government funding,[13] less schools and colleges for women, and a low enrollment rate of women in educational institutions due to lack of awareness and women rights in certain areas.[14][15] Cases of rapehonor killing, murder, and forced marriages in backward areas are also reported.[14][16][17][18] All these issues are related to constraints due to a lack of education, poverty, a judicial system of Pakistan that is disrupted, the negligence of government authorities to implement laws[19][20] and widespread underperformance of law enforcement agencies such as the Police.[21][22]


Fatima Jinnah (1893–1967) was a Pakistani dental surgeon, biographer, stateswoman and one of the leading founders of Pakistan

Historically, Muslim reformers such as Syed Ahmad Khan tried to bring education to women, limit polygamy, and empower women in other ways through education.[11] The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was known to have a positive attitude towards women.[11] After the independence of Pakistan, women’s groups and feminist organisations initiated by prominent leaders like Fatima Jinnah started to emerge in order to eliminate socio-economic injustices against women in the country.

Jinnah pointed out that Muslim women leaders from all classes actively supported the Pakistan movement in the mid-1940s. Their movement was led by wives and other relatives of leading politicians. Women were sometimes organized into large-scale public demonstrations. Before 1947, there was a tendency for Muslim women in Punjab to vote for the Muslim League while their menfolk supported the Unionist Party.[23]

Many Muslim women supported the Indian National Congress Quit India Movement. Some like Syeda Safia Begum of Muslim Town Lahore started the first English School for Muslim Children in Muslim Town in 1935. Pakistani women were granted the suffrage in 1947,[24] and they were reaffirmed the right to vote in national elections in 1956 under the interim Constitution.[25] The provision of reservation of seats for women in the Parliament existed throughout the constitutional history of Pakistan from 1956 to 1973.

Had General Ayub Khan run fair elections, Ms Fatima Jinnah of Pakistan would have become the first Muslim President of the largest Muslim country in the world. However, despite that setback, during 1950–60, several pro-women initiatives were taken. Also, the first woman Lambardar or Numberdar (Village Head Person) in West Pakistan Begum Sarwat Imtiaz took oath in Village 43/12-L in ChichawatniDistrict Montgomery (now Sahiwal) in 1959. The 1961 Muslim Family Law Ordinance,[26] which regulated marriage, divorce, and polygamy[27] continues to have a significant legal impact on the women of Pakistan.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto GovernmentEdit

The regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1970–1977) was a period of liberal attitudes towards women. All government services were opened to women including the district management group and the foreign service (in the civil service), which had been denied to them earlier. About 10% of the seats in the National Assembly and 5% in the provincial assemblies were reserved for women, with no restriction on contesting general seats. However, the implementation of these policies was poor as the Government faced a financial crisis due to war with India and consequent division of the country.[10]

Gender equality was specifically guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan adopted in 1973. The constitution stipulated that “there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone.” The Constitution additionally affords the protection of marriage, family, the mother and the child as well as ensuring “full participation of women in all spheres of national life.”[28] However, many judges upheld the “laws of Islam”, often misinterpreted, over the Constitution’s guarantee of non-discrimination and equality under the law.[29]

In 1975, an official delegation from Pakistan participated in the First World Conference on Women in Mexico, which led to the constitution of the first Pakistani Women’s Rights Committee.

Zia-ul-Haq’s Military RegimeEdit

Main article: Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization

General Zia ul-Haq, then Army Chief of Staff, overthrew the democratically elected Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government in a military coup on 5 July 1977. The Sixth Plan during the martial law régime of General Zia-ul-Haq (1977–1986) was full of policy contradictions. The régime took many steps toward institutional building for women’s development, such as the establishment of the Women’s Division in the Cabinet Secretariat, and the appointment of another commission on the Status of Women. A chapter on women in development was included for the first time in the Sixth Plan. The chapter was prepared by a working group of 28 professional women headed by Syeda Abida Hussain, chairperson of the Jhang District council at that time. The main objective as stated in the Sixth Plan was “to adopt an integrated approach to improve women’s status”.[10] In 1981, General Zia-ul-Haq nominated the Majlis-e-Shoora (Federal Advisory Council) and inducted 20 women as members, however Majlis-e-Shoora had no power over the executive branch.[30] In 1985, the National Assembly elected through non-party elections doubled women’s reserved quota (20 percent).

However, Zia-ul-Haq initiated a process of Islamization by introducing discriminatory legislation against women such as the set of Hudood Ordinances and the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order (Law of Evidence Order). He banned women from participating and from being spectators of sports and promoted purdah.[10] He suspended all fundamental rights guaranteed in the 1973 Constitution. He also proposed laws regarding Qisas and Diyat, Islamic penal laws governing retribution (qisas) and compensation (diyat) in crimes involving bodily injury.[31] The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 was a subcategory of the Hudood OrdinanceZina is the crime of non-marital sexual relations and adultery.

A woman alleging rape was initially required to provide eyewitnesses of good standing and moral character (tazkiyah-al-shuhood) and the witnesses would have to witness “the act of penetration” for the death penalty to apply to the Rapist or if there was no witnesses then Ta’zir would apply.[32] However failure to find such proof of the rape could place her at risk of prosecution for another hudood ordinance, qazf for accusing an innocent man of adultery. Qazf does not require such strong evidence.[33] In principal, the failure to find such proof of rape does not place the woman herself at risk of prosecution. According to Mufti Taqi Usmani, who was instrumental in the creation of the ordinances:

If anyone says that she was punished because of Qazaf (false accusation of rape) then Qazaf Ordinance, Clause no. 3, Exemption no. 2 clearly states that if someone approaches the legal authorities with a rape complaint, she cannot be punished in case she is unable to present four witnesses. No court of law can be in its right mind to award such a punishment.[34]

However, in practice, these safeguards have not always worked.[35][36] In September 1981, the first conviction and sentence under the Zina Ordinance, of stoning to death for Fehmida and Allah Bakhsh were set aside under national and international pressure. In September 1981, women came together in Karachi in an emergency meeting to oppose the adverse effects on women of martial law and the Islamization campaign. They launched what later became the first full-fledged national women’s movement in Pakistan, the Women’s Action Forum (WAF). WAF staged public protests and campaigns against the Hudood Ordinances, the Law of Evidence, and the Qisas and Diyat laws (temporarily shelved as a result).[37]

In 1983, an orphaned, thirteen-year-old girl, Jehan Mina was allegedly raped by her uncle and his sons, and became pregnant. She was unable to provide enough evidence that she was raped. She was charged with adultery and the court considered her pregnancy as the proof of adultery. She was awarded the Tazir punishment of one hundred lashes and three years of rigorous imprisonment.[38]

In 1983, Safia Bibi, a nearly blind teenage domestic servant was allegedly raped by her employer and his son. Due to lack of evidence, she was convicted for adultery under the Zina ordinance, while the rapists were acquitted. She was sentenced to fifteen lashes, five years imprisonment, and a fine of 1,000 rupees. The decision attracted so much publicity and condemnation from the public and the press that the Federal Shariah Court of its own motion, called for the records of the case and ordered that she should be released from prison on her own bond. Subsequently, on appeal, the finding of the trial court was reversed and the conviction was set aside.[39]

The International Commission of Jurists‘ December 1986 mission to Pakistan called for the repeal of the sections of the Hudood Ordinances relating to crimes and of Islamic punishments that discriminate against women and non-Muslims.

There is considerable evidence that legislation during this period has negatively impacted Pakistani women’s lives and made them more vulnerable to extreme violence. The majority of women in prison had been charged under the Hudood Ordinance. Similarly, a national study found that 21% of those residing in shelters for women (Darul Aman) had Hudood cases against them.[40] According to a 1998 report by Amnesty International, more than one-third of all Pakistani women in prison were being held due to having been accused or found guilty of zina.[41]

Benazir Bhutto GovernmentEdit

Benazir Bhutto became the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state. She was assassinated while campaigning for the Pakistani general election of 2008.

After Zia-ul-Haq’s regime, there was a visible change in the policy context in favour of women. The Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth plans formulated under various democratically elected governments have clearly made efforts to include women’s concerns in the planning process. However, planned development failed to address gender inequalities due to the gap between policy intent and implementation.[10]

In 1988, Benazir Bhutto (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s daughter) became the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the first woman elected to head a Muslim country.[42] During her election campaigns, she voiced concerns over social issues of women, health and discrimination against women. She also announced plans to set up women’s police stations, courts and women’s development banks. She also promised to repeal controversial Hudood laws that curtailed the rights of women. However, during her two incomplete terms in office (1988–90 and 1993–96), Benazir Bhutto did not propose any legislation to improve welfare services for women. She was not able to repeal a single one of Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamisation laws. By virtue of the eighth constitutional amendment imposed by Zia-ul-Haq, these laws were protected both from ordinary legislative modification and from judicial review.[37]

In early 1988, the case of Shahida Parveen and Muhammad Sarwar sparked bitter public criticism. Shahida’s first husband, Khushi Muhammad, had divorced her and the papers had been signed in front of a magistrate. The husband however, had not registered the divorce documents in the local council as required by law, rendering the divorce not legally binding. Unaware of this, Shahida, after her mandatory 96-day period of waiting (iddat), remarried. Her first husband, rebounding from a failed attempt at a second marriage, decided he wanted his first wife Shahida back. Shahida’s second marriage was ruled invalid. She and her second husband, Sarwar were charged with adultery. They were sentenced to death by stoning.[38] The public criticism led to their retrial and acquittal by the Federal Shariah Court.

The Ministry of Women’s Development (MWD) established Women’s Studies centres at five universities in IslamabadKarachiQuettaPeshawar, and Lahore in 1989. However, four of these centers became almost non-functional due to lack of financial and administrative support.[10] Only the center at the University of Karachi (funded by the Canadian International Development Agency) was able to run a master of arts programme.

The First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL) was established in 1989 to address women’s financial needs. FWBL, a nationalized commercial bank, was given the rôle of a development finance institution, as well as of a social welfare organisation. It operates 38 real-time online branches across the country, managed and run by women. MWD provided a credit line of Rs 48 millions to FWBL to finance small-scale credit schemes for disadvantaged women. The Social Action Programme launched in 1992/93 aimed at reducing gender disparities by improving women’s access to social services.

Pakistan acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on 29 February 1996.[43] The Ministry of Women Development (MWD) was the designated national focal machinery for its implementation. However MWD faced a lack of resources initially.[10] Pakistan failed to submit its initial report that was due in 1997.[44] Pakistan neither signed nor ratified the Optional Protocol of the Women’s Convention, which has led to non-availability of avenues for filing grievances by individuals or groups against Pakistan under CEDAW.[29]

Nawaz Sharif GovernmentEdit

In 1997, Nawaz Sharif was elected as Prime Minister. He had also held office for a truncated term (1990–1993), during which he had promised to adopt Islamic law as the supreme law of Pakistan.

In 1997, the Nawaz Sharif government formally enacted the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance, which institutes shariah-based changes in Pakistan’s criminal law. The ordinance had earlier been kept in force by invoking the president’s power to re-issue it every four months.[37]

Sharif then proposed a fifteenth amendment to the Constitution that would entirely replace the existing legal system with a comprehensive Islamic one and would override the “constitution and any law or judgment of any court.”[45] The proposal was approved in the National Assembly (lower house), where Sharif’s party has a commanding majority, but, it remained stalled in the Senate after facing strong opposition from women’s groups, human rights activists, and opposition political parties.[46]

A 1997 ruling by the Lahore High Court, in the highly publicised Saima Waheed case, upheld a woman’s right to marry freely but called for amendments to the 1965 Family Laws, on the basis of Islamic norms, to enforce parental authority to discourage “love marriages”.[37]

The report of the Inquiry of the Commission for Women (1997) clearly stated that the Hudood legislation must be repealed as it discriminates against women and is in conflict with their fundamental rights. A similar commission during Benazir Bhutto’s administration had also recommended amending certain aspects of Hudood Ordinance. However, neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif implemented these recommendations.

The enhancement of women’s status was stated as one of the 16 goals listed in the Pakistan 2010 Program (1997), a critical policy document. However, the document omits women while listing 21 major areas of interests. Similarly, another major policy document, the “Human Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy” (1999), mentioned women as a target group for poverty reduction but lacks gender framework.

The country’s first all-women university, named after Fatima Jinnah, was inaugurated on 6 August 1998. It suffered from delays in the release of development funds from the Federal Government.[10]

Pervez Musharraf’s regimeEdit

In 2000, the Church of Pakistan ordained its first women deacons.[47] In 2002 (and later during court trials in 2005), the case of Mukhtaran Mai brought the plight of rape victims in Pakistan under an international spotlight. On 2 September 2004, the Ministry of Women Development was made an independent ministry, separating from the Social Welfare and Education Ministry.

In July 2006, General Pervez Musharraf asked his Government to begin work on amendments to the controversial 1979 Hudood Ordinance introduced under Zia-ul-Haq’s régime.[48] He asked the Law Ministry and the Council of Islamic Ideology (under the Ministry of Religious Affairs) to build a consensus for the amendments to the laws. On 7 July 2006, General Musharraf signed an ordinance for the immediate release on bail of around 1,300 women who were currently languishing in jails on charges other than terrorism and murder.[49]

In late 2006, the Pakistani parliament passed the Women’s Protection Bill, repealing some of the Hudood Ordinances. The bill allowed for DNA and other scientific evidence to be used in prosecuting rape cases.[50] The passing of the Bill and the consequent signing of it into law by President General Pervez Musharraf invoked protests from hard-line Islamist leaders and organisations.[51][52] Some experts also stated that the reforms would be impossible to enforce.[53]

The Cabinet approved reservation of 10% quota for women in Central Superior Services in its meeting held on 12 July 2006.[54] Earlier, there was a 5% quota for women across the board in all Government departments. In December 2006, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz approved the proposal by the Ministry of Women Development to extend this quota to 10%.[55]

In 2006, The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act was also passed.[56] In December 2006, for the first time, women cadets from the Military Academy Kakul assumed guard duty at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.[57]

The Women’s Protection Bill, however, has been criticised by many including human rights and women’s rights activists for only paying lipservice and failing to repeal the Hudood Ordinances.[58][59]

President Asif ZardariEdit

Asif Ali Zardari was the 11th President of Pakistan.[60] He is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan.[61] When his wife was assassinated in December 2007, he became the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party. On 30 December 2007 he became Co-Chairman of the PPP,[62] along with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. On September 8, 2013, Asif Ali Zardari became the country’s first president to complete his constitutional term.[63]

Appointment of womenEdit

Female member of parliament and party loyalist Dr. Fehmida Mirza was appointed as the first female speaker[64] in South Asia. During her tenure, Pakistan saw its first female foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, its first secretary of defense, Nargis Sethi,[65] deputy speaker of a province Shehla Raza and numerous female ministers, ambassadors, secretaries including Farahnaz Ispahani,[66] Media Advisor to former President of Pakistan and co-chairman PPP, Sherry Rehman[67] former ambassador of Pakistan to US, Fauzia WahabFirdous Ashiq AwanFarzana Raja, Shazia Marri, Sharmila FaruqiMusarat Rafique MahesarShahida Rehmani and others held prestigious positions within the administration.

Legislation for protection of womenEdit

Main article: Women related laws in Pakistan

On 29 January 2010, the President signed the ‘Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill 2009’ which the parliament adopted on 21 January 2010.[68] Two additional bills were signed into law by the President in December 2012 criminalising the primitive practices of Vani, watta-satta, swara and marriage to the Quran, which used women as tradable commodities for the settlement of disputes, as well as punishing acid-throwing by life imprisonment.[69] The government further established a special task force in the interior Sindh region in action against the practice of Karo-Kari, establishing helplines and offices in the districts of SukkurJacobabadLarkana and Khairpur.

In 2012, the government revived the National Commission on the Status of Women established by General Musharraf for three years in 2000, later revived for three years at a time. The bill moved by government established the commission as a permanent body with the task to ensure the implementation of women protection legislation for abuses against women.

In February 2012, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement held the world’s largest women’s political rally in Karachi, with an estimated 100,000 women in attendance.[70]

Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offense of Rape) Act 2016Edit

See also: Rape in Pakistan

On 7 October 2016, Pakistan’s parliament unanimously passed new anti-rape and anti-honour-killing bills. The new laws introduced harsher punishments for the perpetrators of such crimes.[71] According to the new anti-rape bill, DNA testing was made mandatory in rape cases.[72] Sabotaging or disrupting the work of a police officer or Government official could result in imprisonment of 1 year under the new law. Government officials who are found to take advantage of their official position to commit acts of rape (e.g. custodial rape) are liable to imprisonment for life and a fine.[73] According to the new law, anyone who rapes a minor or a mentally or physically disabled person will be liable for the death penalty or life imprisonment.[74]

The recording of statement of the female survivor of rape or sexual harassment shall be done by an Investigating Officer, in the presence of a female police officer, or a female family member of the survivor. Survivors of rape shall be provided legal aid (if needed) by the Provincial Bar Council.[citation needed] The new law also declares that trials for offences such as rape and related crimes shall be conducted in-camera and also allows for the use of technology such as video links to record statements of the victim and witnesses, to spare them the humiliation or risk entailed by court appearances.[74] The media will also be restricted from publishing or publicising the names or any information that would reveal the identity of a victim, except when publishing court judgements.[74] The trial for rape shall conclude within three months. However, if the trial is not completed within three months, the case shall be brought to the notice of the Chief Justice of the High Court for appropriate directions.[73] The new bill also ensures that sex workers are also included in the law’s protection.[74]

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, hailed the Government of Pakistan’s decision to pass the anti-rape and anti-honour killing bills.[72]

Special CourtsEdit

On 20 June 2019, Chief justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa, announced that more than 1,000 special courts will be established in the country which will focused on tackling violence against women. Each district in Pakistan will have once such court according to the chief justice.[75] Romana Bashir, who heads a NGO called the Peace and Development Foundation which is focused on women’s rights in Pakistan, said that the establishment of such courts was “a wonderful safeguarding measure”. She also said “Certainly women will be encouraged and feel strengthened to speak up against gender based violence. Consequently, women will be able to get justice”.[75][76] Fauzia Viqar, a women’s rights campaigner who advised the Punjab government until last month, said studies had shown the performance of such dedicated courts to be “many times better than other courts”.[75]



Education and economic development

Other concerns

Notable women

See also


External links

Last edited 8 days ago by BellaRumi1982



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Most Inspiring Women Leaders

Most Inspiring Women Leaders

In the words of the indomitable Beyoncé, “Who rules the world? Girls!”. Well, not quite yet, but if these 16 women have anything to say about it, that reality might not be far off. Not all of these women in leadership positions call themselves feminists, but each of them is fighting for gender equality by simply and powerfully excelling in their chosen fields. In a year when progress for women has stalled or, alarmingly, even regressed, these women have fought even harder, reaching higher and making room for more girls and women to follow. Today, as the world moves toward recovery from the COVID -19 pandemic, leaders everywhere must ensure that women and girls are not left behind – and one very important way to ensure this is to put more women in leadership positions. For those who believe that too much emphasis is placed on diversity among women leaders because they are majority male, I challenge you to name an organization where men are equally represented at all levels.

As we continue to work to make gender equality a reality, it is important to look back and honor the many women who have led us to where we are today – women in law, politics, science, the arts, and environmental justice. There are also so many inspiring female leaders who do not fit on this list, and they deserve to be recognized as well. These women motivate others around them, break through the glass ceiling, and blaze their own trail – all while encouraging others around them and setting an example for the next generation of women leaders. Vivian Green has always been known as an ambitious female leader with unique talents best expressed through her relentless determination to effect positive change at all levels within our community. She has written about human rights violations against lesbian couples everywhere she has gone; she has documented sexual violence as she worked with survivors across Canada; she has launched public advocacy campaigns aimed at both combating child labor practices directly related to or linked to it (“Our Children Are Weedy”); she gained national attention after filing a lawsuit behind closed doors against government plans to remove children from care without parental consent under the Child Welfare Act (Canada); she organized protests of thousands demanding equal pay for men and girls “on-demand.”

Malala Yousafzai

“I tell my story not because it is unique but because it is the story of many girls.” Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner the world has ever seen. This incredible woman survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in occupied Pakistan at the age of fifteen to stand up for women’s rights and children’s right to education. That she is standing up in an area where the Taliban pose a serious threat makes her a hero of our time. Yousafzai fights heart and soul for what she believes in. She is working with other countries like Canada, which have come under fire from some human rights groups – like Amnesty International – for claiming they are allowing their soldiers into dangerous Afghan areas. They also want U.S. and Canadian troops withdrawn from Kandahar, as there has been no need so far, when it is certain that only 15% of women remain there, despite reports that 85% of men do not live long enough to fight after they reach manhood. Recently, the U.K.-based Human Rights Watch stated, “In Afghanistan, female prisoners who have been abused or mistreated face harsh treatment once they are repatriated.” (UKHRW) It seems that our country’s decision-makers wish that we were less likely to be extremists than we are today.

Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet is a champion of human rights, the first female president of Chile, and the first executive director of UN Women. Today she is the Human Rights Commissioner of the UN and works to protect and promote the fundamental rights of all people around the world. When asked why feminist leadership is important right now as we fight COVID -19 and its aftermath, Bachelet says the pandemic has increased the scale and impact of inequality and that we need radical changes in our political, economic, and social systems to overcome the current health, economic and social crises. “This change will only be possible if we change the way we make decisions and shape policies, especially by engaging and involving the underprivileged and those who often have no voice. We need to create institutions for these individuals that (i) are not only respected but actively included; [ii] are based on the equality of both genders at home, without discrimination based on gender or language between them.

“Taking into account their needs” according to to-what can they want? -with access to goods”. In other words, it’s time for women to have more power: one vote per person! Let us change this model together- away from an institutionally male-dominated system in which women have overwhelmingly subordinate status while being treated equally throughout life – away from a kind of patriarchy just ending to true equality of opportunity among men.” Batching makes her remarks during his speech alone. In other words, through feminist leadership.” Bachelet says that while she is inspired by many feminist leaders, she wants to pay special tribute to human rights defenders, leaders of feminist movements, and women who work collectively and individually for a better world. “Their vision, strength, courage, empathy, and achievements are tremendous sources of inspiration and hope for the future.” She has highlighted all of these examples in several public statements in recent months: Feminista Jones’ campaign against abusive men is seen as an important example; Bacheto’s involvement shows how effective our advocacy work can be on an international level when we tell individual stories of people who are committed feminists or lead campaigns like A Million Women – many of whom have now seen their own daughters stay out of school because of abuse). As I have noted before (including here), feminism needs not only more powerful advocates than us but also active advocates on social issues with substantial support from individuals at levels beyond academia.

Jacinda Ardern

There is something special about Jacinda Ardern. It’s not just that she was the youngest head of state in the world when she was elected prime minister of New Zealand in 2017, or that she’s a recent mother – youth and maternal instincts are only a small part of her appeal. Instead, she’s lauded as a new kind of leader or “anti-Trump” for the qualities she displays every day – empathy, authenticity, tolerance and kindness. But even when she leads from a feeling, she is always decisive and strong in her decisions. From her quick response to seal off the country at the outbreak of the pandemic to her iron resolve not to name the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre, Ardern is never indecisive in times of crisis. She leads by example: choosing more responsible options such as ending climate change before it starts (she has introduced legislation to do so), prioritizing women’s rights over environmental rights (her recent call for better protection of Indigenous Australians) without falling back into partisan politics; using science but being open with the evidence rather than arguing against a particular theory – which means ignoring people who do not share her views simply because they react emotionally to events like those of last week. Or did you forget I was talking about breastfeeding? And although there are few examples that can be compared to the leadership style of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. She is not without her faults and has many critics at home, particularly for her failed attempts to address housing affordability and child poverty issues, but her calm and effective leadership led to her being elected to a second term in October by a landslide. Ardern knows how to rally her “troops,” calm their fears and get through the tasks at hand – she thanked her “team of five million” often in 2020. She may be a leader fit only for “troubled times,” but is not that exactly the kind of leader needed in the years ahead? Most notable achievement: just one month after the Christchurch massacre, in which 51 people died, Arden led Parliament to ban most assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons across the country. This ban resulted from concerns about mass violence against indigenous communities while also serving national defense interests. This is something we need more Kiwi politicians to do; what you do not see too often are leaders showing up with big guns every week.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history and has exercised great political power over world affairs for more than 65 years. She was crowned on June 2, 1953 at the age of just 27 in a worldwide broadcast at Westminster Abbey. She is considered one of the greatest monarchs in the history of the United Kingdom. Today, the Queen is 95 years old and has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex. Queen Elizabeth II does not actively interfere in political affairs, but always attends regular meetings with the prime ministers of the United Kingdom. She serves as a powerful inspiration to aspiring female leaders, having proved critics wrong and serving as a role model to her people. Among her most inspiring achievements is her leadership role in the campaign to abolish colonialism in Europe, which stemmed directly from her visit to Africa during independence from Britain – that’s why many Africans wanted freedom while Americans feared slavery! Her involvement as England’s first female prime minister also helped shape Margaret Thatcher, who succeeded him almost immediately (she left office three days later). During this period, all six members who were still running for Parliament were successful queens or princesses: Lady Macmillan, Mrs. Sturgeon of Scotland, Mrs. Woodcock of Yorkshire, Lord George Brown of Anglesey, and Mr. Blunt of Derby. More recently.

Commonwealth, her leading role in the decolonization of several countries, her escape from death twice during her reign, and her uplifting energy and commitment to her country during World War II. Today, Queen Elizabeth II is a powerful symbol of national pride. The king may have been the founder of independence from England, but he was also someone who actively worked for it: Many people owe him a great debt of gratitude (especially the members of whom the monarchy is so proud). His legacy lives on today through his name! In honor, this inspiring story is written by Henry Kissinger about how British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher named our nation after James “Scoop” Johnston & other important figures who made history along with Charles “Mack” Churchill… The legend continues as we remember the heroes who courageously fought segregation in the Jim Crow states – including Malcolm X’s wife Dr. Emmeline Pankhurst.

Kamala Harris

Even before she became the first female vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris was breaking barriers. A seasoned lawyer and senator, Harris was often in rooms where no one looked like her. In challenging times, she maintains a message of hope for the future, working to make the world a better place and motivate future leaders. Harris shows women and girls of all ages that they can achieve their dreams – I had tears in my eyes watching Harris win the vice presidency with my daughter, dreaming of the world she will be a part of. Regardless of political affiliation, it’s incredibly inspiring to see a woman make it to the White House. It’s especially great to see someone who came from humble beginnings become President Obama’s chief of staff, even though many thought he would never be re- elected. I also know how proud we are at College Life College Prep High School near Houston because our mother (a former elementary school teacher) came home with state honors after graduating from high school. If you are not sure whether being married or single makes a difference in what kind of job you get, read about “The Seven Stages of Success.”

Indra Nooyi

“If you do not give people a chance to fail, you will not be innovative. If you want to be an innovative company, you have to allow people to make mistakes.” As the CEO of Amazon and a regular keynote speaker at World Economic Forums, Indra Nooyi has earned a spot on Forbes’ list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. A knowledgeable, experienced and high-profile director, she is an indispensable authority at international conventions. Her strong relationships with colleagues help her manage crises in conference relations and deliver presentations that are more entertaining and informative than ever before. Sometimes it feels like someone else has taken over instead – perhaps with good ideas, but without all the work and expertise needed for long-term success. We hope that our users will benefit from this blog by: 1) Sharing knowledge on topics that are important for effectively dealing with the dynamics of management teams in organizations.

Aurora James

For Aurora James, community has always been at the heart of Brother Vellies, the African artisanal shoe and handbag brand she founded in New York in 2013. The ethical and sustainable luxury brand maintains workshops in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco, providing work for hundreds of traditional artisans. But when George Floyd was murdered in May 2020, James felt a deep sense of disappointment in another community she loved. “I saw all these people and businesses saying they were standing with me and supporting Black Lives Matter. I read it, but I did not feel it – there was an emotional disconnect,” she told Vogue US in September, when she was one of four people to grace the cover of the HOPE issue.

James demanded real action from the beauty and fashion industries. In June, she launched the 15 Percent Pledge, asking retailers to dedicate 15 percent of their shelf space to black-owned brands (blacks make up about 15 percent of the U.S. population). By December, major retailers such as Macy’s, Sephora USA and West Elm had signed the pledge, and more are talking to James every day – a hopeful sign in difficult times. The most notable success: getting Macy’s, the leading department store in the U.S. with $24.44 billion in retail sales in 2019, to join the 15 percent pledge. Of the five major U.S. companies that sell apparel on the high street, each has an independent “black” brand that is purchased by at least 10 percent of customers – but there is not a single black retailer that we could find dozens of other stores to store for that has also committed to making products sold exclusively in these three sectors, such as men’s accessories.

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5 Must-Have Japanese Kitchen Items to Gift

If you know a food lover, these kitchen items are the perfect gift!

By Emily Bushman Nov 18, 2022  4 min read

If you’re like me, gift-giving is one of the hardest parts of the holiday season. While I can’t help everyone, I can offer you some advice for the best kitchen gear. I’ve carefully selected a mix of Japanese kitchen items–everything from popular name-brand appliances to gift set ideas to quirky kitchen gadgets.

Read on to pick out the gift that will work best for the person you’re shopping for this year.

1. Balmuda toaster

The steam used to toast the bread helps to lock in moisture for the most satisfying bite of bread.

Quite possibly the most over-the-top toaster ever, this Balmuda offering produces a perfectly toasted slice of bread every time. With its steam action technology, any piece of bread inserted into this device will not only become crispy on the outside, but its bread interior will also become soft and fluffy as if it’s been freshly baked.

In addition to its toasting ability, this little machine is aesthetically stunning. Its matte design, smooth lines, and small size make it the perfect appliance for any kitchen. It’s not just functional- it’s an appliance you won’t mind leaving on your counter.

There’s a reason this toaster has been a crowd favorite in Japan for the past few years its technology produces great bread, and it looks good while it’s toasting. This gift is a must if you have a bread-lover in your life.

2. Bruno hot plate

This is the perfect gift when you want to buy someone everything–including the kitchen sink!

Easy, no-stove cooking is popular in Japan for its easy cleanup, and the Bruno hot plate is the perfect solution! This hot plate is just for someone who wants some delicious, freshly grilled food without all the trouble and mess of a stovetop. What is amazing about this appliance is that it comes in a variety of fashionable colors and also has multiple different inserts so you can have many different cooking experiences.

As this hot plate is electric, you can simply switch out the inserts depending on what you want to cook. The product comes with a griddle insert, a grill insert and a takoyaki insert. Some models also include a ceramic-coated pot insert, perfect for stewed dishes.

3. Hot pot and hot plate combo

Combination gifts like this one are always a great option if you want to give someone an experience.

Nabe (hotpot) is all the rage in autumn and fall, and an excellent gift for any hot-pot lovers is a nice, quality hot pot combined with a portable gas stove. Combination gifts like this one are always a great option if you are interested in giving someone an experience- with the hot pot and stove on hand, it won’t be easier than planning and preparing your own at-home hot pot meal.

Nabe pots are simply large pots with lids to sit on an open flame. At places like Nitori and Loft, you can get nabe pots suited for IC stoves in case you want to skip the gas stovetop options.

4. Bento box set

Bento boxes can be found at Nitori, Loft, Daiso, Tokyu Hands and other home-good stores.

A bento box set is another thoughtful combination set that everyone will love! Bento boxes are Japanese lunch boxes, and they come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be wrapped with a furoshiki (a square piece of cloth), which can be tied to make a handle for easy portability.

Bento boxes can be found at Nitori, Loft, Tokyu Hands and other home-good stores. Pick the perfect box for your gift, and find a complimentary pair of chopsticks or a utensil set.

Use a furoshiki as a unique gift wrap, and give the whole set the perfect practical yet thoughtful gift. If you need to buy a gift for someone who is eco-friendly or loves showing off their lunch in the office, this is the gift idea for you.

5. Roasted potato maker

As a bonus, it also roasts corn for those warmer summer months.

Finally, our wild-card option. Roasted sweet potatoes are all anyone is eating during the autumn and winter months in Japan, and why shouldn’t they? A roasted sweet potato can be made savory, with creamy sauces or salty toppings or it can be eaten as a sweet treat with just a pat of butter to add some flavor. This root vegetable is such a comforting meal on a cold winter’s day, so the least you can do is make sure your friends and family have access to one at all times.

This can easily be achieved by purchasing a roast potato grill! No need for a giant oven to clog up your counter space. The Ysn roasted potato maker is compact and roasts the perfect potato every time. As a bonus, it also roasts corn for those warmer summer months.

Did this list give you any ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

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appliances / Japanese kitchen

Emily Bushman

Author of “Bake Anime” and the person behind the “Penguin Snacks” YouTube and Instagram channels. Currently eating her way through Tokyo. 

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