How much do you know about your rights as a consumer? By Abi W.
World Consumer Rights Day is marked annually on March 15th to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs by demanding the protection of consumer rights.
This is the 35th Consumer Rights Day – inspired by JFK’s address of the issue in 1962 – and this year’s focus is the Digital market place.
Consumers International report nearly 70% of global consumers are worried their payments are unsafe whilst using ecommerce even though sales reached up to $2.29 trillion in 2017. Meanwhile half the world is still offline and buying from high street shops.
When asked about her digital habits, a student from Rosebery school explained that she didn’t really ever shop online unless it was for food deliveries such as Sainsbury deliveries. But she feels vulnerable when shopping online and she is afraid she could be caught up in a scam at some point. She may shop online in the future mostly as food shopping but if it gets safer then she will trust the digital marketplace more. These views highlight the importance of Consumers International focus this year.
In previous years the theme has been fixing our phones (2014), healthy diets (2015) and antibiotics off the menu (2016). 2014’s goal was to alert people that rip-offs are a commonplace when buying a phone and also you can be paying to receive texts as a customer without realising. In 2015 it was to help consumers choose healthy foods to buy and eat as unhealthy eating is linked to four out of the ten biggest causes of death. In 2016, Consumers International urged restaurants such as McDonalds to stop serving meat from animals who had previously been given antibiotics.
Consumers International is an organisation with over two hundred members acting in over one hundred countries for over fifty eight years. It was started in 1960 by five consumer companies in Western Europe, the US and Australia. It was first established as a global information exchange. However they quickly built up a reputation as an agent for change on the consumer’s rights issues. Now there are members in Asia, all over Europe the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Abi S. - Global Warming Threatens Millions of Penguins
GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS MILLIONS OF PENGUINS
With the sad passing of Stephen Hawking yesterday, 14th March, many people have been reflecting on his great achievements and words of wisdom. The BBC have reported he considered global warming to be one of the biggest threats to life on our planet.
All over the world, millions of penguins are affected by dangerous climate changes and scientists have recently predicted over the next 80 years, 70% of King Penguins will disappear.
As long as climates are changing and getting warmer, many species of penguin are forced to move habitat. Because of global warming, waters move more, meaning that the penguins’ food supply is moving further away from the nest. The population of fish is decreasing, causing penguins to move from their natural habitats and search for more food. Penguins are struggling to adapt to these climate changes, and soon, they will need to move from where they currently live.
In addition, penguins use large icebergs to rest on and catch their prey. Global warming is gradually melting these icebergs, meaning the penguins will not have enough space for living and resting on.
Over the past 45,000 years, Emperor penguins and Adelie penguins have survived and adapted to climate fluctuations in Antarctica, but the 21st century has brought new, colossal threats. Seeing as the Antarctic is warming faster than other places on Earth, penguins are one of the most affected animals as a result of climate changes.
There are organisations working towards protecting emperor penguins, such as the PEW charitable trusts. These charities work towards creating Marine reserves to protect their habitat and food supply. Hopefully, with the help of these organisations, we can work towards saving penguins from the threats of global warming and climate change.
Jenna T, Lila N, Nina J, Xanthe B, Deanna G - A New Dawn for Women's Rights?
A New Dawn For Women’s Rights?
Last week, International Women’s Day was celebrated more widely than ever before across the globe. But did it bring any change in women’s rights? Has this brought about a change as big as the Suffragettes giving women the right to vote 100 years ago?
Generally, it is assumed that men and women have equal rights in the UK. However, it can be argued this still isn’t true today, despite the monumental efforts of the Suffragettes one hundred years ago.
Many would argue that we should not have an international day for specific genders at all because if both genders should be equal then neither should need a day dedicated to one. A boy from St Andrew’s school told us that “if feminism is to be equal then why is it still called feminism?”
This raises a good point as now it is giving people mixed signals of what others are protesting about. Similarly, many people on Twitter replied to #InternationalWomensDay tweets with ‘When’s International Men’s Day?’ or ‘We should have an International Equality Day’.
So why doesn’t every woman have equal rights? Today, many generations of women in low income countries are still fighting for a fair 50% split. Lately, online movements like the #MeToo campaign have brought these issues to the spotlight, revealing troubling statistics about the number of women who have been treated unfairly, abused and sexually harassed still today.
The #MeToo campaign was established to help women who felt they had been sexually harassed to fight back by spreading the word through social media. The earlier version of the movement was aimed at girls of colour who lacked support. This was launched in 2007 by Tarana Burke, who aimed to “provide support to survivors of sexual violence who were marginalized, poor, underrepresented and without a network or community to protect them.”
However, Alyssa’s #MeToo tweet in October 2017 wasn’t just aimed at women or girls of specific colour, wealth or nationality. Instead it helped millions of women worldwide who had previously been too scared to talk, or had no one to talk to.
The Time’s Up movement started from the Harvey Weinstein Hollywood accusations and since then many women have been speaking out and making further accusations.
In addition, women have been inspired to begin to challenge the gender wage gap. The Equal Pay Act of 1970 states that people who do the same job should be paid the same amount of money. In the UK, it has been found that women are being paid marginally less than their male counterparts, for example, the Office for National Statistics report that “men who have worked for over twenty years in the same organisation earn 20.8% more compared with those men who worked for no longer than one year; for women, pay is 17.5% higher.”
One of the latest claims of the gender pay gap in the film industry is from actress Claire Foy who plays Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series, The Crown. The BBC reported Foy is being paid less than Matt Smith who plays Prince Philip.
Despite it being portrayed as a gender pay gap issue, the producers claimed that this was because of his previous fame in the Doctor Who series. However, Foy won a Golden Globe for her role in the show, so arguably she is now equally well-known in the industry.
Both Foy and Smith have declared they won’t be appearing in the third series, and the role of the Queen will be taken over by Olivia Coleman. Interestingly, it has been confirmed that Coleman will be paid the same amount as Matt Smith.
However, some believe that people are mistaking gender to be the cause of the wage gap, even though there is proof that men and women get payed an equal amount, when we compare the same jobs and working hours.
Raising awareness of feminism has changed people’s views of current media. For example, on Christmas Day 2017 the new 13th doctor from the popular British television show Doctor Who was shown to the public. Ever since Doctor Who was made, the doctor has always been a stereotypical white man.
However, the decision was taken to make the new doctor female to show how the programme is moving forward in social equality. The character will now be played by Jodie Whittaker who is excited to usher in a “new dawn” for the BBC1 sci-fi show.
However, many would argue that although Doctor Who is moving forward in equality there are still a few things people the past 12 doctors have all been very different but have all been able to control the Tardis with ease.
The female doctor, however, does not seem to be able to operate this time machine, as during her first appearance as the new doctor, she presses one button and the Tardis flies out of control and breaks. Although this might have been the director’s choice to hook the audience for the next series, which will be released in autumn 2018, it could easily be mistaken for women not being able to control technology as well as men, repeating a stereotype all too common from the past.
Abigail R - Plastic is Not So Fantastic
Plastic Is Not So Fantastic by Abigail R
The World Health Organisation is investigating the risks of plastic in drinking water after Orb Media found plastic particles in many key brands of bottled water.
These findings only add to the growing concern about the overuse of plastic and its impact on our environment.
Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up dumped in our oceans every year and it’s estimated there will soon be more plastic than fish.
Once in the ocean, plastic litter effects the safety of sea transport, fisheries, tourism and recreation. When broken up into tiny pieces plastic attracts tiny chemicals which can affect our drinking water.
Melting plastics creates a lot of toxic fumes, which are harmful to animal and plant life. Letting plastics go into landfill allows the chemicals within the plastic rubbish to seep out into the surrounding soil causing pollution to the ground air and nearby water.
To combat the increasing pollution of plastic in our world, here are 8 things you can do to make a positive contribution to changing our world for the better:
8 ways to rise above plastic
Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.
Bring your own to go mug to the coffee shop
Go digital no need for CDs etc.
Use alternatives for plastic items you rely on.
Support plastic big bans
Spread the world. Talk to people about why we should save plastic