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Oral Contraceptives and Mental Health

In the second of our series of blogs on women's mental health in connection with our upcoming conference, our intern Esther explores the effects of oral contraception on women's physical and mental health. Oral Contraceptives (OCs) are the most popular method of contraception amongst women, with 3.5 million users in the UK. Introduced in the midst of the swinging 60s, the pill not only served as a catalyst to the sexual revolution but accelerated the emancipation of women. No longer did women have to sacrifice their career to be with their partner; no longer were they encumbered from investing in their education; and no longer were they bound by traditional gender roles. Women were given rev

Women's Mental Health and the Justice System

As we approach World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October and our upcoming mental health awareness conference, UN House Scotland has shifted its focus to mental health awareness. In accordance with Sustainable Development Goals Three (Good Health and Well-being) and Five (Gender Equality), one important issue area is the rising number of incarcerated women and the relationship between women’s mental health and criminalization. A few general facts about women’s mental health in the justice system from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) include: 61% of female prisoners indicated that they suffered from anxiety and 65% indicated that they suffered from depressi

Photocall Scottish Parliament: Thursday 26 September

Join with ICAN Scottish Partner organisations and MSPs to attend a press and photocall outside the Scottish Parliament at 12.45 on Thursday the 26th September to highlight the special Opening for Signature for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the UN in New York. 122 nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations in 2017. The Treaty is on its way to becoming international law — a feat that requires signature and ratification by 50 states. The UK Government think they are holding us back. They have refused to even sign the landmark treaty and are bowing from pressure from the US and other states to bury the TPNW. We won’t let th

Don't Bank on the Bomb Media Report

Don't Bank on the Bomb*, a part of the ICAN partnership (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), has published a report on the details of Scotland's Nuclear weapons. First published in 2018, the report details the nuclear weapons investments of Scottish banks, Scottish local authority pension funds, Scottish universities and the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme, and features a step-by-step guide for people who want to get involved in the divestment campaign. This year's edition of the report covers 30 nuclear weapons companies compared to 22 last year. Key findings include: RBS Group, Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Life Aberdeen together invested £5.7 billion in major nuc

UN International Day of Peace

Saturday 21 September was the UN International Day of Peace. It has been commemorated since 1981 and this year UN Secretary-General António Guterres released the following statement: "Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency, which threatens our security, our livelihoods and our lives. That is why it is the focus of this year’s International Day of Peace. And it’s why I am convening a Climate Action Summit." This year will focus on Climate change and the effect it has on all our lives. #Climate #UNInternationalPeaceDay #UNSecretary

Mental Health Parliamentary One Pager

Our latest Parliamentary One Pager on Mental Health by Shannon and Esther is available to download here. It was produced in connection to our upcoming mental health awareness conference, organised in partnership with Soroptimist International Scotland South Region. The conference will take place on 9th October at the Albany Centre in Glasgow. Tickets at free and you can register on Eventbrite now. #POP #ScottishParliament #mentalhealth #worldmentalhealthday #womensmentalhealth #NHS

Green Court: The 'Spaceport' Case Report Now Available

The second UNHS Green Court event took place on Monday 26th August 2019, in the Moot Courtroom at Old College, University of Edinburgh. Arguments were heard in opposition to and in support of a real-life planning proposal to construct the UK’s first rocket-launching facility - to be known as 'Spaceport One' - on Scolpaig Farm in North Uist. Our report on the event is now available to download here. It details the arguments presented on the day, the judgement and the discussion and questions of the audience. The proceedings of this second instalment of the Green Court revealed the complexity of integrating human rights and environmental legal arguments, particularly through the need for the l

WILPF 2019 Autumn Seminar: Women Go Green for Peace

The UK section of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) will be hosting its annual Autumn Seminar on Saturday, 23 November, at SOAS, University of London in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theater from 10AM - 6PM. The theme of this year’s seminar will be Eco-Feminism and Pacifism, which addresses the pressing concerns of conflict on the environment and disproportionately on women’s lives. While many organisations focus on important environmental issues, WILPF UK identifies the critical intersections of pacifism, feminism, and environmental preservation. For this year’s seminar, WILPF will have a phenomenal line up of speakers, including: H.E. Dr. Adrienne Diop, Economic Com

Edinburgh World Justice Festival: Edinburgh CND

Edinburgh World Justice Festival 2019 runs from 28th September to 19th October. The Festival will include many events throughout the week. To check out the full programme visit: www.ewjf.org.uk One event to keep an eye out is Edinburgh CND main meeting on 1st October with Alex Lockwood, author of the novel ‘The Chernobyl Privileges’ (available to purchase at the talk) and Rob Edwards (Environmental Journalist, theferret.scot) for a discussion of what we can learn about the dangers of nuclear power and to debate the ongoing presence of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil at HMNB Clyde. Especially topical given the likelihood of reopening the Hunterston B nuclear power reactor. Please give this i

Positive Action Training

Positive Action is offering an autumn training timetable for October to December 2019. They are offering a range of open courses on migrants' rights in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. They can deliver all those courses in-house too, as well as their in-house Equality and Diversity courses, including the new Communicating Through Interpreters course. Uncertainty around Brexit allows rumour and misinformation about how EU nationals' rights will change to flourish - the EU Settlement Scheme adds another layer of complexity and uncertainty. Positive Action updated Rights and Entitlements of European Economic Area Nationals course gives staff the information they need to to identify EU custom

ICAN Australia: Climate and Nuclear Weapons

Here is a message from ICAN Australia: Dear colleagues, With the UN Climate Summit next week and climate rallies around the world this week, please find below a link to a paper from ICAN Australia that addresses the connections between nuclear weapons and our climate: https://icanw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Nuclear-weapons-and-our-climate-Sept-2019.pdf #ICAN #UNClimateSummit

Scotland's New Climate Law

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament will vote on the new Climate Change law on Wednesday 25th September. That means we have just days left to improve Scotland’s climate targets. The IPCC warned last year that we need “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” in the next decade to keep global warming to 1.5ºC. But, as it stands, Scotland’s draft law doesn’t do nearly enough to tackle the climate crisis over the crucial next decade. We urgently need to raise our voices and demand our MSPs vote for rapid, radical action over the next decade in the new climate law. Will you contact your MSP and ask them to increase the 2030 target from 70% to 86%? MSPs get a lot of email and post, so why not

PeaceBuilders: Facilitator Training for Primary Schools Event

Running since 2015, this Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre project works with schools teaching children how to take care of conflict constructively and to work together cooperatively, and with teachers to develop a culture of peace and listening. The project trains facilitators to teach peace-building skills to primary school children. Would you like to train as a facilitator? If the project sounds interesting and you'd like to get more involved, come to the training on Sunday 22 September at 5pm. This training will include: An initial exposure to the PeaceBuilders model Practical grounding in facilitating learning through cooperative games A chance to meet and learn with experienced faci

United Nations Association-Glasgow Event

UNA monthly meeting entitled Life Beneath Water will be featured at the University of Glasgow on Thursday 19th of September. The event will feature speaker Adeose Celestin, Glasgow University Alumni and environmental studies major. Both admission to the event and UNA membership is free. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/una-glasgow-monthly-meetinglife-beneath-water-tickets-72800210389?utm_term=eventurl_text Hope to see you all at the event later this September! #UniversityofGlasgow #UNAmonthlymeeting #LifeBeneathWater

European Leadership Network group statement on nuclear arms control

Below is a message from our partner at the European Leadership Network: Today, 110+ members of the European Leadership Network’s senior network representing political, diplomatic, and military figures from 24 countries in the wider European space release a joint statement calling on world leaders to elevate nuclear diplomacy as a priority at this year's United Nations General Assembly. Signatories range from Cold War Ministers and decision-makers, to serving Members of Parliament, former UN General Assembly Presidents, leading nuclear scientists, and military personnel who share concerns over rising nuclear risks, warning: international arms control is eroding; dangerous military technolog

The Illegality of Nuclear Weapons: Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Seminar

On Thursday 22nd August, UN House Masters Placement Intern Jana Riemslagh hosted a seminar entitled 'The Illegality of Nuclear Weapons: Humanitarian Law and Human Rights' at 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh. Jana presented her Masters dissertation on how humanitarian law addresses the threat posed by nuclear weapons to human rights. She surveyed the current content of international humanitarian law as it intends to construct the use of nuclear weapons as a violation of human rights, the interpretative nature of this law and its limitations. She argued that legislation which explicitly outlined nuclear warfare as a violation of human rights would help to better protect human rights a

Mongolia Report - Reflections on Mongolia’s Air Pollution Problem

Mongolia. The vast and mysterious expanse of land enclosed between China to the South and Russia to the North seems to have changed very little over thousands of years. A traveller visiting Mongolia will not be disappointed by the romantic expectations of the ‘land of the blue sky’; a country scattered by small pockets of nomads, herds of wild horses, and soaring golden eagles. Mongolia is, however, despite its beauty, plagued with what our local guide described as a ‘cancer’ - Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia’s sprawling and extremely polluted capital city. Mongolia is the least densely populated country, yet Ulaanbaatar is the world’s most polluted city. Despite the idyllicism of the countryside, Mo

Why do some countries have higher income inequality than others?

Income is the flow of money that you receive perhaps based on your work, business, state benefits, and/or properties that you are lending. Since everyone has different incomes, it results in income inequality within a country. For instance, in the UK, the richest 10% earns almost 10 times as much as the average income of the poorest 10%. Some countries, like Mexico and Chile, have higher income inequality than other countries, like Slovenia, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway. Why? 5 Reasons of why some countries have higher income inequality than others: Wage Gap: This is the gap between wages of high-income and low-income workers. This gap is small for low income inequality countries (like Denma

Is the U.S. undergoing a recycling crisis?

Source: Huffington Post: Why Southeast Asia is flooded with Trash from America and other wealthy nations - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/malaysia-plastic-recycling_n_5c7f64a9e4b020b54d7ffdee When people recycle, they generally believe they’re helping to save the planet. It helps to reduce the need for raw materials, which are mined or logged. Recycling helps to decrease this activity, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and helping the environment. What most people don’t know (and some ignore) is that despite their efforts to recycle, what happens after is equally as important. In the U.S., recycling is picked up and brought to recycling centres where most of it is then

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The United Nations House Scotland is part of the United Nations Association Scotland, a charity registered in Scotland (SC048547).