Britain knows best is the explicit message disseminated around the world implying we have nothing to learn from ‘developing countries’. That is untrue. From environmental issues, health, to sexual conduct developing economies are leading the way. Britain needs to drop its arrogance and follow.
Hurricane Harvey has blown open the doors to the sexual assault women suffer in all walks of life. However, some men still think mild sexual harassment is permissible, even funny.
So, Jo Brand found herself spelling out to an all-male panel on Have I Got News For You (#HIGNFY) that even low-level sexual harassment makes women feel under siege (video below). Such is toxic masculinity, and men need to address it.
No Means No Campaign
Kenya is already addressing the problem with males as part of the solution. They are being taught to respect women as part of the No Means No prevention programme (video below). It started seven years ago . And it works. Now men and boys intervene 79% of the time to stop assaults on females. And 80% of them no longer see a girl in a short skirt as a sexual invitation.
The NHS is expensive, but it could be less so if we took lessons from abroad. The surgical drill is pretty much the same as a domestic drill. Except they cost £20,000 – £30,000 each because medics have to sterilise them at 121C (250F) after each use. So, it is necessary to replace the drills approximately every five years. It costs the NHS an estimated £125m.
However, by using a £100 domestic drill clad in a sterile bag, 92% of costs could be saved. That is £115m. The ingenious invention has treated patients in countries from Kenya to Tanzania. And Lord Ara Darzi the eminent surgeon gives it the green light.
The same holds true for surgical procedures. The mesh used in routine hernia repair costs between £30 – £700 per piece. However, surgeons in developing countries successfully use sterilised mosquito netting costing less than £1 per piece.
When the British government brought in the 5p charge for plastic bags in 2015, it was way behind Rwanda. The African nation had banned all non-biodegradable plastic bags in 2008.
Tesco will stop the sale of the 5p ‘single-use’ bags introducing plastic ‘bags for life’ costing 10p. The bags will be made from 94% recycled plastic and would be exchanged without charge when damaged, the supermarket said.
I’m afraid that it is not good enough. Plastic bags take from 200 to 1,000 years to break down. More than eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year. It is found in the stomachs of dolphins and whales, causing them to starve to death, it maims turtles and other wildlife.
Plastic also enters the human food chain through fish and other animals. Slaughterhouses in Nairobi found cows with plastic bags in their stomachs.
So, Kenya has introduced the strictest laws with punitive fines (£31,000) and four-year prison sentences. Enforcers will be initially targeting manufacturers and suppliers.
Britain Doesn’t Know Best
In its arrogance, Britain can’t see that it doesn’t know best. Needless plastic is used to package food, NHS costs are unnecessarily high, and men laugh at sexual harassment. It’s time we adopted the practices of developing nations. Share this article so we can get these ideas on the political agenda.
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Jo Brand: Low-Level Sexual Harassment
No Means No Programme