By Ellen MacAskill
The internet does many wonderful things. Cher’s twitter account, slow loris videos and Google Maps are just some of them. One website that has larger implications for society is Change.org. Formed in 2007, the last year has seen an explosion of e-petitions, with many getting noticed by officials and making a difference. Their participators span 196 countries. Clicking on an email link to support a cause takes little effort, so people who would not usually get involved in activism create a cyber-civil-society, if you will.
Take a look at three petitions that would love to have your signature this week:
Schoolgirl Fahma Mohammed has teamed up with the Guardian to raise awareness of female genital mutilation and its underhand practice in the UK. By calling on Education Secretary Michael Gove to introduce education about the abusive ritual into the curriculum, they hope to reduce the number of girls who will be ‘cut’ by their families over summer out of the reach of help.
As the Sochi Winter Olympics kick off and C4 viewers remain in shock at Dispatches documentary Hunted, attention turns to leaders, corporations and activists to see how they will address the homophobic legislation introduced in Russia last year. Despite being called on to boycott the Games, Coca Cola went ahead and sponsored them. Dom Walsh from Glasgow University Amnesty International created this petition to ask Coke to put a rainbow on their cans as a gesture to the global LGBT community.
Meltem Avcil’s story about the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire highlights the conditions that asylum seekers are faced with when they come to the UK for security. As a child she was locked up there for three months with her mother. A successful campaign to stop children from being detained there made a change in 2010, but vulnerable women are still being subjected to the suffocating effects of the detention centre. This petition calls on Home Secretary Theresa May to improve conditions for them on entry to the country.
What have we missed? Tweet us @Scotcampus with the campaigns that are important to you.