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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beaverton, from women in politics to women in leadership, from history to artificial intelligence, and from entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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May 3, 2019

Sally Armstrong has been to some of the most dangerous places to speak with, learn about and report on women and girls in conflict zones. Countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia have been her beat for decades, and yet she has always found her way to the heart of the human story.

An award-winning journalist, author and human rights activist, Sally joins Ben for a timely conversation about the ascent of women everywhere, and why we need to do more to make the world a better, more equal place.

Read the blog post about this episode.

About the Guest

Sally Armstrong is sometimes called “the war correspondent for the world’s women.” She’s also known as “La Talibanista”.

Sally has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to Congo and Afghanistan, her eyewitness reports have earned her the Amnesty International Media Award four times over, as well as acclaim all over the world. Armstrong shares her experiences reporting from the front lines and imparts her audiences with the lessons she’s learned from the battlefields surrounding the complexities of “human rights” versus “human wrongs.”

In addition to her journalism, Armstrong is the author of the books Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan; The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor; Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women; and her most recent title, Ascent of Women: A New Age is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter.

2017 was a busy year for Armstrong — it saw her on assignments in Iraq, Kenya, and Afghanistan, and she gave a speech in Oxford, UK, and at Oxford University.

Also in 2017, Armstrong was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada, and won, along with photographer/videographer Peter Bregg, the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for their work in Iraq (her fourth Amnesty International Canada Media Award). She and Bregg also won the Gold Award for Investigative Journalism at The Canadian Online Publishing Gala for their work about the Yazidis called Resisting Genocide in 2017.

Armstrong is a former member of the International Women’s Commission at the UN, and is the recipient of ten honorary doctorate degrees.

Her newest book, Power Shift: The Longest Revolution, will be published in October 2019.

Learn more about Sally.

The Quote of the Week

"Talking is the antidote for oppression and injustice."
- Sally Armstrong