The US, EU, and the UK have put unprecedented economic sanctions and financial panelists on Russia over the Ukraine war, resulting in hundreds of international companies pulling out of the economy, local businesses going bankrupt, and foreign investment frozen.
Though the severity of civilians’ suffering in Russia is uncertain, the impact of measures has started showing off. With the cost of basic needs shooting off the roof, spiking joblessness, and many young educated Russians leaving the country, Russia’s economy is heading towards a long-term depression.
But, how is the most sanctioned nation in the world coping with the measures?
The Lack of Information and Reliable Media
The utter destruction of Ukraine cannot be seen by the people whose country is causing it. Most Russians depend on the state-run media to get information that only presents Putin’s message “a military operation welcomed by Ukrainians and sanitized for Russian consumption.”
Many citizens who do believe and protest against the atrocities of Russia are quickly rounded up and jailed. But, no amount of censorship can shield the global backlash and severe economic sanctions the country faces.
Starting from the long line for cash and now as more than 300 international companies, led by the tech industry and payments are pulling up stakes and pausing operations in Russia. From fast-food chains to electronics and automobiles, these are some of the major companies switching operations in Moscow.
The closing of over 800 MacDonald marks the biggest closure. But, in the long run, it is the common Russian civilians who will face unemployment brought about by Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The Backlash Against Sports and Art
After Russia’s invasion last week, there has been a global backlash against sports and the arts. But do these restrictions matter to Russians who are now considering their future as Western airspaces close, their currency declines, and censorship intensifies?
On the eve of the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, Russia had its athletes barred, and their footballers won’t be playing Poland this month. In addition, concerts from around the world have been cancelled in Russia.
Consumer prices rose 2.2% in the first week following the invasion, with food the fastest–rising item. As a result, the cost of groceries and dairy has increased multiple folds.
As of yet, the Russian leaders have defied the wave of sanctions aimed at crippling their economy if they do not change course. A severance of sporting and cultural ties will intensify pain and evoke bitter memories of decades of Cold War division.
It has been ostracized almost universally in the world of sports. A last-minute U-turn marked Russia’s absence from the Beijing Winter Games by officials.
Athletes from Russia have been barred from competing at the world championships this year, as have their figure skaters, in which the country excels. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a keen judoka, was suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federation.
Russia’s football clubs and national teams have been barred from all international competitions four years after hosting the World Cup. The leading Russian club Spartak Moscow has also been eliminated from the Europa League.
Skyrocketing Price of Basic Necessities in Russia
In February, cereal and sugar prices were already about 20% higher than a year ago. According to the Russian state news agency Tass, some retailers have agreed to limit price increases on some staples to 5%. However, others restrict the number of basic items a customer can purchase, like flour, sugar, and oil.
Some consumer goods have dramatically increased in price – The cost of smartphones and televisions has risen by more than 10%, while an average Turkish vacation has jumped by 29%. Whereas major brands such as Apple, Ikea, and Nike no longer sell their products in Russia.
Pavel, a university lecturer, living with his wife and two children in Moscow, was looking for appliances to furnish his apartment. After the war started, some prices increased by nearly 30%. Within a day of Ikea’s closing, he managed to buy a refrigerator, cooker, washer, and kettle and ordered a bed and a cupboard.
The symbolic significance of McDonald’s closing its 847 restaurants has not gone unnoticed in Russia – it was among the first Western companies to open in the Soviet Union thirty years ago. The announcement was met with thousands of advertisements from Russians reselling food from its restaurants for as much as ten times what it costs normally.
Russia: The Feeling of Powerlessness
But how much will Russians be affected by being cut off from sport and culture?
Apparently, the sanctions and boycotts in the West will cause Russians to lose their freedom to travel and enjoy music, concerts, and culture.
Do you think it’s naive to believe that depriving Russians of these things will change their views?
On many economic and media fronts, Russia has been completely sealed off from the rest of the world. Furthermore, in Russia, speaking out is dangerous – thousands of antiwar protesters have been arrested while the government continues to wage war.
“Russians are not very supportive of the (Ukraine-Russia) war.”Contacting Global News, a teacher from Russia states,
But, will Russia’s sufferings and setbacks make the president change course or cause him to escalate the attack even more?
The UK Economy Braces for 2-Year Long Recession: What Went Wrong?
The UK economy is witnessing one of the worst crises in its history. The downfall of the pound, war-infused energy crisis, skyrocketing electricity bills, collapsing stock market, changing Prime ministers, and whatnot?
Nothing has gone in the UK’s favor since the passing of the Queen. And now the country is bracing for a prolonged two-year recession with contracting third quarters.
But what went wrong in the first place? How did this trigger an economic catastrophe in the UK? And can Rishi Sunak save the UK?
Here is a detailed explainer:
UK Economy: An Overview of the Problem
With the political upheaval and the pandemic, the already suffering economy of the UK reached its brim when the Russia-Ukraine war ignited.
In response to Ukraine’s invasion, Britain halted the import of fuel, gas, or coal from Russia since June for the first time in the past 25 years.
As a result, Russia stopped its critical gas pipeline to Europe, thus creating an energy crisis.
All this led to the UK’s economic downfall.
Today, inflation is at an all-time high of 9.9%, a 40-year high. Energy bills are shot up by almost 80%despite capping. Finally, and most importantly, the pound has become one of the worst-performing currencies, with its value dropping by 24% against the dollar.
The Mini Budget Turmoil
With such disruptive environments in the UK, former Prime Minister Liz Truss came up with the mini-budget. The mini-budget baskets a slew of tax changes, including the elimination of the high rate of income tax for the wealthy and the energy subsidies policy platform.
However, the mini-budget backfired and now has snowballed from an energy crisis into debt, housing, currency, and even a banking crisis.
The pointer mentioned in the mini-budget has been so terrifying that it shook the economy of the UK and plunged the London Stock Exchange horribly.
With such an unstable situation inside the UK economy, Truss changed her mind about company taxes after days of adamantly defending her budget and firing finance Minister Kwarteng.
“I still agree with my policies, but I’ve sacked my finance minister because he announced them, and the market didn’t like them.”She said
A Cold and Long Winters Awaits the UK
The three major events that make the incoming winter snug for the UK are:
- First, Russia has entirely cut off gas, which causes the cost of electricity to shoot up by almost 80%.
- Secondly, on top of the existing gas storage, the incoming winter energy consumption is about to hit a new peak from September to December.
- Third, even if Europe had 90% of its Energy storage complete in September 2022, it could take only 90 days for it to reach dangerously low levels.
Long story short, a gas shortage during a peak consumption time, with no storage option, will further increase energy prices. It has already been shot up at extreme levels resulting in high electricity bills that eventually heated inflation and the economy of the UK.
Even though the UK is receiving help from the US and other countries, gas prices are still very high. Hence the cost of production and inflation has hit a record 9.9%.
“It is going to be tough. But protecting the vulnerable – and people’s jobs, mortgages, and bills – will be at the front of our minds as we work to restore stability, confidence, and long-term growth,”British finance minister Jeremy Hunt twitted
Bond Market Crisis with Collapsing Pound
The UK’s property market, pension industry, and overall economy are at risk of recession. The reason behind this is the decline in the price of UK government bonds and the ensuing rise in interest rates.
10-year bond rates in the UK have gone above almost 300%, going from just about 1% to 4.11% in just nine months.
Even though the bonds yield a 4% interest, the currency has depreciated to such an extent that it has become a disaster for foreign investors. As a result, foreign investors are quitting the UK market, further decreasing the demand for the pound.
Such a crisis in the bond market resulted in currency depreciation further, and the sterling slid against the US dollar. Furthermore, during the Ukraine-Russia war, Russia cut off gas supplies, and oversized reliance on imports further surge Euro.
Rishi, the Third Prime Minister in Three Months
After the resignation of Boris Johnson with 27 ministers, the office was handed over to Liz Truss. When Boris left the office, there was a sensation in the UK that it was time for stability and competence.
However, due to poor politics and policies, Liz Truss abruptly resigned from the post of Prime Minister within 45 days. The shortest and most disastrous spell that slung the economy of the UK and crashed the pound forced Liz Truss to step down from the post.
With the resignation of Liz Truss, the reign was entrusted to Rishi Sunak, the third PM of the UK in the last three months. Sunak’s appointment ended another period of political unrest in the UK.
But many analysts and Westminster observers are still of the opinion that there will soon be another crisis. With the opposition Labor Party presently leading in the polls, all opposition parties are pleading for a general election.
Can Rishi Sunak Save UK Economy?
The political unpredictability has led the UK economy into a two-year-long recession. The previous two prime ministers were unqualified to steer the UK economy’s flimsy ship. Hence Rishi has some challenging tasks to do.
Now, everything will depend on how Rishi approaches the challenging work of rescuing the UK economy from disaster, and it will be interesting to watch how he advances.
Muslim Women’s Empowerment and Inheritance Rights
Despite Islam giving Muslim women the right to inheritance, it is rare to see Muslims follow this Islamic law. The recently released National Family Health Survey 2019-20 (NFHS-5) fact sheet for Jammu and Kashmir states that only 57.3% of women in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir own a house and/or land, alone or jointly (PDF of the survey). J and K is a Muslim-majority region. According to 2011 census, 68.3% of the region’s population is Muslim.
Even though we can read these figures as “at least more than half women own property”, however, given that all women are coparceners in one or the other way, it raises vexing questions.
Islam entitles a sister to inherit half of what a brother gets as a coparcener. Despite this fact, the number of women owning property is almost half of that of men.
The data on women’s inheritance in Pakistan and other Muslim-majority South Asian countries is much worse. There are very few women who own property in South Asian countries.
Inheritance Rights, a Taboo?
Women asking for their coparcenary rights is considered taboo here. Further, women also seem to have internalized that asking for inheritance rights will break their relationship with other members of the family, especially brothers. As a result, they sign relinquishment deeds without giving a second thought about it.
Women’s Empowerment through Inheritance
People mostly see the inheritance of property as a matter of money and wealth. However, it goes beyond that, at least for women. Economically speaking, ownership of any kind of property by women is a very important determinant in the quest for women’s empowerment.
In a realist world where everyone is responsible for their own survival, women should not expect their male relatives to care for them. Unless women do not attach economical value to their lives, they will have no power. This is especially true for unemployed women who do not have financial independence. Since inheritance of property is a given- however small value it may have, they do not have to get an education or work to get it. The only thing they need to do is not to sign the relinquishment deed.
Also Read: Why Are Muslim Women Still Behind Bars
Militating Against Women’s Empowerment
Relinquishment of coparcenary rights militates against women’s empowerment. It is high time that women ask for the inheritance rights that the constitution as well as the religion gives them. The right to inheritance also seems one of its kind means to women’s empowerment where people peddling religiosity may not find a reason to oppose it. Women should know that signing a relinquishment deed may lose them a lifetime opportunity for leading an independent and respectful life in this patriarchal world.
Also Read: The women behind #Blacklivesmatter movement
The Debate on Equality of Rights
It is generally accepted that Islam entitles a sister to inherit half of what a brother gets as a coparcener. However, the interpretation of the Quran regarding this law is debatable. According to Mohmmad Iqbal, “the share of the daughter is determined not by any inferiority inherent in her, but in view of her economic opportunities, and the place she occupies in the social structure of which she is a part and parcel.” Iqbal goes on to justify the case of inheritance law in Islam arguing that the daughter “is held to be the full owner of the property given to her by both the father and the husband at the time of her marriage.” Further, “she absolutely owns her dower-money which may be prompt or deferred according to her own choice, and in lieu of which she can hold possession of the whole of her husband’s property till payment, the responsibility of maintaining her throughout her life is wholly thrown on the husband.”
Therefore, for Iqbal, if we “judge the working of the rule of inheritance from this point of view, you (we) will find that there is no material difference between the economic position of sons and daughters.”
However, Iqbal made this point in 1930. Since then, there has been a significant change in the economic positions of men and women. If the motive behind inheritance laws, as mentioned by Iqbal, is applied to modern-day conditions, sons and daughters may well get an equal share in inheritance.
Towards Muslim Women’s Empowerment
Inheritance rights bestowed by Islam on Muslim women show Islam’s inherent quest for women’s empowerment.
Even though the West blames Muslims for repressing women’s rights, Islam has its in-built laws for women’s empowerment. These laws, unlike West’s feminist rhetoric, go beyond symbolic empowerment like sartorial choice, and hence materially empower women.
However, it is a shame that Muslims do not follow Islamic laws like inheritance law in letter and spirit. If all Muslims obeyed these laws, the world would become a better place for Muslim women.
“The Worst is Yet to Come”— Recession 2023 & the Looming Uncertainty
Recession 2023 is just around the corner.
The global economic crises are now inducing the certainty of a looming recession. Economists and financial organizations warned of upcoming uncertainty; however, regrettably, the world failed to decode the uprising of the economic catastrophe.
Today’s economies around the globe are confronting an urgent economic crisis and is on the brink of a recession. And, the experts fear the worst is yet to come!
Shear Impact on Leading Economies – US, UK, China, and India
“Global growth is slowing sharply, with further slowing likely as more countries fall into recession. My deep concern is that these trends will persist, with long-lasting consequences devastating for people in emerging markets and developing economies,”World Bank Group President David Malpass.
For the first time since 2009, the US declared negative GDP growth two quarters in a row, which officially qualifies as a recession.
The British Pound is at its historic low of $1.038 against US dollars due to rare emergency interventions. Cities and states in China are still in lockdown because of a rise in Covid-19 cases. On the other hand, Indian Rupee is at its 75-year low of Rupees 82.11 against the US dollar, soaring the hike in repo rates to 5.90%.
Srilanka already declared insolvency earlier this year. Russia and Ukraine war had already set the stage for World War III. And the recent resilience of china on Taiwan has tarnished the world economic environment.
All these together indicate the harsh truth: Recession 2023 will worsens the conditions of all major economies and push the globe into undefined circumstances like:
- Central banks hiking the interest rates
- Hike in energy and food prices
- Depreciation of major currencies against the dollar
Central Banks Hiking the Interest Rates
To counteract rising inflation and the impact of a strong currency on the economies, central banks are hurriedly raising interest rates. This happens as the US Federal Reserve keeps up its aggressive interest rate hikes.
On the other hand Reserve Bank of India is also struggling with persistently high inflation, which is made worse by geopolitical unrest, droughts, and supply-chain disruptions.
Hike in Energy and Food Prices
Russia is the world’s third-largest oil-producing country. It provides 7-8 million barrels of crude oil per day, or 14% of global production, to international markets.
The US and UK’s restrictions and many other nations’ decisions to stop purchasing Russian petroleum have exacerbated the crisis.
Russia and Ukraine are the biggest sunflower oil producers globally and the second most frequently used cooking oil. However, sunflower oil cannot yet be exported from Russia due to the tightening of import restrictions.
Plus, due to the increasing demand for sunflower oil in the market, other edible oils are now more expensive, raising the cost of food and other products across borders.
Depreciation of Major Currencies Against the US Dollar
Compared to the US dollar, the Japanese yen has dropped to its lowest level since August 1998. The Indian rupee is hitting its lowest in history, and for the first time in 20 years, the euro is now lower than the USD.
The decline of major currencies indicates the current state of the global economy. Moreover, it provides a crystal-clear forecast of how disastrous the recession 2023 would be if significant steps are not taken to control the situation.
The Decelerating Global Economy: IMF Forecast for Recession 2023
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning that over a third of the economy is headed for a recession this year or next. Its world outlook shows growth withering from 6.0% in 2021, 3.2% in 2022, and an estimate of just 2.7% in 2023.
Recession 2023 will be different from all the recessions the world has faced to date. Different factors are driving economic crashes in different countries, for example:
The ongoing turmoil in the national and global market is further sparking the threat of World War III.
Rising Certainty of World War III
Russia has already invaded Ukraine, and in opposition to Ukraine’s protection, the US cleared this support with Ukraine by immediately sending weapons to Ukraine. Such US behavior infuriated Russia, leading to increased attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US and European countries that further expansion of support to Ukraine might lead the situation to a ‘Global catastrophe.’
On the other hand, China assaulted Taiwan due to the recent visit of the US finance minister. The current clash of China and Indian troops erupt seriously, leading to grim conflict on north-east Indian borders.
Additionally, civil wars in countries like Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Mali are raising the certainty of World War III.
Needless to say, World War III will destroy the world economy, resulting in more financial turmoil, starvation, a hike in oil prices, and the depreciation of currencies.
Recession 2023: The Worst is yet to come
Slowing down economies, high repo rates, depreciation of currencies, bankrupted countries, and looming wars between nuclear countries are further solidifying the onset of a cold economic winter.
The circumstance indicates what is coming. The indication of recession, the yell of “the worst is yet to come.“
However, to wrench the global situation on track, policymakers should continue to give needy powerful tailored assistance to respective governments while also putting in place reliable medium-term fiscal strategies.
Featured3 years ago
The Unfortunate Correlation between Race and Covid 19
Featured2 years ago
Practical Ways to Fight Depression in Islam
Featured2 years ago
Forget About Terrorism, Have You Met Cybercrime?
Featured2 years ago
The Connection Between Muslim Prayers (Namaz/Salah) and Yoga Poses
Featured2 years ago
Protecting half the planet: a potential solution for climate change and endangered species
Featured2 years ago
“Do Not Waste Water Even If You Were at a Running Stream” Prophet Muhammad
Featured2 years ago
Monsoon Floods: A Recurring Hazard
Featured3 years ago
NASA And SpaceX Collaborate On A Historic Mission