As the MEWC begins to look back at the events affecting African women in preparation for our second annual African Women’s Decade report, we have noticed a very hopeful and important trend: Now more than ever, African women are participating in the political, economic and social leadership of their countries and their regions.
1) Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – She was elected this year for her second term as Liberia’s first female head of state.
2) Leyma Gbowee – She has lead the Liberian (and West Africa) women’s peace-building movement, ending the violence that plagued Liberia for years. She continues her grassroots peacebuilding work today, having started the Leymah Gbowee Peace Foundation.
3) Dlamini-Zuma- The African Union chose its first female leader: Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa's home affairs minister, beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon to end months of deadlock and instituting a major and important shift in African Union politics.
4) Joyce Banda - Malawi elected its first female head of state this year: Former President, Mr Mutharika's decision to appoint her as his running mate for the 2009 elections surprised many in Malawi's mainly conservative, male-dominated society - which had never before had a female vice-president.
5) Cissé Mariam Kaidama Sidibé – Was the first female prime minister of Mali but was forcibly removed in 2012 by the military junta and is said to still be held.
6) Monique Ohsan – Mauritius 2012- Acting President
7) Lindy Wafula is the Founder & Executive Director of Project Africa
And the list goes on…
Help MEWC celebrate African female leaders by following our Political Participation and Elections Monitoring page reporting, and following our Interview and Highlight of the Month.
INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
AFRICA: OUR INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH WITH LINDY WAFULA
Lindy Wafula is the Founder & Executive Director of Project Africa – a nonprofit organization established in Kenya to promote gender equality and empowerment of women. A champion for young women, Lindy Wafula has successfully spearheaded programs under the banner of Leading Ladies Circles to ensure the education, empowerment and engagement of young women in leadership. Lindy ran for a seat as a member of parliament in 2010 and is trying again for a parliamentary seat in the upcoming elections of 2013.
In October 2010, the AU launched the African Women's Decade, What do you think this decade represents for women in Africa? *What are you thought regarding this decade?
Following through the journey of the emancipation of women that the African women’s movement has journeyed, the African Women Decade presents a new opportunity for women to demand the realization that women rights are human rights. In my opinion, African Women’s Decade should not be a time where African women wait passively for our male counterparts to agree to our call for action because there lacks political goodwill. It is time for African Women to act. We must take action towards ensuring that legislation in its letter and spirit guarantees equal participation of women in leadership and decision-making. We must take action to support women to run for election and appointive positions and we must take action to offer civic education especially to women to understand what the power of the vote means for our collective empowerment, peace, security and national development of African states.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH
Highlight organization of the month: BreastSens
Meet BreastSens, a patient rights centered breast cancer advocacy non-profit organization founded in October 2007, committed to challenging the current dialogue about breast cancer and promoting a patient sensitive and inclusive alternative.
The group, based in South Africa, is led by a breast cancer survivor Kwanele Asante-Shongwe who was inspired to triumph over tragedy when she learned of the lack of support given African women with breast cancer. Kwanele, wanted to create space for the missing black breast cancer voice to be heard within mainstream South African dialogue, and that she has! Through discussion with the medical team treating her she learned about the social stigmatization around breast cancer in South Africa and decided to challenge it. The overall goal of the organization is to improve breast cancer survival rates among Soweto women by identifying barriers to care, employing culturally sensitive and positive messages and by lobbying for equitable access to health care for patients.
TOP WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS
Source: Women News Network
At the MENA 1325 conference, hosted by WILPF – Women's League for Peace and Freedom in Geneva, Switzerland, women came together to share, talk and solve global challenges facing all women in the MENA – Middle East North Africa region.
MALI: Women Demand Firm Action to End Mali Crisis: Declaration Issued During a Reflection on the Malian Crisis
"We urge the government of Mali to mobilize the country to recover occupied national territory and to combat fundamentalism and lack of respect for the rule of law". We, members of the Senegalese Feminist Forum, would like to express our full support for the Malian people and especially to the women who are woefully underrepresented in these critical moments of the country's political life.
TOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NEWS
EGYPT: Egyptian Women Speak up Against Sexual Violence
Egyptian women are speaking up against sexual violence after harrowing tales of mob attacks in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square prompted initiatives to combat the "epidemic."
WEST AFRICA: Husbands Worse Threat to Women Than Gunmen
In conflict-hit West African countries, husbands often pose a greater threat to women’s lives than an armed assailant, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said in a recent report, but even in more stable countries, violence against women is hard to eradicate.
TOP POLITICAL PARTICIPATION NEWS
AFRICA: 2012 Historic for African Women Leadership
Source: The Herald
THE year 2012 has thus far proved promising for the African woman's status within public bodies following the recent election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as African Union Commission Chair.
SENEGAL: Women to Get Equal Shot in Senegal Elections
Senegal will vote for new lawmakers in an election Sunday set to put more women than ever in the national assembly thanks to a new law which requires an equal gender balance on party lists.
TOP ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT NEWS
AFRICA: African Women Pledge to Fight for Inclusive Growth
Source: African Development Bank
The Second African Women Economic summit wound up in Lagos on Saturday, with a unanimous commitment by hundreds of entrepreneurs and professional women to campaign vigorously for the economic empowerment of their genre as the surest means to banish poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth.
GHANA: Economic Empowerment of Women is Significant to Poverty Reduction
Source: AllGhana News
Teach a woman how to fish and she would provide fish forever. Wedaga, Sonoo and Unity women's groups in the Kassena-Nankana District of the Upper East Region have every cause to be happy in their new enterprise of processing and production of “Potaghurt”, a refreshing drink made from sweet potato turned into yoghurt, one of the initiatives of the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIMP) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
TOP HIV/AIDS & REPRODUCITVE HEALTH NEWS
SOUTH SUDAN: The Biggest Threat to a Woman's Life
Source: IRIN News
"More women die in child birth, per capita, in South Sudan, than in any country in the world," says Caroline Delany, a health specialist with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in South Sudan which is funding a raft of maternal health programmes.
AFRICA: An Ugly Truth - Women and Girls More Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS
Source: The Southern Times
In Africa, the two major routes through which the HIV virus that causes AIDS is transmitted are unprotected sex and mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding.
TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN NEWS
MOROCCO: Moroccan Women Build Land Rights Movement
Source: Global Post
One woman's fight against ancient tribal laws that favor men has inspired thousands more. When Rkia Bellot’s family sold their communal land in 2004, each of her eight brothers received a share of the proceeds. But Bellot, a single woman, got nothing.
ZAMBIA: Zambia’s New Constitution Brings Push to End Discrimination Against Women
Source: Women News Network
The nation of Zambia has started the process of domesticating legal protective and reporting mechanisms that may increase help to women inside the country revealed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender and Development in Zambia, Mr. Edwidge Mutale recently.
Source: All Africa
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. Well, it's wonderful being here with all of you today, and I want to start by thanking Gallup for co-sponsoring this conference with the State Department and hosting us here this morning. Jim Clifton told me that this used to be the convention center in Washington in the late 1880s and that men would come here and tie their horses up down below and have all kinds of meetings. So it's great that we're back here today, and I am grateful to Jim Clifton and his team for joining us to highlight the urgent need for more and better information about women and gender equality around the world.
Each year, 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth. 50,000 of them die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. And 95 percent of those births occur in developing countries.
Source: Women International League for Peace & Freedom
Femmes Africa Solidarité, WILPF and World YWCA submit this joint-‐statement expressing concern that the provision of services and reparations for women survivors of conflict-‐related sexual violence remains inadequate. Access to justice and effective accountability mechanisms are an integral part of reparation, but to date, the ideals of restorative justice have yet to be realized.
To read the full statement, please click here
The adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000 by all United Nations Member States marked an historic moment, as world leaders committed to tackle extreme poverty in its many dimensions and create a better life for everyone. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) translate this commitment into a framework of measurable goals and targets by which progress can be measured.
Progress is tracked against 21 targets and 60 indicators addressing extreme poverty and hunger, education, women’s empowerment and gender equality, health, environmental sustainability and global partnership.
This chart provides an assessment of where we stand on selected key targets relating to each Goal. Trends and levels are measured on the basis of information available as of June 2012. The latest available data for most indicators are from years 2010 to 2012; for a few indicators, the data go back to 2008.
To read the full report, please click here
With no female candidates having run for the presidential elections in 2011 and concerns are raised over their un-free and unfair nature - what does the near future hold for the women of the DRC?
The Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) historic presidential and legislative elections took place on November 28 2011. Joseph Kabila Kabange has been president of the DRC since January 2001. He took office ten days after the assassination of his father, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila. The last presidential and legislative elections took place in 2006 when Joseph Kabila Kabange was elected President. He has recently been announced as winner of the 2011 Presidential elections. Read More
Violence, Thuggery and Intimidation: The Masculinization of Nigerian Politics
The most cited reason provided by my interviewees for their lack of participation in politics or lack of interest in political participation is violence. Violence pervades Nigerian politics. Many research participants, as well as other observer and scholars of Nigerian politics, have disconcertingly highlighted the "do-or-die" nature of Nigerian politics.
September 1, 2012
From 10:00 to 16:30
About this event
“Women should be empowered to inspire and mobilize self and others towards a common purpose, in response to personal and/or social issues and challenges, to effect positive change”
This training is designed to empower women to become leader within their communities and gain confidence to advocate and represent others at different levels of decision-making authorities within local, regional and International settings
The training will provide different methods and opportunities available to participate and to shape policies and services that affect them. The training will focus on:
- Understanding the concept of Leadership
- Understanding community participation and people led initiatives
- Concept of a community / society
- Approaches of community development and engagement
- Different approach of lobbying and influencing changes
- Community needs analysis approaches
- Various approach in developing innovative solution or projects to address identified needs
- Social or community solution / projects implementation planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation as well as learning dissemination
Participants who will be trained will be supported to set up their own community / area of interest based project on which their acquired leadership skills, awareness and knowledge will be practised.
They will also be guided on how to access community/ social oriented projects funding in order to implement their ideas/social solutions.
Skills and Qualifications
The course is aimed at those with no or limited experience in community leadership. Interest in changing, shaping community/society related issues as well as is required. Good knowledge of Word processing and Internet skills is required.
September 22nd, 2012
From 10:00 to 16:30
About this event
Want to find out why social media means BIG opportunities for women? Want to learn more about how a few easy tips can help improve your VOICE and connect you to like-minded people and organizations? Do you want a platform to make a difference and be a leader in your field? Then this workshop is for YOU!
A workshop focused on engaging with social media tools and discovering how they can work for you as an individual or part of an organization. The workshops goal is to empower women and women’s based organizations through social media and provide you with the skills to make this rhetoric become a reality. This workshop will be engaging, hands on and will cater to what you want to lean about in terms of social media opportunities. Potential resources to explore are Twitter, HootSuite, Facebook, Pinterest and we will discuss blogging, forums, online workshops and more! This workshop is for women wanting to make a difference and get involved with a vibrant online community of changemakers
What will I gain from the programme?
You will leave informed and more confident about how to tap into a world of volunteer recruitment, idea sharing, organization promotion, networking and creativity. Build your organizations capacity and professionalism and learn the tools to confidently network and engage online