Economic exclusion; financial systems that perpetuate their discrimination; limited participation in political and public life; lack of access to education and poor retention of girls in schools; gender-based violence; harmful cultural practices, and exclusion of women from peace tables, are the major standing barriers to achieving gender equality in Africa.
On Friday, 06 November 2015, we had the honor of meeting the First Lady of Kenya Ms Margaret Kenyatta, a tireless advocate for “every woman and every child”, during the launch of the Beyond Zero campaign in Mandera County, North-Eastern Kenya, a place which has often been described as ‘the worst place on earth to give birth’.
Being a single mother at the age of 19 is not what most teenage girls want for themselves. But this is the life Esther Mkwakwasa is living in Namphungo village in Mulanje District. Orphaned at the age of 14, Esther saw herself being moved from one foster home to another until she got pregnant.
The United Nations is hoping 2016 will be a landmark year for gender empowerment – not only for the world body but also for the United States.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
It is a grim fact that prisoners in most countries suffer from poorer health than non-prisoners, and that their right to health is not always protected. But for certain groups these rights can be even more elusive. Such is the case for women.
The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet many complications and challenges accompany such an event. One in 10 adolescent girls miss school and eventually drop out due to menstruation-related issues.
Against the backdrop of escalating extremism and conflict globally, 2015 also marked the 15th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security (WPS ) with a Global Study and Review on its effective implementation strongly addressing the impact of conflict on women and their essential role in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building. The landmark UNSC resolution 2242 (October 2015) calls for effective and accelerated implementation of the WPS Agenda by all actors.
2015, the final year of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), heralds the beginning of the most critical fifteen years for the realization of the new Sustainable Development Agenda that the international community launched along with renewed Climate Change and Financing for Development (FfD) compacts.
Women leaders in the Pacific Islands have acclaimed the agreement on reducing global warming achieved at the United Nations (COP21) Climate Change conference in Paris as an unprecedented moment of world solidarity on an issue which has been marked to date by division between the developing and industrialized world. But for Pacific small island developing states, which name climate change as the single greatest threat to their survival, it will only be a success if inspirational words are followed by real action.
Activists and researchers dedicated to the study of gender violence in Cuba insist on the need for a comprehensive law to protect the victims and prevent the problem, which was publicly ignored until only a few years ago in this socialist Caribbean island nation.
Busia County in western Kenya is home to an array of indigenous vegetables. But for decades there has been a shift in popular taste leading to leading to little interest in what is indigenously grown. This relegated the vegetables to the periphery with most farmers cultivating kale and cabbages among other more exotic varieties.
As 2015 approaches its end, Brazilians live a period of extraordinary uncertainty. The recession seems to get worse by the day. Inflation is high and shows unexpected resistance to tight monetary policies applied by the Central Bank. The sluggish international economy has largely neutralized incentive and the strong devaluation of the domestic currency could represent a reality to exporters and to producers who compete with now more expensive imports. After an initial resistance, employment levels began to fall.
Doris Zabala squats down in the field to pull up radishes. She is working on a prison farm in El Salvador, where more and more penitentiaries are incorporating agricultural work and other activities to keep prisoners busy.
The triumph of 19 women in what is being seen as a landmark and historical election in a largely traditional and conservative country is a massive gain for women. A United Arab Emirates (UAE) daily newspaper called this a right step in the Islamic spirit.