The long-awaited African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage is here.
Increasingly gender equality, rooted in human rights, is recognized both as a key development goal on its own and as a vital means to helping accelerate sustainable development. And while the field of gender has expanded exponentially over the years, with programmes focused exclusively on women and girls and greater mainstreaming of gender into many development activities, a range of challenges remain.
Her lips are quavering her hands trembling. Susan (not her real name) struggles to suppress stubborn tears, but the outburst comes, spontaneously, and the tears stream down her cheeks as she sobs profusely.
Elida Almeida is Cape Verde’s newest star, with thousands of fans in Africa and Europe. She sings, dances, plays the guitar, tells jokes, and makes her audiences laugh as well as groove. But behind it all, her music carries a serious message, about the importance of overcoming setbacks, avoiding unplanned pregnancy and following one’s dreams.
Almost exactly two years ago, on the morning of Apr. 24, over 3,600 workers – 80 percent of them young women between the ages of 18 and 20 – refused to enter the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh,
because there were large ominous cracks in the walls.
They were beaten with sticks and forced to enter.
After several tension-filled months, a majority of Nigerians swept in an opposition leader and former military man, Muhammadu Buhari, to succeed incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, whose failure to contain a terrorist wave in the northern states doomed his re-election chances.
Fourteen-year-old Malak al Khatib, one of the youngest Palestinian detainees and one of only a handful of girls, was released from an Israeli prison on Feb. 13 into the arms of emotional family members and supporters after being incarcerated in an Israeli prison for two months on “security offences”.
As Juan Evo Morales Ayma, popularly known as 'Evo', celebrates his victory for a third term as Bolivia’s president on a platform of “anti-imperialism” and radical socio-economic policies, he can also claim credit for ushering in far-reaching social reforms such as the Bolivian “Law against Political Harassment and Violence against Women” enacted in 2012.
"The smell of faeces and urine isolates them completely. Their husbands abandon them and they become stigmatised forever” – Dr Pashtoon Kohistani barely needs two lines to sum up the drama of those women affected by obstetric fistula.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
For 22-year-old Moselyn Muchena, a final year computer science student at the University of Zimbabwe, it seemed obvious to create a mobile application offering easy access to services in the local catering industry, largely because of the huge number of female entrepreneurs in that sector.
In large parts of rural India, the absence of separate toilets for growing girls is taking a toll on their education. Many are unable to attend school during their menstrual cycle.
Twenty-eight-year-old Omar Zaib, a taxi driver in Lahore, capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, confessed in court last month to drowning his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter because he wanted a son. A few days later, the media reported that two newborn girls had been found abandoned at a railway station.
The Islamist resistance group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is being accused by its Palestinian Authority (PA) rivals in the West Bank of Talibanising Gaza and turning the coastal territory into a new Muslim Brotherhood neighbourhood.
It is as if they have given up hope of ever seeing their girls again. They are an Adivasi family from a remote village in Assam state in India, nestled in the Himalayan foothills. The picturesque surroundings belie the hollowness they feel within.