While women constitute the majority of food producers, processors and marketers in Africa, their role in the agricultural sector still remains a minor one because of cultural and social barriers.
The only two female heads of state in Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawian President Joyce Banda, have just committed to using their positions to improve the lives of women across the continent.
Increasing numbers of Malian women are being raped by Tuareg rebels and armed groups that have swept across the north of Mali since the beginning of year, expelling all government troops from the region.
More than three years after the start of the global economic crisis, which has had a considerable impact on African trade, investments and gross domestic product, investment prospects on the continent are increasing.
She has been in office for less than a week but Malawi’s, and the region’s, first female president, Joyce Banda, has given many people in this poor southern African country hope that its social and economic woes will soon end.
As Malawians celebrate Joyce Banda’s appointment as president on sites, like Facebook and Twitter, the increased use of social media in Malawi comes full circle as her new government takes office.
It would be too simplistic to think that Malawi’s problems have ended with the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. But it is an opportunity for newly appointed President Joyce Banda, who is also leader of the opposition People’s Party, to step up and offer a new and more responsive style of leadership.
No man, except for those raised here as children, lives in Umoja village in Kenya; one has not for two decades. It is a village only of and for women, women who have been abused, raped, and forced from their homes.
Eight years ago when Mary Sitali’s husband divorced her, by sending a traditional letter to her parents saying that he no longer wanted her and they could "marry her to any man of your choice - be he a tall or a short man, the choice being entirely yours," she returned to her village in rural Zambia with their two children and no way of supporting them.
As Somalia’s transitional government and various stakeholders meet Wednesday to discuss the inclusion of the country’s clans in the new government, women politicians have called for a greater role in the leadership of this East African nation.
Fifty years ago when Sierra Leone gained independence after 150 years of colonial rule, with it came a feeling of optimism that along with a newfound control of its governance, the country would profit from its ample endowment of natural resources, like timber, fish, minerals and oil. Instead, in the last 50 years, the country has had 13 military coups and an 11-year civil war that left the economy in ruins and the country heavily reliant on foreign donor funding.
Zhang Daliu, 46, a carpenter from China never imagined himself in the dreadful confines of a stinking and overcrowded Zambian jail where conditions are so terrible that they lead to gastronomic disorders and skin diseases within days of confinement.
For most Ugandan women, obtaining a commercial loan to start a business has been very difficult. Many do not have the required collateral of land title deeds and many cannot afford the interest rates charged by commercial banks.
A campaign to stop people buying merchandise from street vendors is gaining momentum in Malawi’s main cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu after the small-scale traders went on a rampage undressing women and girls wearing trousers, leggings, shorts and mini-skirts.
The August 2012 elections in Kenya will open doors to massive political participation by women for the first time ever.
Under a new gender quota law introduced in Mauritius, at least one-third of the candidates in local elections must be women. But the adoption of a national quota is not yet on the horizon, even though just 18 percent of legislators are women and there are only two female cabinet ministers.