Women Leaders - Africa

One of the female candidates is Amsatou Sow Sidibé, a law professor at Dakar

SENEGAL: Two Women Among 14 Candidates for President

There are two women among the 14 candidates contesting the first round of Senegalese presidential elections that will be held on Feb. 26. But according to several analysts, this overwhelmingly Muslim West African country is not ready to be governed by a woman.


MALAWI: Women’s Education the Path to the Presidency

On an elegant veranda adorned with a red carpet, Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda recalls how her childhood friend Chrissie Mtokoma was always top of their class and how she struggled to beat her. But now decades later Banda is a likely contender for the country's presidency in 2014, while Mtokoma lives in poverty.

SOUTH AFRICA: Climate Change Affecting Fisherwomen’s Livelihoods

Having observed changes in the sea and the life cycles of the rock lobsters that their livelihoods depend on, a group of fisherwomen from the Western Cape, South Africa are calling on government to adjust fishing seasons to adapt to what they claim are climate change-related alterations.

Nalifu Yussif holds a few Bolga baskets at the ongoing COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Climate Change Killing Womens’ Livelihoods

Talata Nsor, a 54-year-old woman from Bolgatanga community in Northern Ghana, has been weaving the cultural Bolga baskets, which are named after her community, her entire life.

‘Nothing at Busan for African Women, Children’

Although there has been considerable progress towards reducing maternal and infant mortality, millions of women and children in Africa are still in need of better health services, food and sanitation.

Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya

Kenya’s Two Female Supreme Court Justices Set to Work

Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya’s Supreme Court Nancy Baraza, who made history as the first woman appointed to the post, has begun overhauling the country’s judiciary.

U.N. armored vehicles enter the compound of the Congress for Democratic Change after the first round of shooting. At least two demonstrators died. Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Runoff Goes Ahead Despite Boycott and Killings

Liberians headed to the polls in what appeared to be modest numbers Tuesday morning for a presidential runoff that has been marred by an opposition boycott and the deaths of at least two demonstrators at an opposition rally.

The leading parties are doing little to ensure greater numbers of women are elected to parliament, but Congolese women are acting for themselves.  Credit: Aubrey Graham/IRIN

DR CONGO: Women Candidates Needed

Women make up just 12 percent of the roughly 18,000 candidates who will stand for election to parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Nov. 28 elections.

LIBERIA: Former Warlord Backs Johnson-Sirleaf for Second Term

Former warlord Prince Johnson, who placed third in Liberia’s election last week, has endorsed the re-election bid of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was named a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize just days before the vote.

The Somali national women

SOMALIA: Death Threats Fail to Stop Women’s Basketball

When Al-Shabaab militants called the Somali national women's basketball team captain, Suweys Ali Jama, and told her she had two options: to be killed or to stop playing basketball, she decided that neither was really an option at all.

Supporters from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Liberians Turn Out in Numbers to Vote

Liberians cast their ballots Tuesday in an election that has so far been described as orderly and peaceful, though concerns persist that a disputed result could anger voters and fuel minor unrest.

Bleblocoula Sylvain (foreground) lost eight members of his family during a March raid in Diboke, Ivory Coast.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: “Security Risk” at Ivory Coast Border Ahead of Elections

As Liberia gears up for Tuesday’s presidential and legislative elections, officials stationed near the border with Ivory Coast have expressed concern that insufficient border security - a problem highlighted by two recent cross-border attacks - could fuel electoral violence.

Opposition party supporters demanded that Nobel Peach Prize winner Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be out of office.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Mixed Reviews for Johnson-Sirleaf’s Nobel Peace Prize

As the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Liberian President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, opposition party supporters were flooding the streets of Monrovia to demand that she be voted out of office in the upcoming election.

President of the PAP Women's Caucus, Mavis Matladi says it is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier during conflict in Africa. Credit: Saaleha Bamjee

AFRICA: More Dangerous to Be a Woman than a Soldier

African women who bear the brunt of the continent’s conflicts now demand to play a defining role in peacekeeping.

Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai campaigned to save the Mabira Forest Reserve.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Re-Greening Africa in the Footsteps of Wangari Maathai

Africa needs to remain focused and continue following the late Professor Wangari Maathai’s initiatives for environmental sustainability in order to address climate change across the continent, environmentalists say.

Turkana Women in Kenya. Less than half of all Kenyan women give birth in a medical facility.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

AFRICA: Slow Progress in Reducing Maternal Mortality

Agnes Kalunda’s doctor feared that because of her slight frame there was a high chance of her developing complications during delivery.

A lot of water is wasted through unmonitored irrigation. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: While Politicians Deliberate Climate Change, Others Adapt

While many scientists, academics and politicians still theorise about ways to adapt to climate change, a South African civil society organisation has launched a hands-on project that mobilises communities to take easy steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Ester Abeja, who was abducted by Lord

UGANDA: Post War Reconstruction Ignores Victims of Sexual Violence

Ester Abeja has experienced both physical and emotional atrocities. She was captured by Uganda's feared rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and was forced to join them. But not before the soldiers made her kill her one-year- old baby girl, by smashing her skull in, and then gang raped her.

A poster asking people to vote for Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: Outlook Dim for Women Candidates

Although there is a female presidential candidate contesting Zambia's Sept. 20 general elections, her prospects are not strong. And in fact, fewer women overall are likely to be elected into public office this year, analysts say.

Edith Nawakwi is the only female candidate to run for president in Zambia

Q&A: ‘Men Have Failed Zambia, Now Is the Time for a Woman’

In Zambia's highly patriarchal society Edith Nawakwi, 52, has broken a few records on the political scene over the last two decades. And she broke another one on Sunday by being the only female candidate to file for nomination to run for president in Zambia's upcoming elections.

SOUTH AFRICA: Failing Women as Maternal Mortality Quadruples

Only six sub-Saharan African countries have failed to reduce the number of women dying in childbirth over the last two decades. High-spending South Africa is among them, with maternal mortality rates more than quadrupling since 1990. Human Rights Watch researcher Agnes Odhiambo says this is largely due to a lack of accountability.

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