Africa: Women from P♂lls to P♀lls

SOUTH SUDAN: Row Over Exorbitant Fees for Pipeline Use

Less than three weeks after gaining independence, South Sudan is embroiled in a row with Sudan over pipeline fees charged by the latter to export oil.

SOUTH SUDAN: Women Hope Independence Means Less Maternal Deaths

Mother of eight, Jessicah Foni, 36, hopes that independence will mean a hospital will soon be built in her village. Foni, who has travelled from a remote village in South Sudan to the state’s capital to celebrate independence, lost two babies at birth because of the lack of medical facilities in her area.

A poster in Juba as South Sudan prepares to become Africa

SUDAN: Close to War As the South Prepares to Celebrate Independence

Sudan is closest to civil war since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

A poster in Juba as South Sudan prepares to become Africa

SOUTH SUDAN: Q&A: Spirits High in South Sudan Despite Unresolved Issues

As South Sudan prepares to cede from the North, it faces tremendous challenges towards building a nation and a sense of nationhood.

SOUTH SUDAN: Equitable Oil Deal Needed For Peace

The sharing of oil between North and South Sudan needs to be urgently addressed otherwise conflict between the two regions will escalate and could possibly lead to civil war, according to government officials and rights organisations.

SOUTH SUDAN: Fuel Shortages Grip Country

South Sudan is facing severe fuel shortages less than three weeks before it gains independence from the rest of the country. Many gas stations have shut down and those that remain open have people lining up overnight for fuel.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Reforms First, Elections Later

A new constitution, voters’ roll and electoral law, among other things, have to be in place before elections in Zimbabwe can be held but observers doubt if this can be implemented.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Challenge of Restoring Security

In a shelter covered by a tattered blue tarpaulin, Ibrahim Traoré sits beside his militia commander to hear complaints from residents of the Abidjan neighbourhood of Abobo-Avocatier.

Mirriam Kauseni has been conducting door-to-door campaigns, telling people to vote for her in the country

ZAMBIA: Hope for Women Politicians

Mirriam Kauseni is on a quest to become her town’s first ever female parliamentarian. She has yet to be elected to run for the post by her party, the Patriotic Front (PF), but Kauseni has already been conducting door-to-door campaigns, telling people to vote for her in the country’s national elections.

ZIMBABWE: Rural Women Voting With Their Feet

At independence in 1980, Loyce Tshuma (55), a villager in rural Tsholotsho in Matebeleland North, was a loyal believer in politics as a powerful vehicle to change and better lives. Since then she never missed an opportunity to cast her vote.

Only 17.25 percent of councillors who made it onto South African municipalities are women. Credit: Tinus de Jager

: Women Candidates Struggle in Local Government Elections

Political parties should be forced, through changes in legislation, to bring more women into government.

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is the first female speaker of Uganda

POLITICS: First Woman Speaker of Parliament Changing Politics

Very soon wives in Uganda will legally have the right to a share in their husband’s property, that’s if the country’s new speaker of parliament has her way.

Victoria Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi has navigated through South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: Woman Navigating a Tough Political System

Victoria Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi admits she is no angel. But for 30 years she’s navigated through South Africa’s tough political landscape, mainly as a member of a male-dominated party, and now as the leader of her own political party.

 Civil society is calling for women's issues to be prioritised by political parties. Credit: Zukiswa Zimela/IPS

: Women’s Issues Missing from Election Manifestos

Come rain or shine, single mother of five, Sylvia Mathebula,* can be found selling fruit and cigarettes at the roadside because it is the only way her family can survive. "Since the government is not helping us with jobs, rather than work as a maid for a white person I decided to start this little business by myself," she says lamenting the lack of opportunities for unskilled women.

SIERRA LEONE: Promise of More Space for Women in Decision-making

In Sierra Leone’s highly patriarchal society, where institutionalised gender inequalities are exacerbated by discriminatory customs, one group is singing its way towards changing this.

The Democratic Alliance election posters that have people talking. Credit: Zukiswa Zimela/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: Do More Women Politicians Mean Better Politics?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) election posters, which feature party leader Helen Zille, Cape Town mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille and party spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko, do not necessarily mean that a vote for the party is a vote for women, analysts say.

KENYA: Feisty Politician Enters Presidential Race

Martha Karua fears nothing and no one, and when her adversaries look back at her long track record in politics, they must get nervous. This previously staunch supporter of Mwai Kibaki resigned as justice minister in 2009, and will challenge all comers for the presidency at the head of her own party next year.

Nigerian Women Stand Up to be Counted

As Nigeria tries again to begin its staggered general elections on Apr. 9, spare a thought for the women who will be putting themselves forward as candidates in an overwhelmingly male field.

ZIMBABWE: Fears for Next Generation of Women Leaders

Zimbabwe's veteran women politicians fear there are no younger women coming up through the ranks to replace them. Measures to improve women's representation have achieved little and young women are absent from the traditional entry points into politics.

ZIMBABWE: Backlash Against Women in Politics

"Women in Zimbabwe are largely seen as a huge demographic to be exploited by politicians who seek our support," says Ntombikayise Mswela. "But when we take to the streets to demand respect and our rights from the same government we are thrown into prison.

BOTSWANA: Women in Politics – A House Divided… But Determined

"The Botswana Caucus for Women in Politics has failed to realise the objectives it was intended for, but we will not give up on it just yet," says Margaret Nasha.

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