Gender

Arab Region Has World’s Fastest Growing HIV Epidemic

At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos.

How Mozambique Is Coping With AIDS

Mozambique struggles to contain the HIV epidemic with one in ten among its 24 million people infected. Helping them is not easy when only 60 percent of people have access to health services.

Girls Take Charge in the Fight to End Female Genital Mutilation

Some girls among the Pokot community in western Kenya are bravely defying what is considered cultural and traditional by refusing to be circumcised. More and more mothers, fathers and the women whose job is to do the cutting are beginning to support these girls’ right to bodily integrity.

Child Marriage Defies Laws in Nepal

Social activists in Nepal agree that the one reason why this impoverished country will miss the gender-linked Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations is the persistence of child marriage.

Polygamy Throttles Women in Senegal

Fatou (40), Awa (32) and Aissatou Gaye (24) sit in a meditative mood on the tiled floor outside their matrimonial home in Keur Massar, a township in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Men and Women Farming Together Can Eradicate Hunger

Three years ago, the residents of the semi-arid Yatta district in Kenya’s Eastern Province lived on food aid due to dwindling crops of maize that could not thrive because of the decreased rainfall in the area. That was until a local bishop, trying to find ways to prevent mothers from forcing their teenage daughters into prostitution, changed everything.

Criticism of Uganda’s Government Leads to Harassment of NGOs

In the face of rising public criticism over a range of controversial political manoeuvres, the Ugandan government has become increasingly hostile to the work of non-governmental organisations, particularly those advocating for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

Bolivia’s Indigenous Women Seek the Political Kingdom

A growing number of Bolivia's indigenous women are participating in politics, ready to break the barriers of gender and ethnicity.

Child Rape on the Rise in Sri Lanka

A spate of child rape cases in Sri Lanka has angered child rights activists and moved the government to consider tightening the relevant laws and making the offence punishable with the death sentence.

67 Minutes of Shame on African Icon Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Wendy Hlophe* is still visibly grieving for her long-term friend, 28-year-old Sanna Supa, who was shot and killed outside her home in Braamficherville, a South African township, two weeks ago.

Vietnamese Girls Grapple With Changing Sexual Climate

Conservative attitudes toward women die hard in Vietnam, as seen in the country’s worsening sex ratio at birth (SRB). Yet, social mores have relaxed sufficiently for women to tune in to late night TV talk shows to learn about the acceptability of one-night stands.

Making it Compulsory to Have Women in Ghana’s Parliament

Beatrice Boateng, a member of parliament with the New Patriotic Party, Ghana’s official opposition to the ruling New Democratic Congress, has earned her place among the country’s lawmakers.

Liberia’s Baby Blues – No Policy for Pregnant School Girls

Patricia Kollie should be at school today but instead she is at home in Gbarnga, Liberia, pounding a pile of cassava leaves in a wooden mortar. Her entire body is slightly swollen. Her dress fits a little too snug at the stomach.

Treatment of Gays No Better in South Africa

When Junior Mayema boarded a plane to South Africa from his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010, he cried tears of joy because he was finally heading to a country where he could live openly as a gay man.

The Traditional Courts Bill currently under discussion in South Africa’s parliament and due to be enacted by the end of 2012 could undermine the basic rights of the 12 million women living in remote rural communities across the country. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

South Africa’s ‘Traditional Courts Bill’ Impairs Rights of 12 Million Rural Women

The Traditional Courts Bill currently under discussion in South Africa’s parliament and due to be enacted by the end of 2012 could undermine the basic rights of some of the country’s most vulnerable inhabitants: the 12 million women living in remote rural communities across the country.

Malawi President Joyce Banda (left) and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a women

Africa’s Two Female Presidents Join Forces for Women

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.

Morocco Still Divided Over Marriage of Minors

The widespread practice of marrying minors continues to be one of the most incendiary legal and political issues in Morocco today, causing open confrontations between hard-line Islamists and moderates throughout the country.

Increasing numbers of Malian women are being raped by Tuareg rebels and armed groups that have swept across the north of Mali since January. Credit: William Lloyd-George/IPS

Armed Groups in Northern Mali Raping Women

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.

Malawi’s Army Commander General Henry Odillo hands over the presidential sword to President Joyce Banda at her swearing in ceremony. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

“A New Dawn Rises over Malawi”

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.  Credit: Hannah Rubenstein/IPS

Where Men Now Fear to Tread

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.

Mauritania – Small Steps Towards Ending Female Genital Mutilation

A multi-pronged strategy to end female genital mutilation in Mauritania is making gradual progress, though campaigners acknowledge much remains to be done in a country where more than two-thirds of girls suffer excision.

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