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.
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.
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.
On Apr. 5, the United Nations Children's Fund will launch a report on teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone. Teenage pregnancies account for 40 percent of maternal deaths in the country, and the report comes as public health authorities recalibrate strategy to address a problem that endangers both mothers and children.
Peggy Kapanda has bad memories of the time she spent living with her uncle when she was young. She was treated as a second-rank child. But this only motivated her to do a better job herself. At her small home in John Laing compound, in Zambia's capital Lusaka, she and her husband take care of two other children in addition to their own three young boys.
Marwa Sharaf el-Din, an Egyptian law PhD candidate at Oxford University, spent part of International Women's Day in Tahrir Square this afternoon to perform Zajal, a popular traditional form of Arabic poetry.
For the government of Uganda, the timing of David Kato's death couldn't have been more unfortunate. Kato was killed on Jan. 26, a national holiday to commemorate the ascent to power of the ruling National Resistance Movement party.
Zanele Magwaza-Msibi is a woman with a mission: to serve the people of South Africa. She is poised to become leader of South Africa's newest political party, the National Freedom Party (NFP), after breaking away from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), where she served as national chairperson.
Staying in Chawama, a compound outside Zambia's capital Lusaka, I spent many an evening chatting to the local women as they sat outside and cooked on their charcoal braziers. It intrigued me how a lot of the gossip would come back to one topic: the importance of 'chinamwali', the traditional initiation training most Zambian women go through before they get married.
Since arriving in Cape Town five years ago, Erina Manyene (not her real name) has eked out a meagre living picking up shifts doing laundry and cleaning other people's homes in the city's leafy southern suburbs.
Hundreds of residents from civil society organisations marched in the streets of Bulawayo on Dec. 1 to mark the 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Girls . But sex workers and members of gay groups were barred by police from joining the demonstration.
The harm done by female genital mutilation is still enormous in Podor, a city in the north of Senegal, say officials at the local hospital. While the practice is declining slightly, some religious leaders in the region still support it.
Women continue to join the Zimbabwe Republic Police, despite mixed reactions to their presence in law enforcement and allegations of abuse by fellow officers.
Gender training for peacekeeping operations "is not something you do for two weeks before you go for deployment," says Florence Butegwa, UNIFEM representative to the African Union (AU) and U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Women in the Sudanese region of Darfur have been raped with impunity since the start of the conflict there in 2003. Now a campaign to reform the rape law is gaining momentum in the country, promoted by Alliance 149, a national coalition born in late 2009.
It is break time at the Victory Chapel School in Congo Town. Children dressed in their royal blue uniforms with bright yellow and white trim fight to get under the shade of the only mango tree in the yard. It is the start of the dry season and the scorching sun will soon be almost unbearable to stand in.
It's a trade that requires no capital, only courage and endurance. A group of 200 women are making ends meet - sometimes even a bit more - by selling sand.
Women's movements have played a critical role in creating political space for female participation in politics around the world. In fact, there are more women in government today than ever before.
Juliana Kweais has a small scar on her bottom lip, from the first time she witnessed an abortion. The sharp blow to her mouth was delivered by her grandmother, after the then-13-year-old Kweais had asked why her auntie had given "birth" to a bloody sack.
"The Prize and The Price - Shaping Sexualities in South Africa" is the first book of its kind in South Africa to unpack the ideology behind the enforcement of "acceptable" versions of sex, gender and sexuality.
Presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire, scheduled for Nov. 29, were postponed until February or March 2010. Among the candidates who will try to take advantage of some additional time to campaign will be the sole independent candidate, Jacqueline Oble.