Religion and Culture - Africa

Twenty-four years after ratification of CEDAW, early marriage - and with it, the end of many girls

RIGHTS: Nigeria Failing To End Discrimination Against Women

Nigeria ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985 without reservations. But few of its citizens have ever heard of the document. Day-to-day life for women in Nigeria is shaped less by international conventions than it is by the diverse cultures, traditions and religions found in the country.

Franco Frattini Credit: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

SPECIAL OP-ED: People First, Turning Words Into Action

The promotion of women's rights at the global level should not be limited to treating the female population as a gender that is discriminated against and must be protected.

Q&A: Recognise the Benefits of Slowing Population Growth

Family planning: key to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health; a way to put less strain on the environment; and a smaller population makes the challenge of providing adequate education and health services that little bit easier.

Ingrid Srinath:

Q&A: Women Should Be More Than Window Dressing

Women in developing countries are among the most vulnerable to the effects of crisis - be that climate change, food price hikes, the HIV/AIDS pandemic or the global recession. It is becoming more commonplace to hear women's testimony, but are women's voices heard when it comes to deciding on solutions?

WATER-BOTSWANA: A Garden In the Heart of the Village

Look, there's no drama with the borehole in Mokobeng. And that's the way it should be.

Q&A: Women’s Empowerment: ‘Men Are Interested’

A trident of gender legislation will be debated in Uganda's parliament in November: the Marriage and Divorce Bill, the Domestic Violence Bill and the Female Genital Mutilation Bill.

NIGERIA: Kano’s Women Still Seeking a Champion

Hajiya Altine Abdullahi cut a chastened figure in February. She was planning a million-strong march of widows and orphans through the streets of the northern Nigerian city of Kano.

Q&A: Defending Women’s Rights Under New Land Policy

After years of delays, Kenya's cabinet has finally adopted a draft National Land Policy (NLP), which is now awaiting debate in parliament.

There are just seven doctors for every 100,000 people in Senegal; just one midwife for every 400,000 people. Credit:  Dima Gavrysh/UNFPA

HEALTH-SENEGAL: Fistula Sufferers Left To Their Fate

In Senegal's southern region, 58 percent of deliveries take place at home without any medical assistance, according to state reproductive health officials in Kolda, a town 425 km from the capital, Dakar. Women in the region suffer from exceptionally high rates of fistula.

RIGHTS: Honour Pledges on Reproductive Health

In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) proposed a groundbreaking shift in the approach to reproductive health: women's reproductive capacity was to be transformed from an object of population control to a matter of women's empowerment to exercise personal autonomy.

Evelyn Mutio Credit:

Q&A: ‘ We Were Told To Go To The Mortuary’

Two understaffed and ill-equipped public clinics serving 600,000 people: it is in neighbourhoods like Dandora that the battle to reduce maternal mortality is won or lost.

Alice Nkom: Lack of tolerance for diversity is one of the causes of terrorism. Credit:

Q&A: Fighting to Free Those Found ‘‘Guilty’’ of Homosexuality

In 2003, Alice Nkom made a decision that has put her on a collision course with the police, prosecutors and judges of Cameroon. Nkom, who has been a barrister at the Cameroonian Bar for 40 years, was chatting with some young men whom she considers her own children.

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