Archive for 'culture'

Dispatch from Kibera, East Africa’s Largest Slum

Posted on August 19, 2011, by aprille, under Gender Masala, HIV/AIDS, children, culture, gender, health, politics, violence.

Photo Essay by Aline Cunico

(IPS/Aline Cunico)(IPS/Aline Cunico)

Considered one of the biggest slums in the world, Kibera is Nairobi’s–and East Africa’s–largest urban settlement. Over one million people struggle daily to meet basic needs such as access to water, nutrition and sanitation. In this community lacking education and opportunities, women and girls are most affected by poverty.

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Measuring Machismo

Posted on August 10, 2011, by drini, under gender, stereotypes.

By Eva Allen

Sandwiched in the middle of Central America, with a population of just under six million and a heavily agricultural economy, Nicaragua remains the poorest country in Latin American and the Caribbean after Haiti with a Human Development Index (HDI) ranking of 115. Yet, in the 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap (GGG) Report, it ranks at 30 of 134 countries in terms of gender-based disparities, joining a top 30 club including equality champions Iceland and the Scandinavian states, and wealthy nations Australia, the US, and the UK. The report’s message is clear - bulging state coffers are not the sole prerequisite for establishing frameworks for fairness and gender equality.
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Football and development

Posted on June 23, 2010, by Kudzai, under Gender Masala, culture, human rights.

Guest post by Zukiswa Zimela, IPS Africa
fair-playGrowing up as a little girl in rural Bizana in the Eastern Cape of South Africa I had no interest in soccer. I spent most of my time playing house, baking mud pies to nurture my stick children I had lovingly wrapped in plastic blankets. This was perfectly normal and acceptable because I learnt how to be a “proper girl” the traditional way.
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Las terroristas suicidas

Posted on April 13, 2010, by Kudzai, under estereotipo, human rights, media, mujeres, politics, stereotypes, violación sexual, violence, violencia, war rape.

black_widows2Diana Cariboni

MONTEVIDEO.- Cada vez que aparecen noticias sobre mujeres que se inmolan en sangrientos ataques terroristas, se me despierta la misma mezcla de sorpresa y horror. (more…)

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Is it ever okay for a woman to exercise her sexuality to gain political power?

Posted on February 15, 2010, by Kudzai, under Gender Masala, arts, human rights, politics, stereotypes, women, men and more.

Kudzai Makombe

Queen Elizabeth I kept a reign on power by becoming "The Virgin Queen"  Credit www.PDImages.com

Queen Elizabeth I kept a reign on power by becoming "The Virgin Queen" Credit www.PDImages.com

This question has been puzzling me since a late-night, noisy get together with friends where we got talking (some might say gossiping) about the alleged cross-party sexual politics taking place in our government. The men, it was said, were using sex as a strategy to silence the women from the opposite camps. The woman targeted  loses her standing once she’s been seduced as it quickly becomes general knowledge among other politicians.

“Once you see that so and so who used to be so vocal has gone quite then you know they’ve been had,” said one friend. Much like the boarding school strategy employed by male students to remove the top performing girl student’s ranking as number one in class I’m told. But, never having been to boarding school, much less a co-educational school, I am not aware.

As much as this dirty trick is an age-old male strategy to silence female opponents, women throughout history have used their sexuality, that is — whom one has sex with (or not), in what ways, why, under what circumstances, and with what outcomes — as a strategy to gain power. (more…)

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Sherezade y el sultán, en el siglo XXI

Posted on February 12, 2010, by Kudzai, under Gender Masala, arts, culture, media, stereotypes.

Diana Cariboni

817478sherezade1Espero entre indignada y divertida el próximo 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer… El anterior me deparó una pasmosa sorpresa. Sobre mi escritorio había una enorme rosa de pétalos amarillos y bordes rojos y una tarjeta dirigida a las mujeres del siglo XXI, en su día. (more…)

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A New Year for Gender Masala

Posted on January 2, 2010, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, culture, media, stereotypes, women, men and more.

This is truly a New Year in many ways: Gender Masala and I are in transition in 2010.

I am moving to Maputo, Mozambique,  to work in health reporting. Gender Masala will remain in the IPS Gender Portal with a more collective identity,  infused by several  IPS writers.

Passenger in transit. Pic by Claudio Corallo

Passenger in transit: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust. Pic by Claudio Corallo.

I like the word transitions: it evokes change, birth, adaptation, growth.

This has been an exciting journey of discovery of a new medium. As the philosopher George Santayana wrote: “There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble; it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.”

Over seven months, , the pictures got bigger, the voices varied, my style freer. It was intellectually rewarding to look every week at the rich variety of IPS stories on gender and be inspired by them to write a new blog.

I will miss the weekly postings on gender, although I will continue blogging on health issues in Mozambique here:

http://knight.icfj.org/OurFellows/FromtheFieldFellowBlogs/

I want to thank my fellow bloggers, you, the readers, and, most importantly, IPS, for this opportunity to add a spicy mix  to the MDG3 Gender Portal. I enjoyed it immensely and I hope you did too.

Peace in 2010.

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A Babel of Jargon

Posted on December 31, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, culture, media, stereotypes.

Photo by Beralpo, Wikimedia Commons

A collective indigestion of jargon. Photo by Beralpo, Wikimedia Commons

My friend is looking for a job. He finds an ad of the US-based Mercy Corps and calls me for a translation. The ad is in English - sort of - but he can’t figure out what it is about:

“Invitation for a consultancy in conducting a training on enhancing facilitation skills of development practitioners of livelihood enhancement programs.”

What does this text mean exactly, except that we have a collective indigestion of development jargon from NGOs and the UN, from academics and politicians, and that the media is complicit in this masquerading of long words as substance?  (more…)

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Out of darkness: facing breast cancer

Posted on December 28, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, culture, health, media, women, men and more.

Guest blogger: Paola Rolletta, IPS stringer in Mozambique.

I feel neither more “good” nor more “patient”. I am a hard-headed woman, as always. Attached to life, as ever!

Paola Rolletta by Luis Abelard

Paola Rolletta by Luis Abelard

The day when my friend Pigi, my oncologist, told me that I had breast cancer, I cried desperately. The first thing I did was to phone my partner to tell him this piece of news, of which I had had some premonition. And I understood that premonition really exists.

Curiously, I did not wonder “Why me?”  My reaction was: “This cursed disease has hit me too!” (more…)

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Fabrications around AIDS in 2010

Posted on December 26, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, HIV/AIDS, arts, culture, health, media.

By Mary  Crewe and Pierre Brouard
Center for the Study of AIDS, University of Pretoria, South Africa

csa-calendar-red Fabrications is the theme of the  2010 calendar produced by the  Center for the Study of AIDS.  The gorgeous images are digitally manipulated African textiles.

The notion of “fabrications” was inspired by the many stories of the AIDS quilts –  designed to tell a story about someone who had died of AIDS, to honour them and to create a memorial to them that could be used as part of the fabric of people’s daily lives.

A fabrication is in this sense both a physical construction of fabrics, but also a psychological and social construction, the story of a life.

We need to tell people’s stories but we also need to acknowledge that we use stories to make sense of AIDS, to cope with it, to fashion it into something bearable, to give it meaning. (more…)

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