Archive for 'health'

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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Afghanistan, The Worst Place To Be A Mother Or A Child

Posted on July 16, 2011, by drini, under children, gender, reproductive health.

Human Wrongs Watch

In spite of U.S-led military invasion since 2001 to bring “enduring freedom” and democracy, about 50 women die in childbirth each day in Afghanistan; one in three is physically or sexually abused, and the average life expectancy of women is 44 years.

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Hot, humid and deathly - Writing about health in Mozambique

Posted on May 18, 2010, by Kudzai, under Gender Masala, health, human rights, women, men and more.

The reality of poor health in Mozambique. Credit: Mercedes Sayagues

Life is frail in Mozambique. Credit: Mercedes Sayagues

Guest blogger Mercedes Sayagues

The health page was laid out late at night last week. I had a headache so I went home around 7 pm to lie down. Around 9:30 the editor called: our turn for layout.

It was unbearably hot and humid. The newsroom is in the basement of an old house. The proofreader was sitting on the steps to the garden. “Catching fresh air?” I asked. (more…)

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Infertility: A painful emotional journey

Posted on March 23, 2010, by Kudzai, under Gender Masala, reproductive health, women, men and more.

Not everyone is able to have a biological child. Credit Kirstin Paliza/IPS

Not everyone is able to have a biological child. Credit: Kirstin Paliza/IPS

Guest Blogger Tapuwa Ayeh

Like many women, I have always wanted to be a mother and motherhood was supposed to be part of my life journey. Well life is not always going to be what you planned. For years, I went through a painful emotional journey of trying to get pregnant, and alas, failing at every attempt.

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Fifteen years after Beijing

Posted on February 23, 2010, by Kudzai, under HIV/AIDS, harmful practices, health, human rights, media, politics, reproductive health, violence, war rape, women, men and more.

Kudzai Makombe

Women live longer than men but these extra years are not always healthy, says WHO. Credit: WHO/UNAIDS/K.Hesse

Women live longer than men but these extra years are not always healthy, says WHO. Credit: WHO/UNAIDS/K.Hesse

With the Beijing +15 review coming up next week at the Commission on the Status of Women, it seems an appropriate time to have a look at where we are globally in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment in line with the 12 Critical Areas under the Beijing Platform for Action.

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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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Famous and infamous births

Posted on December 21, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, arts, children, culture, health, human rights, media, politics, religion, reproductive health, stereotypes, violence, women, men and more.

By Paula Modersohn Becker

By Paula Modersohn Becker

When is a photo of a woman giving birth considered pornographic? Take your pick:

A. When it is shown in a pornographic magazine, film or website.
B. Never.
C. When it is emailed to government officials urging action to improve public health.

One could argue about A and B but this blog is about C.

Earlier this year, in Zambia, Chansa Kabwela, news editor at the feisty opposition newspaper The Post, was charged with circulating pornography with intent to corrupt public morals. (more…)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CEDAW!

Posted on December 18, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, culture, harmful practices, health, human rights, politics, religion, reproductive health, violence, women, men and more.

Ask the woman sitting next to you in the bus, train, plane, taxi-brousse or donkey cart what is CEDAW, and most probably you will draw a blank look. C’est quoi?

Yet CEDAW - Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women - has likely impacted on her life and her daughters, if she has any, in many ways, from pension and inheritance rights to the passport they hold.

Quilt made by women of Kyrgztan. (Unifem)

Quilt made by women of Kyrgztan. (Unifem)

CEDAW, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 30 years ago today, is the global Bill of Rights for Women, the first international human rights treaty devoted to gender equality.

Through its 30 articles, CEDAW has boosted women’s rights worldwide in many ways.

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Living a woman’s life

Posted on December 4, 2009, by mercedes, under Gender Masala, adolescents, culture, health, media, politics, women, men and more.

Today at noon my daughter graduated from high school. In the afternoon, the email brought news about very dear friends.

Motherhood, sisterhood, friendship.

Motherhood, sisterhood, friendship.

In Paris, the Chilean researcher, novelist and feminist Ana (Nicha) Vazquez Bronfman had died, aged 71. She was a beacon for a generation of Latin American women for her insights on identity  and gender. One concept she elaborated specially was “transculturation” - the permanent construction of identities in this world of global migration. In 2006 she wrote superbly about sexuality among the elderly – transgressions and secrets, she called it.

In Rome, my friend and fellow journalist Paola Rolletta underwent the next to last chemotherapy session against breast cancer. She was jubilant to see the end of the chemical bombardment. Like antiretrovirals, chemo saves lives but is no picnic.   (more…)

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