Japanese women are tackling gender discrimination

Posted on July 26, 2010 .

Junko FukazawaGender expert and representative of Human Service Centre, a non profit organization.

By Junko Fukazawa

As a women`s rights activist the fight for equal rights for women alongside men in Japan has been a rocky road. But today I must say, we have come a long way towards achieving our goal. Let me explain by telling the readers about progress made on eradicating domestic violence. (more…)

Women and War

Posted on July 13, 2010 .

Suvendrini Kakuchi


Rajini and Japanese trainer.

Rajini, 32, lives in a one room tin shack with her mother, younger sister and a mentally handicapped younger brother. Hailing from Jaffna, Sri Lanka`s northern peninsula that was the centre of the now ended thirty-year old ethnic war in the country, the young woman symbolizes both the suffering of innocent civilians during conflict as well as the other amazing side of destruction—enduring courage and determination to survive despite all odds. (more…)

Football and development

Posted on June 23, 2010 .

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.

Hot, humid and deathly - Writing about health in Mozambique

Posted on May 18, 2010 .

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…)

Celebrating Resolution 1325…now for implementation

Posted on May 10, 2010 .

Kudzai Makombe

With the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 coming up in October, the UN is under a lot of pressure to implement the resolution. (more…)

Self Help Mayhem

Posted on May 4, 2010 .

Kudzai Makombe

My collection. Photo credit: Trevor Davies

My collection. Photo credit: Trevor Davies

As I struggled to find something interesting or at least a bit fun to write about this week while using little distractions to avoid the inevitable putting of pen to paper, something landed in my email in box that made me go “aha!”.  ‘How deep is your love for you?’ the email questioned and offered to provide the answers in a one day self help seminar.  Here was another opportunity at self improvement that many of us are fascinated with and possibly even addicted to at the moment.


How do we stop society killing women?

Posted on April 26, 2010 .

Kudzai Makombe

In sub-Saharan Africa, married women are at high risk of contracting HIV. Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil www.publicdomainpictures.net

In sub-Saharan Africa, married women are at high risk of contracting HIV. Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil www.publicdomainpictures.net

A good friend sent me an interesting academic article last week that got me quite excited. Entitled ‘Shona Womanhood: Rethinking Social Identities in the Face of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe’, the article really hit home on an issue that we all know is out there for most African women; the cultural definition of a “good woman” as a married woman with children, and the impact this has at a time when the highest HIV infection rates are among married women, for well known reasons related to definitions of masculinity in our cultural contexts.

The author, Pascah Mugwini, writing in The Journal of Pan African Studies (vol.2 no.4, June 2008), points out that Shona women outside marriage are much safer from infection than those within because “there are no constricting cultural norms barring her from negotiating safer sex once she decides to have it”. He also points out that there is more stigma now in having been widowed as a result of HIV than there is in being a single woman.

Las terroristas suicidas

Posted on April 13, 2010 .

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…)

Clitoraid confusing genuine well-wishers

Posted on April 12, 2010 .

Kudzai Makombe

I can’t bear to read anything about female genital mutilation. Of all the forms of gender-based violence, this one disturbs me more than any other and I struggle to understand why anyone, male or female, would subject a child or another adult to this form of torture.

Religion or culture, as far as I am concerned are not any kind of excuses and there can be no justification for this practice. My heart breaks when my children get hurt in any small way so I wonder at the power of patriarchy to make women, who have themselves experienced its horrors, act as the gatekeepers of this harmful practice and subject their own daughters to the same.

The baby elephant in the room

Posted on April 8, 2010 .

Guest blogger Trevor Davies

Are we missing something in the gender debate? Credit: Zuwa Davies

Are we missing something in the gender debate? Credit: Zuwa Davies

Simple things sometimes seem the most difficult to accept. We protest that the hardest place to tackle gender inequity is in the privacy of the home and then we spend little or no time in our work on women’s rights, feminism and masculinities examining the area where we interact most in the home - in the raising of our children.

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