• Tuesday, December 1, 2015
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    Gender Masala - Notes on gender - A spicy mix

    This blog brings out the flavour of gender issues, from the network of IPS writers and friends. Gender Masala is part of the Inter Press Service project Communicating for Change: Getting Voice, Visibility and Impact for Gender Equality. Check it at www.ips.org/mdg3/

    CSW 56: Week Two

    09 Mar 2012

    Catch up on our coverage from the past week, below, as the United Nations’ 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women comes to a close. Click here for coverage from week one.

    Female construction workers in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian women have been making headway in traditionally male-dominated fields. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

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

    16 Jul 2011

    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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    Infertility: A painful emotional journey

    23 Mar 2010

    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

    23 Feb 2010

    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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    Women’s Reproductive Freedom Ensures Our Survival, Kavita Ramdas Explains Why

    12 Jan 2010

    Kavita N. Ramdas  Credit:Global Fund for Women

    Kavita N. Ramdas Credit: Global Fund for Women

    On the occasion of the speech on women’s reproductive rights given on 8 January by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at the State Department, IPS published an op-ed by Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women.

    The Global Fund for Women (GFW) is the world’s largest women’s foundation dedicated to advancing the rights of women, working with women’s groups in 161 countries.

    Supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund, GFW is helping the work of grass roots women-led civil society organisations in Asia. Within its MDG3 programme of work, IPS is partnering with GFW and other MDG3 Fund co-grantees organisations committed to women’s empowerment to strengthen the visibility of their own work.
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    Famous and infamous births

    21 Dec 2009

    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 »


    18 Dec 2009

    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.

    More »

    In Women’s Words: A Hard Pill to Swallow

    14 Dec 2009

    Credit: Samantha Smit/IPS

    Credit: Samantha Smit/IPS

    Dec 14, 2009 – In this week’s podcast you will hear of:

    * a young girl’s daily struggle to survive…
    * how South Africa’s progressive gender laws only live on paper
    * and how changes to the law in Egypt are slowly empowering women.



    01 Dec 2009

    We share the wish of Marie Mendene Owono:  SEND AIDS AWAY.

    By M. Sayagues

    By M. Sayagues

    Marie Mendene  is an extraordinary activist from Cameroon and one of the first African women to say publicly that she lives with HIV, in the 1990s, when AIDS was a disease of shame and blame.

    This is one of my favourite photos about AIDS in Africa. I took it at Sunshine, her NGO in Douala, in 2003, before antiretroviral treatment became widely available. Only a few Cameroonians in cities could get the life-saving pills.

    The day I took the photo, Marie had queued for seven hours and  received only half of her monthly ARV pills. She was understandably upset about the poor logistics and delivery of medicines. AIDS magnified all the inadequacies of health systems.

    That was then. Today, nearly three million people in Africa are on ARV treatment. This seemed like a dream then, but activists were campaigning hard to make it come true.

    Marie had a clear vision of activism. “We should go beyond the begging bowl and the appeal to compassion, beyond the stage of being used to do prevention and awareness, and become part of real-decision making around AIDS,” she told me.

    Marie is to the right in the pic, with a fellow activist.