From: Pambazuka Editor <email@example.com>
Subject: Pambazuka News 458: Women's rights: Looking back or moving forward?
PAMBAZUKA NEWS 458: WOMEN'S RIGHTS: LOOKING BACK OR MOVING FORWARD?
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social
justice in Africa
Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Pan-African Postcard,
4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Letters & Opinions, 6. Blogging Africa
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Highlights from this issue
Pambazuka News is pleased to bring our readers a special issue on
women's rights in Africa, guest edited by Muthoni Murithi, on behalf
of the pan-African coalition, Solidarity for African Women's Rights
The issue commemorates Beijing +15, the 15-year review of the
implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the
30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Protocol to the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women, which
came into force four years ago, on 25 November.
Against the backdrop of the Beijing +15 Africa Regional Review, which
takes place in Banjul, Gambia, from 16-20 November, contributors to
the special issue discuss how these instruments have changed women's
lives on the ground.
- Mary Wandia on the persistent problems around securing women's rights
- Marren Akatsa-Bukachi on the challenge of revitalising Beijing +15
- Morissanda Kouyaté says it's time for tangible results, not talk
- Norah Matovu Winyi asks what Beijing has delivered for African women
- Carole Ageng'o considers the relationship between gender relations
and conflict in Kenya's electoral process
COMMENT & ANALYSIS
- AU women and gender experts adopt key instruments
- Zimbabwe ratifies SADC Protocol on Gender and Development
- L. Muthoni Wanyeki on Graça Machel's visit to Kenya
ADVOCACY & CAMPAIGNS
- People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)'s 16 Days of Activism Against
Gender Violence campaign
- DiasporaKenyan on the November attacks in Samburu
LETTERS & OPINIONS
- Syracuse University's Africa Initiative responds to allegations of
intimidation of conference participants
- Sokari Ekine on the need for more female leadership
WOMEN'S RIGHTS: LOOKING BACK OR MOVING FORWARD?
The Beijing Platform for Action in Africa
Despite the wide adoption of protocols for gender equality across
Africa, 'violations of women's human rights have reached epidemic
proportions,' Mary Wandia writes in Pambazuka News, 'and unless we
adopt a multi-sectoral approach in the implementation and monitoring
of regional and international commitments, we shall continue to
marginalise half of the continent's population.' With the Beijing +15
Africa Review meeting underway in Banjul, Wandia asks whether Africa's
ministers for gender and women will 'rise up to the challenge'.
SPOTLIGHT ON BEIJING +15
Addressing gender inequality remains central to the drive to improve
livelihoods and engender development for all, writes Marren
Akatsa-Bukachi. While progress has been made, the key challenge will
be to revitalise the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
(BPFA) and ensure genuine momentum is sustained around achieving
gender equality in all areas of life, the author argues.
WHY WE SHOULDN'T NEED BEIJING +15
'The idea behind "Beijing" was not to get together every five years
and count the victims of gender discrimination and violence',
Morissanda Kouyaté writes in Pambazuka News. 'It was intended to be –
and remains – a campaign to end these problems. A lack of will remains
a key obstacle to achieving this – not just political will, but at all
levels, to consider women as equal members of society, enjoying all
inalienable rights accorded to men.'
THE BEIJING PLATFORM FOR ACTION: WHAT HAS IT DELIVERED TO AFRICAN WOMEN?
Norah Matovu Winyi
The Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) was unveiled some 15 years ago,
leading Norah Matovu Winyi to ask what has really changed for Africa's
women since the platform's inception. Over the last 15 years progress
in women's position has on the whole been regrettably slow the author
notes, with a wide gap between commitments and actual action still
persistent. But with the unveiling of a new resolution to 'establish
[a] new gender-equality entity in the United Nations', there is fresh
hope that the international organisation will be able to work with
governments and Africa's citizens to revitalise the drive for
equality, peace and development.
KENYA: PEACE AND SECURITY IMPERATIVES FOR WOMEN
Gender dimensions in the electoral process
Carole Ageng'o takes a closer look at the interplay between gender
relations and conflict in the three phases of Kenya's electoral
process – pre-election, election and post-election. Highlighting the
barriers women face to participating in each phase despite
international standards and regional instruments for protection of the
rights of women, Ageng'o argues that entrenched social roles have
'made it difficult for men and women to share power, privilege and
status on the basis of equality'. A change in prevailing gender
relations, Ageng'o suggests, is key to 'empowering communities torn
apart by war to build peace from below'.
2 Comment & analysis
AU WOMEN AND GENDER EXPERTS ADOPT KEY INSTRUMENTS
African Press Organization
African Union (AU) experts on women and gender affairs will submit
their recommendations to establish the African Union Women's Trust
Fund feasibility study, the African Union Commission Gender Action
Plan, and the Roadmap for the African Women's Decade: 2010-2020 to
ministers in charge of gender and women's affairs on 21 November. In
order to disseminate and monitor the implementation of the Action Plan
the meeting proposed using faith-based groups, imams, and the media to
sensitise and transmit messages to women and society at large.
ZIMBABWE RATIFIES SADC PROTOCOL ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT
Rozaria Memorial Trust
Zimbabwe has ratified the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, a regional instrument for
advancing gender equality and women's rights. It is the second country
after Namibia to ratify the protocol.
3 Pan-African Postcard
GRAÇA MACHEL RETURNS
L. Muthoni Wanyeki
With Graça Machel set to re-visit Kenya this weekend as a member of
the Panel of Eminent Persons overseeing the African Peer Review
Mechanism (APRM), L. Muthoni Wanyeki stresses the need for all Kenyans
to ensure that those in charge are not permitted to paint a rosy
picture of 'achievements' for Machel's team.
4 Advocacy & campaigns
16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE
25 November – 10 December 2009
People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) ( http://www.powa.co.za/ ) , based
in South Africa, has put together a programme of action for the 16
Days of Activism Against Gender Violence ( http://tinyurl.com/4mmf8u )
, from 25 November to 10 December.
SEVENTH MEETING OF THE PANEL OF THE WISE, ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia 9–10 November 2009
The African Union Panel of the Wise held its seventh meeting at the
African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 9 and 10
November 2009 under the chairmanship of Ahmed Ben Bella.
KENYA: NOVEMBER ATTACKS IN SAMBURU
DiasporaKenyan reports on renewed attacks by police and security
forces on communities in Kenya's Samburu East. 'Thousands of residents
have been displaced as they now flee in terror, remembering the
February 21 attack on Lerata and Kalama communities', in which
innocent villagers were beaten, raped and terrorised, DiasporaKenyan
5 Letters & Opinions
CONFERENCE ON ZIMBABWE: HEALING, RECONCILIATION AND RECONSTRUCTION
Syracuse University's Africa Initiative responds to intimidation allegations
A statement issued by the Africa Initiative of Syracuse University and
the organising committee of the special conference on Zimbabwe:
Healing, reconciliation and reconstruction challenges the veracity of
allegations of harassment and intimidation (
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/letters/60204 ) of some
participants by members of Minister Sekai Holland's security personnel
during the three-day conference.
6 Blogging Africa
A CALL FOR MORE FEMALE LEADERSHIP ACROSS THE CONTINENT
A call for more female leadership across the continent, discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation, the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS
and the trial of Charles Taylor are among the stories in Sokari
Ekine's selection of the best of the African blogosphere for this
week's edition of Pambazuka News.
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