Source: WEForum

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector contributed 18.44% to Nigeria’s gross domestic product(GDP) in the second quarter of 2022 and the industry is projected to experience more leaps in the future.

Source: AllAfrica

Civil society and human rights organisations are deeply appalled by recent indications that many members of the Parliament of Somalia are inclined to pass the Sexual Intercourse Bill over the historic Sexual Offences Bill (SOB) that was adopted by the Council of Ministers in May 2018. With so many members showing preference for the Sexual Intercourse Bill, we feel it is paramount to mobilize support for the Sexual Offenses Bill before it is too late.

Source: News24

 

An overwhelming majority of Batswana agree women should have equal rights and that the government should do more to promote this, a new Afrobarometer survey reveals.

Botswana's unemployment rate is roughly 24.72%.According to Afrobarometer, 77% of those surveyed strongly disagreed that men should be considered ahead of women for scarce jobs.

Source: Africanews

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday signed into law a law requiring all public or private organizations to reserve 30% of their jobs for women, including in leadership positions, in a society that traditionally favours men.

Source: The Herald

There is strong support for the proposed minimum mandatory 15-year jail term for all rapists, with many saying it will deter the criminals and reverse the rising number of sexual assault cases.

The provision for a mandatory sentence for rape is one of four sets of amendments sought in the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill gazetted last week. It will amend section 65 of the principal Act to put 15 years as the minimum mandatory sentence for rape and aggravated indecent assault, a similar crime where it is a man who is penetrated without consent.

Source: Biz Community

Cuplings Foundation managing director and co-founder, Farah Abdulla has made it part of her life's purpose to effect positive change.

Source:  The Star

Gender inequalities, harmful masculinities and discrimination against key populations are major stumbling blocks in the HIV response, according to the United Nations.

"Adolescent girls and young women between 15 and 24 years are three times more likely to acquire HIV than adolescent boys and young men of the same age group in sub-Saharan Africa," said Winnie Byanyima, UNAids executive director, speaking during the launch of a United Nations report in Dar es Salaam, ahead of World Aids Day.

Source: Daily News

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has cited inclusion of women as among key tools for unlocking the economic potentials in Africa and the world at large.

The Head of State remarked this during the African Women Leader Network’s (AWLN) fourth Intergenerational Retreat of the Young Women Leaders held in Zanzibar, yesterday, indicating issues like safeguarding meaningful participation and equal rights coupled with resources for women and girls as key to make greater progress.

Source: aciafrica

An official of the overseas development of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, Trócaire, has lauded the passing into law of the Gender Equality Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Bill in Sierra Leone as a great win for women and a step towards their advancement.

On November 15, Members of Parliament (MPs) in Sierra Leone unanimously voted for the new law, which states that one third of parliamentary seats be reserved for women. The Bill will now go to President Julius Bio who is expected to assent it into law.  

“The GEWE Bill is a great win and a big leap in the advancement of women in governance and leadership in Sierra Leone,” Trócaire’s Programme Officer for Women Empowerment in the West African country has been quoted as saying in a November 22 report.Sudie Sellu says that through the adoption of the Bill into law, “the lives of Sierra Leonean women and girls can only get better from now on.”

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs developed GEWE and the Minister introduced it to Parliament on 21 October 2021. The Bill also aims at improving women’s access to finance, more positions in employment, and to link government spending to improving gender equality. In the November 22 report, Trócaire officials say Sierra Leonean women are “routinely discriminated against and at risk of gender-based violence.” Ms. Sellu says Trócaire collaborated with other partners in “campaigning tirelessly to draft and ensure the enactment of this Bill.” “We will continue to advocate until the Bill gives the women of Sierra Leone what they deserve,” says Ms. Sellu.

In pushing for GEWE enactment, Trócaire reportedly worked alongside Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Association for the Wellbeing of Rural Communities and DevelopmentWomen’s Forum for Human Rights and Democracy (WOFHRAD-SL), Social Enterprise Development, and the Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD). 

Source: TheEastAfrican

More needs to be done for Tanzania and the rest of the world to end the Aids public health threat by 2030, a newly launched global HIV/Aids report shows.

Although Tanzania has had a positive impact in fighting HIV/Aids, the new report reveals that the key populations in the country still lag behind when it comes to testing and treatment. Launched in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the new report titled ‘Dangerous inequalities’ shows early testing, prevention and treatment measures have slowed down, hence Aids-related deaths and new HIV/Aids cases are rising.   

Available data shows there are over 4.9 million people living with HIV/Aids in Tanzania while only 1.3 million are on treatment. According to UNAIDS data, Tanzania has over the past ten 10 years consistently reduced new HIV infections and reduced Aids-related deaths by 46.6 percent and 50 percent respectively. Prof Tumaini Nagu, Tanzania’s Chief Medical Officer, noted that although the country has made progress, more needs to be done since with the new report findings, it is evident that some key populations — including adolescence girls — have been left behind.

"50 percent is a good progress but we haven't really made progress when it comes to adolescent girls, which is actually what our strategic health plan requires us to do. That is why we are currently targeting them together with other groups such as migrants, fisheries, people living in rural areas for we cannot fight the epidemic disease with one-size-fits-all kind of solution," she said.

On her part, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids, (UNAIDS), commended Dodoma’s efforts in the fight against HIV/Aids. “Tanzania is the leader, a strong performer in the fight against this disease. The country has succeeded in reducing new infections by almost 50 percent and successful treatment scale up has led to over 50 percent reduction in the number of Aids-related deaths,” said Ms Byanyima.

New infections rising

“The world is not on track to end the Aids pandemic.  New infections are rising and Aids deaths are continuing in too many communities. Inequalities are holding us back,” added Ms Byabyima. The report shows that gender inequalities, inequalities faced by key populations and inequalities between children and adults have had negative impacts on Aids response by countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are three times more likely to get HIV than their male counterparts, according to the report.

“The world will not be able to defeat Aids while reinforcing patriarchy. We need to address theintersecting inequalities women face. The only effective route map to ending Aids, achieving the sustainable development goals and ensuring health, rights and shared prosperity, is a feminist route map. Women’s rights organisations and movements are already on the frontline doing this bold work. Leaders need to support them and learn from them,” added Ms Byabyima

Source: AmnestyInternational

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Amnesty International is reiterating its call to mediators in the ongoing peace process on Ethiopia to prioritise justice for survivors, including survivors of sexual violence in the two-year conflict.

“The African Union must urgently pressure the Ethiopian government to fully cooperate with both regional and international investigative mechanisms on human rights to ensure justice for victims and survivors of violations — especially sexual violence,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region.

“The Ethiopian authorities must urgently allow unfettered access to the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to enable investigations to take place, and ultimately to ensure those responsible for atrocities in Ethiopia’s two-year conflict face justice.”

On 2 November 2022, Amnesty International launched a campaign which highlights the atrocities committed by all sides to the conflict. It also called on the international community to stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual violence during the conflict.

16 Days of Activism

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Amnesty International will also hold an exhibition in Nairobi at the Baraza Media Lab, in which a documentary film will highlight the demands for justice by survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in Ethiopia.

The exhibition will also be showcased in London on 28 and 29 November 2022, during the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) Conference.

Background 

On 2 November 2022, the Government of Ethiopia, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a peace agreement. The accord, however, fails to offer a clear roadmap on how to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and overlooks rampant impunity in the country, which could lead to violations being repeated.

All parties to the armed conflict in Ethiopia, which pits forces aligned with Ethiopia’s federal government, including the Eritrean army, against those affiliated with Tigray’s regional government led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), have committed serious human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial executions, summary killings and sexual violence against women and girls. Abuses documented by Amnesty International in the conflict include war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Source: allAfrica

United Nations, New York — "Can you put a price tag on human life? Can there be a penalty strong enough against those who, for their own amusement, mentally torture people until they end their own lives?"

Teenah Jutton, a Member of the National Assembly of Mauritius, knows the torture she speaks of. She was subjected to digital violence when manipulated and degrading images of her were widely circulated online. Ms. Jutton took action in the most immediate way she could, not only for herself but for other survivors as well: she worked to change the law.

"The unbridled freedom that cyber platforms offer to those bent on harming innocent people means we must constantly introduce new safety controls, keep reinforcing and updating existing laws and explore the need to introduce new and sterner legislation," she explained.

A staggering 85 per cent of women around the world have reported witnessing digital violence; nearly 40 per cent have experienced it personally. The abuse spans bullying and flashing to doxxing (revealing identifying information about someone online), sextortion, online trafficking, hate speech and non-consensual sharing of images and video. These include the disturbing trend of deepfakes, where one person's likeness is altered so they appear to be someone else: One study showed a staggering 96 per cent of deepfakes were of pornography. All the targets were women.

Digital violence is one of the newest and hardest-to-police forms of violence. It is just as real and life-altering as other forms of abuse, with a psychological and physical fallout that can be severe and long lasting - even leading some to take their own lives.

Misogyny, gender inequality and online impunity

Digital violence is overwhelmingly aimed at women, girls and society's most marginalized and vulnerable. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem said of the abuse, "For women and girls, no place is completely safe. Violence against them remains the world's most chronic, most devastating, most overlooked violation of human rights."

To raise awareness about this alarming trend, UNFPA's bodyright campaign was launched a year ago, with the aim of galvanizing governments and private sector tech companies to overhaul the systems that have allowed this abuse to flourish. The campaign coincided with other high-profile calls for action to protect vulnerable people in online spaces. Since then, a number of countries have seen progress in understanding and addressing the issue.

In Serbia, for example, a UNFPA-supported study called In front of the screen evaluated the frequency of abuse faced by girls in secondary school. A digital violence taskforce has been set up in Iraq, working with local organizations and leading tech companies to strengthen prevention and response, and to lobby for stronger engagement at the government level. Changes to legislation and private sector initiatives are also starting to proliferate. In Japan, the death of Hana Kimura - who killed herself following a barrage of online abuse - spurred a national revision of laws on insult and defamation, while governments in the United Kingdom and United States of America have over the past year proposed online safety bills specifically to protect women and children.

"This is where creating the change happens: Acts like using a fake profile to cause harm should be an offence punishable by law, with the perpetrator liable for a fine or penal servitude," said Ms. Jutton.

It's a view shared by Hera Hussain, founder of Chayn, a global nonprofit for gender-based violence survivors. "Tech companies must ensure they have adequate infrastructure to prevent abuse and support survivors, while regulators and investors should provide a minimum standard for the industry and have penalties for companies that do not meet these," Ms. Hussain said.

The cost of inaction

Digital violence is no less real than violence committed on the street or in the home. Violence online often spills over into the real world, as well. Women in public and leadership roles - especially journalists, human rights activists and those working in politics - are singled out for abuse, often part of a direct effort to drive them from the public sphere. When half of society is routinely threatened into silence, gender equality is undermined and the whole of society loses out.

Yet women have scant legal recourse to demand that even illegally obtained or falsified images be taken down, amounting to near total impunity for perpetrators. A handful of companies govern the online lives of billions of people, and none has yet devised systematic or effective solutions to digital violence.

Both Ms. Hussain and Ms. Jutton will be exploring these ideas further at a survivor-driven UNFPA event on 7 December, part of the broader 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign.

Speaking on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Dr. Kanem said, "We can stop this crisis by acting in solidarity with the growing numbers of people who are standing up and saying 'enough'. Everyone has the right to bodily autonomy and to live in safety and security."

Beyond online safety legislation and tracking tools, there is a need to recognize and protect women and girls' rights to make choices about their bodies and live free from violence - on and offline. As Dr. Kanem urged, "This is a moment to renew the urgent call for society-wide activism to prevent violence, wherever it happens, until we reach the end."

Source: InternationalServiceforHumanRights

As we celebrate the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and WHRDs Day during the 16 days of activism to End Violence Against Women, we salute the courageous Sudanese women fighting for freedom and equality. We stand in solidarity with their struggle for democratic change, justice and peace.

On 17 November 2022, security forces threw a 24-year-old woman protester from a bridge in central Khartoum. She sustained serious injuries that required 4 surgeries to her spine. Since the military coup of 25 October 2021, violence against women and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) has increased and it is threatening their ability to participate in the public space.      

Since early November at least two women volunteers in charity groups have been facing legal prosecution following unfounded  accusations of collecting money to support protest movements. A female journalist in West Darfur was threatened and subjected to a smear campaign in a public statement by the State governor for publishing news about schools in the State. Women lawyers have been beaten and suffocated by tear gas during continuous police attacks inside Sudanese Bar Offices in Khartoum.

In October 2022, violence erupted in the areas of Blue Nile, in Lagawa in West Kordofan and in Central Darfur. The government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) reported that an estimated 15,000 people—mostly women and children—fled the violence in central Darfur. Zubaida Eisa, a 30-year-old woman teacher and farmer, was killed by armed militias in Kadugli Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan. She was shot dead on 20 November 2022 while defending herself and another woman farmer against the armed men who attempted to rape both women. Women farmers in conflict areas are facing intensifying violence that includes killing, injuries and rape in armed militia’s attacks while farming or fetching water and wood. This rising violence has heightened food insecurity for millions of women and children in these areas. According to WFP and Humanitarian aid groups, over 11 million in Sudan are facing food insecurity or hunger this year, mostly women and children.

According to UNFPA, 2.7 million women and girls in Sudan are in need of gender-based violence protection, mitigation and response services. These numbers are estimated and subject to major increase due to the escalating violence against women and WHRDs in Sudan. Women rights groups have limited capacity to document and monitor the expanding violence against women in the last year. Domestic violence and “honor crimes” have been on the rise in recent years. In Darfur, 5 girls were killed last month by their male family members for talking on the phone. In Khartoum alone, over 20 domestic violence cases are reported daily in one locality. But there is a lack of sufficient support and protection networks for victims across the country.

Freedom of expression and association for women is restricted under the coup authorities. In Zalinji in Central Darfur, the journalist Hafida Abduallh was arrested while covering a protest organised by women street vendors. She was prevented from filming and reporting about the protest. Women rights groups across Sudan are leading the democratic movement while facing unprecedented violence. Women members in professional unions are being punished for participating in protests and public strikes. WHRDs and feminist activists struggling with social media smearing campaigns and online harassment organised by the coup supporters and Fundamental Islamists.

Prioritisation of accountability and transitional justice are essential factors to end violence against women in Sudan. The ongoing efforts to reinstate democratic transition in Sudan must ensure women participation in the building of the processes of justice, accountability and State reforms. Security sector reforms, justice system reforms and peace implementation are key principles to build a democratic State and enhance the efforts to end violence against women in Sudan. Women rights in Sudan are deteriorating under the increasing militarisation of the State. The closure of civic space and restrictions of freedoms of assembly, association and expression are threatening the ability of women groups and WHRDs to work under these hostile conditions.

As we celebrate the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and WHRDs Day during the 16 days of activism to End Violence Against Women, we salute the courageous Sudanese women fighting for freedom and equality. We stand in solidarity with their struggle for democratic change, justice and peace.

We the undersigned groups and organisations call on :

  • The international community and stakeholders to take urgent action to stop the escalation of systemic violence against Sudanese women.
  • The Sudanese government to immediately end the violence against WHRDs, women’s rights groups and women protesters and protect the rights of WHRDs to advocate and promote women and human rights.
  • The United Nations Security Council to take action to ensure the protection of women in conflict areas and urge the parties involved in the Juba peace agreement to comply with the provisions of the agreement related to the UNSC No. 1325, including ensuring effective, meaningful and genuine participation of WHRDs, women activists and women peacebuilders in the peace agreement.
  • The OHCHR and the designated expert on Sudan to conduct an immediate investigation of the violations and gender-based violence against women protesters and WHRDs, and engage in inclusive and wide consultations with civil society including women human rights defenders.
  • The relevant UN Special Procedures, in particular the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, the Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to request a visit to Sudan and to issue a statement condemning the increasing violations against WHRDs and women protesters and women rights groups in Sudan.
  • The Sudanese political actors and international community to prioritise justice and accountability in any upcoming political solution.

Signatories

  • Sudanese Women Rights Action
  • Noura Center for Combating Sexual Violence 
  • Alharisat Organization
  • CIVICUS
  • The Regional Coalition for WHRDs in the Middle East and North Africa (WHRDMENA Coalition)
  • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • Governance Programming Overseas
  • Sudan Doctors for Human Rights

Source: Gov.Uk

Our respective national laws and policy enshrine equality, ensuring that no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation every individual has a right to equal opportunity and a life free from violence and discrimination. Both the UK and South Africa were consistently strong voices in efforts to secure a Global Goal on Gender equality, including objectives to address violence against women and girls and improve sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Our shared commitment to addressing gender-based violence is highlighted this very month through South Africa’s Presidential Summit on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Femicide, hosted by President Ramaphosa at the beginning of November in Pretoria and the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict conference, hosted by the UK at the end of this month during the global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. The UK is also pleased to be continuing its partnership with South Africa’s Gender Based Violence and Femicide Response Fund.

While much progress has been made since the international community agreed the Global Goals, including Gender Goal 5, it is clear that significant challenges remain until we realise our shared ambition. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a shocking spotlight on the scourge of intimate partner violence around the world, including in the UK and South Africa.

In recent years we have witnessed movements seeking to undermine the right of a woman to make decisions about her body. We will not stand by and watch any rollback of women’s rights. This is why, alongside our ongoing work to improve gender equality at home, the UK and South Africa commit to working together to uphold women’s rights internationally.

We will strengthen our partnership and use our position in global fora to galvanise progress toward Gender Goal 5, uphold women’s rights and create a more equal society for all.

Source: AfricanBusiness

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa on female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, Jaha Dukureh, will visit Liberia from 19 to 27 November 2022 to add support to the country’s efforts to eliminate FGM, a harmful practice against women and girls.

Ms. Dukureh hails from the Gambia and is herself a survivor of both FGM and child marriage. In February 2018, she was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa to support regional and global advocacy efforts to end FGM and child marriage. Alongside women’s organizations and civil society, she contributed to the Gambian Government’s ban on FGM in 2015 after youth mobilization and campaigning in the country. She also contributed to an investigation on FGM in the USA by former President Obama’s administration, and the subsequent Summit to End FGM at the United States Institute of Peace.

Ms. Dukureh’s visit will coincide with the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign which will be observed from 25 November to 10 December under the global theme, ‘Unite, Activism to end violence against women and girls” and national theme, ‘With one voice, let us unite to end violence against women, girls and children.’

“The visit follows Liberia’s sign up to the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence in 2021 and is intended to support Liberia’s efforts towards the eradication of FGM through multi-stakeholder engagements and high-level advocacy and social mobilization,” says Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Liberia Country Representative.

Major highlights of Ms. Dukureh’s visit include: a public screening of ‘Jaha’s Promise’, a documentary film about the life and advocacy efforts of Jaha Dukureh; engagements with various stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders; a solidarity walk to end gender based violence in Liberia; the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based violence as well as the launch of a Vocational and Heritage centre in Sonkay Town, Liberia. 

The Sonkay Town Heritage centre is one of four vocational and heritage centres established by UN Women under the framework of the European Union and United Nations Spotlight Initiative. The four centers are expected to provide alternative economic livelihood programs to former traditional practitioners of FGM in Liberia.

Ms. Dukureh is expected to engage with various change makers including government officials, diplomatic community, traditional leaders, civil society, women’s organisations and the media. She will also reinforce public knowledge and increase education on the depth, scale and devastating consequences of FGM.  

In February 2022, the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia in collaboration with the Government of Liberia proclaimed a three-year ban on the practice of FGM from 2022 to 2025. Nonetheless, Liberia remains one of the three West African countries that do not have a law criminalizing FGM despite having signed and ratified regional and international human rights instruments condemning the practice as a human rights violation, including the Maputo Protocol that seeks to outlaw FGM. 

UN Women is supporting efforts of the Government of Liberia to eliminate gender-based violence through the Spotlight Initiative, a global programme that aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls including harmful practices such as FGM

Source:AlJazeera

This has been a year of climate catastrophes for every corner of the globe. From floods in Pakistan and Nigeria to the worst droughts on record across the Horn of Africa, no one on the planet is insulated against our rapidly worsening climate. Among the most disproportionately affected are women and girls. Yet their story is all too often just a footnote in the news.

We know about the gendered impact of climate change from our work across the world. We have seen time and time again how women and girls are pushed to drop out of school or marry early to help manage the financial stress that families face during droughts or floods. New ActionAid research in Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and Nigeria has found that climate change is also increasing gender-based violence and damaging women’s mental health.

As a warming planet leads to a rise in humanitarian emergencies and displacement, women and girls must not be left to pay the steepest price.

In northern Kenya, Rosemary — a former farmer whom ActionAid works with — now needs to walk several miles farther than before to find water. Her community is facing extreme drought after consecutive failed rains, with 90 percent of all open water sources in their area now dry. This increased burden and the distances she has to go put her at greater risk of violence as she needs to travel, often outside daylight hours, to areas where she has no protection.

Meanwhile, the drought and the invasion of a crop-eating worm pest have already destroyed her farm, once her main source of income. This has forced Rosemary into animal husbandry, but she faces the challenges of an unpredictable climate here too. Unable to access water and grassland, two of her cows recently died, pushing her further into financial precarity.

Farmer incomes have dropped sharply in Rosemary’s community because of the failed rains. This is leading to girls being taken out of school — and in some cases married off — to ease family expenditure and help to bring in income. In precarious times of climate stress like this, girls are 20 percent more likely to be married early than in times of stability, putting women’s rights to education and liberty at risk.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Women and girls on the front line of the climate crisis, like Rosemary, know what actions are needed and are important agents of change. Rosemary leads a local activist network that tackles violence against women and girls and provides guidance to young women on their human rights. This support is key for women and girls navigating the knock-on impacts of climate change and drought.

Women like Rosemary are capable of building communities that are resilient to the challenges of climate change. But they need support to scale up their work and the opportunity to help decide how international, national and local climate finance is spent.

Yet, sadly, we know that the voices of the women on the front lines are not sufficiently heard in the grand halls and behind the closed doors where the big decisions are made, including at the ongoing COP27 climate change conference. This is particularly worrying in 2022 as the impacts of climate change escalate while international support for women like Rosemary remains scarce.

Industrialised nations that have contributed the most to the climate crisis are yet to deliver on their promised — yet inadequate — funding to help mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in the future. These failed promises, combined with the lack of finance to support climate impacts now — known as loss and damage finance — means that the odds are loaded against a funding paradigm that accounts for the additional risks and consequences women and girls face.

While the United Kingdom is increasing its financial support for climate adaptation, it has not pledged new and additional loss and damage funding to countries like Kenya, which is battling its worst drought on record.

This is unacceptable. Climate finance needs to cover reparations for the lost years of girls’ education, address women’s lost security, and compensate for their failed crop yields. We need progress on these issues at COP27, not yet another year of kicking the can down the road.

World leaders need to pay attention to stories like Rosemary’s. We need less rhetoric and a greater focus on women’s rights and actions to help them thrive and bring their communities out of poverty. Without this, the gendered injustice of climate change and the silent crisis for women and girls will only get worse.

Source:  Institute for Security Studies

In central Mali, local communities have entered into peace agreements with terrorist groups to regain a sense of calm. Residents in the area have been grappling with a vicious cycle of violence linked to the armed insurgency since 2015.

Source: allAfrica

Sharm el-Sheikh — Women activists say their voices have been absent or have gone unheard at previous climate summits. So they are taking action and looking to assume the lead on climate action and participation in decision-making processes.

Source: TheStar

Women’s rights groups are now calling on President William Ruto to recall his appointees to various public offices and produce a new, more inclusive list. They said all his appointments to public offices have failed to adhere to the constitutional mandate of two-thirds gender representation.

In a joint statement, the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), FIDA, Amnesty, CRAWN Trust, among others, they asked that the president keep his commitment to the women of Kenya, “In view of the fact that the appointments made so far to Cabinet Secretary, Principle Secretary and National Police Service are in blatant violation of the constitution, he should submit a new list that caters to gender, youth, persons with disabilities and even ethnic inclusion,” they said.

They said they were concerned by parliament’s inaction over the appointments.“Parliament conducted a vetting process for a cabinet that does not meet the constitutional threshold of two-thirds.” They said they were equally concerned that the 13th Parliament had not set out a roadmap to implement the two-thirds gender rule at the assembly. The groups called on parliament to fast-track the enactment of a two-thirds gender rule framework to make it much more impactful.

“We remind parliament of existing court orders on the matter, including the Chief Justice Emeritus Maraga advisory opinion of 2020,” they said. The public has raised questions over President Ruto's cabinet and State department appointments which have all failed to meet the gender threshold. There have also been questions of regional balance in his appointments. 

Source:allAfrica

Malawi's first female Speaker of Parliament, Right Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara is among 2022 100 Most Influential African Women, joining the likes of Sahle-Work Zewde and Samia Suluhu Hassan -- presidents of Ethiopia and Tanzania respectively.

The 2022 100 Most Influential African Women is the 4th edition which is selected by Avance Media, Africa's leading PR & rating firm and this year's list is made up of prominent women who represent African women breaking the bias across the world.

The 2022 list includes two Presidents, five Vice-presidents, five Prime Ministers, Ministers, regional CEOs and founders of both profit and none-profit organisations.

The Vice-presidents are Jessica Alupo; Jewel Taylor; Mariam Chabi Talata; Mutale Nalumango; Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior -- from Uganda, Liberia, Benin, Zambia and South Sudan respectively.

The list also includes deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed; deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa and also Vanessa Nakate, Elizabeth Wathuti and Bogolo Kenewendo -- who are leading various climate action initiatives across the world, marking the introduction of a Climate Change category to the list.

With a record of 36 African countries represented on the list, Nigeria leads with 18 representatives, followed by Kenya (10), Ghana (7), Senegal, (6) and Tanzania (5) and Malawi's Gotani Hara.

Profiles of the 100 honourees have been published on 100women

In June this year, Gotani Hara -- the first-ever female Speaker of the National Assembly since independence in 1964 -- was elected as executive chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association-African Region.

She was elected during the Association's 52nd Conference held in Freetown -- the capital city of Sierra Leone. The African Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association comprises of the 63 national and subnational legislatures -- governed by a coordinating and executive committees made up of representatives from across the region.

There is also a regional representatives committee which reports to the executive.

The CPA's Mission is to promote and protect the interests and perspectives of Africa Regional Parliaments and countries, into the Commonwealth and beyond, and to promote gender equality, emancipation of women, and respect for human rights, freedoms, democracy and good governance.

.avancemedia.org which quotes Avance Media managing director, Prince Akpah as saying the 4th edition list features women from a record of 36 African countries and represents women who are changing the perception of women breaking barriers in their career, business and life pursuits.

In June this year, Gotani Hara -- the first-ever female Speaker of the National Assembly since independence in 1964 -- was elected as executive chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association-African Region.

She was elected during the Association's 52nd Conference held in Freetown -- the capital city of Sierra Leone. The African Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association comprises of the 63 national and subnational legislatures -- governed by a coordinating and executive committees made up of representatives from across the region.

There is also a regional representatives committee which reports to the executive.

The CPA's Mission is to promote and protect the interests and perspectives of Africa Regional Parliaments and countries, into the Commonwealth and beyond, and to promote gender equality, emancipation of women, and respect for human rights, freedoms, democracy and good governance.

Gotani Hara, who has been the Speaker since June 2019, took over from Justin B. Muturi, MP and Speaker of Kenya's National Assembly.

She is an alumnus of Kamuzu Academy from where she went on to attain a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Chancellor College where she started her political career when ran the affairs of the University of Malawi's wing of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

From 1998 to 2000, she completed professional postgraduate training in International Development and Project Planning and Management in Brighton, UK where she also worked as programme officer for the UK's Department of International Development -- the first Malawian to be recruited to that level in which she was responsible for the sustainable livelihood projects for both Malawi and Mozambique.

She was then elected as MP for a Mzimba North East in 2009 representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through which she was appointed Deputy Minister of Transport & Public Infrastructure; Deputy Minister for Gender and the Minister for Health in Joyce Banda administration.

She has represented Malawi's Head of State at a number of international events, and was the chairperson of Malawi's delegation to the Climate Change Summit in Brazil. She has also been a Board member of Northern Region Water Board.

After the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012, she publicly declared that it unconstitutional for members in the ruling politburo to take over the presidency.

She took a break from politics from 2014 to 2019, where she was re-elected on MCP ticket and went on to be elected Speaker with 97 votes to 93 over former deputy speaker, Esther Mcheka Chilenje.

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