Source: Oil in Uganda

At the center of the effects of the COVID19 pandemic were/are the women and young girls in the mining communities of Namayingo district in eastern Uganda, whose social and economic activities were far adversely affected by the restrictions to prevent the spread of the pandemic compared to their male counterparts. These women and girls were initially involved in the supply of food to the mines, gold panning, selling protective gear, managing lodges some of which were among the first activities to be restricted to limit congestion in the mines. From time to time, the women and girls also were involved in taking supplies to neighboring islands and at times across the borders. All such activities were affected by the closure of borders and limitations on transport options.

Source: Front Page Africa

Campaigns to increase women's representation in political representation to 30 percent are picking up steam again in the country with Deputy Speaker J. Fonati Koffa promising to robustly advocate with his colleagues and support the Women Legislative Caucus for its passage.

Source: The Namibian

Justice minister Yvonne Dausab last week introduced sweeping proposed amendments to the country's domestic violence law, which could improve the government's response to cases of domestic and gender-based violence (GBV) and protect victims against intimidation.

Source: The Telegraph

Governments around the world are ignoring women in their Covid-19 recovery plans, despite the fact that women have been worst hit by the pandemic’s fall-out, according to a key UN figure. 

This risks women being unable to get back on their feet for “many years to come”, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women who made history when she became South Africa’s first female deputy president in 2005.

Source: Lesotho Times

Women in Lesotho have always played a major role in food production albeit at a subsistence level.

In this patriarchal and gendered society, it is inculcated into every female- from toddlers as young as five years to great grandmothers- that theirs is to till the land and put food on the table for their families.

Despite their prowess in farming, most women hardly venture into commercial farming, thanks to the patriarchal system and its attendant customary law precepts which deny women ownership of the land.

Source: FOROYAA 

Jarra West Lady Councilor, Sanjally Saidykhan, has on Saturday called on the government to support and empower women in the rural area of The Gambia to ensure they participate in decision-making processes of their country.

Madam Saidykhan also urged women in her district to know their roles, rights and responsibilities to be able to participate in decision making process.

Source: SA News

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has hailed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) as a roadmap for South Africa’s recovery during one of the country’s darkest periods.

“In an insightful State of the Nation Address spanning a wide range of topics, the department was satisfied with President Ramaphosa’s affirmation of his commitment to dedicating resources to ending gender-based violence, supporting women empowerment, focus on empowering youth, and creating job opportunities, and empowering persons with disabilities through opportunities and not handouts,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

Source: The Conversation 

The African Union (AU) held the 38th Ordinary Session of its Executive Council at the beginning of February 2021.

One of the agenda items was to elect six new members of the AU Commission. The Commission is the AU's secretariat, which carries out its day-to-day operations. These are the first commissioner elections since the Union's reform process began in 2017. The reform process was deemed urgent and necessary given the role the AU is expected to play in achieving Africa's Agenda 2063.

Source: The Herald

- Ms Mutake said from what they gathered, constant fights at the water points emanated from people who did not want to wait in the water queues.

- New forms of GBV were raised as men lamented that they, too, are now becoming victims. Some male voices coming out of the dialogue stressed the importance of intentionally engaging men and boys in gender issues particularly where GBV is concerned.

Source: IPS News Agency 

Last fall, a 45-year-old father of four named Moses turned on the radio at his home in Arusha, Tanzania. Searching for his favorite station, he heard the introduction to a program about girls that he would later describe as 'ear-catching.' He wanted to know what would come next.

Source: The Conversation

Numerous countries have committed themselves to promoting the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls by ratifying international human rights treaties. These include the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nigeria ratified the convention on women’s rights in 1985 and the convention on child rights in 1991. But sexual and reproductive health among women and girls in Nigeria remains poor. The country has the second-largest HIV epidemic in the world. And women making up more than half of people living with HIV. It also has persistently high rates of maternal and perinatal mortality. In 2013, Nigeria accounted for about 14% of the global burden of maternal mortality. Nigeria has high rates of unsafe abortion (approximately 33 unsafe abortions per 1000 women of reproductive age). The country also has high levels of female genital cutting and low levels of contraceptive use.

Source: New Era Live 

Despite growing calls by government officials discouraging the withdrawal of gender-based violence cases, the country has recorded 404 withdrawals last year, Chief Justice Peter Shivute announced yesterday.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

From legislative loopholes to cultural norms, women worldwide still face barriers in accessing land, researchers said on Thursday, despite evidence that tenure rights can protect them from the worsening effects of climate change.

Source: Intelligent CIO

The ‘2021 Tomorrow’s Cyber Heroines’ study undertaken by CyberHeroines, KnowBe4 Africa, and Infosphere Limited surveyed more than 445 teachers across 14 African countries to unpack the complexities that face African girls in the technology landscape. With Africa’s future reliant on its ability to adapt to Digital Transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), leveling the playing field for women has become critical. It has never been more important to change the cybersecurity workforce gender statistics than it is today.

“We have to give girls more opportunities, inspire them to get involved in technology and the cybersecurity field and to remove the preconceived and socialized ideas that prevent women from pursuing careers in technology,” said Anna Collard, SVP of Content Strategy and Evangelist, KnowBe4 Africa. “The world is digitizing rapidly and women are at risk of being left behind. We have to change the dialogue around technology and make it more inclusive for women and girls.”

Women are already at a disadvantage. A recent study by the Association for Progressive Communications underscored the reality of the gender digital divide. In Africa women have less access to Internet-based technologies than men, they have fewer opportunities, they are even more limited in their ability to move out from under poverty. As the world continues to move into automation, women will be the most affected as their roles are replaced by machines. Change has to start now, it has to start at home, and it has to be carried through into education.

Aprielle Oichoe, Managing Director of InfoSphere, said: “We want African women to participate in the digital age – we cannot leave them behind. We must empower girls to go into technology and this starts at a young age. We need to make a conscious decision to change the way we treat young girls. The dialogue needs to focus on making technology interesting for girls, not just something that they should ‘leave to their brother’.”

The study found that a lack of education, limited guidance, minimal role models, and societal preconceptions are having a serious, long-term impact on women’s careers and futures. With cybersecurity and technology struggling to find skilled people, the market is wide open for those with the talent and the training to build sustainable and successful futures. In addition to thriving careers, training and education in technology and cybersecurity are essential for the well-being of young girls and women in Africa.

“According to research, women of color are 34% more likely to be targeted by online hate speech than their white counterparts and a huge percentage of African girls are concerned about their online safety,” said Collard. “We must give them the tools, training, and confidence they need to prepare for this online vitriol and protect themselves.”

The key factors inhibiting women’s entry to the worlds of technology and cybersecurity include negative stereotypes, lack of role models or mentors, low self-confidence, and competing in a male-dominated industry. Women are generally discouraged from careers in STEM and steered towards traditionally female roles instead.

“There is no such thing as a female role, not anymore. Now there is just opportunity. We just have to make sure that this opportunity is given to everyone,” added Oichoe.

The report unpacks the findings, insights, and solutions put forward by educators and experts across Africa. It examines the education curriculum, the challenges facing young African girls today and it looks at suggested initiatives that can be implemented to shift perceptions and transform the future for the women of Africa.

Source: Positive.News

Young women in the west African nation are lifting car bonnets and challenging the notion that mechanics is a man’s job. Being a young woman in an African Muslim country usually means staying at home and raising children. But in the hot and dusty outskirts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, girls and women from often disadvantaged backgrounds are being trained to become something quite different: car mechanics.

Source: Lesotho Times

Lockdown restrictions aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Lesotho have had an unintended adverse negative impact of undermining women's customary land rights, a regional human rights body has found.

Source: allAfrica 

More than 10,000 girls over 30 years. That's how many girls three women here cut in female genital mutilation rituals - almost one girl a day, every day, spanning three decades.

Now in their 70s, Chepchongil Cheleston, Kokarupe Lorwu and Methani Chepurai Lokuda are female genital mutilation survivors and former cutters who have turned their backs on the blade, fighting against the harmful practice and encouraging a younger generation to do the same.

Source: GhanaToday 

CAMFED Ghana, as part of its support for entrepreneurs, recently provided 60 young women entrepreneurs with start-up kits, specialist equipment, and training, to enable them to launch or grow their businesses in 2021.

Source: UNFPA East and Southern Africa

Reflections by Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

As governments and communities rallied together to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, other humanitarian crises caused by conflict and natural disasters continued unabated. This is the situation faced by Mozambique, a nation that was still wrestling with the devastating impact of two cyclones in 2019 when a tropical storm and another cyclone hit recently – amid the violent conflict in its northern reaches. By the time the New Year rang in, more than 1.3 million Mozambicans were in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Technology invented by young doctor Conrad Tankou has made cervical and breast cancer screening easier in rural areas of Bamenda in northwestern Cameroon. 

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