AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The majority of Burkinabé favor progressive change on gender rights

For those interested in gender equality, women’s rights, and even women’s power, these are heady day on the African continent. In Tanzania, a Constitutional Assembly has sent forth a proposed new Constitution that would codify “equal citizenship rights” for women, including the right to own land, the ability to bestow citizenship on their children, equal

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

How much has really changed on South Africa’s wine farms?

Sixty five years ago, Margaret Bourke-White traveled to South Africa, and spent some time in what are today known as the Worcester winelands, in the Western Cape. According to South African Tourism, still today “the largest wine...

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

“Our hearts are bleeding. We are mothers.”

Last week, Guardian lead writer Anne Perkins wondered about the discrepancy between media coverage of the South Korean ferry tragedy and the abduction of 200 girls from a girls’ school in Chibok, in Borno State, in northeastern...

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: How Unexpected

From this week’s Washington Post Travel Section--"How unexpected: There was more modernity than I expected, such as extremey modern infrastructure (roads, etc.) in many places, although there is still poverty there. "

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The other news from Uganda this week

Here’s the `other’ news from Uganda this week. Dateline: Kampala: “Police have warned the public against undressing women whom they perceive to be indecently dressed, saying the Anti-Pornography law is not operational yet.” Yet.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The social history of a ‘moral panic’ in Nigeria

It’s déjà vu all over again. Thirty five years ago, Stuart Hall and colleagues wrote one of the founding works of Cultural Studies, Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order. They wanted to understand...

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Mali (and France) a year later

A year ago, on January 11, 2013, France launched Operation Serval, sending 4000 troops into Mali. At the time, many supported this intervention. According to one poll, as many as 96% of Malians initially supported the French...

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Khady Sylla made films out of the impossible and the untranslatable

Filmmaker, novelist, storyteller, visionary, Khady Sylla died this year, at the age of 50. Apart from African Women in Cinema, little note was made of her passing in the English language media. The Francophone press took some...

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

How much is an African body worth? Ask Theresa May

December 1, 1834, slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony. Around the world, people are watching, often aghast, more often with clenched jaws and more, Twelve Years a Slave, and then talking, or not, about the back-then....

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

My Own Private Mangaung

Heard about Mangaung? No, not the site of the 1912 founding of the ANC nor last year’s ANC Conference. The real Mangaung. The prison. Mangaung Prison, run by G4S, is the world’s second largest private prison in...

Friday, October 4th, 2013

In Sudan, “freedom for my mum”

In Sudan, the numbers of women political prisoners are rising, largely because the numbers of women protesting the government and the state are rising. Last week, in response to both economic difficulties stemming from South Sudan’s independence...

Friday, September 27th, 2013

The Story of South African Farming is a Women’s Story

The story of South African farming, especially small hold or small scale, independent, subsistence, emerging or peasant farming is a women’s story, and not peripherally or secondarily. It always has been and continues to be. But you...

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

On Sunday night, Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal

On Sunday night, Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal. True to Touré’s style, she announced the appointment herself. A new Prime Minister forms a new cabinet. It was thought that Touré would have the cabinet...

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Not quite spring, but not nothing

Today, Monday, August 19, 2013, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who was the first woman to serve as Deputy President of South Africa (2005-2009), took the oath of office as Executive Director of UN Women. Then Over the weekend, Joyce...

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

George Bush, Nicholas Kristof and the Hunger Games

They’re ba-a-a-ack! Those wonderful white men in their (f)lying machines, the Good White Men who brought us the most recent instantiation of “Africa is a country” have returned. As you know, Africa Is a Country is “the blog that’s not...

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

The Poo Fighters

Around the world, people struggle for adequate, decent toilets. In schools and prisons across the United States, women struggle to find decent and private toilets. Women farm workers struggle and fail to find anything like a toilet...

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The Real Housewives of Harare

It’s election season in Zimbabwe, and so, as before, the State has engaged in ‘urban renewal’ by ‘cleaning the streets.’ Under British rule, today’s Zimbabwean women fought for the right to move about in public. The colonial...

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The case of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu

Last Friday, May 3, was World Press Freedom Day. Perhaps you may have missed it? On one hand, the Press Freedom Day parades, or sales, are far and few between. On the other hand, even the press...

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Why France doesn’t want to let Aminata Traoré in and Germany allowed her only inside Berlin’s city limits

Malian writer, activist, former member of government Aminata Traoré is unwelcome in France, and, thanks to the ‘open borders’ of the Schengen Area, she is persona non grata in pretty much all of Europe. Another dialogue is...

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Cinderella is Pissed

A prominent South African, his name is unimportant, has yet again lit up the local blogosphere by trivializing sexual violence. He did so by describing gang rape as a free-for-all picnic and then by claiming to have...

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

No, Africans don’t remember Margaret Thatcher fondly

Margaret Thatcher died yesterday. Or the day before maybe, I don’t know. At any rate, Thatcher died, and now the hagiographers and the demonizers can have their day. All by herself, apparently, Thatcher “reforged Britain”, “transfixed the...

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Zimbabwe’s Tortured Rule of Law

On Sunday, March 17, a day after the Constitutional Referendum, Zimbabwe arrested Beatrice Mtetwa, leading human rights lawyer and Board member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Mtetwa had been arrested for the ‘crime’ of asking...

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Does Zimbabwe’s new Constitution live up to women’s aspirations?

This weekend, Zimbabwe held a Constitutional referendum. And so Zimbabwe enjoyed yet another 15 seconds of international press attention. Turnout was reported as low. The public was as apathetic, uninformed, and/or disinterested. And the referendum was described...

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Zimbabwean Activist Jestina Mukoko ‘Released’

On Sunday, Jestina Mukoko, Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was ‘released’ from prison. Her defense attorney and fabulous feminist human and women’s rights attorney Beatrice Mtetwa, among others, greeted her. Yes, it’s springtime in Zimbabwe,...

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Kenya is More than its Election

The Kenyan people have voted. The Kenyan elections have come and not quite gone. The foreign press offered its readers a veritable smorgasbord of dreadfully decontextualized representations, and now that the actual polling has passed, you can...

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

So, has the media gotten anything right reporting the Pistorius murder case?

We’ve blogged here about what’s been wrong about the coverage of the murder of the relatively unknown model Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius. A ratings bonanza, coverage has ranged from frivolous to the...

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

The Story of a South African Farm

As of March 1 this year, the new base salary for farm workers in South Africa will be R105 a day (about US$11 per day). That’s a 52% pay raise, which sounds impressive until you realize that...

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

What kind of home is the “Home Office” anyway?

Why do they call it the Home Office, when that agency dedicates its resources to expelling, incarcerating, and generally despising precisely those who need help? What kind of home is that, anyway? In 2004, Roseline Akhalu was...

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Woman of the Year

It’s been a busy year for Cameroonian lawyer Alice Nkom, but then again it’s been a busy year for the Cameroonian government, and its various allies, persecuting and prosecuting anyone it suspects of being gay, lesbian, transgender,...

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

What was Dominique Strauss-Kahn wearing?

Yesterday Nafissatou Diallo “agreed to settle” the civil lawsuit against prominent French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn—she had accused him of sexual assault last year—for an undisclosed amount. Diallo has also settled a lawsuit against The New York Post....

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