Reclaiming my identity

I have survived ? I have reclaimed my identity, my humanity and my confidence. His words cannot hurt me anymore. But it took me a long time to get to this point. For too many years I believed the hurtful things he said about me; that I was ?useless, worthless and stupid.? But I know now that it is not true. Years of psychological abuse from my ex-husband made me feel like I was no one.

Jobs for the girls or gender equality for SA?

South Africa’s new president Jacob Zuma did his best to follow the footsteps of his nemesis Thabo Mbeki when he announced a cabinet edging towards gender parity on 10 May. But gender advocates note with concern the lack of parity in top structures of government; the declining proportion of women deputy ministers; questionable credentials of some women ministers and the establishment of a women’s ministry.

Election coverage through a gender lens

30 April, Johannesburg; World Press Freedom Day on 3 May comes just a few days after the dust has settled on the 22 April South African elections. While some have bemoaned the lack of depth in media coverage, the elections and media coverage have – by and large – been certified as free and fair

The grass beneath the fighting elephants

There is an African saying that when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. In South Africa lately, the elephants have been the two biggest winners in the April elections-the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA). The grass is democracy and women’s rights.

Kenyan women targets of violence

Nairobi, 4 February 2008; Many thought her bravado was pure madness, that unknown young woman on the television screen. “Why do we have to keep on being tear-gassed because of you? We want to work!À She screamed at the leaders of the opposition party outside Nairobi’s Stanley Hotel as they prepared for a banned protest march against the disputed victory of the Mwai Kibaki’s presidency.

Malawi Electoral Commission K100,000 fee blow to women candidates

In the year ahead, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Angola will all go to the election polls. This past August, Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders committed themselves to 50% women in decision-making when they signed the SADC Gender Protocol. Given the year ahead, it then seems reasonable to expect that governments take necessary steps to ensure that the Protocol document translates into action on the ground.

Where will the women vote in the next elections?

A conversation with my 12-year-old daughter triggered a series of very uneasy questions that have preoccupied my mind over the last few months. The conversation revolved around the idea that Jacob Zuma would be the next president.

Polygamy and progressive leadership do not square

Johannesburg 9 February: It’s time to stop beating about the bush where polygamy and suitability for leadership of a progressive democracy are concerned. I refer of course to the likelihood of African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma and his four (or is it two or six?) wives becoming the first family of South Africa after the April 2009 elections.