Use of data

Reporting on gender violence requires more than numbers

The Young Women’s Christian Association of Zambia (YWCA) addresses the widespread problem of violence against women through public awareness on issues such as wife battery, property grabbing, HIV/AIDS awareness, youth reproductive health and sexual abuse. This is a gender aware article that provides frightening statistics on the extent of gender violence in the country, based on data collection by the YWCA. The writer exemplifies the levels of gender violence in Zambia by citing numbers from a single source. These numbers are not disaggregated by sex, which works on the assumption that only women are affected by gender violence. The story is rich with figures but it does not present more detailed, qualitative information on which the readership could act upon. While it is laudable that the article focuses on promoting the awareness of the extent of gender violence, it could have been vastly improved by expanding its number of sources. It could have been enriched if the writer provided more than just numbers, but quotes from survivors of gender violence or a YWCA representative.

Lifting the barbed veil

For a moment, it seemed that Egypt wasn’t just throwing off its political shackles. Women, long suffering from the scourge of sexual harassment, reported that Cairo’s Tahrir Square, command central of the uprising, had become a safe zone free of the groping and leering common in their country. Now the reported attack on a senior US TV correspondent during the final night of the 18-day revolt has shown that the threat of violence against women in Egypt remains real. CBS has said its chief foreign correspondent, Lara Logan, went through a “brutal and sustained sexual assault and beatingÀ by a frenzied mob in the square during Friday’s celebrations after Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

Normalising gender violence?

In November 2010, a 15 year old girl at Jules High School allegedly accused her school mates for raping her at the play ground after consuming alcohol. The story made headlines in different South African stories and different newspapers shaped their own agenda around this case. As the story unfolded, readers were told that the girl had consented to the sexual act; that the girl had consumed alcohol within the school premises with the alleged rapists and she was then charged for engaging in sexual acts as a minor. Furthermore, her school mates cursed her and said that she had given the school a bad reputation. In this case, the media’s role in reporting can be questioned as it ran a parallel trial judging the girl and shaping the ultimate sentence. The mediation prompted questions about the role of the media in ending gender violence.

The haves and the have-nots

The story of farm workers and their employers is a shocking tale of the haves and the have-nots. While their bosses drive around in expensive 4×4 vehicles and are within the top echelons of society, farm workers continue to live in squalor. Some farm workers have spent most of their lives working, yet they do not have anything to show for it. But farm workers play an important role in feeding the nation through their efforts on the farms. Zhendara Ruwizhi (63) of Lilfordia Estates outside Harare said he has been a farm worker for more than 20 years, but life has not changed.

Mngxitama wrong on Microbicide-Sowetan

In his column in The Sowetan on 27 July 2010 (Research on HIV prevention gel put black lives at risk), Andile Mngixitama viciously attacks South African researchers who recently announced a huge breakthrough in the development of a microbicide, a gel that they hope women will be able to use to reduce the risk of their being infected with HIV from sex. Under the guise of black consciousness he distorts facts, takes an opinion on something he knows little about and makes statements that will cause life-threatening confusion.

Santé reproductive… la population mauricienne en danger?

Y-a-t-il un déclin au niveau de la croissance de la population mauricienne? La question a été soulevée récemment Á  l’occasion de la Journée Mondiale de la Population qui est observée tous les 11 juillet. Alors que la tendance mondiale veut que de nombreux pays souffrent de surpopulation, Maurice est confrontée Á  un problème de sous-remplacement, sa population ayant un taux de croissance de seulement 0,5 % par an.

Flying loos put women at risk_Sowetan

Kenyas poorest women risk the deadly diseases related to poor sanitation because endemic sexual violence in the capitals sprawling slums keeps them away from communal toilets, a rights group said yesterday. About 60 percent of Nairobi residents, or two million people, live in shacks with limited access to water, sanitation and other services.

RDC: Une économie Á  la dérive voit l’émergence des petits commerces informels

La crise socioéconomique que traverse la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) depuis des années a contraint les Congolais en général et les Kinois en particulier Á  devenir des champions de la débrouille. Ce phénomène touche 80% des Congolais et Á  Kinshasa, la plupart des familles ont chacune une activité économique informelle génératrice de revenus directs ou indirects.

More midwives are needed to stop moms and babies dying

Unsafe abortions and HIV infections remain the main contributors of maternal deaths in South Africa, a world summit on mother and child deaths heard recently. Deliwe Nyathikazi, a board member of the International Conferedation of Midwives (ICM), said the summit in Washington at the weekend was aimed at finding ways to reduce maternal mortality globally.

Infection Rate Rising Despite HIV Awareness – The Sunday Independent

Infection Rate Rising Despite HIV Awareness – The Sunday Independent

Despite increased spending by the public and private sectors on HIV & AIDS awareness programmes, more people are getting infected, says a government progress report released this week.