Feminism

Count me in!: Conference papers 16-18 April 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal

Part of been socially excluded involves being steadily invisibilisied your issues rarely find public voice your voices rarely reach public platforms and your rights are eroded in public spaces.

CSW 57: Rock the boat and enact justice

CSW 57: Rock the boat and enact justice

New York en route to South Africa, 11 March: I really have to keep reminding myself never to eat prior to or while watching movies, TV, or consuming any form of media for that matter. The saturation of gendered stereotypes, the trivialising and eroticisation of rape and violence against women, induces waves of nausea that trigger my already sensitive gag reflex. What sickens me more is that women actually choose to perform and enact those roles. These ideologies and in turn representations of women are normalised, rendered invisible yet blindingly obvious.

I picked The Boat that Rocked, as my movie of choice to pass time while I imbibed my aeroplane food on the flight back from New York. I could not believe the candid misogyny promoted throughout the film; from the typical stereotyping to the predictable heteronormative sexualising and objectification, to the eroticising of different forms of violence and rape of women. For me all the film is about is an illegal radio station that broadcasts from a boat at sea. On weekends, hoards of female fans are invited on board to have sex with the DJs. In one scene, a DJ swaps places with another DJ to have sex with a woman without her knowing. Almost every scene involving a man and woman is sexualised.

Furthermore with most movies of that calibre there is an on-going attempt to ‘include’ alternative sexualities, or rather the token lesbian represented as the exoticised and oversexed other, wanting to sleep with every women in sight or just waiting for the right man to thrust her in the right direction.

Women’s UN Report Network (WURN) held a panel on Women’s day on 8 March as part of a CSW 57 parallel event. They discussed the ways gendered stereotypes negatively socialise society and how they intersect with other forms of discrimination associated with disability and age. Together these multiple layers of discrimination incite and justify violence against women.

CSW 57: Building partnerships between men and women for gender equality

CSW 57: Building partnerships between men and women for gender equality

New York, 8 March 2013: Although there are few men taking up leading roles in fighting for gender equality, male feminists and gender activists are much easier to find these days.

Moçambique: Como algumas cançÁµes perpetuam o patriarcado

“Essa dama é uma goya, xipixe xa nova xa kufana ni lexiya (gata selvagem parecida com a outra…À Este é o trecho de abertura de uma pretensa canção do pretenso género musical Pandza, que a partida parece pretender criticar o comportamento considerado promÁ­scuo de certas mulheres.

A tal pseudo-canção é da autoria dos Cizer Boss, com a participação de um tal de Dey. Portanto, são jovens do sexo masculino que talvez pretendam interpretar o social através das suas pseudo-cançÁµes. E no vÁ­deo aparecem moças, as tais goias, a dançarem com movimentos obscenos.

Obviamente que tanto a canção como o vÁ­deo são a representação de uma sub-cultura musical eivada de violência e sexismo Á  la “gangster rapÀ norte-americano. O conteúdo resume-se Á  objectivação sexual da mulher e seu corpo À“ nos Estados Unidos, alguns pesquisadores têm vindo a fazer estudos muito interessantes que até certo ponto estabelecem uma correlação entre os “rapsÀ violentos e desumanizantes e a alta do crime, especialmente dos casos de estupro.

Talvez em Moçambique precisemos de fazer estudos para ver até que ponto as mensagens e conteúdos (?) Pandzas não estejam a perpetuar os estereótipos do género, e ajudar na manutenção do sistema patriarcal que insiste em querer controlar o corpo da mulher, isto é, a mulher não pode decidir por si o que pode ou deixar de fazer com o seu corpo.

Strengthening spaces: women’s human rights in social movements

Strengthening Spaces is one of a series of four global dialogues on women’s human rights that CREA is currently convening. The series was born out of a range of conversations that have taken place over the last two years among women’s rights advocates, policymakers, donors, and organisers from the Global South. Typically such global convenings on women’s human rights have been organised by groups based in the more economically developed North. While participants from diverse countries and regions attend these gatherings, the perspectives and strategies of groups working in the Global South do not necessarily take centre stage. CREA is responding to this by convening a series of international dialogues that are pivoted around the participation, voices, and perspectives of organisations based in the Global South.

Politics

Politics

Namibia, February 2013

Moçambique: Quando vamos dizer basta?

A violação e tortura de uma jovem estudante universitÁ¡ria de 23 anos, perpetrada por cinco homens num machimbombo, em Dezembro de 2012, em Delhi, capital da Á­ndia, indignou o paÁ­s – a jovem morreu subsequentemente devido Á  graves lesÁµes internas causadas por um barra metÁ¡lica.

Irromperam manifestaçÁµes e protestos de todo o espectro social e polÁ­tico, denunciando a bÁ¡rbara agressão e a violência crónica contra raparigas e mulheres na Ándia. Foi um momento para a nação fazer uma autocrÁ­tica sobre a violência de género.

Em Moçambique, hÁ¡ exactamente um ano, a WLSA (Mulheres e Lei na África Austral) alertou sobre a violação colectiva por 17 homens de uma mulher em Cabo Delgado, sob a acusação de ter passado perto de um local onde realizam-se ritos de iniciação para rapazes.

Women Leading Africa: Conversations with inspirational African women

The publication was developed from formal conversations between AWDF Co-Founder Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, AWD, Director of programmes Sarah Mukasa and other feminists colleagues. They recognise how vaulable it was for the stories of African women’s leadership to be heard in clear, yet informal ways. Conversations allowed women to tell their stories, highlight their inspirations and discuss their hopes and challenges in their own words. So the interviews featured in this book allow for an unmediated insight into the lives and minds of some wonderful African women from the worlds of politics, arts and feminist activism.

Swaziland: Clothing has nothing to do with “decency”!

Swazi women may have celebrated too soon when the country ratified the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in September 2012, a regional instrument that commits all countries in the region to attain gender equality. This follows a “banÀ that women must not wear mini-skirts as stipulated in the Crimes Act of 1889. The Act outlaws “immorality and offences in public places or places of public resort and control of places of public interest.À Mini-skirts are considered indecent, a clear infringement on women’s right to freedom of dressing.

South Africa: ANC fails its female supporters

Yesterday, the new Africa National Congress (ANC) top six leaders were elected at the political party’s 53rd National Conference in Mangaung (Free State, South Africa). Despite the ANC’s 50/50 gender quota policy, only two of the six are women À“ Jessie Duarte, who is now the Deputy Secretary General and Baleka Mbete who will fulfil the role of National Chairperson. No women contested the position of President, Deputy President, or Secretary General. Are we to be critical of the ANC for a lack of women leaders?

Commenting on the election of the top six yesterday, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe said that, “the ANC is an epitome of democracy.À However, there can be no democracy until and unless women are well represented in all areas of decision-making. Motlanthe contested and lost the presidency of the ANC to the incumbent, Jacob Zuma, a polygamist whose gender credentials have been the source of concern for activists and embarrassment for the ANC.