High Dropout Rates, No Simple Answers, for Northern Uganda’s Girls

Uganda Girls_1

On the brick wall outside Oloo Primary School in northern Uganda, a small chalkboard displays the “attendance record” for students by gender. From first to seventh grade, the number of girls enrolled sinks drastically, from 51 to 4. The dwindling number of girls in school is the product of many factors, some of which go […]

Honey, Equity’s A Nag

Kenyan women

Last summer the world watched as Kenya established its new Constitution, more than two decades in the making. The Ms. Blog, in fact, posted a celebratory article last August highlighting the ways in which the new constitution protects women’s rights. One of the keys to this progressive change for women was a constitutional guarantee that […]

South Africa’s Subversive SlutWalk


In 2008 hundreds of South African women donned their miniskirts and protested at the taxi rank where a young girl was brutally accosted by taxi drivers and hawkers for wearing a short denim skirt. The men who accosted her allegedly stuck their fingers into her vagina and called her a “slut.” Women were outraged. The […]

South African Women March Against Fracking


South Africans celebrate not one, but two Women’s Days every year. First there’s International Women’s Day in March and then there’s the country’s own National Women’s Day on the 9th of August. The latter commemorates the day in 1956 when 20,000 women from all over South Africa marched on the Union Buildings, the administrative seat […]

Don’t Skimp on Aid to East Africa–Women Will Pay the Price


This week, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged a total of $122 million to famine relief in East Africa, putting the total U.S. contribution to the crisis over $580 million. The recent pledges maintain the U.S. position as the biggest donor nation. But is it enough? The U.N. recently called for $2.5 […]

Maternal Deaths Quadruple in South Africa

South African maternal mortality

A disturbing new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) declares that maternal care in South Africa is “failing.” According to the report, the maternal mortality rate in South Africa has quadrupled over the past decade, signaling the need for deep structural changes to the country’s healthcare system. Documenting abuse by maternal health workers, substandard care, […]

A Celebrity Making Change in Africa–And Not the One You Think


This time, we’re not talking about an Irish guy in aviator glasses. Or anyone who has ever headlined a Hollywood movie. Or a billionaire media empress. We’re talking about fearless West African singer and rapper Sister Fa. Not yet 30 years old, Fatou Mandiang Diatta, aka “Sister Fa,” has become a global phenomenon. Her music […]

Women Hit Hardest By East African Famine


Two women have been living in the Dadaab refugee camp in Northern Kenya for two months. Refugees from Somalia’s drought, they traveled for weeks with their young children, leaving husbands behind to tend dry farms and dying livestock. They arrived hoping to find sustenance and safety within the camp. But one day, while searching for […]

Libyan Nurses Seek Gender Equality in a War Zone, Reports The Guardian

Mideast Libya

The war in Libya has–unintentionally and unexpectedly–opened up more opportunities for women. According to The Guardian, prior to the war, the city of Misrata was prosperous enough to hire nurses from the Philippines to work in its hospitals. After the conflict started, they all fled and now women medical students, who (unlike male students) are […]

Women @ Africa’s Tech Revolution


Much digital ink has been spilled on the cultural impact of technology. People have been, ahem, atwitter about the use of social media in the so-named “Arab Spring.” Technology companies now have their eyes on the African continent as the next big market. Young people are key to Africa’s technology revolution. With 70 percent of the population under 30, the U.N. […]