Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FEMNET Bilingual E-Bulletin - June 2010




01. Your Voice
02. Regional Briefs
03. International Briefs
04. Vacancies
05. Call for Action
06. Calendar of Events         
07. Awards
08. Fellowship/Scholarship Opportunities
09. Call for Papers/Submissions
10. Resources

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You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.
In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

~ Maya Angelo ~

01. Your Voice


Beyond Beijing +15: Strategies for the African Women’s Decade
By Sheila Mulli

The year 2010 marks the onset of the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) as declared by African Heads of States and Governments at the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union held in February 2009. The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) believes that the Beijing +15 Review, due to its consultative and participatory processes by state and non-state actors, will serve as an apt baseline for the African Women’s Decade and will be a critical launching pad for the Decade.

FEMNET aims to convene several sub-regional workshops to disseminate and discuss the findings of the official and NGO Beijing +15 reports, and develop strategies and action-plans on the African Women’s Decade at national and sub-regional levels to ensure that both state and non-state actors act together to make the Decade make a difference in women’s lives. The first such meeting took place in May in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), targeting the Central Africa sub-region.

The second meeting, “2010 Post-CSW Debriefing & Strategizing Meeting for East and Horn of Africa”, will take place on June 23rd -25th in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting will be convened in close collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children in Tanzania, UNIFEM and the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), one of the leading women’s organizations in Tanzania and the organization who took the lead in producing a shadow report on Beijing +15 for Tanzania. A team comprised of FEMNET, TGNP and UNIFEM will coordinate preparations for the Workshops.

This even will draw participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan, from national women’s networks particularly those that were involved with reviewing the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), national gender machineries, members of FEMNET, UNIFEM country offices and relevant organizations working on issues of maternal health, violence against women and girls and peace and security. Additionally, representative from the East African Community, IGAD, East Africa Legislative Assembly and the African Union Commission Gender Directorate will be invited.

The objectives of the Post-CSW Workshop for East Africa include;
  • Disseminate and discuss the outcomes of the Beijing+15 review at national and regional level;
  • Popularize the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) as an opportunity for States to deliver on their various commitments to women’s rights and empowerment;
  • Agree on national and sub-regional priorities, strategies and action-plans for the first three years of the African Women’s Decade, addressing areas identified in Beijing +15 reports;
  • Strengthen FEMNET’s linkages with women’s rights organizations in the sub- region;
  • Explore new opportunities for networking and movement building in order to support the work of the gender and women’s machineries to deliver on their mandate.

The three day workshop will utilize a participatory workshop model that facilitates experiential-based reflection and learning as well as working group discussions and strategy building. By the end of the meeting, the participants will have developed strategies and draft action plans for national and sub-regional priorities for the African Women’s Decade and agreed on mechanism for follow-up and mobilizing greater support return to their respective countries. For further information on the sub-regional meetings, please send an email to advocacy@femnet.or.ke

Sheila Mulli is the Advocacy and Communication Intern at FEMNET

02. Regional Briefs  


SOUTH AFRICA: Labour Market Shuts Out Women

South Africa’s long running problem of structural unemployment affects African women in particular. While there are no current composite statistics showing unemployment by race and gender, official data published two years ago indicated that by September 2007, the rate of unemployment among black African women was 31 percent, while for those classified as coloreds, Indians and whites, it was respectively 21 per cent, 11 per cent, and 4.5 per cent. This means that for every one white woman without a job in South Africa, there were at least seven unemployed black African women. For information, visithttp://womennewsnetwork.net/breaking-news-portal/

MAURITIUS: Women sidelined in the 2010 general elections
Official results of Mauritius's most recent elections released on 6 May 2010 shows a 0.5% decrease in women's representation in parliament, sliding from 17.1% to 16.6%. Unless this situation is corrected with the best loser system, Mauritius will follow the trend of gender losses in two Southern African countries that had elections in 2009, Botswana and Namibia. According to a report done by Gender Links during a workshop held on 24 April 2010, participants predicted a minor increase of 2%, up to 19%. This worrying trend of sliding backwards in gender representation is particularly ironic since most Southern African countries (except Mauritius and Botswana), are signatories to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, signed in August 2008, which includes provisions for 50% women in decision-making. For more information, visit http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/women-sidelined-in-the-2010-general-elections-2010-05-08

LIBERIA: Even with peace, Liberia’s women struggle

Four years after voters in Liberia, battered by decades of dictatorship, economic ruin and civil war, elected a no-nonsense former banker and UN official, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as their president, the country is making slow progress towards recovery. But there is still a long way to go. Thousands of UN peacekeepers and police remain in the country to provide security and train a new army and police force. Poverty and unemployment are high among youth and the country’s 100,000 demobilized former fighters, fuelling concerns about stability. Government facilities and services, including health, education and administration, were largely destroyed in the fighting. Average income, while rising, is among the lowest in the world: In 2009, the typical Liberian struggled to live on the equivalent of just US$0.38 per day, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. For more information, visithttp://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/vol24no1/liberia.html

03. International Briefs


FRANCE - Parliament Resolution Basis for Veil Ban
French lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution asserting that face-covering Muslim veils are contrary to the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity on which France is founded. The non-binding resolution, passed 434 to 0 (zero), lays the groundwork for a planned law forbidding face-covering veils in public, including in the streets. One lawmaker compared women who fully cover themselves to "phantoms" and "walking coffins." The bill calling for a global ban on such garments goes before parliament in July. A draft text is to be reviewed by the Cabinet on May 19. A similar veil ban is in the works in neighboring Belgium. Tuesday's resolution, sponsored by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, had been widely expected to win approval in the National Assembly with rival Socialists backing it despite concerns about the wording of an eventual law. Lawmakers in the 577-seat house who opposed the resolution abstained. For more information, visit

ARGENTINA: "Women in Focus" at Film Festival
The First International Women and Film Festival for Gender Equity drew enthusiastic audiences this month in the Argentine capital, where movies from nearly 40 countries were screened. The festival, titled "Mujeres en foco" (Women in Focus), was held May 5-10 at six venues in Buenos Aires that served as movie theatres or debating halls. There was also a retrospective, and a seminar on screenwriting, directing and producing.  The idea was to call on filmmakers to submit films that address women's issues related to health, migration, cultural practices, violence, inequality, political participation, sexual diversity and family life. For more information, visit

04. Vacancies

Senior Operations Manager, Ghana
Deadline: July 6, 2010
ACDI/VOCA, an economic development organization that fosters broad-based economic growth, raises living standards and creates vibrant communities is currently seeking a long-term Senior Operations Manager to support its programs in Ghana with potential for growth to support programs in West Africa. ACDI/VOCA has multiple projects in Ghana focusing on creating conditions favorable for the emergence and rapid expansion of a competitive, commercially viable agriculture sector. This is a full-time position available immediately. The position will be based in Accra with frequent travel to ACDI/VOCA field offices. For more information, visit:


Program Manager I – MYAP Agriculture

Deadline: 30th June, 2010
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) -Burundi is implementing a three-year project known as Title II Multi-Year Assistance Program (MYAP) with funding from USAID/Food for Peace. This program supports agricultural development, agro-enterprise, health and nutrition, water-sanitation and resiliency planning activities in three food insecure watersheds in northern Burundi from 2008-2011. The MYAP Agriculture Manager will lead the successful implementation of the agriculture activities of the MYAP, ensuring technical program quality, achievement of targets, and adherence to timetables. At the same time, he/she will provide technical input and advice to assure cohesion and complementarities with other related existing or planned projects. This position will involve frequent travel to implementation sites. For more information, visit

05. Call to Action   

Nominations of African Women for the position of Under Secretary General
The UN Secretary General has called for Member States to nominate candidates for the position of Under Secretary General (USG) for the new gender entity. Additionally, FEMNET calls on African women’s organizations to contact your Ministries of Gender and Women’s Affairs. Urge them to nominate well-qualified African women leaders who meet the GEAR criteria, and who have a vision for and commitment to meet gender equality goals and secure women’s human rights. If you know of such a woman, we urge you to propose her nomination to your Ministry of Gender and Women’s Affairs. For more information, send an email to adovacy@femnet.or.ke

06. Calendar of Events   

2010 Post-CSW Debriefing & Strategizing Meeting for East and Horn of Africa
June 23rd- 25th 2010
Following up on the remarkable participation by African women in the processes of the Beijing +15 review, and considering the critical opportunity of the African Women’s Decade, FEMNET aims to convene several sub-regional workshops to disseminate and discuss the findings of the official and NGO Beijing +15 reports, and develop strategies and action-plans on the African Women’s Decade at national and sub-regional levels to ensure that both state and non-state actors act together to make the Decade make a difference in women’s lives. The second of such meeting will take place on June 23rd – 25th, 2010, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sudan. For more information send an email to advocacy@femnet.or.ke.

07. Awards


Deadline: 2 JULY 2010
With categories ranging from publication of the year to digital journalist of the year to photographer of the year, to writer the year, there is an opportunity for every contributor to your publication/ station to win - so make sure you enter as many categories as possible. Winners will be awarded experience at the Guardian and NME.  There is even an NME blogging internship on offer.  The shortlist will be announced in Media Guardian in September. The winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony in November. A full list of categories and details of how to enter can be found at www.guardian.co.uk/sma2010

08. Fellowship/Scholarship Opportunities

Rotary Peace Fellowship
Deadline: July 1, 2010
Rotary, one of the world’s largest humanitarian service organizations has partnered with seven leading universities around the globe to host the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution. Each year, Rotary selects up to 60 Fellows to study peace and conflict resolution at universities around the world. Rotary is seeking non-Rotarian professionals interested in expanding their knowledge in international relations, public administration, sustainable development, peace studies and conflict resolution or a related field. For more information, visit

Fellowships for Women Scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDC)

Deadline: July 31, every year
The Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) with funds generously provided by the Sida, has instituted a fellowship programme for female students from Sub-Saharan Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), who wish to pursue postgraduate training leading to a Ph.D., at centres of excellence in the South. The general purpose of the scheme is to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of women leaders in science and technology, and to promote their effective participation in the scientific and technological development of their countries. For more information, visit

09. Call for Papers/Submissions                     

African Security Review 2010

Deadline: July 2, 2010
The African Security Review (ASR) is a multidisciplinary review journal that publishes articles on the spectrum of human security issues, including: security sector transformation; civil-military relations; crime, justice and corruption; small arms control; peace support initiatives; conflict management; and articles dealing with the interplay between economics, politics, society and culture and human security and stability. ASR hereby invites submissions of feature articles (4000 – 5000 words), country case studies (1500 – 2500 words), research essays (4000 – 5000 words), short commentaries (1500 – 2500 words) and book reviews (800 – 1000 words) for publication in the journal in 2010 (ASR is published four times per annum). For more information, visit

10. Resources


Women Gains in the Proposed Constitution

As Kenya gears up for a referendum on the 2010 proposed constitution, GEM and AWC collaboratively compiled this document to give Kenyan women an opportunity to understand the issues that directly affect them in the proposed constitution. This document aims at making the contents of the draft accessible to as many women as possible by simplifying the language and explaining the implications of the provision that directly address gender equality. Overall, the audit reveals that by far this is a better document in terms of women rights than the current constitution. For more information, visithttp://www.awcfs.org/new/resources/publications/books/760-women-gains-in-the-proposed-constitution

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.