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Gender and Governance

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Lesbian life in Africa is not so gay

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ImageJULIET Victor Mukasa is a lesbian and an activist for gay rights and prefers to be direct about her beliefs. 

As we the set up the time for the interview she said: “I would appreciate it if you just spoke directly about the subject.” 

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Feminist engage in dialogues

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ImageIF you have noticed an upsurge of bold, feisty women in Nairobi the past few days, breathe out, you are not imagining things.

The Third International Feminist Dialogues was held on January 17-19 at a Nairobi hotel, bringing women from all over the world to deliberate on matters affecting them and coming up with common positions for the World Social Forum 2007.

ImageFrom north to south and east to west, voices of women in the struggle to liberate Africa have been missing.

Even though gender inequality is a new dimension in society that only came up with colonialism and neo-colonialism, the fact that women’s voices have not been part of the Africa’s struggle is seen as a social injustice.

ImageTHE spirit of the World Social Forum 2007 rose up in defiance of the logistical hitches as a result of the sheer numbers of delegates converging on Nairobi from every continent in the world.

The irony expressed by Nairobians, many of them residents of the informal settlements that ring the WSF venue in Kasarani  — because they cannot afford the Sh500 registration fee —  is that another world is indeed possible.

ImageMAU Mau liberation fighters broke into song as they relived the reasons for taking up arms and the dangers that they faced individually and collectively during the time of resistance to the colonialists in Kenya.

Joined by an international panel of presenters and an inspired audience, the old men and women of African struggle brought a symbolism to the enduring human spirit that rejects all forms of oppression, one that defines what it means to be human.

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Is another world possible for Kenya's forgotten heroes?

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World Social Forum 2007SOMETIMES people struggle all their lives for justice but they cannot be sure that the world attaches meaning to their efforts until they are acknowledged. 

A small group of veteran freedom fighters for Kenya’s independence were given a standing ovation at the start of the World Social Forum as they relived the memories of their struggles against the British colonial government which stole their youth, livelihoods and families.

A recent review of the Sexual Offences Act by women’s rights organizations has found that while the Act is long overdue piece of legislation in the fight against gender violence, there are potential minefields within the Act that could dampen the expectations it has raised.

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When it is time to walk away

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Image“I have all kinds of marks on my body. Marks inflicted by knives, teeth and other crude objects, all these, I got from my loved one, the person I called my husband.”

These are the words of *Maria, a woman who was subjected to unspeakable violence by her husband, who later killed their only child last year out of rage after she made the decision to leave him.


ImageMedia did not invent gender inequalities or any form of social inequality for that matter. Yet media is central to both knowingly and unwittingly promoting gender inequalities. By providing a particular set of representations, media feeds off and feeds into social assumptions and practices that ultimately undermine the advancement of women.

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