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The African Women Mobilizing Initiative

on Impoverishment and Human Rights


(AWOMI)

The African Women Mobilizing Initiative on Impoverishment and Human Rights


(AWOMI), based in Dakar, Senegal, was launched in May 2005 in Limuru, Kenya.
AWOMI's establishment was triggered by the fact that women’s impoverishment and
the burden they carry to sustain social welfare continues to worsen despite Govern-
ments signing of numerous international legal instruments including the Convention
on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1979; the 1995 Bei-
jing Platform for Action; the 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development; the
African Union (AU) Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa; and the AU Ad-
ditional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights
of Women in Africa (ACHPR). AWOMI also recognizes that an African women's
agenda proposing alternative economic policies centered on human rights is seriously
lacking and requires urgent attention. AWOMI’s goal is to fill this gap through evi-
dence gathering, economic education, youth empowerment, accountability tracking
and policy advocacy.

AWOMI’s objectives are:

• to build evidence and knowledge on economic analysis and poverty assessments that
takes into account gendered perspectives and human rights commitments at all levels;
• to propel the emergence of a mass mobilization for social movement building on gen-
der equality, economic and social justice with organizations and community leaders
and excluded groups of women and youth;
• to develop innovative accountability tracking and advocacy mechanisms for ensu-
ring that resources mobilized are put into the hands of impoverished women and
youth.
• to influence different categories of stakeholders involved in policy making and po-
verty eradication processes, to reorient their approach towards equality driven inter-
ventions;

The publication of this magazine was made possible thanks to generous


grants from the Ford Foundation, The Flora Family Foundation, the
United Nations Volunteers Programme, the NEPAD Secretariat and
UNIFEM Brazil. AWOMI, its staff and partners express their grateful
appreciation for this support.

The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect AWOMI’s


opinions. AWOMI is a believer in free spech and as such encourages
its partners to debate on issues as openly as possible
EDITORIAL

Daring to Dream
Two years have already passed and here we are again at as tomorrow leaders. Instructors and facilitators delivered
this 2008 Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Insti- their respective knowledge packages and modules beyond
tute (YOWLI). YOWLI is a crossroads enabling us to cele- expectation. They facilitated a positive and constructive
brate together with gender sensitive young women and dialogue between participants who brought with them
men the vibrancy and leadership of young women from thoughts and anxieties as well as enthusiasm and hopes
Africa and its Diaspora. This is a historic moment as the that reflect the wide array of crises and triumphs their
Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60. It is the li- communities have gone through over the years. Partici-
ving proof that Africa and its Diaspora have so much to pants also discussed freely amongst themselves, voluntee-
contribute in a global debate dominated by power strug- red to fill gaps in our organizational construct and started
gles within and across nations. At this stage, Africa has networking along their own areas of interest. YOWLI par-
one of the fastest growing young populations and has ves- ticipants volunteered to help at all levels. A team of African
ted interest in nurturing them, educating them and protec- interpreters also volunteered free of chargeto help us com-
ting them. Children and young women and men coming municate from English, French and Portuguese. Other vo-
from all walks of life are present at this YOWLI gathering lunteers made sure that everyone had food while others
ready to tackle and engage our beloved continent’s har- helped organize the Mini YOWLI.
This magazine is a testimony to this generosity and figh-
shest realities. This year marks the second edition of
ting spirit that prevailed throughout this magnificent pro-
AWOMI’s grand idea to bring together a sizeable number
cess. It is the outcome of significant efforts made by
of the young leaders from all parts of the globe to connect,
YOWLI participants who volunteered to write on topics re-
and critically question the state of things and seek ans-
levant to their respective lives, from reproductive health,
The
wers.YOWLI is a month long activity held every two years.
sexuality, gender-based violence, rights to economics. Yet
It contributes in nurturing democratic citizenship and dia-
other participants found time to edit articles written by
logue between Africa and its Diaspora. This year we
their peers.
connected groups and individuals from places as far as Su-
riname and Brazil to Egypt and Guinea Conakry. This year, This is a dream we are trying to realize. Challenges are
a diverse group of 34 different nationalities and 85 partici- many in Africa but we cannot allow them to stop us as
pants have come together into a beautiful diverse commu- long as we keep trying to improve ourselves while keeping
nity to live at the Mariama Ba Boarding School. They in mind the disastrous situation of all our mothers, sisters,
range from 8-year-old children to adults in their early 30s nieces and brothers who are struggling through the battle-
with vast reserves of energy and potentials to critically as- fields of structural adjustment policies. As we had a few
sess their situation and Africa’s quest for a brighter future. operational problems to stay in a crumbling several-centu-
The YOWLI is an impressive idea. For an organization less ries old building, we were also realizing that we were rol-
than 5 years old to realize the vision of connecting in the ling in a Cadillac compared to farmers, fishermen and
same geographical location for a month about 100 minds women and housewives spending their lives as poorly
from more than 30 countries, different cultures, continents, paid if not unpaid labourers at home and in work places.
socioeconomic status, level of exposure, character and The statement from our YOWLI sister from Goma, DRC is
background; from conflict stricken zones to the sophistica- full of symbolism “this YOWLI in Goree is heaven to me!”
ted life of megalopolis of industrialized nations, is indeed The YOWLI is our reality check exercise. Whether we stay
an enormous effort. This is no easy task for the young with Senegalese families like in 2006 or live together in
AWOMI team of 8 people from Cameroon, Senegal and Mariama Ba High School in Goree, where the best minds
Zambia and volunteers. Despite all the challenges regar- among young girls in Senegal are obliged to live, learn and
ding travel, visa, health matters and the daunting task of even succeed in conditions of abject impoverishment re-
upgrading the Mariama Ba Boarding School to a suitable sulting from Government’s neglect and ill conceived eco-
habitat for our guests, they managed to make the YOWLI nomic policies, we always go back home with a big dose of
happen. In addition to the valuable financial support of the humility through our claims for vanguard activism and our
Ford Foundation, The Flora Family Foundation, the ELMA quest for true leadership.
Philanthropies and the NEPAD Secretariat, this is a collec- Yassine Fall
tive effort, which exemplifies our spirit of generosity and AWOMI President
sharing resources and knowledge so that Africa’s youth
can come to grips with learning to face its responsbilities
L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership
YOWLI 3
TABLE OF
GENDER EQUALITY Nilza Laice

• Femmes africaines et droits sexuels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


Aïssatou Thiam Ngom
• Women’s Political Participation : A Reality or An Illusion? . . . . . . . 6
Chioma Ukwuagu

• A Time for Women To Rise Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Joan W. Karanja ECONOMICS, SOCIETY & POWER
• Femmes et Emigration: Situation des Epouses d’Emigres Laissees
Au Senegal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 • Les Programmes d’Ajustement Structurels
Magatte Niang et l’Aggravation de la Pauvrete en Afrique. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Kouka Kabore
Mauritanie : Le dilemme des femmes entre famille et droit au travail• Senegal
. . . . . 11: Rarete de L’Eau en Milieu Rural . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Fatma Fall et Fatou Binta Dieng Fatou Binetou Diedhiou

• Gender and Equality: The View of a Disabled Liberian Youth . . . .•.Housing:


12 An Economic Issue in Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Daintowon D. Pay-bayee Elehinle Olalekan Edward

• Gender-Based Organizations and Policy Formulation: • Pauvreté et agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37


A Ghanaian Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Fatou Kiné THIAM, Mariama DIEDHIOU
Dorothy Aawulenaa et Ndèye Madjiguène Mbow
• Discriminação de gênero e valores culturais. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 • Genre et droits socio-économiques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Isaura Ligia Correia Chirindza Adji Mbène Sambe

• Le Leadership féminin : Un élan à ne pas freiner . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16• Halte à la mondialisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


Nimatoulaye Diallo Marième Sarr

• Does Customary Law Protect or Violate Rights of Women in Africa? 17


Shawana Soud Khamis HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S
RIGHTS
• Young Women As Agents of Social Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Talent Jumo • Violences Sexuelles Contre Les Femmes et Les Jeunes Filles :
• The Link Between Gender and Economic and Social Rights . . . . . .Une
19 Arme de Guerre a L’Est De La Republique Democratique du Congo42
Anuarite Kabuo Kalunga
Wesam Hassan
• Interview : L’horreur à l’état brut au nord Kivu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Sophie Nzinga Sy

HIV/AIDS: A GENOCIDE? • Le Sourire Perdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


Cynthia Kanyere

• Robbed of Motherhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 • Are you okay with this?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46


Rachel Giacchero
Esther Sheehama

• Rapport Entre VH/SIDA et Emigration Au Senegal. . . . . . . . . . . . .•21


Recognising Women ‘s Rights in African Governance . . . . . . . . . . 47
Priscilla Allen
Ndeye Astou Aw
• La Violence Conjugale Tolerée Socialement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
•Malawi: Gender, Society and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Ndeye Coumba Diallo
Steve Binali
• Le Genre et L’Impunite en Cote d’Ivoire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
• UGANDA: ABC STRATEGY FOR HIV/AIDS PREVENTION, Claudine Kouame

NOT WORKING FOR MARRIED WOMEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .•. The


. 24 Ghanaian Girl Child and Alms Begging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Monicah Amoding Rita Asombala
• O IMPACTO DO HIV/SIDA NA VIDA ECONÓMICA • Sexual Exploitation in Sierra Leone Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
DA POPULACÃO EM MOÇAMBIQUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Isa Cole
Isaura Mauelele
• Malawi, Do Not Violate the Rights of Our Children . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
• Virginity and Vulnerability of Young Men and Women . . . . . . . . . . 28
Maria Sadick
Mwelwa Chabala
• Txissola . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

YOWLI
4 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
CONTENTS
• The Impact of Child Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Muna Dol
PANAFRICANISM, AFRICAN
Nadya Touhami DIASPORA
• Causing your self pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Nwanneka Nnoli

• Keepers of Our Own Dignity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84


• Uganda: Gender and Trafficking of Women and Girls . . . . . . . . . . 62 Joan Dogojo
Regina Kacwamu
• Racism: The Novelties of A Common Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Mafoane Odara Poli Santos

CIVIC & POLITICAL ISSUES


• Haiti: Femmes en Etat de Siege. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Marie Soudne Rivette

• Educação para quê e para quem? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90


• ZIMBABWE: Leadership and/or Economy Spinning Out of Control? . 64
Erica Ferreira e Viviane de Jesus
Tomupeishe Maphosa
• African Youth Living Abroad: Investing in Our Continent . . . . . . . . 92
• Halte aux politiques de privatisation : Moiyattu Banya
Le Sénégal n’est pas à vendre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Cheikh Amadou Tidiane Diémé • Strengthening Africa and The Diaspora’s Struggle Against Racism. 94
Priscilla Ferreira
• Continuity in Leadership: The Case of Mentorship . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Enala Mumba • Inferiority Complex or Lost Identity?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Yaganoma Baatuolkuu
• The Role of Youth in Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Nomsa Ingwe POETRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

• A La Derive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Yacine Ndiaye Sow
CULTURAL IDENTITY
MINI YOWLEES • Dem A Bleach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Stephanie Grant

• Les Mini YOWLEEs Se Font Entendre:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75• Collage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


Makini Boothe
Responsabilité des religieux dans la formation
de jeunes leaders au Sénégal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Selly Ba

LEADERSHIP
• Education: An Essential Element in Youth Leadership . . . . . . . . . . 80
Jemila Abdulai

• Continuity in Leadership: The Case for Mentorship . . . . . . . . . . . . 82


Enala Mumba

• Women’s Leadership and Political Participation:


The South African Ambiguities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Kgomotso Mmalegae Moalusi

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 5
Gender Equality

Women Political Participation :


A Reality Or An Elusion?

Ukwuagu Chioma
27 years
UNIFEM - Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of


Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) states
that State parties shall take all appropriate mea-
sures to eliminate discrimination against women in
the political and public life of the country and, in
particular, shall ensure to women on equal terms
with men, the right to vote in all elections and pu-
blic referenda and to be eligible for elections to all
publicly elected bodies; to participate in non-go-
vernmental organizations and associations concer-
ned with the public and political life of the country

The United Nations declarations are running non-governmental or-


and International conventions, of ganizations concerned with the
which Nigeria is a signatory to, are public and political life of the
neither domesticated nor imple- country, only few women are suc-
mented but just mere lip-service cessfully in top decision-making
and false promises. positions. Women in Nigeria are
largely under represented at most
Women in Nigeria, under the law levels of government; which has
can vote and be voted for in any made little progress in attaining
elections in the country. However, political powers in legislative bo-
the realization of this statement is dies or in achieving 30% minimum
very limited. In as much as women representation of women.
in their own right participate and As a young Nigerian woman, I

YOWLI
6 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
have an interest in seeing that king and holding public office a country in general.
women live above discrimi- in Nigeria. The political ter-
nations and attain high elec- rain is fraught with corrup- The way forward is for the
tive positions. This formed tion and violence; and many Nigerian government to place
the concern to understudy women are discouraged to high priority in completing
and analyze the last general participate. The socialization the process of full domestica-
elections in Nigeria. The ana- and negative stereotyping of tion of CEDAW and ensure
lysis showed that no woman women and men, including that the CEDAW provisions
was elected as governor of stereotyping through the are given credence in Nige-
any of the 36 states of the fe- media reinforcing the ten- rian law before the next gene-
deration in 2007, while about dency for political decision- ral elections in 2011. With this
16 women contested. Only six making to remain the domain we can anticipate a better re-
(6) women were successful as of men. presentation of women in all
Deputy Governors out of the levels of government.
47 that contested. Fewer Following the analysis, Nige-
women, (54) emerged as rian women are not really
members of House of Assem- emerging. It would be inte-
bly out of the 328 women that resting to note that Nigeria is
contested in the 990 consti- yet to implement the 30% Af-
tuencies in the federation. firmative Action Measures, as
established by article 4
The Senate has 109 available CEDAW, as a justifiable step
seats and only 9 were won by to bridge and redress the gla-
women out of the 57 that ring inequalities that are em-
contested. Also in the House bedded in our socio-cultural
of Representatives, which settings. The irony still re-
have 360 seats, only 27 mains that every year, despite
women were elected while the level of discrimination;
about 151 contested. No the government presents its
woman emerged as president masked-report to the United
or vice president, as the two Nations on their claimed im-
positions are perceived to be plementation of CEDAW.
for men only.
In this respect, I strongly be-
From the above analysis, one lieve that women’s equal par-
can clearly see the power re- ticipation in decision-making
lations that prevent women is not only a demand for sim- Amazone du Roi Béhanzin
from attaining elective posi- ple justice or democracy but du Danhomey
tions, from the most personal should also be seen as a ne- (actuel Bénin)
to the highly public. They are cessary condition for
discouraged from seeking po- women’s interests to be taken
litical office by discriminatory into account. It would pro-
attitudes and practices; family vide a balance that most ac-
and child-care responsibili- curately reflects the
ties, and the high cost of see- composition of a society and

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 7
Gender Equality

A Time For Women


to Rise Up
Joan W. KARANJA
30 years
Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa
Kenya

Until the lions have their own historians,


tales of hunting will always
glorify the hunter – An African Proverb
(In the same way, until women recognize
and defend their own rights as women,
oppression and discrimination will always
be subjected upon them.)

In the Maasai community, the birth lute poverty are women, and the marriages, pregnancies, in-accessi-
of a baby boy is celebrated by the number has been rising steadily bility to schools, and inadequate
whole community and a prime bull over the last decade, perhaps even and gender-biased educational ma-
is slaughtered by the fortunate son’s longer. Even on a worldwide scale, terials. (Beijing Platform for Action)
father, in honor of his entry into the women on average earn less than Women have a right to equal access
community. In the same community, 50% of what men earn (United Na- to education and training. The sup-
at the birth of a baby girl, only the tions led International Conference port for the education of women
women are allowed to sing celebra- on Population and Development – and girls is critically important and
tory songs, and unlike her brother, ICPD). serves as a catalyst for building self
this beautiful African female child esteem and enabling women to rea-
will have no bull slaughtered in her In many rural communities in lize their full potential.
name. This attitude at birth marks Kenya, the choice to educate a girl is
the beginning of gender inequality often made with reluctance; the pre- Women’s mortality remains unac-
that ascribes lower value to girls ference is always to send the “boy” ceptably high in our societies today
and women’s opinions, views and to school, while marrying off the owing to the lack of affordable
choices, eventually leading to une- daughter for sheep or goats, or any health care for women, lack of ap-
qual power and access to resources. other kind of income. In situations propriate and relevant information
of teenage pregnancy, more often on their reproductive health, expo-
In the Kikuyu community, the Bantu than not, the girl bears her child, sure to sexually transmitted di-
people of Central Kenya, a woman and leaves school to grow up into seases due to low empowerment to
has no right to inherit the property an uneducated adult, while the boy make and affect decisions of their
of her late husband, and has no who, is equally responsible conti- sexuality, and high maternal morta-
claim on any of the wealth they nues with school and moves on lity as a result of the de-prioritiza-
jointly created – this oppressive cus- with his life. Girls across Africa and tion of women’s health issues. The
tom is still practiced today, in mo- other parts of the developing world problem is further compounded by
dern Kenya. The majority of the still face discrimination because of cultural traditions such as Female
people in the world living in abso- ingrained cultural attitudes, early Genital Mutilation, Early Marriage

YOWLI
8 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Practice and Wife Inheritance that greater or lesser degree subjected security and protecting these rights
further disempowered women and to physical, sexual and psychologi- should be the priority of African go-
their right to autonomy over their cal abuse that cuts across lines of in- vernments and other stakeholders.
reproduction and sexuality which is come, class and culture. To achieve this, there is a need for
key to having control over the other (International Conference on Popu- advocating for the full empower-
areas in one’s life. (United Nations lation and Development – Program ment of women so that gender
Population Fund – UNFPA) of Action. The sad reality is that wo- equality in the work place and in in-
men’s lives and potential continue come generation can be achieved.
All women have a right to the en- to be endangered by violence direc-
joyment of the highest attainable ted at them simply because they are Every woman has a right to live a
standard of physical, sexual and women. Furthermore, the lack of life of fulfillment and work towards
mental health. (Beijing Platform for action in most African countries, living their dreams and achieving
Action) They further have a right to against perpetrators of violence their aspirations. As women in
control all aspects of their health. (particularly domestic violence) Africa, it is our duty, right and res-
This can be achieved by increasing against women has resulted in ponsibility to fight for our rights
the access to health services (that many women remaining silent and work towards greater equality
are appropriate and affordable) and about their plight. and respect for all African women.
information (that is comprehensive,
complete and understandable) to all Women, just like any other member
women. of society have a right to safety and

AWOMI
Kenya has a population of close to
32 million, of which 60% are female.
However, in the country’s Legisla-
tive arm of leadership women oc-
cupy less than 10% of seats in the
parliament that decides their fate.
Although women have demonstra-
ted considerable leadership in com-
munity and informal organizations,
socialization and negative stereoty- TRAINERS
ping of women and men, including
stereotyping through media, rein- Hameda Deedat
forces the tendency for political de-
cision-making to remain the domain Nogaye Diop
of men. (International Conference Bintou Fall
on Population and Development – Yassine Fall
Program of Action). Naana Otoo-Oyortey
There is a great disparity in power Aminata Toure
between women and men in both Mariama Williams
private and public affairs. There is
further under-representation of
women in decision making posi-
BOARDS MEMBERS
tions in the areas of art, culture,
sports, media, education, religion Ndri Thèrèse Assié Lumumba
and law. This situation needs to be Mary V. Balicoungeri
addressed and actions taken to
Nafissatou Diouf
work towards equitable sharing of
power and leadership among Yassine Fall
women and men within family, Virginia Davis Floyd
community, national and internatio- Amina Ibrahim
nal levels. Mary Robinson
Violence against women exists in all Amélia Zawangone
socio-economic groups throughout
the world. Women and girls are to a

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 9
Gender Equality

Femmes et Emigration :
Situation des Epouses
d’Emigrés Laissées au
Sénégal
Magatte Niang
25 ans - Sénégal

La question de l’émigration constitue un problème majeur dans les pays de l’ensemble de


la région africaine. Le phénomène s’est accentue de façon exponentielle a partir des
crises économiques cycliques qu’a connues le monde a partir des années 1970. Elle se tra-
duit de nos jours par un mouvement général d’émigration qui touche de façon inégale les
différentes couches sociales et les régions du Sénégal. La Vallée du fleuve Sénégal consti-
tuait à l'origine le principal bassin d'émigration. Aujourd’hui, un pourcentage significatif
d’émigrés, ou Modou Modou, viennent des régions centrales du pays (Louga et Diourbel)
les plus affectées par la crise agricole et de l’économie arachidière et partent a l’assaut de
l'espace Schengen et des Etats-Unis. La question essentielle est de savoir quelle est la si-
tuation vécue par les épouses d’émigrés laissées longtemps au pays ?

La réalité des femmes d’émigrés est ment. Elle allait souvent lui rendre vi- mal vue, ce qui les oblige à cacher leur
liée à des phénomènes de stigmatisa- site chez lui les après-midi. Consciente ventre pendant neuf mois pour se dé-
tions du fait des problèmes socio-éco- des maladies sexuellement transmissi- barrasser de leur bébé après l'accou-
nomiques qu’elles rencontrent presque bles, elle entretenait néanmoins des re- chement sans assistance. D’aucuns
tous les jours. lations intimes avec son partenaire. Un étranglent leur bébé et d’autre les met-
Il ne se passe pas une journée sans jour, elle est tombée enceinte par dé- tent dans des fosses septiques, et dé-
entendre un problème de viol, d’adul- faut d’utilisation du préservatif avec clarent que c'est un mort-né. Face à la
tère, de prostitution, de grossesse, son partenaire. Se sentant responsable vigilance des médecins et des voisins,
d’infanticide, d’autres formes de vio- de son acte, elle décide de l’avouer à ces femmes ont été dénoncées et arrê-
lence et de violations des droits en re- son mari. La réaction de ce dernier, in- tées avant d'être placées sous mandat
lation avec les droits humains à l’égard grate et irresponsable, il la répudie et de dépôt pour le délit d'infanticide. Ju-
des épouses d’émigrés au Sénégal. Les la jette à la porte avec ses deux en- gées à la Cour d'assises, les femmes
maris étant partis à l’étranger, les fants. poursuivies pour le délit d'infanticide,
femmes restent des années toutes Au-delà de la situation de Khady, des écopent pour la plupart de 5, 7 à 10
seules avec leurs enfants et gèrent cas plus alarmants et choquants sont ans de prison ferme, si le délit est
comme elles peuvent la lourde charge relatés presque tous les jours par la avéré. Mais souvent elles bénéficient
de l’éducation des enfants, les sévices presse sénégalaise. On y accuse régu- de circonstances atténuantes à cause
et les caprices de la belle-famille, les lièrement ces femmes d’avortements de la solitude et des problèmes finan-
problèmes financiers etc. Malgré toute ratés et d’infanticides sans jamais éta- ciers causés par un mari trop loin et la
leur responsabilité, elles sont confron- lés les raisons de ces faits. L’émission non assistance de la belle famille, suite
tées à d’énormes problèmes. Le cas de télévisée de la RTS1 appelée « Ndiaga- à une bonne plaidoirie de leurs avocats
Khady est
Khady, une ma voisine
femme qui et mèreàde
habite deux
Louga mar » sur les femmes des émigrés est ou même l'acquittement en quelques
garçons, son mari est parti aux Etats-
est un exemple à méditer. illustrative à cet effet. Cette émission occasions.
Unis depuis 10 ans. Fatiguée d’atten-
avait décidé d’organiser une enquête Nous pensons que, pour freiner cette
dre son époux depuis des années sans
pour que la population sénégalaise dé- saignée migratoire et les situations
argent et sans travail, elle a lié des re-
couvre la réalité que vivent ces femmes que vivent les épouses d’émigrer lais-
lations sentimentales et amicales avec
emprisonnées au Camp Pénal de En
séesceauqui concerne
Sénégal, lesallons
nous Emigrés.
essayer
un homme. Elle dit que cet homme le
Dakar. Elles racontaient qu’elles Nous leur disons
de proposer au moins
quelques d’investir
solutions.
soutenait financièrement et morale-
avaient contracté une grossesse non
désirée dans le plus grand secret. Car
YOWLI l'infidélité d'une femme mariée est très
10 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
sur leurs femmes en leur créant des leur ménage. respectes dans leurs communautés
activités génératrices de revenus d’origine. Nous demandons égale-
pour qu’elles puissent assurer la re- En ce qui concerne l’Etat du Sénégal ment au gouvernement de créer des
lève. Nous leur demandons égale- : emplois pour les femmes et les
ment de faire une introspection car Nous lui demandons de créer des jeunes et de les assister car ce sont
l’Europe ou les Etats-Unis ne son pas politiques qui permettront à sa jeu- eux qui font le développement d’un
un Eldorado. nesse d’avoir confiance en elle- pays.
En ce qui concerne les femmes même. Pour cela il doit mettre des En définitive, ces situations sont ex-
d’émigrés : ressources là ou il faut afin que les trêmement douloureuses à vivre car
Nous leur disons aussi même de hommes restent travailler dans le ce ne sont pas toutes les femmes qui
prendre leurs propres responsabili- pays au lieu d’aller émigrer dans les peuvent s’abstenir au moment où
tés avant que leurs maris ne partent pires conditions y compris dans la leurs maris sont à l’étranger. La
pour l’émigration. La religion musul- clandestinité, le drame des traversées femme a besoin d’un épanouissement,
mane interdit même aux hommes océaniques qui se soldent par des d’assistance et d’affection. En tant
d’abandonner leurs femmes au-delà milliers de morts et les conditions que jeunes filles de YOWLI du Séné-
de six mois, sinon la femme a bel et inhumaines et dégradantes de traver- gal nous devons lutter contre les
bien le droit de demander le divorce. sée d’espaces adverses parsemes blâmes faits à l’égard des femmes.
En d’autres termes nous leur disons d’embuches et de rapaces prêts a ex- Nous demandons aussi à ce que les
aussi d’avoir un pouvoir décision, de ploiter des emigres depouilles de droits des femmes soient respectés
connaître aussi leur droit au sein de leurs derniers deniers et de leur qua- car ils font partie des droits humains.
lité d’hommes et de femmes libres et
Mauritanie :
Le dilemme des femmes entre famille
et droit au travail
Fatma Fall et Fatou Binta Dieng
(Cooperative des femmes de Garack ; Mauritanie)

En Mauritanie, on distingue deux catégories de conjoint financièrement et matériellement. Les


femme au travail : femmes Mauritaniennes travaillent pour avoir le
a) La femme en milieu urbain maximum d’argent et faire face a leurs multiples be-
b) La femme en milieu rural soins de base ainsi que ceux de leurs enfants et de la
La femme est au premier plan dans la vie familiale. communauté au sein de laquelle elle a des responsa-
Un hommage mérité lui doit être rendu car elle a de bilités. On constate donc que la réussite familiale ré-
lourds fardeaux
Elle doit préparerfamiliaux.
l’enfant à bas age et devant aller sulte en grande partie de la volonté des femmes. La
à la maternelle. tache sera hardie, mais demeure noble. Il s’agira de
Elle doit également être prête à aller au travail à mener ses activités avec rigueur, noblesse, organisa-
l’heure d’embauche. De ce fait ; elle doit être très tion et responsabilité. La femme qui travaille est un
forte sur pied ; mais aussi organiser à la maison vrai parcours du combattant. Personne ne peut
sans négliger le moindre détail. Au travail, elle doit ignorer la place qu’occupe la femme aussi bien dans
oublier la maison et s’acquitter comme il se doit de le travail que dans la famille.
La femme Mauritanienne a su réaliser des avancées
ses responsabilités. non négligeables sur le plan du travail tout en
A la descente, elle peut avoir quelques achats à faire conservant son identité et ses valeurs de femmes
pour la maison. De retour à la maison, bien qu’elle musulmane. Les excellents résultats obtenus par des
ait droit au repos après une journée mouvementée, jeunes filles dans ce cursus scolaire et les expé-
elle doit s’occuper aussi bien du chef de famille que riences professionnelles réussies de certains
des enfants. femmes Mauritaniennes dans leur vie publique sont
Le cas est différent pour la femme en milieu rural,
qui manque de tout. Elle n’a pas de domestique pour autant de sources d’espoirs pour voir nos sœurs et
le ménage ou la cuisine. C’est elle qui cherche l’eau filles occuper d’avantage de positions stratégiques
au puit, prépare les enfants pour aller à l’école, orga- et d’emplois dans notre chère patrie.
Nous saisissons cette occasion pour lancer un appel
nise la maison avant d’aller au travail. Dés son re-
à toutes les femmes Africaines et à la femme Mauri-
tour du lieu de travail, elle n’a pas droit au repos ;
tanienne en particulier pour leur dire qu’il leur est
elle réorganise la maison en pensant au repas du
possible d’apporter leur pierre à l’édifice de libéra-
soir et peut être fait un tour au périmètre maraîcher
tion des femmes de l’exploitation et de l’oppression
; elle ne reviendra que vers 19 ou 20 heures.
Une femme qui travaille présente des avantages sur aussi bien dans leur espace conjugal que dans
le plan socio-économique, car elle peut épauler son l’arène publique.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 11
Gender Equality

Gender and Equality:


The View of a Disabled
Liberian Youth
Daintowon D. Pay-bayee
25 years
Association of Disabled Females International
Liberia

For many years now up until today, I have come to realize that many disa-
bled women and girls in particular are discriminated and stigmatized
against. Even though women in general are the most vulnerable group in
society, disabled women and girls are at a much higher risk of being
raped, poverty stricken, as well as suffer from lack of access to quality
health care services, quality education and in many communities are vie-
wed as a curse to society and are hence marginalized.

My story to you today is one held self for this crippled girl?”; “What gnized and respected as a contri-
most dear to my heart. As I tell it, use will she be to you?”; “Will she buting member of society and a
I speak not only on my own be- even remember your good role model for other disabled
half but also on behalf of my deeds?” and many other com- youth and others.
friends with whom I share this ments like that.
problem of being differently- The worse experience I ever had
abled, most commonly referred to I grew up in a community where was entering into a boy friend-girl
as disability. people described or addressed friend relationship; and what I
me by my condition: “Are you went through is a form of discri-
I became disabled as a result of looking for Daintowon, that crip- mination so hard to describe.
polio at the age of 5, having to pled girl; she lives in that house.”
crawl on my knees up until the Even when having fun with Really, Disabled woman, youth
age of 9 when Dad gave me a friends my disability is placed and children experienced so
stick to learn how to walk. One right in the centre of matters. much from birth to adult, in fami-
day I dropped the stick and pla- “You crippled girl, what do you lies, relationships, more vulnera-
ced my left hand on my left thigh say?” At school the experience ble to contracting HIV/AIDS,
and found that I could walk in this was the worst of all. denied of so many rights that are
manner. I have used this method Through all these experiences, my God’s given, opportunity to serve
of walking since then. loving parents, especially my Dad, in Public (mainly Governmental)
stood by me. Today through their and Private Offices and many
efforts and support, I stand proud more on and on. Also, we have
Before this my mother had to
as a Junior student at the Univer- great barrier with infrastructures
carry me on her back to the farm
sity of Liberia. Although, I am still (such as steps, bathroom and si-
during the civil crises at the time
experiencing a lot of discrimina- dewalk) that does not provide
while seeking refuge, and also to
tion and insensitivity, my focus is proper and necessary access for
school. She received from some
on my studies with the belief that those with disability.
relatives and friends questions
one day soon I too will be reco-
like: “Why are you torturing your-

YOWLI
12 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Gender -based Organizations and Policy Formulation :
Therefore, I am calling on: A Ghanaian Perspective
Parents of the Disabled
to ensure quality educa-
tion (it is not a waste of re-
sources!) for their
children. They should
make them feel a part of For many years now up until today, I have come to realize that many
the family and seek their disabled women and girls in particular are discriminated and stig-
opinions in decision ma- matized against. Even though women in general are the most vulne-
king. This is the root of rable group in society, disabled women and girls are at a much
good governance. higher risk of being raped, poverty stricken, as well as suffer from
lack of access to quality health care services, quality education and
Citizens to ensure that in many communities are viewed as a curse to society and are hence
the disabled are accepted marginalized.
loved and are important to
society. They should treat Gender-based organizations (GBOs) in thout the proper support mechanism or
disabled people equally as Ghana play two roles; one of holding such as sex and reproductive health
they treat the non-disa- government accountable; the other, of support and education, exposes/ places
bled. working with women around various these young women at risk to becoming
projects. In reality, however, they are fai- HIV/AIDS infected, STD’s and teenage
The Government of Li- ling to realize both objectives. pregnancy. For those who are able to
beria (headed by Her Ex- Gender-based organizations in Ghana escape this lifestyle and do end up em-
cellency Madam Ellen are not performing their independent ployed, the conditions of employment
Johnson Sirleaf) should monitoring role of holding government due to their vulnerable circumstances is
ratify those Laws adopted accountable. Due to the lack of a system precarious, for instance they are made
by the United Nations, im- of accountability for NGO’s in Ghana, a to carry heavy loads over long distances
plement the ones in the mushrooming of NGOs has emerged insecure and earn a meager wage that
Constitution and mainly, but few of these are taking up spaces to On theeven
cannot issuepay
of working withmeal.
for a decent women;
The United Nations influence and advocate on policies and
Convention on the Rights legislation at the national and regional
of Persons with Disabili- level. This is particularly evident in the
ties and The Act on Disa- social and economic policies, and in po-
bility in order to ensure licies pertaining to the rights or inte-
the full participation of di- rests of girls and young women. There
sabled women, youths is a complete disinterest in creating or
and children in all activi- negotiating spaces or an enabling envi-
ties. ronment to promote the economic and
social rights of girls and women. This
With collective efforts to has led to the situation of mistrust and
implement the Call for Ac- lack of credibility of these institutions. Dorothy Aawulenaa
tions, Disabled Women, A specific case in a point has been 27; Center for Sustainable Devlt.
Youths and Children around the issues of International Mo- Ghana
shall be empowered edu- netary Fund (IMF) and World Bank
cationally, economically, economic policies that have led to libe- GBOs develop programmes focusing on
politically, socially to rea- ralization and privatization of goods elderly women in rural communities
lize their full potential and and services. These policies have wor- and others that support women to be
make valuable contribu- sened the plight of the already vulnera- able to access agricultural processing
tions to society. They ble, including young Ghanaian women, machinery and needed funding through
should feel they are an in- especially in Northern Ghana. The lack Micro-Credit Schemes. The programs
tegral part of society and of will on the part of government to ad- however, do not make any attempt to
will gladly join every citi- dress the abject poverty gripping the target young women and as such do not
zen to say “Long Live Li- country and rural areas in particular, create conditions for them to participate
beria Happy Land. A has resulted in young women of Nor- in economic activities, nor do they
Home of Glorious Liberty thern Ghana (at least 31.4%), being for- create the necessary spaces in which
By God’s Command.” ced to migrate to urban cities in search young women can advocate for their
of employment opportunities. Many of rights. This has created levels of des-
these women rarely find the needed em- pondency and mistrust to the extent that
ployment, but in fear of returning to GBOs are being accused of ’amassing’
se e n ext pag e
worse situations in the rural areas, they
L'institut
YOWLI 13
choose to remain in the cities pour
and l’éducation
are des jeunes femmes au leadership
eventually forced into prostitution. Wi-
Gender Equality

wealth under the umbrella of 'advocating for women's


rights'. Added to this misperception is that those em-
ployed by these organizations are ‘wealthy’.
Issues such as prostitution and the vulnerability of
women to HIV-AIDS, among other poverty related is-
sues as some of the key sectors that NGOs need to
focus attention. However, their focus has been limited
to that of agricultural sector where the possibility of ac-
cessing funds is much easier. The lack of accountability
and mechanisms to ensure that NGO’s take up their
role as advocacy groups allows for this circumstances,
and civil society by and large are currently making no
attempt to change it. As a result organisations who ob-
tain funding have a tendency to misrepresent what hey
are doing and in many instances exaggerate. Their be-
neficiaries are either too complacent or too grateful for
what is being done and do not hold them accountable.
Donors providing the funding have the same lax atti-
tude further exacerbating the complacency. It is thus
not surprising when reading the annual reports of seve-
ral NGO’s that while they claim to account, explained
and disseminated information to the women they work
with, this is not being done in practice. The clear lack of
accountability and transparency is most vividly illustra-
ted by the presentation of information in their annual
report which has very limited or no information on the
financial aspects of organizations.
It is notable that in most countries gender based orga-
nizations, by their very nature act as agents of change
for the betterment of the population at large and
women and young girls in particular. They do so
through actively participating in advocacy activities to
influence government policies, to create an enabling
non hostile, legislative, regulatory environment for wo-
men’s participation. Currently this situation seems
unattainable in Ghana. A decisive change of heart and
strong political will on the part of civil society to pres-
sure NGO’s for accountability and who in turn will hold
government accountable. On the part of government
the need for effective monitoring systems and active
monitoring and evaluation criteria on the part of donor
agencies is critical. Concerted effort must be made to
capacitate the youth through directing their funds to-
wards building their capacity which in turn will empo-
wer them to act as agents of change. This will also
ensure a better future for our societies, especially for
young girls, who once empowered will advocate for
their rights on social and economic issues.
I urge all young women, especially those from Nor-
thern Ghana to take up the challenge and through ac-
tive engagement, vigorous networking and an
intensification of advocacy activities on issues that im-
pact their lives at both the on national and international
level. Young women rise and take up the fight against
discrimination against women, and pursue our govern-
ments to ratify the human rights instruments that en-
sure the rights of women and ensure their full
domestication into national laws for the attainment of
substantive equality.
Dorothy Aawulenaa (29, Ghana), Bsc in Community
YOWLI
Nutrition,
14 The YoungUniversity for Development
Women Knowledge Studies
and Leadership (Ghana):
Institute
Works with the Centre for Sustainable Development
Initiatives-CENSUDI.
Discriminação de gênero
e valores culturais
Isaura Ligia Correia Chirindza
20 years - YOWLI (Mozambique)

Em todas as nações do mundo os valores e costumes determinam os lu-


gares sociais ocupados por homens e mulheres. Na África e, em Mocam-
bique em particular, não é diferente. Em diferentes sectores da sociedade
é possível perceber a desigualdade nas relações de gênero. O artigo a se-
guir apresenta como se expressam essas diferenças em alguns setores im-
portantes da sociedade moçambicana e a conseqüência dessa
diferenciação para mulheres e homens.

A discriminação começa na escolha nos e das moçambicanas, a religião praticamente 100% de todo o tra-
do nome das crianças. O nome si- reproduz as discriminações de gê- balho doméstico, para além de qual-
gnifica a expectativa dos pais em re- nero. As estruturas religiosas defen- quer outra ocupação fora de casa,
lação ao filho. Em certas regiões dem que a liderança destas seja chefiam 30% das famílias na África
moçambicanas, os nomes dados as atribuída aos homens e o trabalho sub-sahariana, na prática, mas não
meninas e aos meninos reproduzem voluntário de cozinhar e fazer limpe- de jure (ou seja, não são reconheci-
a percepção do lugar da mulher e do zas e das mulheres porque para os das como tal) e recebem 3/4 dos sa-
homem. Os nomes das meninas são líderes religiosos o homem é a ca- lários dos homens.
relacionados a beleza e o amor, por beça e a mulher é a serva. Outro aspecto relevante para a eco-
exemplo, Nheleti que significa Es- Outra esfera importante da socie- nomia e a vida dos moçambicanos e
trela em Changana - língua local -, já dade diz respeito ao lugar ocupado das moçambicanas é o acesso dife-
os nomes dos rapazes são relaciona- por mulheres e homens na produ- renciado as políticas de saúde, mais
dos com animais ferozes e perigo- ção mundial e sub-sahariana. A par- fortemente quando falamos de DSTs
sos, por exemplo, Nguenha - que tir dos dados das Nações Unidas e e HIV/SIDA. A desigualdade de
significa crocodilo. Isso mostra que da Comissão Económica para poder entre o homem e mulher res-
desde o nascimento, as crianças são África, Isabel Maria Casimiro - In- tringe a autonomia sexual das mul-
ensinadas que o homem é sempre vestigadora do Centro de Estudos heres e raparigas contribuindo para
Quando falamos do acesso
mais forte. Africanos na Universidade Eduardo o aumento da vulnerabilidade ao
à educação, a situação não é dife- Mondlane-, constatou que as mul- HIV/SIDA em relação ao homem.
rente. Os pais perante a decisão de heres possuem 1% das riquezas Esta situação de discriminação de
quem matricular na escola priorizam mundiais, recebem 0,1% do salário género e de facto muito preocu-
sempre os meninos porque estudar mundial, trabalham 2/3 das horas de pante. É urgente a reflexão coletiva
significa desenvolvimento pessoal e trabalho à nível mundial e compõem sobre isso e emergente a necessi-
familiar e preparação para o futuro. 2/3 dos analfabetos do planeta. À dade de encontrar formas de rever-
Considerando que o habitual é a nível da África sub-sahariana, as ter essa situação, pois só assim
mulher sair de casa para casar e ser- mulheres constituem entre 60% e conseguiremos desenvolver o
vir a outra família, enquanto que o 80% da forca agrícola, são responsá- mundo e também reduzir o índice
rapaz, na maioria das vezes, trás a veis por cerca de 100% da confecção de seroprevalência.
sua esposa para morar na casa dos da comida, recolha de água e lenha, A partir dos dados e informações
pais dele, o desenvolvimento deve apesar das leis internacionais sobre apresentadas pode-se perceber que
permanecer na família de origem direitos humanos garantirem a as diferenciações entre mulheres e
dos filhos. Isso significa que se a igualdade sem distinção de raça, gé- homens têm como conseqüência as
mulher estuda quem vai se benefi- nero, etnia etc. discriminações de género que conti-
ciar do desenvolvimento é a outra Vale destacar que quando compara- nuam mantendo as mulheres em
família e não a família dela. mos o trabalho exercido por ho- desvantagem nos diferentes setores
Parte da identidade dos moçambica- mens e mulheres na África da sociedade.
sub-sahariana, as mulheres realizam
L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership
YOWLI 15
Gender Equality

Le leadership féminin :
un élan à ne pas freiner
Nimatoulaye DIALLO
26 ans YOWLI - (Guinée Conakry)

En Guinée, la situation de la compétences exceptionnelles inac- on peut le devenir, il suffit de sti-


femme en terme de respect de ses cessibles à la gente féminine. Un muler l’élan de certaines jeunes
droits socio- économiques et cultu- philosophe du 18eme siècle disait filles qui en manifestent les atouts.
rels n’est point effective. La popu- :« les trois bastions qui restent à
lation étant composée de plus de conquérir par les femmes sont : la L’amélioration de la représentati-
52% de femmes, le pays a besoin liberté, l’accès au savoir, l’accès vité des femmes dans les sphères
des potentialités de celles-ci dans aux responsabilités ». de décision est possible à la seule
tous les domaines de développe- . condition que les femmes s’inves-
ment de son capital national. De- Jadis, la faible présence des tissent et qu’elles aient confiance
puis l’avènement de la deuxième femmes dans les postes de respon- en elles, car la confiance en soi est
République (1984-1994), nous sabilité pouvait être expliquée par un besoin indispensable pour tout
avons eu un constat amer du fait la difficile conciliation entre travail être humain, surtout pour celles
que la femme guinéenne était et famille des femmes, la discrimi- qui ont la prétention d’évoluer.
beaucoup plus représentée dans nation envers elles (sélection) et le Cela améliorera véritablement l’ac-
les travaux ménagers qu’ailleurs. « plafond de verre » (expression si- croissement quantitatif et qualitatif
La question du leadership féminin gnifiant la frontière invisible inhé- de leur représentativité dans la so-
bien que largement étudiée est rente à la structure ciété et par conséquent pour un
toujours d’actualité en raison du organisationnelle qui crée obstacle changement tout aussi positif.
contexte social défavorable et de la à l’avancement des femmes dans Les politiques nationales et inter-
persistance de la sous représentati- les organisations). nationales devraient mettre en
vité des femmes dans les postes Toutefois, il y a eu des femmes qui, place des stratégies pour la pro-
de responsabilité. Dans un pays où malgré le climat non propice à une motion des jeunes filles en vue
le droit, la culture et la tradition émergence féminine ont prouvées d’un changement des mentalités.
sont de nature à compromettre qu’elles pouvaient avoir de bonnes
l’exercice du leadership féminin, initiatives, les mettre en oeuvre et
les actions et initiatives de la aussi accéder à de hauts postes de
femme doivent être un combat de responsabilités. A ce titre, nous
tous les jours pour être soutenues avons Madame Jeanne Martin
et encouragées. Cisse, première femme africaine à
Le leadership ne s’improvise pas, représenter un Etat au Conseil de
mais il se construit dans le temps sécurité de l’ONU (Guinée Cona-
et dans l’espace. C’est pourquoi les kry) ; Françoise Foning, Présidente
femmes doivent s’outiller pour mondiale des femmes chefs d’en-
avoir le bagage nécessaire afin de treprises (Cameroun), le Réseau
prétendre légitimement accomplir des Femmes du Fleuve Mano River
le même type de taches que leurs pour la Paix (REFMAP) en collabo-
confrères masculins, reconnaître ration avec les jeunes, lutte pour la
qu’elles ont en elles un capital en paix dans les conflits armés, le
matière de leadership qu’elles peu- YOWLI qui veut propulser les
vent valoriser et imposer. jeunes filles en renforçant leurs ca-
pacités afin qu’elles puissent deve- Femme Peulh
Il n’est donc plus question de s’ac-
nir de véritables leaders. Tout cela du Fouta Djalon
commoder de la ¨supériorité¨ des
montre la capacité d’émergence
hommes comme s’ils avaient des On peut naître leader mais aussi
des femmes.

YOWLI
16 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Does Customary Law Protect
Or Violate Rights Of Women
In Africa?

Many African countries have traditional rules, norms and cus-


toms which govern their daily lives. Some of these are appro-
ved by legislation and some are accepted by the community
themselves but all are regarded as customary laws.
Some of these customary laws are good in practice but many
violate the rights of women and the youth in matters such as
marriage, inheritance and the right to property ownership.
There is also the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), di-
vorce and welfare of children.
Shawana Soud
(Tanzania)

Customary laws are practiced in widow. How can Africa women FGM Practice is also among the
terms of social aspects and are survive under these situations? customs of many African com-
mostly overseen by community How can we meet our goals if munities. It is all about the cus-
leaders like chiefs and religious some people take away our basic tomary laws that is not religious,
leaders. Some of these laws vio- rights. Can we afford to meet that legalize FGM. How can peo-
late the rights of young women our necessities? Women as ple legalize FGM while it causes
due to misconception and the much pain to the girl in term of
human beings have the same
belief that the practice is better disease, continuous bleeding
for the lives of young women. rights as men and we should get and even loss of life?
our share of inheritance as men
Most African communities allow do. Practice of some customary laws
marriage for girls below 18 years In some customs, it can be hap- results in violation of our rights
of age. Situations like this limit a pen that when the husband dies, and reinforces vulnerability. It
lot of opportunities to the girls the brother of the deceased has can also cause a rise of HIV in-
including education and beco- the chance to inherit the wife of fections and Poverty.
ming professionals. Health wise, his deceased brother. It does not
it makes the girls more vulnera- matter whether the widow Our government and religious
ble to cases like fistula. agrees or not as she is taken to leaders are responsible for these.
be property. This is difficult for Non-governmental organiza-
Customary laws exclude women young women. How can I live tions also have great responsibi-
from inheritance and do not give with a man not of my choice? lity to make sure that those
right to property ownership ei- How can I enjoy life and share customary laws, which violate
ther in their families or the hus- love with him? In such situa- the rights of young African
bands family. For example, when tions, if the woman or young girl women are abolished.
the father dies, all property goes refuses to marry her brother in
to the sons and daughters get law, the community will regard
nothing. her as a sinner and punish her or
The situation is the same if the even kill her.
husband dies and leaves a

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 17
Gender Equality

Young Women Organise for Social


Transformation
women’s prescribed roles as wives and
Feminist analysis recognises the fundamental premise mothers. Debates and policy recommenda-
of patriarchal power as the denial and suppression of tions are situated within safe zones, evol-
women’s naming and controlling their bodies for their ving largely around what is culturally
sanctioned and permissible. ‘Rights’ conti-
own joy and nurturing. This is why it is necessary for nue to be explored within parameters of
young women to engage and organize for social cultural prescriptions about women’s roles
change. The YOWLI -Zimbabwe focus for 2008-2010 and bodies, and fail to address the patriar-
chal tendencies that promote sexual domi-
is to enhance young women’s access to Sexual and
nation over, and deny women control over
Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information their bodies and sexuality.
that empowers them to make informed choices about The YOWLI-Zimbabwe response is based
their reproductive and sexual lives. on women’s rights to choices and sexual
freedoms. It entails an exploration of fun-
damental issues of abortion, sexual orienta-
mYOWLI offers that space for us to criti- struggle with debt payment. These initia- tion, pleasure, and the fight for freedom
cally analyze our lived realities, articulate tives wretch rather than heal our econo- from coercion, violence or punishment as
our needs and aspiration, and take critical mies, and account for the widening gap means of sexual surveillance. We promote
steps towards social transformation. We between the world’s richest and the young women’s appreciation of the inter-
recognize with concern that availability, ac- world’s poorest. linkages between sex, sexuality and the
cessibility and affordability of quality overall political discourse around owner-
In Zimbabwe, for example, SAPs resulted
healthcare in Zimbabwe remain a difficult ship, power and control over resources
the rolling back of the welfare state, which
challenge, given the economic crisis that and opportunities. Building young
accelerated the downward spiral in key so-
has crippled the healthcare delivery sys- cial indicators, particularly in health and in Talent Jumo
tem. Our generation inherits a socio-eco- education. At the same time, trade liberali- 27 years YOWLI
nomic order that is punctuated by gross zation unleashed competition that further (Zimbabwe)
inequalities between and within nations. depressed the local economy. Today, turna-
Patriarchal hegemonies overshadow our round of the economy remains an elusive
agency, and continue to undo many of the dream - unemployment / poverty continue
gains that women achieved over the past to rise.
three decades.
The current socio-economic order presents The SAP-factor, coupled with retrogressive
a threat to women’s rights. As right wing and reactionary policies like the ‘Gag rule’
academics and the media continue to en- and PEPFAR that promote the abstinence
gage in hegemonic discourse under globa- only messages, fail to recognize our lived
lization, it has become blatantly clear that realities, and undermine women’s ability to
the systems of colonial and imperial pa- access quality sexual and reproductive
triarchal power continue to define the rea- health care and services. Life expectancy
lities within which we live and struggle. for females in Zimbabwe for example is
International conventions and systems that 34years; the lowest in the world, according women’s inner strength and determination
shape the policies and govern the world to WHO. This can be attributed to the femi- to navigate vigilantly the possibilities of
continue to be gender biased, trampling on nization of poverty and HIV & AIDS. more dignified and meaningful lives for
the rights and dignity of women and girls Meanwhile, government led approaches women, both in the private and public
of the economic South. fail to recognise and respond to the socio- spheres; is our core. Inner strength as a po-
Sadly, there still exists triumphalist rhetoric cultural factors that deepen women and litical resource enables young women to
of globalization within two-thirds of the girls’ vulnerability to AIDS; in particular assume greater control over their bodies
world. Yet, under a free market system, the gender, sex and sexuality perspectives. and sexualities. This process has enabled
public resources are not mobilized in fa- HIV & AIDS is treated in isolation, and us to discover the reservoirs of personal
vour of the people. In Africa for example, broader SRHR issues have been pushed to and political courage that lies within us, in-
Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) the margins. Civil society organisations dividually and collectively to fight for what
emphasized market liberalization and pri- that seem to ‘incorporate’ SRHR into their lies beyond oppressive social systems and
vatization, giving way to Transnational programmes have also tended to focus on circumstances, to fight against the roles
Companies that continue to siphon re- particular mainstream issues such as re- patriarchal powers, have institutionalized
sources and profits out of Africa to Europe. production, i.e. family planning, and dis- as the norm for us as women.
Meanwhile, African countries continue to courses framed within hetero-normative
YOWLI
18 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
sexual relationships, putting emphasis on
Gender and economic and
social rights

Wesam Hassan
(Egypt)

As a young woman residing in a de- voices and aspirations of young that the low empowerment of
veloping country under a regime Egyptians or the youth (both men women is one of three deficits
whose governance is conservative, I and women) are largely unheard. which have seriously hampered
realize that the role and opportunity Like in most countries the voices human development in the region
for women to participate even at and rights to access social services over the last three decades. Thus, an
community level is limited. This is and productive resources are diffe- approach to development that
particularly true in decision making rent between men and women, with strives to increase gender equality
processes that pertain to develop women accessing far less. For e.g.: has high payoffs for human well-
sensitive issues relating to the re- • Women remain vastly under-re- being. Investing in young people is
productive rights and sexual health presented in national and local as- also a great step to ensuring sustai-
of women. In many instances reli- semblies, accounting for less than nable and effective solutions. Inte-
gion, conflated with inherited rarely 10 percent of the seats in national grating the youths’ perspectives
questioned traditions and norms are parliaments. into the decision-making process
used to explain or justify women’s • In most low-income countries, will also help in building leaders of
exclusion, from these process. Ho- girls are less likely to attend school tomorrow. I believe that the human,
wever, closer scrutiny of this ratio- than boys even when girls start social, and economic development
nale reveals that the justification to school at the same age as boys, of Africa really depends on young
be more the misuse and misinter- • Girls are more likely to drop out people feeling of part of the deve-
pretation of religion by men rather due to early pregnancy early mar- lopment process.
than scripture. This conservative riage, or various forms of violence Ignoring gender disparities comes
and sexist view of women is incor- against them in many forms often at great cost to People’s well-being
porated into the socialization pro- due to the lack of access to repro- and to countries’ abilities to grow
cesses of my society with the result ductive health services.) sustainably, to govern effectively,
that young women like me are per- and thus to reduce poverty. But ef-
ceived as naive, inexperienced and The possibilities for change are fast fective action requires also that poli-
unknowledgeable. This perception becoming a reality with the shared cymakers take account of local
is perpetuated by cultural norms understanding and realization wi- realities when designing and imple-
and traditions among women which thin the development community menting policies and programs.
result in women being viewed as that if they do not change their de- Identifying what works requires
helpless individuals with no power velopment policies and actions to consultations with stakeholders
or the rights to stand for what they take gender inequality into account both women and men on key issues
want, and what they believe in. The it will have serious cost implications and actions. This points to the fact
situations for women in rural areas for them. For example, during the that to enhance development effec-
are even worse since they struggle second half of the 20th century, the tiveness, gender issues must be an
to access information. This lack of primary enrollment rates of girls integral part of policy analysis,
access creates an even greater vul- just about doubled in South Asia,
nerability to all these beliefs. and Africa, rising faster than boy’s
enrollment rates. And women’s life
Young people and young women in expectancy increased by 15-20 years
particular remain underrepresented in developing countries. Also, one
in my society and are absent from of the main findings of the Arab
top-level positions. As such the Human Development Report 2002 is

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 19
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

Robbed of Motherhood

Esther Sheehama
26 years
International Community of Women Living with HIV
(Namibia)

My name is Esther Sheehama and I am a 26 year-old Namibian who has been li-
ving with HIV for as long as
I can remember. I have been called names by people
I trusted, I have been denied my right to freedom of expression and in some ins-
tances, decisions have been taken without my consent, as with the case where
I found out a few months after giving birth by caesarian section I discovered I
had been sterilized without my consent. My situation is one of several where the
rights of HIV-positive women are ignored, and nobody is held responsible.

Being HIV-positive does not mean lity and reproductive rights. Cur- ment, the right to prevention and
I am incapable of bearing and rent situations indicate that wo- treatment and tackles minors’
bringing up children, or that I am men’s health and rights are rarely rights.
any different from HIV-negative included in the political agenda of ( ref: Centre for Reproductive
women with regards to my child- countries, or in the cases where Rights, 2006, Gaining Ground: A
bearing capabilities. HIV-positive they are mentioned are rarely im- Tool for advancing Reproductive
women have equal rights to health plemented. Our governments have Rights Law Reform).
and the right to freedom from dis- a duty to uphold the treaties they In spite of signing onto the Charter
crimination. Indeed, some HIV-po- have signed on women’s health which seeks to tackle discrimina-
sitive individuals might want to rights. They must allocate financial tion against HIV -positive persons
have children. But more often than resources and put in place mea- and making provisions in the Na-
not the question we are asked is sures to implement existing laws, mibian constitution for the promo-
who will take care of the children programs and policies as well as tion of equality, the reality for
when you die? We live in a world mechanisms to ensure their enfor- HIV-positive women in Namibia is
where people die day in and day cement.
Sexual and Reproductive rights are that they are not treated equally as
out from different ailments and in- founded on the principal of human their HIV-negative counterparts.
fections, why should there be so dignity and freedom and include; We demand answers from the Na-
much stigmatization surrounding the right to sexual and reproduc- mibian government! The issue of
HIV-positive individuals? tive health care and the right to forced sexuality is a major concern
The 1994 International Conference making personal decisions with re- for particularly young women and
on Population and Development gards to sexual and reproductive should not be ignored. What is the
(ICPD) affirmed sexual and repro- health. The Namibian government community doing about it? What’s
ductive health as human rights developed a policy and legal fra- the church’s action on forced steri-
that must be fully enjoyed by all. mework called the Namibian lization and how are HIV-negative
In the 2005 World Summit on HIV/AIDS Charter of Rights in women helping? Doctors who do
HIV/AIDS, world leaders commit- 2000. The Charter recognizes that forced sterilization need to be
ted to increasing support for people living with HIV/AIDS live made accountable to the commu-
HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment with stigma and discrimination nity since they work under the di-
and care and the Namibian go- which stops them from accessing rection of higher authorities.
vernment recently agreed on the benefits. The Charter prohibits dis-
Millennium Development Goals crimination, calls for the right to
that address women’s reproductive confidentiality, women’s empower-
health rights. Human rights are es-
20
YOWLI
sential to promoting
The Young genderand
Women Knowledge equa-
Leadership Institute
Tears run down my face each night I think about the fact must be guaranteed respect, dignity, and equal opportu-
that I will not be able to have another child and all I can nities to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health rights
do is wipe my tears away because I am not allowed to including the right to enjoy motherhood without discri-
speak against the injustices that happened to HIV-posi- mination.
tive women such as me. I am sure that there are several
other women who have to wipe their tears each night I am encouraged and inspired by the training given
they contemplate their lack of rights and the lack of wo- under the YOWLI framework and the level of attention
men’s rights in general. When we look around us we see given to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
the pain that most women go through yet no one wants Through the program I have encountered at least one
to be responsible for the damage that is done. Even woman who chooses not to wipe her tears behind closed
women in decision-making positions see the pain and in- doors at the injustices pertaining to HIV-positive women
justice that exists but they choose to be silent and cry be- but instead takes constructive strides to fight against
hind closed doors. Women living with HIV and AIDS those injustices.

Sénégal : VIH/SIDA et émigration

Le Sénégal possède un taux de prévalence du


VIH/Sida faible par rapport à celui des autres pays de
l’Afrique subsaharienne. Selon l’ONUSIDA en 1999
moins de 2% de la population adulte était porteuse du
VIH/Sida par rapport à prés de 9% de la population
adulte subsaharienne. Malgré ce faible taux de préva-
lence, le sida se rencontre plus dans certaines régions
Ndèye Astou Aw
(Sénégal )
que dans d’autres. Par exemple, le nord du Sénégal,
zone d’où viennent bon nombre d’émigrés renferme
le plus grand nombre de personnes vivant avec le VIH
au Sénégal.

Ceci nous amène à soulever la ques- du Sénégal) révèle que 40% des ropositives. Ils contractent ainsi le
tion de la corrélation entre les zones hommes qui ont émigré dans les VIH/Sida et une fois de retour au
migratoires les plus affectées et la pays africains à forte séroprévalence pays le transmette à leurs épouses
progression de la pandémie si- signalent avoir eu un comportement ou épousent des jeunes filles vierges.
déenne. En effet, les études dernière- sexuel à risque de retour au foyer. En Lorsqu’elle meurt son époux se re-
ment effectuées ont montré que la plus bon nombre d’émigrés après marie et le transmet à d’autres et
migration pourrait constituer une plusieurs années à l’étranger et une ainsi de suite ». Donc l’émigration
menace d’augmentation de la popu- fois revenus chez eux n’ont pas re- des hommes vers d’autres pays le
lation séropositive. Les travailleurs cours aux préservatifs et font ainsi plus souvent endémiques constitue
clandestins font partie des groupes office de passerelle du VIH/Sida qui un réel facteur de risque de propa-
les plus exposés à la transmission du passe ainsi des pays endémiques aux gation de la maladie, et entraine
VIH/Sida. Selon une étude réalisée il pays les moins touchés. D’ailleurs en même une féminisation de la mala-
y a 10 ans par Fadel Kane et ses col- 2001 lors d’une série d’entretien or- die.
lègues, 27% des travailleurs mi- ganisée au Fouta (Matam) une Cependant il nous faut préciser que
grants hommes revenus de femme de 22 ans décrivait ainsi la les travailleurs migrants ne sont pas
l’étranger était porteurs du VIH/Sida transmission du VIH/Sida : « les les seuls responsables de cette mala-
par rapport à 1% d’hommes non mi- hommes émigrent et ont des com- die chez leurs épouses. En effet bon
grants. De plus, une étude plus ré- portements sexuels non protégés et nombre de femmes d’émigrés après
cente faite à Matam (région du nord irresponsables avec des femmes sé- plusieurs années d’absence de leur

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 21
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

Ceci nous amène à soulever la ques- cours aux préservatifs et font ainsi die chez leurs épouses. En effet bon
tion de la corrélation entre les zones office de passerelle du VIH/Sida qui nombre de femmes d’émigrés après
migratoires les plus affectées et la passe ainsi des pays endémiques aux plusieurs années d’absence de leur
progression de la pandémie si- pays les moins touchés. D’ailleurs en mari s’abandonnent au travail du
déenne. En effet, les études dernière- 2001 lors d’une série d’entretien or- sexe pour pouvoir survivre et nourrir
ment effectuées ont montré que la ganisée au Fouta (Matam) une leurs enfants. Par exemple selon le
migration pourrait constituer une femme de 22 ans décrivait ainsi la chercheur Christophe Saez dans la
menace d’augmentation de la popu- transmission du VIH/Sida : « les ville de Richard Toll (ville au nord du
lation séropositive. Les travailleurs hommes émigrent et ont des com- Sénégal dans la région de Saint
clandestins font partie des groupes portements sexuels non protégés et Louis) beaucoup de femmes se ren-
les plus exposés à la transmission du irresponsables avec des femmes sé- dent en ville prétextant vendre du
VIH/Sida. Selon une étude réalisée il ropositives. Ils contractent ainsi le lait pour y vendre leurs charmes.
y a 10 ans par Fadel Kane et ses col- VIH/Sida et une fois de retour au Cette situation est vraiment alar-
lègues, 27% des travailleurs mi- pays le transmette à leurs épouses mante. Et si l’état du Sénégal ne réa-
grants hommes revenus de ou épousent des jeunes filles vierges. git pas ou en tout cas pas assez c’est
l’étranger était porteurs du VIH/Sida Lorsqu’elle meurt son époux se re- à nous jeunes et en tant que YOWLI
par rapport à 1% d’hommes non mi- marie et le transmet à d’autres et de mettre en œuvre des initiatives vi-
grants. De plus, une étude plus ré- ainsi de suite ». Donc l’émigration sant à éduquer ; informer et sensibi-
cente faite à Matam (région du nord des hommes vers d’autres pays le liser les gens à respecter le droit des
du Sénégal) révèle que 40% des plus souvent endémiques constitue femmes à la protection. Il faudrait
hommes qui ont émigré dans les un réel facteur de risque de propa- également que l’information puisse
pays africains à forte séroprévalence gation de la maladie, et entraine arriver jusqu’au niveau de ces émi-
signalent avoir eu un comportement même une féminisation de la mala- grés afin de venir en aide à ces po-
sexuel à risque de retour au foyer. En die. pulations et mettre fin à ce
plus bon nombre d’émigrés après Cependant il nous faut préciser que phénomène.
plusieurs années à l’étranger et une les travailleurs migrants ne sont pas
fois revenus chez eux n’ont pas re- les seuls responsables de cette mala-

Malawi:
Gender, Society and the
HIV/AIDS Epidemic

In Malawian Society, there is a higher tendency king considering that women constitute over
of boys getting educated than girls. The ratio- 60% of the Malawian population, an estimated
nale behind this is that girls are meant for mar- number of 13 Million. Gender analysis of the Ma-
riage, and education is not needed for them to lawian society; illustrate the multitude of inequa-
fulfill their domestic responsibilities. This bias to- lities throughout the society, especially with
wards girls is not only found in education but is regard to women. For example when comparing
a general tendency in other aspects of society. As the literacy rates between men and women, the
such the Malawian society does not advocate for rate for women is much lower. Women also indi-
the equal rights of girls in society, and in deci- cate a higher percentage of HIV/AIDS infections
sion making processes. This discrimination and and lower self esteem as compared to men.
unequal treatment of women is particularly stri- Women are uninformed about their rights and

YOWLI
22 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
are unaware that their rights are en-
compassed within the human rights en-
shrined in the Malawian constitution.
Despite Malawi being a signatory to a
number of protocols that call for the ad-
vancement of women in society, the go-
vernment has made no attempt to
integrate the rights of women into its Steve Binali
policies. Some examples to protocols (25 ; Malawi)
which Malawi has signed on are: The
Convention on the Elimination of Dis-
crimination against Women (CEDAW) –
The Beijing Platform, the Southern
Africa Development Community
(SADC) Protocol which calls for 30% representation of women in positions of in-
fluence etc.
An acute absence of women’s representation and participation is prevalent on the
governmental levels including parastatal bodies, parliament representation, local
assemblies etc. A direct consequence of this is that women remain unable to exer-
cise their rights, or exert any influence in the creation and implementation of poli-
cies. Their lack of participation in government is further exacerbated by low
education levels, lack of capacity and unavailable resources. This means that they
are not sufficiently represented in the socio-economic spheres of Malawi. This has
particularly impacted women especially with regards to HIV/AIDS Policies, the
treatment of HIV positive women, and young girls and the access to treatment by
women and young girls.
The vulnerability of women to contracting or becoming HIV infected is far greater
than men in Malawi. Globally 60% of 15-24 year olds living with HIV/AIDS are
young women . The figures remain high despite support services that are made
available. In contracting the diseases, women and girls become victims of stigmati-
zation. This impacts their willingness to access HIV/AIDS care and treatment com-
pared to men. This situation is compounded by a number of cultural practices;
women’s low participation in development initiatives, less access to resources, and
the inability of women to participate in matters that affect their sexual and social
lives.The irony of this situation is that men (or the husbands of these women) are
the primary cause of these infections and continue to weild the power and control
in decision making. Other contributing factors that place women at a higher risk
are poverty, women and child trafficking, sex work in the absence of comprehen-
sive sex education, migration, gender discrimination and gender based violence. In
spite of these challenging circumstances government and civil society at large
continue to fail to advocate and initiate change. This leaves women and young
girls disproportionately bearing the burden of the epidemic.
In light of the inability or ‘political willingness’ for government to act, there is an ur-
gent need of the participation of civil society and women organisations. This can be
made possible by the promoting and advocating for young women’s rights and lea-
dership as enshrined within the Malawian contitution. This in turn will lead to the
improvement of capacity amongst women to participate in decision making pro-
cesses. As a final statement, it is important that men and civil society in general be
educated to jointly advocate for this change.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 23
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

UGANDA:
ABC STRATEGY FOR HIV/AIDS
PREVENTION, NOT WORKING
FOR MARRIED WOMEN

Monicah Amoding
(Uganda)

Uganda has received international acclaim for a job well


done in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS using the ABC
strategy through which the prevalence rates have success-
fully been brought down from more than 25% in the 1980s
to the current 6.4%. As we celebrate this major achieve-
ment, several challenges remain such as increasing infec-
tions among married couples and the feminisation of the
pandemic. Statistics on AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa and
Uganda in particular point to one clear fact that, HIV/AIDS
is increasingly becoming a female disease with a young wo-
man’s face.

There are currently over 40.3 mil- women due to the actual sexual
lion people living with AIDS violence in marriage relations. So
worldwide of which nearly half of why are the rates of infections in-
these are women. In Uganda, the creasing among women? Are
HIV prevalence varies between these common HIV prevention
males (5.2%) and females (7.3%) messages really working for
and this has been rising over the women in Uganda? What lessons
last three years. The ABC strategy can be learnt from the Ugandan
has however failed to protect experience in HIV Prevention?

YOWLI
24 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Abstinence imbalance characterising its unaffordable price. For this
many sexual relationships, reason, the prevalence of
Abstinence is believed to be men are considered free to de- HIV/AIDS in Uganda is shif-
one of the most effective me- cide on having more than one ting from young people of age
thods of protection from HIV partner at a time whilst group 15-24 years and increa-
infection. However, is it possi- women cannot, neither can sing amongst married people
ble for married women to abs- they abandon relationships between 30-44 years. Out of
tain? In Uganda, women and that put them at risk of the new 132,000 HIV infec-
girls are portrayed as subser- HIV/AIDS due to social and tions as of 2007, over 60% new
vient and therefore incapable economic reasons. For this infections were reported
of making decisions including reason, many polygamous amongst married people.
those relating to sexual mat- marriages and those plagued
ters such as; when and not to with infidelity are very vulne- What can other countries the-
have sex with their partners. rable to the HIV/AIDS refore learn from Uganda re-
The socialisation of young scourge. How then can a garding the HIV/AIDS
women preparing for mar- faithful woman with an un- prevention? There is a need to
riage in many Ugandan com- faithful partner, more over develop other approaches that
munities emphasises that they with no social or economic focus on addressing
learn not to say no to their power be safe from HIV/AIDS among married
partner’s sexual demands. HIV/AIDS? people. Even as we promote
This in many ways fosters the abstinence, faithfulness and
power imbalance in sexual re- condom use, we must also en-
Condom Use
lations and makes it hard for sure that women have the ne-
women to abstain from sex cessary power in their
even with full knowledge of Whereas the use of condoms
relationships to make choices
their partners’ unfaithful has continued to save many
regarding sexual matters. HIV
sexual behaviours and lives, several women cannot
Prevention interventions also
HIV/AIDS status. This leaves negotiate for sustained safer
must take into account the
many women in very difficult sex due to the violence that
realities of infidelity, physical
situations, as on one hand the characterises many relations-
violence and forced sex in
choice to abstain may result hips. Most women cannot
sexual relationships if sustai-
into further violence from freely choose safer sexual
nable impact is to be achieved.
their partners whilst on the practices or refuse unsafe
All these call for HIV/AIDS
other hand, failure to abstain sexual activity but instead
prevention programmes that
may result to them getting in- must negotiate within unequal
will address the power ine-
fected by their partners. So intimate relationships. This is
quality in intimate relations-
can abstinence save women worsened by the fact that they
hips that has for long been
from contracting HIV/AIDS? lack the social and economic
ignored yet responsible for
Being Faithful power necessary to insist on
the high infection rates espe-
condom use. Due to such gla-
cially amongst married
ring gaps, women activists
women.
have been advocating that go-
Whereas a woman may chose vernment subsidizes the fe-
to be faithful to her partner, male condom to save the lives
the same may not be true for of women but these demands
her partner. Marital infidelity have not been adequately res-
and polygamy among men is ponded to. The female
a practice that is still conside- condom continues to be very
red normal in many societies inaccessible to women due to
of Uganda. Due to the power

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 25
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

MOÇAMBIQUE :
O IMPACTO DO HIV/SIDA
NA VIDA ECONÓMICA DA
POPULACÃO

Isaura Mauelele
(Moçambique, 23 anos)

Moçambique é um país que se loca- africanos, como Moçambique, a so-


liza na região da África Austral e, lucão apontada pelos governantes
segundo dados apresentados pelo o de África, é de apostar na agricul-
Fundo das Nações Unidas para a tura para a producão dos alimentos.
População (FNUAP), possui 19.9 O país deve ser independente de
milhões de habitantes. Desse nú- importações dos países desenvolvi-
mero, a percentagem da população dos. Contudo, tal recomendação
com menos de 15 anos é de 43.1%. está ameaçada com as recentes dis-
O HIV/SIDA é uma doença que cussões em torno do uso da terra,
causa um impacto relevante na vida para a produção de biocombustí-
da população, especialmente das veis.
mulheres. A taxa de seroprevalên- Por outro lado, nos últimos tempos
cia em adultos é de aproximada- tem se registrado casos de violação
mente 16.1%. Dessa percentagem, dos Direitos Humanos, que
cerca de 66% é composta por mul- converge para a propagação do
heres, na faixa etária entre os 15 aos HIV/SIDA. Casos de violação de
24 anos. menores são divulgados pelos ór-
Com o HIV/SIDA a vida económica gãos de comunicação social. O
tem sido afectada, sendo que os Quarto Poder (a Mídia), em Mo-
gastos no sector da saúde, por ano, çambique, tem desempenhado um
têm sido elevados, em relação a ou- papel importante no âmbito do jor-
tros sectores, como o da agricul- nalismo investigativo, ao divulgar
tura. Actualmente, fala-se na crise casos de abusos a adolescentes e
alimentar mundial. Para os países crianças.

YOWLI
26 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Segundo uma pesquisa efec- afectadas, principalmente nas energias alternativas (biocom-
tuada pelo International Plan- zonas rurais, com maiores difi- bustíveis), alegando-se que o
ned Parenthood Federation culdades de acesso. preço do petróleo subiu. A ver-
(IPPF) em 2005, o número de Por seu turno, a camada mais dade é que países como Mo-
mortes devido ao SIDA foi de pobre devido a doença são as cambique vão continuar a
110 mil pessoas por ano. mulheres. Em contrapartida, o comprar combustíveis a um
Mais de 50% da populacão é número de homens e mulheres preço muito mais elevado,
composta por mulheres, que com emprego é extremamente considerando que os produtos
constituem as mais vulneráveis diferente, sendo que, segundo cultivados serão exportados e
e afectadas pela doença. Por uma pesquisa de 2007 efec- processados em países desen-
detrás desta vulnerabilidade, tuada pelo Programa das Na- volvidos, que impõem essas
estão diversas razões sociais, ções Unidas para o políticas devastadoras para o
económicas e culturais, como Desenvolvimento PNUD e a continente africano. Portanto,
os casos de casamentos prema- Fundação para o Desenvolvi- sabe-se que o país não possui
turos, em que a idade média mento da Comunidade (FDC), tecnologias industriais para o
das mulheres na altura do pri- cerca de 76% dos homens tem processamento dos recursos e
meiro casamento é de17 anos. emprego, contra apenas 24% produção dos biocombustíveis.
Adiciona-se que a prmeira rela- de mulheres. 74% das pessoas É tempo de África, especial-
ção sexual surge na idade vivem com menos de 2 dólares mente Moçambique, reflectir
média de 16 anos. Contribuem por dia e a dívida externa por sobre a questão do HIV/SIDA
também para a propagação da moçambicano é de 40.5% do e relacionar essa questão com a
doença, as desigualdades de Produto Interno Bruto (PIB). economia, porque os agricul-
género e poder, violência Existem indicações que a dí- tores necessários para a produ-
sexual e doméstica, pobreza e vida está a aumentar. cão dos alimentos que não
falta de oportunidade econó- Para se desenvolver o país é serão para o consumo e melho-
mica. Adicionam-se outros fac- necessário que se invista mais ria da vida da população estão
tores como baixo nível de em políticas concretas, para a ameaçados pela a doença.
escolaridade e baixa utilização formação daquela que constitui Para tornar o país indepen-
de métodos anticonceptivos. a maior mão de obra do país, dente, temos que reduzir os
As estratégias governamentais portanto, as mulheres. casos de HIV/SIDA. E para re-
em parceria com associacões A agricultura é considerada a duzi-los é necessário ampliar
juvenis tem sido em garantir a base para o desenvolvimento, os programas de prevenção
transmissão de informação em sendo que é desse sector que através do investimento na
matérias de saúde sexual e re- advém os alimentos. Ora, como Educação. Trata-se de um
produtiva para adolescentes e se pretende usar mais de 70% papel de todos, Governo, socie-
jovens. Caso concreto do Pro- de terras férteis para a produ- dade civil e a comunidade em
grama "Geração Biz", que se cão de vegetais que não sejam geral.
incide na formação da faixa destinados para a alimentação
etária com especial enfoque da população ? Isso agrava
para prevencão. É importante ainda mais o problema, por se
empoderar as mulheres a tratar de um país em que o tra-
terem coragem de dizer «não » tamento de ARV não vem
ao sexo desprotegido. sendo acompanhado de uma
O acesso ao tratamento antire- alimentação adequada, agra-
troviral (ARV) tem sido outra vando por vezes o estado de
batalha, visto que o Governo saúde dos doentes. Ao contrá-
não tem conseguido garantir o rio, pretende-se produzir ali-
seu acesso a todas as pessoas mentos para a fabricação de

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 27
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

Virginity And Vulnerability


of Young Men And Women
Mwelwa Chabala
(Zambia)

In most societies adults control young people’s access to in-


formation about sex and health. While many adults are either
ill/uninformed about HIV/AIDS many hold the misconception
that young people’s access to information about sex will lead
to early sexual initiation. This is particularly acute in societies
where a woman’s virginity is viewed from a moral perspec-
tive. As such in many cultures the key message during the
‘sexual’ socialization of young girls lays emphasis on the pro-
tection of virginity. Placing value on virginity is perceived as
an inhibitor for young women seeking sexual and reproduc-
tive health information and services or engaging in sexual be-
haviour.

It also precipitates the stigmatisa- moting abstinence. Instead young Instead it has lead to alternative
tion of young women who attempt women are choosing to engage in sexual practices which preserve
to obtain this information by crea- oral or anal sex with men or having “the virginity” but results in sexual
ting the perception that they are al- sexual relationship with women behaviour with even greater risk.
ready sexually active. This while preserving their virginity. In
misperception has dire conse- many instances these alternative
quences for young women who sexual practices occur without pro- Vulnerabilities of sexual behaviour
face the possibility of expulsion tection, and as such are placing the is not limited to cultures who want
from home. In some instances this lives of these young women at risk. to preserve virginity. In other com-
has lead to the death of young Sexually transmitted diseases are munities where sexual behaviour is
women. For example, in Egypt a thus a common occurrence the choice of the individual, with
young Muslim woman was forced amongst unmarried women due to few pressures to curb it, a different
into marriage by her father for not limited access to family planning set of vulnerabilities emerge. For
being a virgin. Prior to the mar- services. The risk of contracting example, in many countries were
riage she was subjected to surgery HIV/AIDS is especially high be- the economic conditions are harsh,
to camouflage this reality from her cause it is not given much impor- girls are placed at a disadvantage
husband. A few months later she tance since it is assumed that as parents choose to educate their
ran away from her home, but was virgins are “clean” and free from boys over their girls. The financial
tracked down and killed by her fa- diseases. Bearing in mind the em- responsibilities for school fees are
ther and brother for dishonouring phasis placed on ‘virginity’ as in in- then transferred onto the girls who
the family name. dicator of the morality of a society have to find their own means to
and linking it to the honour of the pay in order to continue their edu-
This inexcusably violent behaviour family name has not been success- cation.
towards young girls and women ful in acting as inhibitor for sexual
has however not succeeded in pro- activities or behaviour of women.

YOWLI
28 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
TXISSOLA
Nilza Laice
(18 anos; Mozambique)

Eu só tinha dez anos. Não falava a língua ofi- nei minha capulana, meu ser mulher, cultura,
cial do meu país e já era mulher. Meu filho hábitos e costumes. Não nego que minhas
nasceu com cegueira infantil, deficiência fí- roupas hoje possam sim despertar num
sica e soropositivo. Eu e meu pai já éramos homem desejo, mas naquele tempo não. Eu
soropositivos e houve re-infecção e formação era uma criança sem malícia, por isso nego
de vírus mutantes. que um homem não saiba viver em socie-
Quando a comunidade descobriu que o filho dade e em família e nego viole, não só uma
era meu, culparam a minha mãe, por não ter criança ou uma mulher, mas os seus direitos.
permitido que eu fosse aos ritos de iniciação Acredito que desde os tempos mais remotos,
(onde eu aprenderia a controlar os meus ex- nossos antepassados já andavam nus ou
tintos sexuais), e por deixar me usar roupas semi-nus, mas sempre estiveram presentes
curtas e europatizadas (riu-se ....) os conceitos de família, amor e respeito. Sei
Hoje sou apenas eu: meu bebê não viveu que não sou a pessoa ideal para falar de res-
uma semana, meu pai sucumbiu e peito, pois não respeito meu corpo
minha mãe morreu de desgosto e e sou espancada várias vezes,
não pela doença, pois fisicamente mas tenho medo e não re-
ela estava bem, mas psicologi- corro a ninguém. Às vezes
camente não (caiu-lhe uma lá- quero ser fiel a mim
grima). O estigma e a mesma usando o preser-
discriminação são piores que vativo, mas os clientes
a doença...(manteve-se em si-
vêm em demasia e não
lêncio por algum tempo). tenho o tempo para tro-
Vendo meu corpo para me
car ou colocar o preser-
sustentar e, às vezes, tenho
vativo. Às vezes, mesmo
que esquecer do meu lado hu-
mano, porque sou gente e pre- que eu queira não tenho
ciso de dinheiro, então faço sexo como comprar, por falta de
sem preservativo. Não estou tentando dinheiro ou por vergonha dos
me justificar, mas se eu tivesse ido à escola, comentários... Não respeito meu
tivesse aprendido sobre os meus direitos corpo, mas tenho amor pela vida. Sei que
sexuais e reprodutivos, sobre o sexo, como existem milhões de Txissolas como eu em
usar o preservativo, assédio sexual; se al- toda África e vocês YOWLI podem mudar
guém tivesse me ensinado a falar, a expor esse cenário, pois para mim YOWLI é uma
meus problemas, pelo menos com meus pais; corrente de renascimento de mulheres afri-
se nesse mundo a mulher não significasse canas, não só de sangue, mas também de co-
objeto sexual e de reprodução; se depois da ração.....(sorriu)
menarca eu não deixasse de ser criança ou ______________
adolescente e me deixassem ser mulher
quando eu me sentisse pronta... Talvez... Texto adaptado, baseado em várias estórias
Não nego os benefícios que a globalização africanas
nos proporciona, mas choro porque abando-

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 29
HIV/AIDS: GENOCIDAL TRENDS

Femmes africaines
et droits sexuels

Aissatou Thiam NGom


(Senegal)

Dans de nombreuses sociétés, les hommes exercent un contrôle total sur les femmes
dans toutes les relations qu’ils entretiennent avec elles. Cette répartition inégale du pou-
voir entre les sexes représente une contrainte majeure pour les femmes qui voudraient se
protéger contre les MST.
Par exemple, si une femme achète des préservatifs, elle risque d’être accusée d’infidélité.
Or, de nombreuses femmes séropositives ont été contaminées par leur mari « infidèle ».
Manquant de tout pouvoir de négociations, elles sont souvent dans l’impossibilité d’insis-
ter pour s’assurer des relations sexuelles à moindre risques.
De plus de nombreuses femmes et jeunes filles illettrées méconnaissent leur corps. Elles
ne sont non plus pas informées sur les mécanismes de transmission du VIH/SIDA et des
autres MST et le risque qu’elles courent en entretenant des relations sexuelles non proté-
gées.
Un autre facteur de vulnérabilité au VIH/SIDA réside dans la violence faite aux femmes et
filles. Les domestiques par exemple sont souvent victimes d’abus sexuels de la part de
leurs employeurs. Cependant, l’impunité pour acte de viol demeure un fait courant alors
que les femmes victimes sont souvent harcelées, blâmées et même parfois accusées d’être
responsables.
Le proxénétisme et la traite des filles mineures sont devenues monnaie courante sans que
les auteurs ne soient presque jamais inquiétés. En Afrique les jeunes filles venant des
zones rurales ou périurbaines se voient périr entre les mains des proxénètes pour avoir
cru à des promesses illusoires d’emploi.

YOWLI
30 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Les professionnelles du sexe ainsi le risque d’infection par drogue par voie intraveineuse.
se voient souvent reprocher la les MST. D’après les cher- A la mort de la femme, au
propagation du VIH/SIDA. Il cheurs, le risque qu’une malheur de ses enfants, son
est pourtant important de se femme soit infectée par le mari amène à la maison une
rendre compte que pour cer- VIH/SIDA est au moins deux marâtre pour « s’occuper des
taines femmes moins ins- fois supérieur à celui que cou- enfants ». Cette dernière
truites que les hommes et rent les hommes. exerce toutes sortes de discri-
ayant moins accès à l’emploi, Par la suite de leur rôle tradi- minations envers les enfants
et vivant dans des conditions tionnel de dispensatrice de de la défunte au profit des
d’appauvrissement de plus en soins au sein du foyer, ce sont siens. Je ne parle même pas
plus avilissantes, se prostituer les femmes qui s’occupent des problèmes sociaux que
devient alors le seul moyen de principalement des membres rencontrent les autres enfants
survivre. Par ailleurs, lorsque de la famille atteints du mais de la petite séropositive
les gens accusent les profes- VIH/SIDA .Etant donné l’im- qui devrait bénéficier spécifi-
sionnelles du sexe de propa- pact dévastateur de l’épidémie quement d’un bien être fami-
ger le VIH/SIDA, ils ne sur les ménages et le nombre lial. Tous ces dilemmes, la
tiennent pas compte du rôle croissant d’orphelins, ce sont marâtre s’en fiche éperdu-
joué par le client. Or, c’est sou- les femmes âgées et les jeunes ment. Et ces enfants ont peu
vent ce dernier qui refuse filles qui se retrouvent char- de chance de réussir dans leur
d’utiliser le préservatif, malgré gées de la famille. vie. Autre problème : la marâ-
le risque d’infection. Donc, il Je vais raconter une anecdote tre ne savait pas qu’elle entre-
convient de reconnaitre la res- qui s’est passée à Kolda et qui tenait des relations sexuelles
ponsabilité de tous car sans revele au grand jour tous les avec un séropositif.
demandeur pas d’offreur et problèmes qu’on peut rencon- Et vous voyez ainsi tous les
vice-versa. trer avec le VIH/SIDA : les dommages qu’un mari infidèle
N’oublions surtout pas que la maris infidèles, la stigmatisa- peut causer à une société.
grande majorité des parents tion contre les personnes sé-
ne tiennent pas compte des ropositives, les orphelins du
questions sexuelles dans VIH/SIDA, etc.
l’éducation des enfants, ce qui NF a découvert qu’elle était
cause souvent des dérives séropositive lorsqu’elle a
sexuelles. Dans certains pays amené son bébé chez le méde-
par exemple les jeunes cin parce qu’il perdait du
hommes sont incités à avoir poids. Le médecin, préoccupé,
leur première expérience a fait un test qui s’est avéré
sexuelle avec des prostituées. positif et il a donc analysé le
Les femmes sont également sang de NF. Quelques temps
plus vulnérables exposées au plus tard, NF a contracté le
VIH/SIDA sur le plan physio- SIDA. Sa famille et ses amis
logique. Les causes en sont ont réagi à la nouvelle avec in-
multiples : une activité crédulité et émotion. Cer-
sexuelle trop précoce avec les taines personnes ont disparu
mariages précoces, la mutila- de sa vie, tout cela à cause
tion génitale et les rapports d’un mari infidèle qui sillon-
sexuels brutaux sont autant de nait les rues du village à la re-
pratiques qui provoquent un cherche d’adolescentes et qui
traumatisme et accroissant prenait en même temps de la

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 31
ECONOMICS, SOCIETY & POWER

Programmes d’ajustement
structurel et aggravation
délibérée de la pauvreté

Kouka Kaboré
(Burkina Faso)

Les premiers programmes d’ajustement structurel (PAS)


en Afrique remontent aux années 80. Avant les indépen-
dances les économies africaines étaient des économies
extraverties. Avec l’avènement du pétrodollar, les
grandes banques européennes se retrouvent en situation
d’excès de liquidité. Elles décident d’accorder dans les
années 70 des prêts aux pays du sud à des taux d’intérêt
faibles dont l’utilisation s’est soldée par des échecs. Ainsi
les Institutions de Breton Woods décident de dicter aux
Etats du sud un processus de développement avec des
solutions préconçues pour redresser leur économie.

Les PAS exigent un processus du tiques d’ajustement relèvent d’un


désengagement de l’Etat du secteur choix de société basé sur la doctrine
public et laisser libre cour au mar- libérale qui prône l’économie de
ché de réguler le système écono- marché. Les PAS visent donc à éta-
mique. Avec les PAS, les secteurs de blir ou à rétablir de façon perma-
l’eau, de l’énergie, la santé, l’éduca- nente l'équilibre dans les balances
tion, l’agriculture et de l’environne- de paiements, en favorisant l'instau-
ment ont connu de profondes ration d'un climat économique ap-
reformes qui ont engendré des proprié. Globalement, il vise à
conséquences désastreuses. Au "forcer" les pays concernés, qui ac-
delà de cette définition les poli- ceptent la contrainte, à vivre selon

YOWLI
32 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
leurs moyens (Landell-Mills, cières Internationales à cause les institutions de Breton
p, 7), d'où sa nature macro- la crise de la dette multilaté- Woods se sont vues obligées
économique structurelle. rale. d’introduire la notion « de di-
Concrètement, la BM estime La privatisation fait partie in- mension sociale de l’ajuste-
que "la réduction de la dette tégrante des PAS il n’est pas ment » pour réparer les
est un moyen et non une fin de dissocier la privatisation préjudices causés mais ce
en soi " (BM, rapport annuel des politiques d’ajustement énième mécanisme est resté
1990, p.53). dans les pays en développe- sans effet notable. L’évolution
En Afrique, l’adoption des ment. Avec les PAS, la privati- inquiétante de la pauvreté du-
PAS soldée par un échec total sation a connu un essor a rant ces derniers décennies
a eu une conséquence consi- travers le monde à partir des traduit l’échec des PAS. Après
dérable pour les pays en voie années 80 avec une accéléra- plusieurs décennies d’ajuste-
de développement. . La pau- tion dans les années 90 et ment structurel aucun succès
périsation et l’élargissement connait un affaiblissement de- durable ne peut être exhibé,
des inégalités sociales s’accen- puis 2000 ,alimenté en grande ce qui témoigne de l’inutilité
tuent. Il y a l’émergence d’une partie par la montée des de ce type de programmes
nouvelle classe de riches qui, contestation de la société ci- comme outil de développe-
en partie sont des politiciens vile et les différents bilans ment durable en Afrique.
véreux qui pillent les richesses inefficaces dressés. Dans cette
publiques et jouissent d’une dynamique plusieurs entre-
impunité flagrante et égale- prises en Afrique ont été pri-
ment des personnes qui, du vatisées. Ainsi Au Burkina
fait de la corruption et du Faso, au total de 1991 à fin
clientélisme bénéficient des 1997, 18 sur les 44 entreprises
monopoles de fait. Par exem- ciblées ont été privatisées. Ces
ple les 5 plus riches du Bur- privatisations ont entrainé des
kina sont des politiciens, licenciements et la perte d’em-
l’importation du riz est déte- plois (120 emplois supprimés
nue par 5 agents et le cuir est en fin 1996 au Burkina) ; Ce
l’affaire de Tan-Aliz dont la qui à accentué la pauvreté,
première responsable est la l’échec scolaire et universi-
belle mère du président du taire, le phénomène de prosti-
Faso. L’aggravation de la pau- tution et les questions de
vreté est perceptible en corruption.
Afrique sub-saharienne et La dévaluation du FCFA en
dans le reste du monde. Selon 1994 a été un facteur aggra-
des statistiques de 2004 de la vant de la pauvreté dans la
Banque Mondiale portant sur zone. Au lieu de relancer la
l’année 2001, près de la moitié balance commerciale des
de la population mondiale vit Etats à accentuer le deficit,
avec moins de 2 dollars par l’inflation jusqu’aujourd’hui
jour et un cinquième avec reste difficilement maîtrisable
moins d’un dollar . Dans le dans cette zone avec les prix
cas de l’Afrique sub-saha- des biens et services qui ne
rienne, 47% de la population cessent de grimper.
vit en dessous du seuil de pau- Les PAS ont été vivement criti-
vreté. L’adoption des PAS sol- qués pour leurs solutions pré-
dée par un échec total a eu conçues imposées à tous les
une conséquence considéra- pays sans prendre en compte
ble pour les pays en voie de les caractéristiques spéci-
développement mais aussi fiques et pour leurs effets dé-
pour les Institutions Finan- sastreux. Suite à ces critiques

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 33
ECONOMICS, SOCIETY & POWER

SENEGAL :
L’eau manque dans les zones
rurales
Fatoumata Bintou Diedhiou
Age: 20
Dakar, Senegal

L’eau est source de vie et de dévelop- tère de l’Hydraulique à impulser une payent et cela entraîne dès fois un
pement économique, social, culturel et dynamique associative et communau- grand déficit au niveau de la gestion
spirituel. Pour garantir aux hommes la taire des usagers (organisés en comité du forage.
préservation de leur état de santé et de gestion) afin de susciter leur parti- -Essayer d’uniformiser le système
leur épanouissement global il faut leur cipation dans la gestion des infrastruc- d’installation des compteurs par les
donner la possibilité d’accéder à une tures réalisées. Ainsi, plusieurs producteurs et faire payer la caution
eau potable et en quantité suffisante. approches ont été mises en œuvre avant de bénéficier de cette eau car il y
Ce qui n’est pas le cas dans les zones pour la gestion des forages mais les a des producteurs qui, après avoir
rurales ou j’ai pu faire mes enquêtes résultats escomptés n’ont pas été at- écoulé leurs récoltes ne payent pas
de mémoire sur le terrain dans la zone teints. l’eau déjà consommée durant la pé-
de Ngaye Mekhe. J’ai constaté un Par ailleurs, on ne peut pas parler riode de maraîchage ; ce qui peut met-
manque d’eau terrible dans cette zone, d’eau sans parler de femme car leur tre en cause le système de gestion des
malgré l’installation de 22 forages. Ce contribution est indispensable et doit forages.
déficit est d’une part dû au faible vo- être prise en compte dans l’améliora- -Installer des châteaux à la place des
lume d’eau des forages qui est en gé- tion de l’approvisionnement eau. C’est forages pour assurer et les produc-
néral de 30 mètres cube, et, d’autre pourquoi consciente de l’impact que le teurs et les ménages en période de
part, du fait que plusieurs villages ne succès de la décennie pouvait avoir maraîchage ; une chose est de faire
bénéficient pas de forages. Ce qui fait sur les attributions des femmes, la des forages et une autre est de les pé-
que les producteurs en période de ma- conférence mondiale de 1980 (décen- renniser.
raîchage ont du mal à cultiver comme nie des Nation-Unies) à opté de « pro- -Aussi, voir comment réduire le coût
ils veulent. Cependant, des groupe- mouvoir la participation pleine et des tuyaux qui permettent d’achemi-
ments de cultivateurs et de femmes entière des femmes à la planification, à ner l’eau dans les champs de tous car
ont arrêté leurs activités parce qu’ils la mise en oeuvre et à l’application beaucoup de producteurs n’arrivent
ne reçoivent pas assez d’eau pour pro- pratique des technologies de tous les pas à cultiver à cause du manque
duire. Aussi des épidémies de diar- projets d’approvisionnement en eau. » d’eau et du manque de moyen. C’est le
rhées sont souvent notées dans Une telle décision s’avère fondée car cas pour des groupements féminins et
quelques villages où les comités de la plupart des politiques initiées en fa- GIE de femmes qui aujourd’hui ne
gestion ne nettoient pas fréquemment veur de l’hydraulique rurale ont été fonctionnent plus à cause de cela.
les forages. parachutées vers les populations sans -Voir comment mettre en place un sys-
En ce qui concerne la gestion des fo- au préalable les impliquer dans leur tème de contrôle pour la bonne tenue
rages, source exclusive d’approvision- conception et les responsabiliser dans de l’hygiène des forages car il y a des
nement en eau potable en milieu rural, leur mise en œuvre. Ce qui, de ma- forages qui ne sont pas bien entrete-
le Sénégal avait opté depuis janvier nière évidente, a conduit à la passivité nus par leur comité de gestion d’où les
1984 pour le mode de gestion commu- des populations devant leurs préoccu- épidémies de diarrhées qui sont très
nautaire confiant leur gestion aux po- pations majeures et surtout au faible inquiétantes et graves pour les popu-
pulations organisées en comités de degré d’atteinte des objectifs poursui- lations qui consomment cette eau.
gestion. Devant la persistance du vis par les politiques. L’amélioration des conditions d’exis-
manque d’eau en milieu rural, on Voici quelques recommendations a tence de l’homme est le but majeur
pourrait se demander si les popula- prendre en consideration pour espe- des projets d’approvisionnement en
tions ont été suffisamment préparées rer une amelioration de se secteur eau potable et d’assainissement. Les
et outillées pour assumer cette res- dans les zones rurales. objectifs escomptés de ces projets ne
La multiplicité et la complexité des
ponsabilité. -Tendre vers l’élimination du paye- peuvent être atteints que si les popula-
problèmes liés à la croissance arith-
ment de l’eau par forfait car cela n’ar- tions ne s’activent réellement à leur
métique du nombre des forages ont
range pas les comités de gestion ou mise en œuvre en tant que décideurs
conduit la Direction de l’Exploitation
ASUROR(Association des Usagers de et gestionnaires.
et de la Maintenance (DEM) du Minis-
Forages) du fait que même si les mé-
nages consomment plus qu’ils ne
YOWLI payent, c’est le même prix qu’ils
34 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Housing:
An Economic Issue In Nigeria

Elehinle Olalekan Edward


(Nigeria)

Les premiers programmes d’ajustement structurel (PAS)


en Afrique remontent aux années 80. Avant les indépen-
dances les économies africaines étaient des économies
extraverties. Avec l’avènement du pétrodollar, les
grandes banques européennes se retrouvent en situation
d’excès de liquidité. Elles décident d’accorder dans les
années 70 des prêts aux pays du sud à des taux d’intérêt
faibles dont l’utilisation s’est soldée par des échecs. Ainsi
les Institutions de Breton Woods décident de dicter aux
Etats du sud un processus de développement avec des
solutions préconçues pour redresser leur économie.

When the issue of housing is addres- In a case study in a community in the


sed in Nigeria it is seen generally that Karu Local Government area of Nasa-
20 percent of people are living in good rawa State, a place that is 8km from the
well made houses under good environ- Country’s Federal Capital; Abuja, it was
mental conditions, 25 percent of people seen that some people living in this
are living in average class houses, area comprises of Hausas which is the
while 35 percent of people including tribe from the Northern part of the
those in the rural areas are living in country. These people are living in
low class houses and 20 percent are li- slums; an inappropriate place that is to-
ving in slums. tally unhygienic for human habitation.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 35
people in this community do
not have access to Government
skill acquisition, information
concerning sexual health, fa-
mily planning, poverty and
many other important issues
for Economic and Social orien-
tation.

Looking at the above so many


questions could be asked for
the way forward such as: What
would the future of these
Most of the people living in this have changed their mentality
young people in this area be
area are illiterates, with no for- leading them to engage in very
like? What will the future of this
mal education. They live on a negative vices. They feel they
area render the country? It is
day to day unfixed job terms should obtain whatever they
usually said that a dog could
within their environment. On want in any form either by rob-
not give birth to a lamb mea-
average majority of them are li- bery or being a commercial sex
ning that parents bring on
ving on N500 per day; an worker, which is due to the im-
earth children that behave like
amount the equivalent of 4 Dol- proper upbringing of these
them. In this regard, parents
lars, yet some of these people li- people in the first place; where
have a major role to play on the
ving in this area have children there has been no formal edu-
life of their children by provi-
to take care of. cation for them to contribute to
ding a good environment for
the society and in return obtain
The underlying factor for these them, where the children would
good deal of revenue to sustain
people in the slums in such bad not be influenced by the bad
their lives.
conditions has been a major activities in the society to the
factor that hinders human de- The Improper upbringing of extent of been initiated to prac-
velopment and living which is the children in this area had tice ill.
poverty; the inability for them caused most of them to indulge Further more there is need for
to secure good houses in good in activities that endanger their several interventions to address
environments, inability to af- social health and behaviour. this problem and rekindle the
ford school fees; transport fares These young children most of light of young people to play
and so many social needs in the whom are not up to age 12 had their role in the development of
society. In this case the study started taking drugs, learning Africa. The intervention of the
revealed that every woman and how to rape little girls and in- government is therefore nee-
young girl living in this com- volving themselves in so many ded to help develop these
munity in Karu indulge in petty bad acts. These children that young people living in this
trading and most of them are ought to be taking care of the community by enabling them
into prostitution to be able to future of our nation have ins- have access to adequate and re-
take care of themselves and tead learnt to face hardship in levant information and services
their families or as the saying the face of poverty. for the socio-economic deve-
goes to make ends meet regar- lopment of the country.
ding their social and financial In addition, most youths in this
status. area that are sexually active do
not care about the HIV/AIDS
A lot of young people in this epidemic, they have a lot of sex
area have been subjected to dif- partners and exchange partners
ficult living conditions which frequently without care. Young

YOWLI
36 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Pauvreté et agriculture

Fatou Kiné THIAM, Mariama DIEDHIOU En Afrique où les femmes


et Ndèye Madjiguène Mbow
(Senegal) constituent la majorité de la
population, la question rela-
tive à la pauvreté suscite des
Avant que les échanges com- tions de riz. Cette cé- interrogations qui touchent
merciaux agricoles ne commen- réale était introduite une partie de la population la
cent à être libéralisés dans les massivement dans le plus vulnérable, du fait que
années 90, la plupart des pro- régime alimentaire des cette dernière est confrontée
ductrices parvenaient à répon- Sénégalais lors de la
dre aux besoins de leurs colonisation. Ce fai-
à des problèmes écono-
familles et à tirer un revenu de sant, les surfaces culti- miques. De ce fait, l’agricul-
leurs activités. vées en arachide ont ture qui est un facteur crucial
L’effondrement des prix consé- été développées a tra- pour l’éradication de la pau-
cutifs à la libéralisation des vers un système de vreté et des problématiques
échanges a marginalisé les pe- monoculture cepen- de genre dans les pays en
tits producteurs et augmenté dant que les surfaces
l’insécurité alimentaire. De de mil ont été réduites.
voie de développement, fait
nombreuses personnes en si- Les colons français ont vivre 2/3 des femmes.
tuation de pauvreté rencontrent importé des brisures
beaucoup de difficulté par de riz (les « déchets »
manque de moyens. C’est le cas du traitement de riz, ce
au Sénégal où la crise alimen- que ne mangent pas rurales peuvent vivre une partie
taire se fait sentir de jour en les Occidentaux) pour nourrir la de l’année avec leurs récoltes et
jour car il n y a pas de subven- force de travail dans le bassin il existe tout de même certains
tions, de semis ou une baisse arachidier. Les revenus moné- réseaux de solidarité en milieu
des prix aux cultivateurs afin taires obtenus dans la vente de rural qui limitent le risque de
que les intrants de production l’arachide permettent alors aux famine.
soient accessibles. On note paysans d’acheter des brisures Même si cette dernière ne sem-
aussi le manque de matériels de de riz. La consommation de riz ble pas inquiéter les gens, on se
production. Dans certaines fa- a beaucoup augmenté dans le demande si la pénurie ne pour-
milles, c’est la femme qui prend pays pour atteindre environ 75 rait pas surprendre les gens qui
en charge la famille en produi- kg par personne et par an (en n’ont pas de stock. Il est bien
sant des céréales, des légumes, moyenne 200g par jour). Ainsi, possible que les tensions sur
mais aussi en pratiquant l’éle- cette consommation s’élève à 1 l’accès aux céréales importées
vage. million de tonnes par an et le ou locales persistent et s’aggra-
Le Sénégal est un pays pays ne produit que 20% de vent a travers la spirale sans fin
très dépendant des importa- cette quantité. Les populations des prix a la hausse.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 37
ECONOMICS, SOCIETY & POWER

GENRE ET DROITS
SOCIO-ÉCONOMIQUES

Adji Mbène SAMBE


(Sénégal)

25 ans après l’adoption de la Convention sur toutes formes de


discrimination à l’égard des femmes (CEDAW), la place de
ces dernières, ainsi que les droits qui leurs sont accordés
continuent à nourrir plus d’un débat.

Dans presque toutes les civilisations, notamment dans les so-


ciétés africaines, la femme a plus de devoirs que de droits (si
ces deux paramètres ne sont pas confondus). En effet, dans
nos sociétés, son rôle se réduit souvent aux simples tâches
domestiques et à la satisfaction voire la soumission au bien-
vouloir (volontés et exigences) de son époux. Cela explique en
partie, le faible taux d’alphabétisation et d’emploi des
femmes.

Le rôle de la femme doit-il se li- tue, dans son organisation et sa convenablement ses enfants, et
miter au rôle d’épouse ? (ou de gestion, un miroir quant aux ce, malgré la hausse incessante
mère de famille ?) qualités « entrepreneuriales » du prix des denrées de pre-
de la femme. Par exemple, mière nécessité.
La femme ne cesse de montrer lorsque le mari sénégalais
des aptitudes de gestionnaire, donne à sa femme la La hausse du taux d’inflation
de manager, de comptable au « dépense » quotidienne ou est une réalité malheureuse-
sein de la « microéconomie » mensuelle, celle-ci ne se ment très présente dans les
familiale. Cellule de base de contente pas de la « dépenser » pays en voie de développe-
toute société, la famille consti- mais la gère afin de nourrir ment, et ce phénomène s’ac-

YOWLI
38 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
centue au fil des années. Les nement, du parlement ou des tisfaire d’un partage égal au
femmes, comme presque sou- listes électorales, la société s’en sens du nombre, mais doivent
vent, sont les plus touchées par réjouit, les femmes les pre- plutôt revendiquer un partage
ce fléau. Et pourtant, elles se mières. Mais doit-on réduire les équitable par rapport aux com-
« débrouillent » avec les femmes à un « nombre » ? pétences. Si le rôle de la femme
moyens du bord (tontines, mu- Cette forme de discrimination doit se résumer aux tâches mé-
tuelles de femmes, petits com- positive à l’égard des femmes nagères, pourquoi pas ? Mais,
merces d’appoint…) afin de ne constitue-t-il pas un simple dans ce cas, que les autorités
garder la face et surtout de pré- coup de pub pour les poli- publiques mettent en place un
server l’honneur de leur époux tiques, un piège, un leurre ? salaire de substitution permet-
et de leur famille. tant à celle-ci de subvenir à ses
Le terme même de discrimina- besoins, et des droits salariaux
Dans un pays comme le Séné- tion positive tombe sous le sens tels que prévus par le Code du
gal, où 52% de la population est et sous-entend que le genre fé- travail, car pendant ce temps,
composée par des femmes, ne minin est inférieur au genre elle ne peut prétendre (ou diffi-
pas considérer à sa juste valeur masculin (cf. discrimination po- cilement) à aucun autre emploi.
cette partie de la population est sitive envers les personnes de
plus que révoltant. couleur ou « d’origine » dans Les femmes, africaines en parti-
les pays industrialisés). Or, culier, sont très courageuses et
Le fait, par exemple, que pro- notre réelle préoccupation n’est se suffisent souvent à elles-
portionnellement le nombre de pas une simple comparaison mêmes. Ceci, en plus d’un
femmes est plus élevé que celui mécanique et systématique à manque cruel d’instruction et
des hommes, devrait faire qu’à l’homme. C’est pourquoi il se- d’information sur leur statut et
cette main d’œuvre potentielle rait judicieux que les institu- sur leurs droits, les pousse à se
soit accordée une attention par- tions internationales ainsi que satisfaire très facilement de leur
ticulière. les pouvoirs publics locaux situation actuelle, sans chercher
prennent davantage en consi- à l’améliorer.
Face à cette situation plus dération dans l’élaboration et
qu’inconvenable, les pouvoirs surtout dans la mise en applica- Nous sommes donc face à une
publics font les sourds tion de leurs politiques en fa- nécessité de prise de
d’oreilles devant les revendica- veur des femmes, le fait que conscience, tout d’abord au
tions féminines. Et pourtant, ils celles-ci ne sont ni subordon- sein des femmes ; qu’elles se
sont les premiers à bénéfi- nées, ni égales à l’homme mais prennent en main, qu’elles
cier (voire profiter) de leurs juste différentes. Ces politiques connaissent et reconnaissent
compétences en terme de mili- doivent donc s’adapter à cette leurs droits afin de mieux pou-
tantisme, d’éloquence… dès notion de genres qui, quoi que voir les revendiquer.
lors qu’il s’agit d’un électorat différents, se valent et sont
potentiel. La cause des femmes complémentaires. Cette prise de conscience com-
n’est défendue qu’à la veille des mence à s’affirmer grâce à des
élections ! Cela dit, il ne faut pas non plus mouvements organisés de
se limiter à cela en ne raison- femmes ou pour les femmes,
Cela se ressent d’ailleurs dans nant qu’en termes de genre. l’UNIFEM, le CEDAW … mais
la société qui trouve normal le problème des mentalités, des
qu’« un » ministre soit nommé, Des dispositifs de protection du coutumes et des appartenances
et qui se réjouit lorsqu’il s’agit statut de la femme doivent être religieuses reste un obstacle
d’une femme (même si cette prévus. Les anciennes poli- majeur à surmonter afin que se
dernière est mieux qualifiée tiques d’assistance aux femmes réduise le faussé entre droits
pour occuper ce poste). doivent être bannies, laissant octroyés par les Conférences
place à des dispositifs d’inser- internationales et leurs concré-
L’exemple le plus frappant est tion dans le monde du travail, tisation.
que, lorsque nos pouvoirs pu- de reconnaissance de leurs
blics annoncent l’introduction compétences et aptitudes. Les
de la parité au sein du gouver- femmes ne doivent plus se sa-

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YOWLI 39
ECONOMICS, SOCIETY & POWER

HALTE À LA
MONDIALISATION

Marième SARR
(Sénégal)

Aujourd’hui tout examen de nos revendications se vou-


drait efficace et doit nécessairement tenir compte du
contexte actuel dans lequel évolue le monde du travail, à
savoir de la mondialisation et de ses autre pendants.
En effet, par ce temps du capitalisme triomphant, il
n’existe nul domaine de la vie socio-économique et même
politique qui pourrait être appréhendé en dehors de la
mondialisation. T out particulièrement les travailleurs qui
en ont payé un des plus lourds tributs du fait des me-
sures diverses se rapportant à la législation du travail (de
la déréglementation du marché du travail), aux outils et
moyens de production que sont les entreprises, aux trai-
tements et mesures de protection sociale et à l’informa-
tion de la fonction publique.

YOWLI
40 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Ce faisant, les revendications faire une idée sur ce phéno- un rouleau compresseur bien
des travailleurs, quelque soit mène ; il suffit de jeter un re- commandité par un petit
le niveau où elles se posent gard critique autour de soi : groupe d’acteurs qui orga-
pour être bien cernées, dé- la privatisation sauvage des nise l’exploitation de
fendues et donc solution- entreprises, le désengage- l’homme par l’homme.
nées, doivent être ment de l’état dans tous les En effet, il est aujourd’hui
appréhendées dans ce secteurs productifs ainsi que clairement établi que ce sont
contexte. Pour ce faire, dans la « marchandisation » de les pays pauvres qui finan-
cette analyse qui se veut mo- toutes les valeurs, sont là cent l’économie de soit di-
deste, nous développons la pour nous le rappeler. sant grandes puissances
problématique de la mondia- L’abandon du social sans avec les différents verse-
lisation et les programmes précèdent par nos états a ments effectués au titre du
d’ajustement structurel partout engendré tension et remboursement de la dette,
(PAS). crise sociale qui ont atteint auxquels s’ajoutent le pillage
Le concept de mondialisation leur paroxysme dans la plu- de nos ressources naturelles
ou encore globalisation est part des pays pour dégéné- qui n’a jamais cesser malgré
de nos jours partout utilisé rer en conflits sociaux (pour notre semblant d’indépen-
pour justifier la transforma- ne pas dire guerres sociales) dance.
tion que subit notre monde. et guerres civiles. Les pays A u regard de ce qui précède
Assez souvent, des questions pauvres encore sous la domi- que faire ? Allons nous assis-
comme le libéralisme écono- nation de l’empire impéria- ter passivement au démantè-
mique sauvage, la domina- liste sont transformés en lement et à la remise en
tion des multinationales sur horribles hécatombes. cause de nos acquis socio-
les états, la recolonisation et Pendant ce temps, alors que économique et politiques, ar-
l’exploitation par le capital fi- nos états ploient sous l’impi- rachés très souvent de haute
nancier international ou en- toyable fardeau de la dette lutte ? Assurément non !
core la violation en lieu et place de pro- Il est donc urgent et indis-
systématique des droits de grammes rédempteurs, nos pensable tout d’abord de
l’homme par certaines super- gouvernements continuent à bien comprendre ce phéno-
puissances, sont évoquées s’accommoder de recettes mène, cette nébuleuse qui
comme effets de la mondiali- bancales, inefficaces et dé- n’a d’autre finalité que
sation. passées, comme les PAS ou d’étendre ces tentacules
Même des pays comme les encore sa nouvelle dérivée jusque dans les moindres
nôtres où les populations vi- appelée aujourd’hui stratégie sphères socio-économiques
vent en dessous du seuil de de réduction de la pauvreté pour contrôler la production
la pauvreté, l’impact de la et consorts. de la richesse et mieux l’ex-
mondialisation se mesure sur Par devers tous les discours, ploiter à son unique profit. Il
tous les secteurs de notre vie par devers la toute puissante nous incombe dès lors à
socio-économique tels que : campagne médiatique, mal- nous travailleurs, à nous
l’alimentation, le logement, gré la publicité mensongère force prolétariennes, à nous
l’éducation, la santé et l’envi- orchestrée par les officines et jeunesse de la diaspora, et à
ronnement. autres citadelles bourgeoises nous Yowli de nous battre en
Ainsi, on a pas besoin d’étu- ,la mondialisation ne peut conséquence pour faire
dier des grandes thèses sur passer pour une fatalité iné- triompher l’équité et la justice.
la mondialisation pour se vitable. Elle reste et demeure

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 41
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO :


Violences sexuelles contre
femmes et jeunes filles :
UNE ARME DE GUERRE
Anuarite Kabuo Kalunga
(25 ans, RDC)

Depuis 1994, la partie Est de la RDC, est le théâtre de viols récurrents,


en masse, à une echelle qui défie l’entendement. Le phénomène est de-
venu une arme de guerre utilisée pour anéantir les populations civiles.
Les milices savent, en effet, qu'une fois les femmes et les jeunes filles
neutralisées, il est possible d’aneantir la source de production des pro-
duits vivriers au sein des communautés ciblées, et, conséquemment, de
parvenir à une paralysie foudroyante de ces communautés.

A titre d'exemple, une femme qui s’etait refugiée dant que je préparais à manger pour la famille, en
dans les grottes volcaniques par peur de repré- l’absence de mes petits frères qui introduits dans la
sailles des milices a été retrouvée à moitié morte du maison. Ils m’ont violée. C'était horrible parce que
fait qu'elle a passé 2 jours sans manger et sans j’étais encore vièrge. Après cet acte barbare, ils se
nouvelles de sa famille. Pleurant à chaudes larmes, sont enfuis dans la forêt. Les femmes du village
elle a expliqué lorsqu’elle a été retrouvée, comment m'ont acheminée à l'hôpital. Deux jours après mes
sa propre mère, agée de 70 ans, a été violée par les premiers soins, en retournant au village, 2 des
miliciens et est morte brutalement par suite d’un memes militaires sont encore revenus chez moi et
arrêt cardiaque provoqué par les assauts sexuels ont violé l’épouse de mon père en sa presence et
répétés de ses tortionnaires. Cette scene d’horreur celle de mes frères qui ont tous été aussi maltraités
s’est deroulée, nous dit le témoin, en présence de par ces miliciens armés”.
deux des petites filles de l’infortunée: Ces dernières
ont été elles-mêmes sauvagement violées, en série Dans le troisième exemple, une femme a eu un en-
et de manière répétitive. La plus âgée de ces jeunes fant suite aux violences sexuelles. Elle ne voulait
filles avait 16 ans. Par suite de ces viols en serie, elle pas de cet enfant et son mari non plus qui lui a re-
est tombée enceinte. La plus jeune, 12 ans, souffre commandé de tuer l’enfant ou de l'abandonner
à present d’une fistule vésico-vaginale du fait que dans la forêt. La femme n'étant pas d'accord, son
ses organes reproducteurs ont été littéralement mari a finalement decide d’épouser une séconde
saccagés . femme.
Dans la region Est du pays, les violences sexuelles
Une jeune fille agée de 17 ans témoigne aussi le ne sont pas punies avec la corruption ambiante
calvaire qu'elle a vécu : “Ma famille habite à 1km dans le système judiciaire et du fait que les familles
du camp militaire. Je suis orpheline d’une mère pauvres gardent un silence résigné. Ce constat a
tuée au début de la guerre. Fille unique, j’habite été avalisé par les enquêtes croisées des femmes
avec mon père et mes petits frères. Un soir, pen- qui luttent contre les violences sexuelles.

YOWLI
42 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Le fait de prioriser l'argent en femmes et stipule : “Les pouvoirs Mais, il n'est pas encore tard
premier lieu, crée un déficit des publics veillent à l'élimination des pour veiller à l’application de la
structures judiciaires et ces der- violences sexuelles utilisées loi, lutter contre et vaincre les
niers ne permettent pas la prise comme arme de déstabilisation violences sexuelles faites à la
en charge des victimes des vio- ou de dislocation de la famille”. femme congolaise. Cette mission
lences sexuelles sur le plan juri- Mais sur le plan pratique, il n'y incombe à la nation congolaise, à
dique, ce qui entraîne pas d'application de la loi fonda- toutes les populations et à la
l’aggrqvqtion exponentielle de ce mentale. Or, la violence sexuelle communauté africaine et interna-
fléau dans la région. Pourtant la perpétrée à travers le viol parti- tionale travaillant la main dans la
Constitution congolaise cipe d’une humiliation morale main.
condamne et punit les actes de pire que le fait d'être tuée car la
violences sexuelles contre les victime se sent souillée à jamais.

Anuarite Kabuo Kalunga


Interviewee par Sophie NZinga Sy

L’horreur à l’état brut au Nord Kivu


« On force les garçons à coucher avec leur propres mères devant toute la
famille. En cas de refus, tous sont executes par les miliciens armes… »

Parlez-moi de vous et ce que problème parce que ceux qui vivent très mal là-bas et la vie est très péni-
filles se prostituent pour pouvoir man-
vous faites dans la vie. dans les milieux urbains sont dépen- ble. Par exemple, les gens vivent sousger. Nous avons aussi des femmes
dants en matière de nourriture des desha- feuilles d’arbres ou sous des toiles
rwandaises qui viennent au Congo
Je suis originaire du Congo-Kinshasa,
bitants et agriculteurs vivant dans les
très fragiles et quand il pleut tout se
pour se prostituer à cause de la grande
précisément dans la Province du Nord
milieux ruraux. Ces derniers finissentmouille et on doit recommencer a zéro demande. Maintenant quand elles sont
Kivu. À propos de mon expérience pro-
par fuir leurs villages parce qu’ils sont
pour refaire un abri.Cela provoqueau travail, elles se font payer quelques
fessionnelle, je travaille avec les jeunes
terrorisés par les rebelles. beaucoup de maladies, surtout parmi fois 5 dollars ou moins avec un préser-
filles et femmes qui ont été victimes Peux-tu
de me donner un exemple
les enfants. Il y a même des cas ouvatif. D’autres fois quand le client de-
violences sexuelles.Avec les jeunesde violence sexuelle que les re-
des bébés ou des enfants en bas âgemande d’avoir une relation sexuelle
belles infligent aux femmes ?
filles, nous les aidons à s'intégrer dans
meurent parce qu’une tente est tombée sans préservatif, elles sont payées 8 à
la société à nouveau et nous faisonsTuunpeux être chez toi, avec ton mari et
sur eux. A part ça le problème de la10fa- dollars. C’est très difficile de les
encadrement psychosocial pour tes enfants et tout d’un coup les re-
mine pose un très grand problème ;faire arrêter à cause de la famine et
qu’elles arrivent à s’intégrer de nou-belles s’introduisent dans la maison et
parfois il y a des organisations huma-aussi elles doivent faire vivre leurs en-
veau dans la société afin qu’elles soit
tabassent le mari et les enfants et les
nitaires qui distribuent à manger pourfants. La prostitution c’est un grand
acceptées par tout le monde.Il y a immobilise. Après cela, ils s’acharnent
un mois entier, mais ils ne donnentmoyen
Quellesdesont survie
vos pour beaucoupende pe-
impressions
beaucoup de cas de divorce à causesur la femme et la viole devant le mari
Qui est ce quisexuelles
commet quices survien-
vio- que des quantités insignifiantes qui
tites filles et jeunes femmes.
général du programme Yowli ?
des violences et même devant les enfants. Ils sont
lences sexuelles la dans la plu- correspondent à 2 jours pour toute
nent dans les ménages. quelques fois, cinq, dix, quinze ou Le programme Yowli est tres important
part des cas ? une famille. Alors cinq à 10 personnes
même une vingtaine a tous violé la pour moi et pour mon pays parce qu’en
Dans la plupart des cas, les viols sont quelques fois n’ont que 2 jours de
femme en même temps. Si la femme participant à cette formation, j’ai appris
commis par les hommes en tenue, essaie de résister elle est automatique- nourriture pour une durée d’un mois.
beaucoup de choses que j’ignorais et
c’est-à-dire les militaires, puisque ment
mon tuée en insérant un pistolet dans Les enfants meurent devant leurs pa-
qui pourront m’aider a mieux vulgari-
pays est en guerre depuis 14 ans, Les rents tous les jours à cause de la fa-
son vagin et … aussi quelques fois, ils ser les violences faites aux femmes. Je
femmes et les enfants en sont les pre- mine. Aussi pour les vêtements,
insèrent une branche d'arbre dans le lance un appel à nos dirigeants pour
mières victimes. La violence sexuelle certaines personnes restent 6 mois
vagin de la femme, ce qui peut appor- qu’il y ai plus d’initiatives de cette
commise contre les jeunes, filles etter des complications très sérieuses. avec un seul vêtement. Ici, c’est le pa-
Et la prostitution? J’imagine sorte. Je saute aussi sur cette occasion
femmes au Congo, est utilisée comme radis comparé au Congo. Tu peux te
Dans certains cas aussi, on force les qu’elle doit être un sérieux pro- pour dire que les grandes organisa-
une arme de guerre. C’est-à-dire Vous travaillez aussi coucher sans entendre des fusillades la
garçons à coucher avecavec
leur beau-
propreblème ? tions humanitaires au Congo ne font
coup
qu’elle est utilisée pour terroriser les de réfugies,
mère devant parlez-
toute leur moi Ils nuit.
famille. sont
Le poisson et la viande, c’est
Oui en effet, c’est pasvi- leur travail, mais ce sont les petites
gens qui vivent dans les milieux ru-des problèmes qu’ils rencontrent comme de l’or. Lestrès sérieux.
réfugiés Nous
n’en man-
exécutés et torturés s’ils refusent. vons dans la partie Est du Congo qui organisations
a tels que AWOMI qui font
raux.Cela déstabilise les hommes etune fois qu'ils s'installent. gent jamais !
une frontière avec le Rwanda. Au plus de travail. Je pense que cela
femmes dans leur vie quotidienne et Dans les camps des réfugiés, ils vivent
Congo beaucoup de femmes et petites pourra changer beaucoup de choses si
leur ménage et éventuellement la com- l’on continue de travailler avec les
munauté entière souffre de ces vio- jeunes.
lences. Ceci crée un très grand
L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership
YOWLI 43
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Le sourire perdu …

Cynthia Kanyere
(Republique Democratique du Congo)

La femme du Sud Kivu, pilier économique de sa famille et


de toute la communauté, a été détruite jusqu’au plus pro-
fond de son être. Elle, la personne à mille bras, se trouve
aujourd’hui anéantie par le poids des conflits armés dont
elle est victime. Elle est violée, méprisée et marginalisée.
Rendue malade par les atrocités qu’elle a subies, elle se
trouve incapable de continuer à remplir son rôle d’épouse
et de mère. Va – t – elle croiser les bras et subir passive-
ment le lourd fardeau de son triste sort ? Entre temps elle
a perdu ce qu’elle avait de plus cher : son sourire.

Angelica est native d’un village d’hommes armés ont envahi presque tout le village avait été
de Kaniola, en territoire de notre maison. C’était à une visité cette nuit là. Des femmes
Ngweshe, à plus ou moins heure du matin. Il y a de cela et des fillettes ont été empor-
200km de la ville de Bukavu, six ans. Ils parlaient le kinyar- tées en forêt où se trouve leur
chef-lieu de la province du Sud wanda. Ils ont battu et ligoté quartier général. Le lendemain
Kivu. Cette province est l’une mon mari. Ils nous ont exigé de matin nos bourreaux ont en-
des onze provinces que compte l’argent et ont pris tous les voyé un message au village
la RD Congo. Angelica passe biens de valeur que nous pour dire qu’ils exigent une
ses journées entre les travaux avions, y compris notre bétail. caution de 200$ pour la libéra-
des champs, l’éducation des Pendant que les uns fouillaient tion d’une personne. Personne
enfants et les tâches ména- la maison, les autres s’occu- n’a pu payer cette somme pour
gères. Mais quelque chose mit paient de moi. Deux d’entre moi. J’ai été tenue en esclavage
fin à l’harmonie familiale qui eux m’ont violée devant mon sexuel pendant deux mois dans
faisait son bonheur. Voici son mari. Ils m’ont ensuite obligée cette forêt où j’ai mangé de
témoignage. de transporter leur butin. En l’argile et des plantes sauvages.
route, j’ai constaté que je J’ai cherché une occasion pour
« Un jour une dizaine n’étais pas la seule captive, fuir, sachant que si on m’at-

YOWLI
44 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
trape on me tue. Dans ma fuite ment que les bourreaux sont
j’ai pu atteindre mon village. dans la plupart des cas des Les ONG féminines locales re-
Personne n’a osé me regarder combattants hutu rwandais. groupées au sein du Cacus des
malgré la souffrance qui s’affi- Ces derniers sont conscients femmes congolaises du Sud
chait à mon visage. J’étais une du rôle primordial que joue la Kivu pour la paix, se déploient
personne indésirable. J’ai ap- femme du Sud Kivu dans l’éco- pour soulager tant soit peu la
pris que mon mari était très fu- nomie et la survie de toute la souffrance des victimes des
rieux et qu’il aurait juré qu’il necommunauté. Ils utilisent ainsi violences sexuelles. Elles leur
peut plus avoir pour épouse la les violences sexuelles comme apportent de l’assistance médi-
femme qui a eu des rapports arme de guerre pour anéantir cale, psychologique, socioéco-
sexuels avec des Nterahamwe. toute la communauté à travers nomique et juridique. Le
Mes enfants auraient fui pour la femme, elle qui porte la vie. gouvernement congolais a pro-
se réfugier en ville, où c’est re- L’insécurité persistante dans mis de mettre en place un fond
lativement calme. cette partie Est du Congo- social pour assister ces
Kinshasa est donc la cause femmes, mais rien n’est fait
« J’étais très souffrante ; je sai-principale des violences jusque là.
gnais continuellement. J’ai ren-sexuelles faites aux femmes.
contré des gens d’une ONG Malgré leur calvaire, les survi-
qui m‘ont conduite à l’hôpital Les conséquences de ces vio- vantes des violences sexuelles
lences sexuelles sont entre au- continuent à porter tant bien
de Panzi à Bukavu, où on tres : la propagation du que mal le fardeau de leur fa-
soigne gratuitement les vic- mille.
times des violences sexuelles.
Le médecin m’avait dit que La santé d’Angelica est actuel-
pour être sauvée, il devrait en- lement précaire. Cependant,
lever tout ce qui restait de mon elle a décidé de devenir por-
teuse des faix pour trouver de
appareil génital. Car, selon lui, quoi manger dans cette ville où
il était complètement détruit à tout s’achète. Elle transporte
cause des viols répétitifs et sur son dos des colis ayant 30 à
toutes sortes d’objets que mes 50kgs de plus que son poids.
bourreaux y avaient introduits Ainsi elle parvient à nourrir ses
Angelica
». est l’une des milliers enfants qu’elle avait rencontrés
de femmes qui ont été violées à Bukavu. Comme un pélican,
au Sud Kivu pendant ces douze elle est prête au sacrifice su-
dernières années. Parmi elles, prême pourvu que ses enfants
il y en a qui ont été violées à vivent.
deux ou trois reprises et à des
périodes différentes. Angelica a perdu ce qui faisait
sa joie de vivre : LE SOURIRE.
L’Association des femmes des VIH/Sida, les fistules chez les Selon elle, il n’est plus possible
médias du Sud Kivu, AFEM/SK femmes, la présence dans la de récupérer ce qu’elle avait de
pour laquelle je travaille, s’est communauté des enfants indé- plus cher. Mais elle garde es-
beaucoup intéressée à la ques- sirables issus du viol, des trau- poir : « Lorsque les combat-
tion des violences faites à la matismes, la perte de confiance tants hutu rwandais seront
femme. En tant que journaliste, et d’estime de soi chez les vic- rapatriés dans leur pays, nous
j’ai personnellement interviewé times... A cela s’ajoutent pourrons retourner dans notre
plusieurs victimes des vio- l’exode rural et la rareté des village et refaire nos vies ».
lences sexuelles. Elles affir- produits agricoles sur le marché.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 45
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Are you okay with this?

Rachel Giacchero
(29; Ethiopia)

Bruck was 4 years old when I met him. He was a few days old, abandoned
in the streets and left to die because he was born with HIV. He was un-
wanted, unloved and therefore cast away. He was then taken in and got
his name which means ‘blessed’ in Amharic.

Whenever I saw Bruck, he ran, hug- are produced by highly educated citi- struggle to make ends meet in our
ged me and kissed me over and over zens and institutions on the existing daily lives but all we have to do is
again. He was a happy child, always situations and how to deal with the give it our best shot and you would
laughing, knew some of the alpha- problems we face regarding women, be surprised about how far that
bets and could count to ten. He loved children and HIV/AIDS. These docu- would go. I now have 36 ‘Brucks’
rolling around on the garden grass ments are inked on paper, gloriously that I take care of and provide for
while laughing hilariously. If I see- presented, discussed at length, ap- their basic needs. Almost all are HIV
med down for any reason, he would plauded and then left on shelves to be positive.
hug me tightly and ask, ‘are you forgotten. People tend to come toge- All of us should do what we can,
okay?’ I could never really answer. ther to talk about such issues, spend a while we can. You can try by giving
He always looked at me intensely lot of time theorizing and making one meal a day to a child that needs it
with his big brown eyes when talking propositions about possible solutions in your neighborhood. You can try
to me and I always felt as if he was but nothing much really happens. by sending one child to school or
searching my soul for answers. Un- When are we going to take this into buying the stationary items needed.
like most of my friends who asked our own hands? When are we going It takes little effort and money but the
out of courtesy, my Bruck asked out to stop waiting for those with the re- impact this effort makes is immense.
of pure concern so I could never sources to make the difference we Let us stop waiting for the govern-
reply spontaneously to him. What want to see today? When are we ment, international institutions or of-
could I say? He was only 4 years old. going to make something positive fices and people with power to do it
Then Bruck started to get sick and happen? because if we want to see a diffe-
weaker. One day he asked me if I As a young woman, I want to have a rence, we better start making it hap-
could take him for a ride in a car. I child born out of love and to raise my pen ourselves because women are
asked a friend to help me out and child with all the love and affection resourceful and can make huge im-
when we went to get Bruck, he was that all children have a right to. Don’t pact!
gone. I was devastated. you want a child to run to you, hug Bruck asked me a simple question
No one asks me now if I’m okay to you and kiss you a thousand times? and created something within me.
genuinely find out if there’s anything Don’t you want to hear the beautiful Now, I feel okay every time my kids
going on with me and when I do talk sound of music made by a child’s call me mama, when I hear their
about problems; people just don’t gleeful laughter? Don’t you want to laughter, when they hug and kiss me,
want to listen. But Bruck taught me hear them learn the alphabet and and each time I see a positive diffe-
how to make it okay. He taught me count to ten? Don’t you want to expe- rence in their lives. Let’s start now
that it was all up to me to make things rience the real and selfless love that and heal hearts, let’s help the hope-
okay and to make the changes that I children give unquestioningly to the less and show our strength through
want to see happen, big or small. adults that have a responsibility of ta- compassion to make our world a bet-
This article is an opportunity for me king care of them, the environment ter place.
to pass on a message about what I they are raised in and their future? I am making a difference and feel
did to make a difference. Well it doesn’t take much. Most of us okay. How about you? You decide.
Today, thousands of research papers live in poor countries and are in a
YOWLI
46 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Recognising Women’s
Rights in Africa
Priscilla Hetty Darling Allen
The Gambia

der role leaves women very disempo-


“ The empowerment and autonomy of women and
wered and thus subjected under vio-
the improvement of women’s social, economic and lence situation with no protection from
political status is essential for the achievement of state legal apparatus. A woman’s edu-
both transparent and accountable government and cational level will affect her job oppor-
tunities and her exercise of legal and
administration and sustainable development in all other legal rights.
areas of life. Achieving the goal of equal partner-
ship of women and men in decision making will Looking at women’s labour rights and
provide a balance that more accurately reflects the unfair treatment with no support from
the state, I take an example about the
composition of society and is needed in order to Pink Lake or Lac Rose in Senegal where
strengthen democracy and promote its proper both men and women are engaged in
functioning” (“ Gender issues and Achievements the extraction of salt but the women get
lesser pay. I have seen the work that the
of Women”, United Nations Platform For Action, women do and what they are being
Para 109, March 2001). paid at the end of the day. It’s just too
small. Women carry buckets of salt
about 50 times back and forth the boats
We talk about human rights everyday and justice should be enforced. in a day for just an average sum of CFA
but yet still everyday people, particu- 1 000, it is a very tedious job for the
larly, women, are consistently deprived Most of these leaders use the opportu- women and they are exposed to many
of their most basic rights. Many do not nities at their disposals to enrich them- forms of sicknesses which the little
even know what these rights are and selves and live a very high life while amount of money they earned would
whether they can rely on them to live a forgetting that there are people who take care of and with this same amount
dignified life. are homeless, starving, uneducated, they need to take care of their children
weak and marginalised. and at the end not much of the money
African governments have ratified the
mMost governments now endorse the can be saved in order to buy a boat of
African Charter on Human and People’s
need to improve the status of women, their own because as of now only the
Rights and other human rights instru-
although there is widespread agree- male own boats. What are African go-
ments (i.e. The Convention on the Eli-
ment that development should be vernments doing about all of these si-
mination of All Forms of Discrimination
broad-based, women often remain mar- tuations women are subjected to?
Against Women; and the Maputo proto-
ginalized in the process. Neglecting Where are the laws and policies to en-
col). However, one would wonder the
women in social, economic and political sure equal treatment for women and re-
essence of their ratification when these
development will produce negative im- cognition of their services? Majority of
instruments are yet to be recognised
pact in nations and therefore depriving African leaders neglect these facts and
and respected. Are they really adhering
women equal right to develop too. women continue to suffer under every
to them? Were they just like ink on Women are composed of a greater part
paper? How can we even ask them the of the work force compared to men but form
It is ofonabsolute
condition throughout
importance their
that women
question why? When we do not even these are most unpaid labour and are lives.
are treated equally and their rights be
have freedom of speech in the first never appreciated or regarded as work. recognised under all sectors of our so-
place. In most African homes, the men prefer cieties. A call for action for leaders to
Politically, ratification of instruments be responsible for implementing instru-
their women to stay home and become
only reflects formal equality while subs- ments on behalf of women domestica-
housewives instead of getting a paid
tantive equality is yet to be actualized ting them into national laws to ensure
job but yet still the work that they do at
for African women. We wanted a go- equality and justice for women and
home is not regarded as work and the-
vernment of the people for the people fully recognising women work and
refore the men feel they work harder
and by the people, where equal rights worth toward development.
than their wives. This stereotype gen-

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 47
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Violence conjugale :
socialement tolérée

Ndeye Coumba Diallo


(Sénégal)

Les violences faites aux femmes constituent un frein au dé-


veloppement de la société. Elles restent aussi un phéno-
mène mondial qui touche l’intégrité physique et morale
qui, si on y prend garde, cause des désagréments, un trau-
matisme. Elles sont pour la plupart d’ordre sexuel, psycho-
logique, économique, physique mais surtout conjugal. La
violence au sein des couples est un phénomène qui,
contrairement à l’idée reçue, a tendance à s’aggraver en
Afrique. Elle est manifeste partout au Sénégal à cause de
la disparité hommes et femmes dans la prise des décisions.
Elle n’est pas causée non plus par la fragilité de la femme
mais elle est plutôt le résultat du système patriarcal qui
offre trop de pouvoirs à l’homme.

Le comportement violent d’un de toutes formes de Discrimina-


homme à l’égard d’une femme tion à l’Egard des Femmes
est légitimé, voire encouragé par (CEDEF) et du Protocole à la
l’entourage familial et par la so- charte Africaine des Droits de
ciété. Les violences conjugales l’Homme et des Peuples aux
sont considérées comme une droits des femmes en Afrique,
question d’ordre privé, un pro- plusieurs lois ont été votées pour
blème intime et interne au cou- la protection des droits de la
ple qui doit être réglé au sein de femme. Certaines femmes igno-
la famille. Avec la ratification de rent encore l’existence de ces lois
la Convention sur l’Elimination mais aussi que le code pénal sé-

YOWLI
48 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
négalais punit les violences battre plus fort. Elle ne sait pas commis des violences conju-
faites aux femmes. Contraire- combien de temps cela a duré, gales d’une mesure de sursis
ment à la religion chrétienne, mais elle n’en pouvait plus, alors que l’Article 297 bis du
les pesanteurs socioculturelles, alors elle est allée se plaindre à Code Pénal prévoit que pour
certaines croyances et cou- la gendarmerie. Une fois ces infractions, le sursis est lé-
tumes ainsi que la religion mu- munie d’un certificat médical, galement interdit. Cette situa-
sulmane notamment elle s’est attiré les foudres de tion est due à la non
contribuent également à favo- son beau-frère, qui a immédia- application des lois actuelles et
riser les violences. tement retiré le dossier des à la non reconnaissance en
mains des autorités. Au Séné- matière civile de la femme la
Certaines femmes victimes de gal, trop peu de femmes osent même capacité juridique que
violences s’engagent à ester en admettre qu’elles sont battues l’homme. Il est judicieux de
justice, mais une fois le mo- à cause des pesanteurs so- créer ou de proposer des ser-
ment venu de se présenter de- ciales, économiques et d’une vices gratuits pour les femmes.
vant le juge pour entamer la méconnaissance et non infor- Il faut également qu’il y ait des
procédure, elles se rétractent mation de leurs droits, et avocats et des avocates dû-
affirmant que leur problème a quand elles résistent, elles sont ment formés, capables de
été résolu à l’amiable. Elles ont victimes de pressions énormes conseiller et d’aider les vic-
peur du jugement des autres de la part de leur entourage. times à prendre une décision
en exposant leur vie privée sur Selon la straification sociale, la en reconnaissance de cause.
la place publique. Ceci peut femme doit être la subalterne
être illustré par un cas plus de l’homme. Elle doit suivre Ainsi si le problème est abordé
concret. l’homme même si l’expression ouvertement, si les popula-
de sa domination se fait de ma- tions, les imams, les dignitaires
nière violente. musulmans, mais surtout les
Aïssatou, une femme qui est
venue se confier au Centre de jeunes, particulièrement in-
Lutte contre les Violences Ces circonstances aggra- fluents au sein de la société sé-
faites aux Femmes (CLVF), est vantes devront être appliquées négalaise, sont encouragés à
mariée depuis 10 ans. Au lorsque les violences auront en parler, cela pourrait permet-
début, à chaque fois une dis- été commises par le conjoint. tre de stigmatiser davantage
pute, son mari lui criait dessus, Mais certains magistrats pour les violences faites aux
lui donnait des claques, et puis sauver la vie de couple, font femmes.
peu à peu, il a commencé à la bénéficier à l’époux ayant

The Yowli participants


chartting with Armah Ayi
Kwei, one of the most
celebrated African writers

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 49
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

GENRE ET IMPUNITÉ
en Côte d’Ivoire

Claudine Kouamé
(Côte d’Ivoire)

Depuis le début de la crise, ni le gou- Commission d’enquête internatio-


vernement ivoirien ni les dirigeants nale mandatée par les Nations Unies
des Forces Nouvelles, ou la commu- pour procéder à des investigations
nauté internationale n’ont fait d’ef- sur les allégations de violations des
forts conséquents pour traduire en droits humains en Côte d’Ivoire de
justice les criminels responsables 2002 à 2004 ont produit un rapport
des violences sexuelles et d’autres critique à cet égard. Le rapport final
violations sérieuses voire crapu- fut étouffé aux Nations Unies, mais
leuses du droit humanitaire interna- une version a été diffusée clandesti-
tional et des droits de l’homme – y nement. Dans ce rapport, la Com-
compris ceux des plus ignobles vio- mission nota, « tous ceux ayant
lences sexuelles. Ces lacunes ont commis des crimes de sang, qu'ils
contribué à un environnement d’illé- soient putschistes, soldats gouverne-
galité dans lequel prévaut une impu- mentaux, gendarmes, policiers et au-
nité flagrante et où les violences tres, n'ont pas vu les poursuites
faites aux femmes demeurent un sé- pénales engagées à leur encontre
rieux problème. ou, pour celles qui ont été engagées,
En dépit des demandes d’informa- menées à leur terme. » La Commis-
tions auprès des autorités et de re- sion souligna que « cela a entraîné
cherches avec des représentants de la frustration des victimes à qui jus-
l’ONU, les ONG ivoiriennes tant tice n'a pas encore été rendue.
qu’internationales, Human Rights L’absence de poursuites en justice
Watch n’a pas pu découvrir d’infor- paraît découler de plusieurs facteurs
mations sur une seule poursuite en incluant la réticence ou l’incapacité
justice qui se serait soldée par une des victimes de poursuivre leurs cas
conviction dans un cas de violence ; Elles hésitent à s’exprimer de peur
sexuelle commis par un membre d’amener la honte sur leur famille et
d’un groupe armé – dans les tribu- de se retrouver rejetées dans leurs
naux du gouvernement au sud tant communautés.
que dans les zones sous l’adminis-
tration des Forces Nouvelles. La L’effondrement du système légal au
nord, l’inefficacité et la corruption

YOWLI
50 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
phénomène généralisé dans le forces armées pro-gouverne- L’impunité reste la norme
système légal au sud, L’ab- mentales. De même, les pro- pour beaucoup de crimes au
sence de définition du viol grès sont maigres, voire non nord rebelle, y compris les
dans le Code pénal ivoirien fa- existants même dans les rares crimes de violence sexuelle. Il
vorise cette atmosphère d’im- cas de violences sexuelles mé- n’y a point de système judi-
punité, l’absence de volonté diatisées ou des survivants ciaire capable d’assurer des
politique et des attitudes cul- courageux ont parlé ouverte- garanties pour un procès
turelles qui négligent le sé- ment des supplices qu’ils ont équitable qui respecterait les
rieux de la violence sexuelle et vécu, et se sont engagés pour normes internationales. Le
marginalisent ses victimes. que les commanditaires soient système judiciaire officiel au
En plus de ces entraves pro- poursuivis en justice. nord s’effondra suite à l’irrup-
fondes à la justice, Président L’entrave principale à la jus- tion des hostilités armées de
Laurent Gbagbo a signé en tice dans la zone gouverne- fin 2002.Prisons, tribunaux, et
avril 2007 une loi d’amnistie mentale, au sud, découle du autres bâtiments furent sacca-
pour les crimes contre l’état manque de volonté politique gés et la plupart du personnel
dans le contexte de l’Accord pour poursuivre des membres judiciaire s’est enfui au sud
de paix de Ouagadougou et des forces sécuritaires soup- (avocats et juges).
les autres initiatives récentes çonnées d’abus sexuels.
pour réunir le pays.
Cette loi n’amnistie pas les
crimes économiques et les
crimes selon le droit pénal
ivoirien sauf quand des indivi-
duels commirent des crimes Recommandations
contre la sécurité de l’État et la
défense nationale ou là où des Les parents doivent assumer leurs responsabilités en ap-
individus commirent des portant soutient et assistance à leurs enfants victimes de
crimes en défendant les insti- violences sexuelles.
tutions républicains. L’amnis- L’Etat doit Recruter et former davantage de femmes char-
tie ne mentionne pas gées de faire appliquer la loi afin de répondre aux besoins
l’impossibilité d’amnistier des des victimes de violence sexuelle basée sur le genre. For-
crimes de guerre ou crimes mer d’avantage les membres des forces de sécurité sur le
contre l’humanité. L’amnistie droit international humanitaire et les droits humains, sur
pourrait être interprétée de les droits des femmes et les crimes basés sur le genre.
façon trop large, pour blan-
chir d’innombrables abus à Renforcer la participation des femmes dans la planifi-
l’encontre des civils. cation et la mise en œuvre du processus de paix, de re-
Dans les zones sud de la Côte construction et de réhabilitation. Assurer aux femmes les
d’Ivoire contrôlées par le gou- moyens d’action pour élaborer des réponses aux vio-
vernement, les cas de vio- lences sexuelles et basées sur le genre, et pour formuler
lences sexuelles de tous types des programmes de prévention de la violence. Punir les
sont rarement suivis d’une en- responsables pour éviter que cela ne continue les mo-
quête et poursuivies en jus- ments de hautes tensions politiques comme pendant les
tice. Il en résulte une impunité élections
quasi totale, surtout pour les Les femmes et les jeunes filles leaders doivent former un
violences sexuelles liées au réseau pour prendre le devant des choses.
conflit, commises par les

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YOWLI 51
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

THE GHANAIAN GIRL CHILD


AND ALMS BEGGING

Rita Asombala
(25; Ghana)

Ama is a thirteen year old orphan girl who got pregnant


by a blind man, Adongo, whom she was asked to assist in
begging for alms on the street. She was given to Adongo
as a wife. So it was obligatory for her to assist him beg
and do everything. Ama did not get support from anybody
because she was considered a ‘bad’ girl and so exposed
her to lots of discrimination among her peers, young
women and men, adults and even older people. She hardly
had a square meal per day and constantly fell sick and
never taking to the hospital because she and her so-called
husband did not register under the Ghanaian National
Health Insurance Scheme and also lacked money to cater
for hospital bills. Straight forward, so many things run
through my mind: what is a minor doing on the street ins-
tead of being in school? An orphan who is pregnant?
What kinds of risk would she be exposed to, who are
those who have kept her in this “bottle” couldn’t some-
thing be done?

YOWLI
52 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Many children (especially girls) Convention on the Rights of dress poverty, create jobs, se-
like Ama and others who are the Child. Many African go- cure livelihoods, social secu-
sent on errands are being used vernments including the Gha- rity, improve human
on our streets assisting the di- naian government have signed development especially on the
sabled to beg for money, food, all these Human Rights part of women and children. I
soap, clothes among others. Conventions as well as the Na- think its time women reco-
These children like, Ama, often tional welfare legislation for gnize their right, stand up to it
have no education, lack good the child and the disabled. and call on the Ghanaian go-
nutrition and health, and their Therefore, the state remains vernment to given account for
needs (clothing, shelter and the primary duty bearer under everything they are responsi-
food) are not met. The streets the international human rights ble for.
also expose them to so many law to take care of the child
challenges such as: early child rights. Thus African govern- In a nutshell, if the right of the
marriage, which leads to tee- ments and for that matter disabled is actually in practice,
nage pregnancy and which Ghana, have to know that it is Adongo would have been pro-
perhaps, would have dange- their duty/obligation to respect tected as a vulnerable person
rous side effects like obstetric the girls’ right, protect her rather than using a girl to beg
fistula and dying in child birth. from all sort of discriminatory or go as far as impregnating
Street girls are also being used actions and take progressive her. I cry out loud to the
as domestic servants they are steps to fulfil her rights. That is Ghana’s Ministry of Women
also more vulnerable to rape putting in place laws, policies and Children’s Affair
and sexual harassments which and resources, services and (MOWCA) whose main aim is
tend exposes them to sexually structures to enable girls to de- to promote the welfare of
diseases especially HIV/AIDS. velop well, have a high stan- women and children, des-
dard of health and to live a ignate government to initiate,
good life. For “without ensu- coordinate and monitor gen-
If children are our future, then ring the girl her rights she can der responsive issues to ensure
why are some of our future never grow to be the woman equal status for women and
leaders left out on the street to of her right”. promote rights for children to
face all these problems. Who I also think that the over de- help, in making sure that insti-
will lead us tomorrow when pendence of Africans on fo- tutions like; The Domestic Vio-
we are no more? Should they reign aid, capital and expertise lence Act, the Convention on
be illiterate, malnourished and has led to the loss of national the Elimination of all Forms of
sick leaders who have no initiative and capacity, the pro- Discrimination Against
where to lay their heads, be gressive loss of national sove- Women (CEDAW), The Inter-
those to take over after us? The reignty over economic national Covenant on Econo-
answer is obviously no. So in decision and therefore must be mic, Social and Cultural
this case, there is a need to ask looked at critically to help fight (CESCR) and other human
ourselves these questions: for the right of the child (espe- rights bodies to actually take-
where are these children’s pa- cially girls) and young women. up their task in the fight for the
rents? What are our leaders For instance, most Africans es- child’s and woman’s right. It is
saying or doing? And what is pecially Ghanaian’s economic better enforcing these rights
happening to so many of the decisions are been defined and than waiting till the after
human rights instrument most controlled by the IMF and the mouth of the problems like
of which are signed and recti- World Bank. A clear indication that of Ama and perhaps what
fied by our governments? in Ghana’s economic policies to do to Adongo as perpetrator
over the years, such as Econo- of the law. Prevention they say
mic Recovery Program (ERP) is better than Cure so lets all
We all have obligations with
under the SAP and the HIPC be guided.
regards to advancing the
Initiatives also under the
rights of children especially
Ghana Poverty Reduction Stra-
the girl child as well as the
tegy (GPRS) have failed to ad-
young woman. Parents have
explicit obligations under the

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YOWLI 53
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Sierra Leone:
Assault on Young Girls

Isa Cole
Age: 25
Young Women Leaders
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sexual exploitation in contemporary Sierra Leone stands a


major challenge that requires a robust approach for chil-
dren to be given an opportunity to grow and gender pa-
rity be reached. Reports have shown that more and more
children are being exploited at home, in schools and in the
community at large. Sexual exploitation related to school
children is an umbrella term, encompassing a variety of
harmful and sexually abusive behaviors and language.

The words “sexual exploitation”


evokes a number of reactions and These days, School environment may
feelings. One of the most devastating by no means be a safe haven for chil-
is silence – our inability or unwillin- dren as some teachers do exploit pu-
gness as a nation to speak about this pils in various ways, especially
horrific problem and to bring the sexually. The trends and patterns
perpetrators to book. Victims suffer have mounted to a crisis level. Num-
silently as a consequence of the cul- ber of rape cases have increased and
ture of silence. Victims may be frigh- a high level of professional miscon-
tened or intimidated into not telling duct especially by male teachers also.
people about their experiences. They Young Women Leaders conducted a
may also feel they won’t be believed research on the “Trends Patterns and
or what had happened is their fault. Magnitude of Sexual Exploitation”, in
These feelings may cause them to 50 schools with 450 pupils in the
hide their pain. Western Area in 2008. The research

YOWLI
54 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
unearthed a host of issues - The issue of abuse: Mamusu pupils. According to T., Mr. A.
faced by school pupils, espe- is a child under 18 years of C. took her to his house,
cially girls. Among our many age, hence having sexual bought her a few things and
findings, the leading case of contact with her is tantamount locked her in a room, where
sexual exploitation of pupils to sexual exploitation of a ju- he abused her sexually. She
was investigated. venile. also said that apart from him,
- The issue of consent: This another man also abused her
does not exist here as T. is a sexually in the same room at
It is works mentionning a lea-
minor. that same time. When she told
ding case of sexual exploita-
Mr. A. C. that she was pre-
tion of a school girl in the
gnant he took her to a doctor
Western Urban District of It was further disclosed that, T. who performed an operation
Sierra Leone. The matter is was born out of wedlock and to terminate the pregnancy.
currently being heard in the that her father did not care for It was also learnt that at any
Freetown Magistrate Court. her from her infancy. Very lit- time the matter was called up,
In this matter, it is alleged that tle is known of her mother. everyone except the complai-
a teacher, Mr. A. C. sexually During her early childhood, nant and the defendant, was
assaulted and kidnapped one her father married her step- asked to leave the court room.
Mamusu Snell, a pupil of one mother who despised her. It This prompted a lawyer to
of the Freetown Secondary was her paternal grandmother take up the matter to defend
Schools. Mr. A. C. who is tea- who nurtured her. T.’s grand- the child.
ching at a Secondary School is mother, lavished her with
also a Counselor of the school money to make up for the lack
giving him of liberty with the of parental love that her Mamusu, it was later learnt,
pupils. He also has an office in granddaughter lacked. Even- was threatened by Mr. A. C.
the school where he holds his tually she became dependent that he would kill her if she
counseling sessions. on money. continued to testify against
him.
This utterance prompted the
This matter was reported to Unfortunately the grandmo- Police to arrest and detain him
the Police by Mr. B. T. , an ther died. At this point she at the Prisons. He has since
uncle to the school girl T., was in a Girls High School. been released. The matter is
when he discovered that T. Alone now, she was once dri- still pending at the Law Court.
had gone missing for about ven from school for lack of Meanwhile Mr. A. C. was
two weeks. The matter was in- fees. And she had to turn to pressured to leave the school
vestigated and charged in her father, who not only refu- and he is presently teaching at
court. The reasons why this sed to give her the money but another Secondary School.
case is considered a valid case had her beaten up by his wife. Due to the threats, T. had
of sexual exploitation are as Consequently, T. missed since disappeared and no one
follows: school for sometime. Accor- knows her whereabouts, with
ding to one of her teachers at no one to care for her and
the Girls High School, she none to pursue her matter. In
The teacher is using his later turned up with the the view of Young women
power to exploit the child money for her fees. Leaders – Sierra Leone ( the
sexually since she is depen- researcher), this is a case in
dent on him for his guidance. which the state should inter-
vene and pursue the matter to
After the BECE she could not
protect the girl’s (women’s)
- The counselor, a much stron- make up the grade to remain
rights and provide justice.
ger man than the girl used at the High School so she had
Otherwise such impunity will
strength as a way of keeping to go to another School. There
continue to be perpetuated.
her prisoner in a small room she encountered Mr. A. C.,
for days. who it was learnt makes it his
habit to have his way with the

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YOWLI 55
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Do Not Violate the Rights


of Our Children

Maria Sadick
(23 ; Malawi)

The rights of children are under threat! Just like we


women, there are several declarations and international
charters that endorse the rights of children. However, si-
gning a piece of paper and stating a commitment does not
always translate into action. It is for this reason that
OWACO in Malawi is committed to ensure the rights of
children are mandatory through education and advocacy.
This article will focus on three areas in which advocacy
around children’s rights are being pursued. The first re-
lates to children who own are orphaned.

In 1999 we had a project to setup a showed them without offering any


nursery school for orphaned chil- support. Since accessing education
dren in Chimwankhunda. This was was paramount, we as OWACO re-
one of the first projects of OWACO viewed our position and focused on
whose aim was to provide education providing the much needed support
for orphaned children. However, for these children to attain the access
soon after setting it up we realized to the education
that many of the children were una-
ble to attend the school due to finan- Our second area of focus is around
cial reasons. Moreover no effort was early child marriages against which
made by the members of the concer- we advocate. There is a saying “Cha-
ned community to assist these chil- rity begins at home’’. Unfortunately,
dren to attain the opportunity being the violation of children’s rights
offered to them. In fact it was quite usually begins in the homes, as well.
disturbing to note the complete di- Many villages in Central and Sou-
sinterest that community members thern Malawi have annual initiation

YOWLI
56 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
rites called Zinamwali that ables the trainer to making
aims to teach children about crafts such as tables, door
the responsibilities of mar- mats, brooms, etc. the selling
riage and married life. In most of these articles allow the trai-
cases, the children (mainly nee to become self sustainable
girls) have barely reached the and derive and income for his/
legal age of marriage which in her family. The last group with
Malawi, is 18 years, and 21 whom we work with are chil-
years for males. dren who are enrolled in
After these initiation ceremo- school, but do not have after-
nies, the children are expected care facilities. In this instance
to act as grown-ups in society, we provide after-school activi-
and as soon after a huge num- ties such as reading, watching
ber of early child marriages educational films and partici-
occur. Early marriage comes pating in insightful discus-
at the expense of education, sions (particularly on
which most children have to children’s rights) in order to
abandon in order to take up help them stay away from so-
their new roles as adults, hus- cial vices.
bands, wives and soon the- The African Commission on
reafter parents in society. Human and People’s Rights
The third area around which describes a child as ‘every
OWACO advocates is general human being below the age of
information and education of 18 years’. It further outlines
the Malawian children about the rights of every child in the
their rights, including their African Charter on the Rights
right to education. Children and Welfare of the Child. Ho-
are classified into four main wever, the current conditions
groups; that Malawian children living
• those who terminate their in rural areas find themselves
primary education prematu- in, leaves a lot to be desired.
rely due to lack of finances, It is my hope that all Mala- Queen Ann Zinga led the
• those who are unable to pur- wians will be aware of and anti-colonialist struggle in
sue tertiary education due to will support the rights of chil- Angola
lack of money, dren, especially their right to
• those who have had no for- education. I believe this is
mal education at all and those very important since children
who are enrolled in schools are the future leaders and the-
but have no extra-curricular refore have the power to de-
activities to keep them busy termine the future state of
after classes. events in their societies, coun-
tries and the world as a whole.

In the case of the first two It is the responsibility of each


groups, we provide financial and every one of us to ensure
support. The individuals with that every child has equal ac-
no formal education are cess to education, regardless
usually older and have fami- of whether they are orphans,
lies of their own. They provide disabled or vulnerable.
vocational training which en-

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YOWLI 57
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

THE IMPACT OF CHILD


MARRIAGE

Muna Dol and Nadya Touhami Nadya Touhami


Foundation for Women’s Health Age: 26
and Research (FORWARD) Association Club Mohamed Ali pour La Culture Ouviere
UK Tunisia

Child marriage, also known as early marriage, is defi-


ned as “Any marriage carried out below the age of 18
years, before the girl is physically, physiologically, and
psychologically ready to shoulder the responsibilities
of marriage and childbearing”. Child marriage
usually refers to two separate social phenomena
which are practiced in some societies.

The first and more widespread practice is that of marrying a young


child to an adult. In practice, it is almost always a young girl married
to a man. The second practice is a form of arranged marriage in
which the parents of two children from different families arrange a fu-
ture marriage. In this practice, the individuals who become betrothed
often do not meet one another until the wedding ceremony, which oc-
curs when they are both of a marriageable age. Which age this is dif-
fers by local custom. In most practicing cultures, this age is at or after
the onset of puberty. Child marriage is always considered as a forced
marriage in most cases, because the decisions about the marriage are
made for underage children without their consent.
Current estimates indicate that approximately 82 million girls aged
10–17 years will be married before they reach 18. Of the 331 million
girls aged 10–19 in developing countries (excluding China), 163 mil-

YOWLI
58 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
lion will be married before rents can attain greater to be done to reduce poverty
they are 20. Despite many wealth, are married off at a and increase awareness and
countries enacting a marria- young age for the bride price education amongst the wider
geable age of 16-18, custo- and also as a way for parents community, in order to create
mary marriages are to lessen their economic bur- an equal and prosperous so-
widespread. Poverty, tradition dens. ciety.
and conflict create a high pre- It must be emphasized that
valence of child marriage in child and forced marriage dis-
Sub-Saharan Africa. proportionately affects girls.
The main cause of child mar- They experience the negative
riages is intrinsically linked to health and social effects of the
poverty. Where poverty is practice. In addition, their
acute, a young girl may be re- marriages are often to signifi-
garded as an economic bur- cantly older men. This creates
den and her marriage to a further difficulties for girls in
much older man is believed to negotiating safe sex and ac-
benefit the child and her fa- quiring other decision-making
mily both financially and so- powers. Overall, the human
cially. In communities where rights of child wives are viola-
child marriage is practiced, ted because of their limited
marriage is regarded as a freedom of movement, limited
transaction, often represen- access to employment, limited
ting a significant economic ac- access to health care services
tivity for a family. A daughter and information, limited ac-
may be the only commodity a cess to education, and their in-
family has left to be traded creased vulnerability to
and sometimes girls can be violence and poverty. Moreo-
used as currency or to settle ver, because girls brides are
debts. A girl's marriage may withdrawn from school, the
also take place as a perceived lack of education and empo-
means of creating stability. In werment affects the attain-
uncertain times, poor harvest ment and health levels of their
conditions or war, a family children. In contrast, a male
may believe it is necessary to child in these countries is still
ensure the economical 'safety' more likely to gain a full edu-
of their daughter and family, cation, gain employment/pur-
through marriage. sue a working life and
In Africa the monetary value therefore they tend to marry
of bride price, or bride wealth, later. In Mali, the girl/boy ratio
is linked with marriage. Bride of marriage before age 18 is
price is a sum, either in cash 72:1; in Kenya, 21:1.
or kind, used to purchase a Hence it is our view that child
bride for her labour and ferti- marriage is a gross human
lity. In the context of poverty, rights violation that perpe-
the practice of paying bride tuates a cycle of poverty and
price can encourage early disempowers African girls
marriage. Young girls, as a re- and women. Therefore, we
source with which their pa- submit that more is required

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YOWLI 59
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Causing your self pain

Nnoli Nwanneka
Age: 28 Lagos, Nigeria

Uwa m o! Uwa m o! [My world, my world]; Anwuo m o! Efuo m o! [I am


dead, I am lost]; Ariri e gbuola m o! [I am dying of grief].
This is the cry of many women at the death of their husbands. It is true that
every marriage will end one day by separation, divorce or death, but no one
ever prepares for death. The death of a spouse severs some of the deepest
emotional bonds established in a lifetime. However, the traumatic expe-
rience, which accompanies death of husbands, tends to be greater on
women than on men when they loose their wives. Whereas the wife imme-
diately becomes the primary suspect for her husband's death, the man is im-
mediately offered an appropriate substitution to comfort him upon the loss
of his wife.

When a woman loses her husband, she goes through physical, emotional
and psychological pain. Many times the one who is to be comforted is ac-
cused, humiliated, dehumananised and suspected of causing herself pain!
I have never been able to understand why it’s the woman’s fault for the
man to die and never the man’s fault when the woman dies. Although
both the widow and the widower experience basically equal pains at the
death of the partner, the Nigerian widow suffers many deprivations,
some of which are inhuman. This discriminatory approach in the practice
of widowhood destabilizes many women. It not only violates the Conven-
tion on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
(CEDAW), some of these traditional practices should not find a place in
any decent and civilised society.

YOWLI
60 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Widowhood practices differ bare children if the widow’s ted in Enugu state which pro-
from one location to another. family is considered incom- hibitions the infringement of
However what remains gene- plete and to manage the pro- widows and widowers funda-
ral is that in addition to her perty held in trust for her mental rights. The same bill
loss, the widow is subjected to minor sons. She is under did not succeed in Edo State
the whims of a culture she can considerable pressure to have where it was fiercely opposed
not control and to which she more children as quickly as by many. One Benin Chief
must submit her self to. The possible particularly if she has reacted thus, “the bill will lead
initial parts of the mourning no sons. Many widows may to crisis, if eventually signed
period are usually the most have to start a new economic into law by the executive. The
painful. Certain rituals must life after the death of the hus- practices guaranteed the pro-
be performed within the first band. This is because kinship tection of the man (the hus-
28 days before the widow can ties are strong among many band), while alive and it
carry out normal activities. In African societies and are often serves as a deterrent to the
places like Nanka in Anambra more emphasised than marital woman or any of the spouses
state, she is not allowed to see ties, a widow stands the that is diabolically inclined.
the corpse of her husband. A chance of loosing access to She knows what she will go
woman suspected of killing property jointly acquired with through, should the partner
her husband is forced to drink her husband. According to die” (Punch Newspaper).
the water used to wash the statutory law, a widow is allo- This is indeed a human rights
husband’s corpse in the belief wed to inherit part of her hus- challenge and can only be
that the spirit will strike her band's property and estate tackled from a comprehensive
dead! Her hair is shaved (and including land. Section 36 of point of view. There is need
pubic hair in some areas) and the Nigerian Marriage Act for everyone to be involved
burnt. Men are also expected provides for the widow in the for the complete eradication
to mourn their wives, al- following ways: of every punitive widowhood
though the expectations (a) A widow with children is practice. The first step to-
would appear rather minor. entitled to one-third of her wards achieving total freedom
husband's estate; is EDUCATION. Women need
(b) Where the widow has no to have affordable access to
The mandatory seclusion and child, she is entitled to half of justice. Religious leaders and
restricted mobility of the her husband's estate. traditional rulers have a key
widow generally involve the The above provision indicates role to play at the family and
neglect of personal hygiene that on paper, a widow is en- community level where a
and the denial of many basic titled to inherit from her hus- large number of violations
human comforts. This can last band on his death. But how occur. I am convinced that our
between a period of six does this apply in practice? collective voices will make an
months to one year. She is not Evidence shows that the wi- impact in getting the attention
allowed to wear any other dow's rights of inheritance of the power players who
cloth but the sackcloth which under the Marriage Act are make the policies for change.
is usually black, though in re- completely ignored by the de- REFERENCES.
cent times, some people use ceased's relatives who regard Chima Jacob KORIEH; Wi-
white cloth instead of the tra- the deceased's estate as their dowhood Among the Igbo Of
ditional black cloth. She may birth right. Eastern Nigeria
not go anywhere there is cele- Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi (2002);
bration or stay out till dusk. Widowhood Practices: The
In some parts of Igboland as is Widows Development Organi-
in many parts of Africa, the In Nigeria, advances are being sation Experience
widow is inherited by her de- made towards the protection Punch Newspaper, November
ceased husband’s kinsman of the rights of women in the 28th 2001
(son or brother). The role is to present democratic dispensa-
tion. In 2001, a law was enac-

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YOWLI 61
HUMAN RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Uganda:
Gender and trafficking of
women and girls

Regina Kacwamu
(Uganda)

Human trafficking is the movement of people from one place to


another for purposes of exploitation. It is regarded as modern
day slavery and is a violation of human rights whose conse-
quences extend to health, social and economic spheres of life.
Uganda is both a destination and a source for trafficked women
and girls. In Uganda, trafficking takes two forms; internal traf-
ficking, where young women and girls are taken from rural to
urban areas to work as domestic workers, attendants in bars/res-
taurants/lodges and shops, sex workers, strippers/karaoke dan-
cers and vending. Cross boarder trafficking also happens where
women and girls are moved across boarders primarily for sex
slavery and prostitution.

Like any social issue such as poverty or HIV/AIDS, trafficking is a


gendered issue; that greatly impacts on the lives of poor women
and girls who are lured or coerced into the hands of traffickers
with promises of a good life in cities, marriage, employment and
better education. Although both men and women are vulnerable
to trafficking, women and girls are at higher risk and the impact
is greater on them compared to their male counterparts.

In my view, the root causes of trafficking and subsequent vio-


lence that women and girls face is enshrined in pervasiveness
and attitudes of a patriarchal society that tolerates violence
against women and reinforced by cultural values, globalisation
and gender biases/inequities in society. For instance why would a
parent accept his/her girl child, but not the boy to be trafficked to

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62 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
the city for domestic work so- gage in prostitution are bea- red to the children they pro-
metimes foregoing education ten, not paid and exposed to duce. What is more shocking
so that the family can get food HIV infection. Young girls in is that trafficking of women
on the table? Why would an domestic service, work long and girls and the subsequent
employer (husband in a house hours, are physically and violence they face goes unre-
where a girl is working as a sexually abused by their em- ported and unpunished. Cur-
house girl) abuse her sexually ployers. This is the same for rently, Uganda does not have
when he has his wife in the girls and young women invol- a law on trafficking in per-
same house? Women and girls ved in karaoke dance and bar sons, although the bill has
are among the poorest of the attending. Over 2000 young been tabled in parliament.
poor and therefore lack eco- women and girls have also
nomically sustainable liveli- been massively trafficked by Increasing public education
hoods and thus become easy the Lord’s Resistance Army, a including life skills training
targets for traffickers. rebel group that is fighting about trafficking and enlisting
the Government of Uganda in male support in protecting
the North for sex slavery, do- girls will go along way in
As much as women and men
mestic service and to act as averting this situation and em-
are vulnerable, women parti-
wives to rebel commanders. powering women to make
cularly engage in prostitution
According to UNICEF, most of choices on what is good for
where exploitation and life
the girls that have returned them and their children. Im-
threatening effects are grea-
from captivity have faced proving the economic liveli-
test. Sometimes they are phy-
sexual abuse, forced pre- hoods of young women and
sically abused and the gains
gnancy and become infected girls will also give them the
from the sex work taken by
with sexually transmitted di- ability to earn income in safer
pimps and brothel owners. In
seases and HIV/AIDS. ways and not lured with pro-
my work on children’s rights
in Uganda, I have met chil- mises of employment and
dren trafficked from rural good life in cities. Above all,
Trafficked women and girls
areas who are employed in young women activists need
are also traumatised and stig-
bars as attendants; the bar to pressure governments and
matised, as a result loose their
owner does not pay them but hold them accountable for
self esteem. Even when they
they get their daily wage by protecting the rights of
face reproductive health pro-
enticing customers to have women and girls by enacting
blems, they cannot access the
sex with them for money and enforcing laws on traf-
necessary health services and
which is usually less than ficking as well, and building
information because they lack
1US$. This derives from the national values that protect
knowledge on where the ser-
fact women are seen as sex and support empowerment of
vices are. They also loose out
objects and therefore can be women.
on the chance of attending
exchanged for economic gains school, meaning that they re-
at the expense of their health. main illiterate and cannot get
According to research done in decent employment in future.
Uganda on trafficking, most More importantly, most vic-
victims face gender based vio- tims do not know that their
lence, arising from the exploi- rights are being violated. So
tative activities they engage the circle of poverty keeps
in. For instance, those that en- them engulfed and is transfer-

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ZIMBABWE:
Leadership and/or Economy
Spinning Out of Control?

Tomupeishe Maphosa
Age: 26
Hope Africa/YOWLI (Zimbabwe)

Being Zimbabwean, the most common questions and


discussions I am faced with concern Zimbabwe’s eco-
nomy and leadership. Admittedly, the leadership cur-
rently influences the economy; but what can one expect
the leadership to do about an economy that is spinning
out of control? Zimbabwe is entangled in a vicious cycle.
Almost any decision that the leadership makes deeply af-
fects me and/or the next person. Like many Zimbab-
weans, I long accepted that election or no election; so
what? My major hope was simply: what next?

It is difficult to justify whether I be- dent. Not once did Zimbabwe cease
lieve in Robert Gabriel Mugabe or to exist, nor did any Zimbabwean
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai; but cease to strive for her or his country.
what I wholeheartedly know is that I
believe in Zimbabwe. Between the Leadership in Africa has proved to
historic 29 March harmonised elec- be a challenge. In the colonialists’
tions and the 27 June presidential language, most of Africa’s leaders
re-run elections, foreign nationals are bad as they are termed despots
would mockingly ask “Who is your and dictators. We continue to be the
president?” Despite the confusion, ‘dark’ continent they believe we are
obviously Mugabe was and is presi- and it seems we compete with each

YOWLI
64 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
other to prove them correct. cupiers felt they ‘discovered’ hold onto power, but in 2000
the Falls, despite the people li- he interfered with white inte-
Leadership is essential for any ving around the Falls calling it rests – he took land from
institution, community and Mosi – o – Tunya, a beautiful white farmers and handed it
nation. Most importantly, self and relevant name meaning to the Black majority. Sud-
motivated personal leadership ‘the smoke that thunders’. denly, the UK had no hold on
is crucial. For how can you Zimbabwe and white interests
lead others when you cannot Independence from the Bri- from farming, mining and
lead yourself? tish colonialists came in 1980, commerce were threatened.
but Zimbabwe was faced with In 1980, the UK had promised
Thus, leadership comes with neighbouring South Africa’s to give land back to Black
responsibility. Responsibility apartheid hostility until 1994. landless Zimbabweans. 20
for the people and for one’s The existing class and gender years later, the land occupa-
actions. Mugabe has failed to inequalities were exacerbated tions were inevitable. On the
see that. His ego rules Zim- by the forced IMF structural other hand, Mugabe allowed
babwe ignoring the fact that adjustment programmes of the land distribution to go on
he has been in power too long the 1990s, which brought un- for selfish political reasons to
and he is old. It is time for de- necessary suffering in a coun- secure his party’s win in the
mocracy to prevail but he will try faced by drought. The IMF 2000 elections.
not let it be so. Instead, he lets viewed it as a strategy for de-
the younger generations velopment but it only served The UK and USA have since
waste away. Natural and the interests of international sought to punish Mugabe for
human resources are not used capital, the individual in Zim- reclaiming his people’s land. A
to the fullest potential. As the babwe suffered. Mugabe succession of foreign inves-
economy deteriorates, ser- pointed this out, only to earn tors and donor agencies have
vices such as education and the IMF and World Bank’s pulled out of Zimbabwe. This
health deteriorate too. Mu- censure. in turn, has caused many do-
gabe has done many wrong mestic firms to be declared
things, but he did not become Mugabe’s reign has had pro- bankrupt.
a bad leader over night. What blems of bad and untimely de-
created Mugabe? cisions. 1997 marks the start of A rash decision claiming to
what many people perceive as formalise all business enter-
The fact is: there is so much to Zimbabwe’s decline. Follo- prises in 2005 saw Operation
deal with. The leaders before wing his marriage to a woman Murambatsvina/Restore
him, the leaders around him 40 years his junior, grants of Order destroy structures of
and those who hope to be non-existent $50,000 were micro businesses and unregis-
after him. The leaders before given to war veterans (and tered houses. This left families
him, the colonisers, came, saw corrupt individuals who were homeless in the middle of
and conquered. They took and never a part of the war of libe- winter and caused a loss of li-
they continue to take. What ration). Money was merely velihood for mostly women.
kind of leaders were they? printed for this purpose. Infla- This systematic destruction of
Leaders who occupy another tion started…10 years later, in- property aimed to frustrate
people’s land and give it their flation is still a reality. The and punish the urban popula-
name? Zimbabwe was pre- international media has since tion who had consistently not
viously Rhodesia named after labelled Zimbabwe the voted for Mugabe and his
Cecil John Rhodes, one of the ‘world’s fastest shrinking eco- party in the 2000, 2002 and
first white occupiers. Zim- nomy’. 2005 elections.
babwe’s magnificent contribu-
tion to the world’s wonders, Until 2000, the West viewed This is the context which
Victoria Falls is named after Mugabe as a better leader moulded a leader. The colonial
the very Queen Victoria in compared to other African context is important as it is
whose name the white settlers leaders. The land occupations what modern Zimbabwe is
killed and plundered for per- changed that. Mugabe is not built upon. The UK and US
sonal benefits. The white oc- the only leader in the world to aim to punish Mugabe for de-

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viating from their plans for left without parental care. ‘man’ has lowered the esteem
Zimbabwe, but it is the ordi- They often struggle through of the leader. Being a man
nary person like me who suf- school and are prone to abuse. wrongly encompasses notions
fers. There is a saying that the Sex work also occurs when of violence, abuse of power,
personal is political. The per- crossing borders. The spouse corruption, adultery and miso-
sonal definitely has far rea- left at home may also be un- gynism. The definition of
ching repercussions in the faithful, thus complicating the manhood needs to remove all
moulding of society and cul- HIV pandemic and proving this and instead seek for dee-
ture. As individuals, our the strong link between HIV per and wider positive mea-
thoughts and characteristics and poverty. nings that build boys into
have potential to influence our democratic citizens who are
community. Take my Presi- Women in Zimbabwe and responsible, respectful and
dent, for instance, he is deaf to Africa as a whole have been self respecting sons, brothers,
criticism and stands resolute brought to the fore with re- fathers, sexual partners and
in all his decisions. He is led gards to the micro-economic leaders.
by his passion for land and level. Their influence of the
anger against the injustices of macro-economic level will In 2006, African Feminists
colonialism. This stubborn at- only be felt if they are present adopted the Charter of Femi-
titude reverberates in any in the leadership of the nation. nist Principles for African Fe-
Zimbabwean as we are hard- Continued criticism of the cur- minists. The charter states that
working people who have de- rent leadership has shown as ‘feminist leaders we are
fied all odds. More so the that one cannot separate lea- committed to making a critical
women. Not surprisingly, the dership, the person, his ac- difference in leadership,
food riots of 1998, 2000 and tions and his experiences. Not based on the understanding
2003 were begun by groups of surprisingly as we live in a pa- that the quality of women’s
mostly women, some with ba- triarchal society, the person leadership is even more im-
bies on their backs. (leader) is a man. Definitions portant than the numbers of
of manhood and leadership women in leadership’. A
As always in any African cri- include diplomacy, oratory strong emphasis is placed on
sis, women pay the price but skills, education, money, cha- disciplined work ethics guided
try to rise above the suffering. risma, and the number of sup- by integrity and accountability
Women have devised survival porters. And then what? at all times. Not only do femi-
strategies to compensate for nist leaders seek to conti-
low wages, rising prices and My involvement with women nuously expand their
declining employment oppor- leadership and particularly knowledge and information
tunities. Women are involved young women’s leadership, base but they strengthen multi
in supplementary activities to has however, led me to find al- generational networks crea-
augment meagre salaries and ternatives. What I am looking ting time to nurture, mentor
generate money. These activi- for is that unbreakable thread and provide opportunities for
ties include selling vegetables, of moral fibre that gently but young feminists in a non-ma-
basic food stuffs and clothing. firmly weaves through and tronising manner.
There has been a significant holds together womanhood
increase in cross-border tra- and leadership. These quali- Women should no longer be
ding as women travel to Zam- ties include integrity, honesty, token figures in men’s quota
bia, Mozambique, South truth, hard work and fairness systems. African Feminist
Africa, Dubai and China in a which are proving to be ab- Leadership encompasses the
desperate attempt to fend for sent from the men and male true values of any good leader.
their children, family, commu- leadership in Zimbabwe and The qualities of an African fe-
nity and country. Some leave Africa. minist allow her to be able to
their families to work in me- manage the African complexi-
nial jobs in the UK hoping to Men are finding leadership ties of ethnicity, language,
send money back home. This burdensome. The expression ideology, colonial legacies and
has serious social and cultural ‘are you man enough?’ no lon- geographical differences.
repercussions as children are ger holds water as too much

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66 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
HALTE AUX POLITIQUES DE PRIVATISATION !!
Le Sénégal n’est pas à vendre

Cheikh Amadou Tidiane Diémé


(28 ans journaliste ; Senegal)

Le Sénégal possédait l’un des secteurs publics les plus


développés en Afrique au Sud du Sahara. Des raisons
historiques liées à la colonisation, mais également des
raisons idéologiques, politiques et sociales expliquent le
développement d’un large secteur public. Sur le plan
économique et social, tout ce qui a été accompli par le
Sénégal jusqu’au début des années 1980, l’a été en
grande partie grâce au secteur public. Aujourd’hui, les
échecs subis et les reculs constatés dans maints do-
maines sont largement imputables à la privatisation im-
posée par la banque mondiale et le FMI.

L’avènement des programmes d’ajus- le secteur privé gère mieux que le


tement structurel (PAS), imposés par secteur public ». Dans les faits, ce
la Banque mondiale et le FMI, à partir mythe ne résiste pas à l’expérience
du début des années 1980, commence historique. Par exemple, l’on sait que
le démantèlement systématique du la reconstruction de l’Europe de
secteur public, soit par la liquidation l’Ouest après la seconde guerre mon-
pure et simple des entreprises sous le diale a été essentiellement le fait
contrôle de l’Etat, soit par la privati- d’entreprises publiques très perfor-
sation. Toutes ces formes de vente mantes.
étant accompagnées de pertes mas- Pour mieux faire accepter, la banque
sives d’emplois. mondiale avance l’idée selon laquelle
Cette marchandisation vise à transfé- « le démantèlement du secteur public
rer des multinationales pour contrô- par la privatisation des services es-
ler l’économie mondiale. Selon eux, « sentiels, l’eau et l’électricité va contri-

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buer à la lutte pour la réduc- aux nouveaux « propriétaires » sont dérisoires par rapport à
tion de la pauvreté ». d’agir à leur guise. C’était une ceux qui sont versés aux expa-
Mais la réalité quotidienne exigence de la Banque mon- triés.
montre que les privatisations diale qui voulait ainsi éviter « En plus des pertes d’emplois
ont partout accentué la pau- toute interférence de l’Etat » et des revenus liées aux priva-
vreté, par la combinaison de dans la gestion de la société. tisations, celles-ci accentuent
pertes massives d’emplois, du On en connait les consé- les inégalités sociales par une
renchérissement des produits quences désastreuses au- plus grande difficulté d’accès
ou services et de pertes sèches jourd’hui ! Même constat avec aux services ou aux produits
pour l’Etat, accentuant ainsi la les privatisations post-déva- du fait de leur renchérisse-
dégradation du service public, luation et la situation actuelle. ment. Dès lors, on peut sans
en particulier de l’éducation et Avec cette dévaluation, impo- risque de se tromper affirmer
de la santé. sée aux dirigeants africains que les privatisations sont un
L’expérience de l’Afrique et impuissants, s’accélère le pro- des facteurs principaux de
cessus de privatisations. L’Etat l’explosion de la pauvreté ab-
d’autres pays du Tiers Monde
sénégalais avait complètement jecte au Sénégal, comme ail-
montre que les privatisations
capitulé devant la Banque leurs en Afrique
ont accentué le fossé entre ré-
mondiale et le FMI et accepté sub-saharienne
gions « développées » et ré-
la privatisation des entreprises
gions peu développées, Sur le plan politique et stra-
ou services autrefois qualifiés
notamment entre les zones ur- tégique, les privatisations sont
de « stratégiques ». C‘est ainsi
baines et rurales. Un tel men- synonymes de perte de souve-
qu’à partir de 1994, certaines
songe tend une fois de plus à raineté nationale et de
toutes les entreprises les plus
masquer la réalité derrière les contrôle sur le processus de
importantes du pays, ainsi que
privatisations qui ne sont rien développement de notre pays.
les mines, l’eau, l’électricité,
d’autre qu’une entreprise de En effet, il faut garder à l’es-
les banques et assurances se-
spoliation de nos pays au pro- prit que les privatisations sont
ront mises sur le marché.
fit d’une poignée de sociétés imposées par des forces exté-
Au désespoir des sénégalais
transnationales. rieures et qu’elles vont à l’en-
les privatisations n’ont pas
C’est en avançant de tels contribué au développement contre de nos intérêts
mythes que la Banque mon- économique et social du pays. fondamentaux. En outre, les
diale et le FMI ont réussi à Au contraire, elles ont contri- de secteurs stratégiques par le
vendre aux pays africains la bué à affaiblir la capacité pro- capital étranger face à un Etat
supercherie des privatisations, ductive du pays. qui se transforme graduelle-
amenant ainsi ces pays à tout ment en gardien des intérêts
mettre sur le marché, y com- étrangers.
Elles devaient dit-on stimuler
pris leurs ressources natu- Les privatisations et les toutes
les investissements et par
relles. les autres politiques imposées
conséquent la croissance éco-
A noter qu’il existe plusieurs par les institutions financières
nomique et l’emploi. Mais de-
types de privatisation, mais en internationales sapent la dé-
puis la privatisation de la
Afrique celle qui a été privilé- mocratie et menacent les
SONATEL, aucun investisse-
giée par le FMI et Banque droits humains et poussent le
ment étranger important n’a
mondiale est la cession de ca- Sénégal vers l’abîme.
eu lieu. Quant aux emplois, le
pital par l’Etat au profit d’un Sénégal en a plus perdu que
repreneur, le plus souvent gagné, du fait de la suppres-
étranger. L’Etat n’a plus aucun sion massive d’emplois qui ac-
contrôle -ou n’a qu’un compagne toujours les
contrôle symbolique- sur la privatisations. En outre, les sa-
société et laisse toute la liberté laires versés aux nationaux

YOWLI
68 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Continuity in Leadership:
The Case for Mentorship

Enala Mumba
Age: 27
Kwa Zulu Nata University
South Africa

The need for exceptional leadership cannot be emphasized


enough, but more so, of crucial importance is its continuity in
any form of organisation or society. Leadership is needed to
provide vision and direction for an organisation and many
other times has proved as an essential function for any orga-
nisation to succeed. Corporate organisations respect what
leadership stands for and will spend whatever resources ne-
cessary to attract persons of the right calibre, qualifications
and passion to take their organisations to the next level, a
process they call Succession Planning. For many pressure
groups and Non Governmental Organisations working to see
social justice prevail, leadership has proven to be core to
their success even in the midst of meagre resources and day
to day business and this legacy needs to be given a platform
necessary to ensure continuity.

One effective way an organisation sation. To do this effectively, leaders


can ensure continuity of leadership in office need to keep an eye for ex-
is through mentorship. Mentorship ceptional skill and leadership poten-
is a process where you assign mem- tial and work at providing
bers of the organisation who show opportunity to develop and enhance
leadership potential to be trained it. Mentorship works well because
and groomed (formally and infor- mentees already identify with the vi-
mally) by sound and experienced sion of the organisation and the
leadership figures within the organi- Mentor providing the training is res-

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pected for their skill. Mentor- ganisation. People need to ledge as well as use that new
ship may also prove less know the success of the orga- skill/knowledge in the organi-
costly compared to other nisation is their business, that sation. It is hypocritical to say
forms of succession planning their contribution counts and you are raising leaders when
or leadership continuation. that they will be involved in you do not give them plat-
decisions that affect them. form to exercise that skill. A
At a time when most NGOs The moment organisation simple yet very practical way
are being run with founders members begin to feel they of doing that is by delegating
providing executive leader- are being “used” and that tasks and responsibilities, not
ship, it is necessary to men- their leaders are not interes- doing everything yourself
tion that in providing ted in developing them, the (otherwise stress will catch up
direction, vision and passion, ground is unhealthy to do any with you soon!). In this way,
leaders should not become real mentoring work because even when you the leader in
the centre piece such that the they already cannot see their office are not there, the orga-
organisation only revolves future in the organisation and nisation can still run
around them and if they are most likely will be looking for smoothly, not crumble.
not around nothing gets a better organisation where
down. Even if the to take their efforts.
People are an organisation’s
leader/founder was to resign, greatest asset and in our
join the corporate world or It is important that organisa- “type of business”, affirma-
even die, the cause they were tions embark on leadership tion is becoming important
fighting for should not die training and mentorship pro- when you are providing lea-
with them because they em- grammes, they are a sign of dership. This is so because it
powered and raised formida- strategic growth, organisa- is in us to want to be appre-
ble leaders in the tion continuity and progress. ciated for your efforts. People
organisation who grasped Progressive change and lea- want to hear that someone es-
their vision, has ability to take dership is seldom a game of pecially in a leadership role
over and competently run the chance, it is usually a result of sees potential in them and ex-
organisation and take over a well thought of process that presses belief in their capabi-
from them. It is a shame to many times even costs lities and sometimes that can
see organisations that once money. So when you hear of come as a pat on the shoul-
were the talk of town because training programmes that will der, a card, or just an every-
of their hard work in ensu- further develop your staff and day ‘praise word’ to let them
ring social justice and getting conferences that provide a know you appreciate to have
things done dwindle due to platform for networking, them in the organisation.
failure when leadership ex- open wide that door of oppor- Another great asset in the or-
changed hands. tunity and let your staff deve- ganisation that we often tend
lop because at the end of the to overlook are people who
day, your organisation will be work in the background but
For mentorship to be success- first to reap of those benefits. whose work is crucial to an
ful, an organisation needs to I must also mention here that organisation. Even these peo-
set an environment conducive just letting your staff train ple need to be recognised and
for growing leaders and one and develop must not only be developed in their respective
of those important things is to in word alone, create room fields or service they are in.
ensure members build a for them to pass on the know-
sense of ownership of the or-

YOWLI
70 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Role of Youth in
Leadership

Nomsa Ingwe
(Zambia)

I sit down today and ask myself "what is


my role in the leadership of my country,
or am I supposed to play any role?" And
what form of leadership do I want any
way? Do I want one that will empower
me economically, socially and/or politi-
cally?

What is the reality for many young and let down the efforts the oppo-
people in Zambia today? Am sad- sing side in political and gover-
dened to find that in most countries nance debates. Youths are forced
including mine, young people are into military camps and are raped
classified as beginners or tomor- during war and in conflict areas as
rows future leaders who do not in the case of Democratic Republic
need to concern themselves with of Congo and other war torn coun-
current issues affecting them in the tries. The abuse of Youth in violent
communities they live in or the na- conflict and political instability si-
tion at large. Youths in Zambia and tuations are so immense and yet,
the world over are used by political the issue of youth leadership is as-
parties to fight and wound the op- sumed not to be for the present.
posers during elections, they are
used as stone throwers to frustrate Hence the absence of youth leaders

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in particular the Female only the Young people but "Mentors" or "Elders" who
Youth not being represented the whole population. The still want to hold on to the
and not participating in the poverty levels that exist in power or leadership that be-
formulation and implemen- Zambia and in many African longs to all of us, are aware
tation of laws and policies countries is directly affected that we hold them accounta-
that will Govern them. Youth by the prevailing social cli- ble for the so many policies
participation is a critical mate. The levels of youth they put in place that fail to
priority, as the situation in unemployment are so high empower young people.
Zambia and many African that young people engage
countries have created themselves in vices that do It is or this reason that the
conditions that do not favour not contribute to their well- WE need to strongly advo-
young people. Some of the being. The lack of quality cate for the so called PEO-
problems that impede on the education facilities, has PLES GOVERNMENT to not
effective participation are contributed to the increased only sign international decla-
mainly due to inequalities in levels of illiteracy among the rations and conventions for
social, economic and political young people which has de- the sake of pleasing the rest
arena and inadequate oppor- railed their participation in of the world..but domesticate
tunities for education and the development process of them so that hey are made
training. Additionally the the country. Gender dispari- accountable for the services
failure to respect the human ties have also been a major and conducive environments
rights of young people as ac- concern in society, with fe- they do not provide.
tive citizens has created diffi- males lagging behind males
culties in young people in educational attainment, Youth participation in the
absence in political leader- agricultural employment, Economic, Civic and Social
ship. Poor or no access to participation in politics and development is vital for the
quality health care services is government. progression of an country.
a huge challenge to the ever Youth involvement is an im-
much talked about HIV/AIDS Governments and stakehol- portant means to overcome
epidemic, as the most affec- ders including young people disrespect and marginaliza-
ted age group are the young in Zambia and the world tion of young people that
people who are not availed over need to realize that our when done right, can contri-
the facilities and information participation in the planning bute to a positive change in
on the various known facts and implementation of the society.
about the epidemic and country's development
other diseases. agenda is now and not the STAND UP...SPEAK OUT
The issue of economic pros- future. Young people de- and BE HEARD...!!
perity and good governance mand to play a major role in
both affect the welfare of not ensuring that the so called

YOWLI
72 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
A la dérive

Yacine Ndiaye Sow


(Senegal)

Le Sénégal possédait l’un des secteurs publics les plus


développés en Afrique au Sud du Sahara. Des raisons
historiques liées à la colonisation, mais également des
raisons idéologiques, politiques et sociales expliquent le
développement d’un large secteur public. Sur le plan
économique et social, tout ce qui a été accompli par le
Sénégal jusqu’au début des années 1980, l’a été en
grande partie grâce au secteur public. Aujourd’hui, les
échecs subis et les reculs constatés dans maints do-
maines sont largement imputables à la privatisation im-
posée par la banque mondiale et le FMI.

Si permettre à des jeunes citoyenneté ?


venant de toutes les régions La citoyenneté ne se limite
du Sénégal de l’Afrique et pas seulement à ce qu’on
de la diaspora de pouvoir nous a appris en éducation
échanger, partager, utiliser civique mais cela comprend
et à leur tour transmettre également toutes entre-
des expériences, des prises qui tendent vers un
connaissances et des outils certain genre de développe-
nécessaires à la mise en ment social. Par développe-
place d’un leadership effec- ment social j’entends tout ce
tif n’est pas un geste ci- qui mène vers un mieux être
toyen. Qu’est ce donc que la des populations. Mais en

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 73
CIVIC & POLITICAL CONCERNS

même temps on se de- tout le monde s’inscrit aux gal tombe en ruine et que
mande bien où est la so- abonnés absents. Lorsque personne ne marche,
ciété civile car, lorsque le dans les discussions dans n’écrit, ne reflètent le sen-
courant est coupé , qu’il les salons, je m’offusque timent des populations.
n’y ait pas d’eau dans cer- du fait qu’on se limite à en Les écoles d’excellence
tains quartiers pendant parler seulement à huit sont vendues, les Sénéga-
six jours. clos, on me rétorque dans lais se contentent de créer
une ambiance bon enfant des associations de lutte
que la convocation à la contre la vente de cette
Ce qui est dommage, c’est
DIC (division des investi- école là, la vente sera si-
qu’au lieu de parler de tout gations criminelles) arrive gnée en douce. Mais la
ce qui ne va pas , on viens très vite au pas de la porte. pratique usuelle consiste à
nous distraire avec des recevoir l’association ou
concepts du genre « plan son président et de lui fi-
Jaxaay, plan Yakalma, plan Pourtant, il est loin le nancer un certain nombre
pluie provoquée, plan temps du « parti unique » de projets,( on va dire ça
Reva » quand la popula- où des militants se fai- comme ça) pour que l’as-
tion meure de faim et que saient mettre en prison à sociation dans les se-
les femmes font des kilo- tout va, y était torturés à maines qui suivent
mètres à la recherche du « mort, les femmes étaient l’audience se dissolve par
gaz précieux », que les mises en garde à vue pour une
gens ne vont plus au tra- que leurs maris se rendent
vail faute de carburant , et faisaient des fausses
que les factures d’électri- couches en prison. En ce
cité subissent des hausses discorde
Je pense qu’unfinancière.
bond en
temps là, la poursuite
allant de 5% à 25% comme d’une idéologie, la convic- avant pourrait être fait si
dernièrement. On nous rit tion en une idée de déve- on arrêtait de ne réagir
au nez avec la dernière loppement et de que lorsque l’on est direc-
trouvaille : la Goana. C’est changement, avait non tement concerné par la
à se demander pourquoi seulement un sens réel cause en question.
avoir fait toutes ces années mais aussi une profonde
d’étude, pour vivre un re- signification. Si au- Soyons plus patriote et di-
make de « la cigale et la jourd’hui la démocratie est sons « stop aux abus », car
fourmi » version drama- à ce niveau, c’est parce sinon, un de ses jours un
tique. que ces gens-là se sont étranger risque de frapper
battus pour qu’on en soit à votre porte et vous mon-
là. trer un acte de vente de
Qu’en est il de la pléthore votre domicile qui lui aura
d’experts que nous avons été vendu sans votre ac-
sans compter les consul- cord. Vous auriez subi des
De nos jours, la tendance
tants et autres théoriciens décisions arbitraires et des
est à l’attentisme, sinon
en toutes matières, qui octrois abusifs en vous di-
comment expliquer qu’un
sont les premiers installés sant que ça n’arrive qu’aux
hôpital ultramoderne soit
autour d’une table pour les autres. A vos pancartes, ne
mis sur pied dans un petit
questions relatives aux au- prenez plus les barques
village de quelques cases
tres pays en guerre ou tant qu’à y rester que ce
qui se trouvent à la fron-
dans une crise profonde, soit au pays et pour la
tière du pays pendant que
lorsqu’il s’agit du Sénégal, bonne cause.
le second hôpital du Séné-

YOWLI
74 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
MINI YOLEES

THE MINI YOWLEES


SPEAK OUT
LES YOWLI CADETS PARLENT

Filles et garçons égaux


Aïssatou Ba L’école pour les filles !
Il y a des filles à qui leur Sokhna Fadilatou Tine
mère dit : « Vous n’irez pas Les garçons sont plus nom-
à l’école, parce qu’il y a breux que les filles à l’école,
beaucoup de travail à la parce que les parents les y
maison !» Et les filles se amènent et laissent les filles
faire tous les travaux à la
mettent à faire tout le travail domestique et, ce
maison : laver la vaisselle, faire la lessive et pré-
n’est pas normal. On doit laisser les filles aller à
parer le petit déjeuner pour les garçons qui vont
l’école comme les garçons !. Il y a des messieurs
à l’école. Ce n’est pas normal, les filles ont les
qui ne frappent pas leurs garçons, mais qui frap-
mêmes droits, arrêtez la ségrégation !
pent leurs filles et ça, ce n’est pas normal !
Les filles et les garçons doivent être égaux, les
droits des enfants sont pour tous les enfants de la Enfants de la rue
terre ! Alioune Seye
(Ecole les Pédagogues ;
Droit à l’égalité Classe : 4eme)
Ndiémé Guèye Enfants de la rue,
Vous qui êtes loin de vos pa-
Les filles et les garçons ont rents, je songe à vous.
les mêmes droits pour aller A vos petits corps meurtris
à l’école. Mais certains pa- par la méchanceté et les violences d’adultes in-
rents croient que les gar- conscients ; l’espoir du pays c’est vous.
çons seuls doivent aller à Nous savons bien que vous vivez durement
l’école. Et ils croient aussi que les filles doivent mais tout finira bien, car nous, les Minis YOW-
rester à la maison pour faire des travaux comme LIs, nous sommes formés pour vous aider, en
: préparer les repas, faire la vaisselle, laver le étant vos porte-parole auprès des autorités et
linge, s’occuper des petits frères. Mais les gar- personnes compétentes.
çons aussi doivent travailler à la maison, comme Du courage, les Minis YOWLIs sont là pour
: nettoyer l’enclos des moutons, faire le grand vous !
ménage de la maison et la repeindre.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 75
MINI YOLEES

Mariage précoce santé, aux loisirs, à l’égalité et à un environne-


Wedji (Ecole Pikine 7 A ) ment sain.
Un jour, je me promène dans Pour lutter contre la violence faite aux enfants
mon quartier. Il fait frais, et, de la rue il faut les aider à se nourrir et être en
soudain, je vois une fille de bonne santé.
15 ans qui court dans la rue.
Je l’appelle tranquillement 13 ans :
dans un endroit calme et je lui demande son nom. c’est interdit, svp
Elle me dit qu’elle s’appelle Mariama Diop. Je lui Ndiémé Gueye
ai demandé pourquoi elle courait dans la rue. Elle Le mois dernier, quand
m’a dit que ce sont ses parents qui voulaient la nous nous promenions tran-
forcer en mariage avec un homme de 95 ans, mais quillement dans notre quar-
elle ne le veut pas et elle a un autre copain qu’elle tier, nous avons vu une
aime. Je l’ai laissée jusqu’au lendemain matin et femme qui voulait marier sa
mon père l’amène pour discuter avec ses parents. fille de 13 ans. L’enfant court et on lui demande
Ils se sont fâchés, parce que les parents de la fille pourquoi elle courrait ainsi, elle nous répond
ont dit que c’est la tradition dans leur famille et que sa mère voulait la marier et puisqu’elle ne
qu’il n’a pas à s’en mêler. Mais mon père les a si voulait pas de ce mariage, on l’amène dans notre
bien convaincus que le mariage n’a plus eu lieu. maison, et dès le lendemain ma mère l’amène
Depuis ce jour là, personne dans le quartier n’a chez elle et dit a ses parents qu’un enfant de cet
forcé son enfant pour un mariage précoce parce âge doit aller à l’école mais ne doit pas se marier
que la police les surveille. et que la loi l’interdit.

Laissez-les jouir de leur enfance L’excision des filles, c’est horrible


Ndèye Fatou Diop Khardiata Diallo
Les jeunes filles sont souvent forcées par leurs L’excision c’est la circonci-
parents à se marier trop tôt à cause des viols, sion des filles. Elle est très
des menaces sexuelles et surtout la pauvreté. fréquente en Casamance, la
Cette obligation n’est pas bonne pour leur édu- partie sud du pays. La se-
cation, elles peuvent avoir un enfant très tôt, maine passée, j’ai vue une
elles pourraient être malades, elles peuvent fille qui pleurait, je lui de-
même en mourir. Elles pourraient être pertur- mande : pourquoi pleures-
bées par ce mariage et triste de se marier à son tu ? Elle me répond que c’est sa grand-mère qui
âge. voulait l’exciser et c’est pourquoi elle a couru
Les jeunes filles ne doivent pas se marier avant toute seule dans la forêt. Je lui dis que la forêt
au moins 18 ans car c’est néfaste pour leur n’est pas sûre et l’emmène à la maison ; puis
santé. nous allons à la police pour dénoncer ce fait
parce qu’il y a une loi qui interdit l’excision.
SOS pour les enfants de la rue Je pense que l’excision n’est pas bonne car plu-
Aidez-les, s’il vous plait ! sieurs filles sont mortes à cause de cela et on
Anta Bèye peut attraper beaucoup de maladies comme le
La violence des enfants de sida et le tétanos à cause de l’infection.
la rue est un problème que
rencontrent les enfants qui Souvenirs de Gorée
vivent dans les daaras. Adama NIANG
Il y a des personnes comme A l’issue de notre visite à
les maitres coraniques qui Gorée, nous avons vu beau-
maltraitent des enfants. Ils coup de choses. C’est ce qui
exigent aux enfants d’ame- nous a poussés tout au long
ner mille francs chaque jour et s’ils n’amènent de notre séjour là-bas à
pas cette somme ils les frappent. Les enfants vouloir détailler les souve-
qu’on viole dans les rues viennent souvent des nirs. Nous avons vu les plages, les restaurants, le
villages. Les enfants de la rue ont des parents marché, le terrain de football, le musée de
comme nous. Leurs parents doivent respecter l’IFAN (Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire),
leurs droits comme le droit à l’éducation, à la celui de l’université Cheikh Anta Diop et la Mai-

YOWLI
76 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
son des esclaves. Nous avons vu aussi le Musée Erreur évitée
de la Renaissance de Gorée, le Musée de la Aïssatou Bâ
Femme (Henriette Bathily) et enfin la Maison
d’éducation Mariama Bâ. A l’intérieur de la Mai- Dans mon quartier il y avait
son d’éducation, nous avons vu des réfectoires, une fille nommée Binta. Elle
des dortoirs, des toilettes, des salles de classe, la était très jolie. Elle était en
cuisine, et la grande salle de conférence, où classe de CM2. Je l’aimais
nous avons vécu pendant un mois. beaucoup parce qu’elle était
ma meilleure amie, et, elle travaillait bien en
Vraiment nous avons vu beaucoup de
classe. Un jour, pendant les grandes vacances,
choses à montrer et on n’oubliera jamais après avoir réussi ses examens elle vient chez
notre séjour à Gorée. moi pour me rendre visite. Elle était un peu
triste. Je lui demandais pourquoi. Elle me répon-
Non au mariage forcé dit que sa mère et son père voulaient la donner
et précoce en mariage à un vieil homme et qu’elle ne vou-
Coura Seck lait pas se marier. Je lui dis de se calmer et de
Si on force les enfants à se passer la nuit à la maison. Le lendemain j’expli-
marier très tôt elles risquent quais à ma mère le problème et elle l’amena chez
de tomber malades voire elle pour discuter avec ses parents. Ma mère les
même enceintes et peuvent a informés qu’au Sénégal, il ya une loi qui inter-
perdre facilement leur bébé. dit les mariages précoces. Elle leur dit que s’ils
Certaines peuvent aller la forçaient à se marier, la police viendrait les
jusqu’à en mourir. chercher. Depuis ce jour, Binta est retournée
Il y a des parents qui donnent leurs filles en ma- chez elle et continue ses études avec succès.
riage parce qu’ils n’ont pas d’argent pour subve-
nir à leurs besoins. Ils cherchent un mari riche
pour leur enfant à cause de l’argent. Cette pra-
tique n’est pas bonne parce que c’est un ma-
riage forcé.

Poverty in Senegal
In Senegal we have to raise a lot of money to decrease the
poverty there. There are some people in Senegal that do not
have money and send their children to koranic schools or
daaras. There are also some lost individuals who are poor
and steal from other people.
Makha Fall
(Senegal)
There are some girls that who are poor and play porno or
prostitute themselves. To stop these horrors from happe-
ning we have to work as one nation, one people, and the
rich helping the poor. I am not just saying raising money is
the only way to stop poverty. Giving homeless people a
place to stay and giving your child a good education is ano-
ther way. I say good education because if your children
have a good education they will have a better future.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 77
MINI YOLEES

Mariama Bâ, pionnière de la lutte pour l’amélioration de la condi-


tion féminine

Yaye-Fatou Diop
(Senegal)

Mariama Bâ, marraine de l’école où se passe le YOWLI 2008 et qui porte son nom, est
née en 1929 et décédée en 1981. Elle a été élevée dans un milieu musulman tradition-
nel par ses grands-parents à la mort de sa mère. En 1943, elle a été scolarisée à l’Ecole Nationale de Ru-
fisque où elle obtient de brillants résultats. Elle quitte l’école en 1947 avec un diplôme d’enseignement. Pour
des raisons de santé, après douze ans d’exercices elle demande sa mutation à l’inspection régionale de l’en-
seignement.

Après son divorce, elle s’engage dans beaucoup d’associations féminines, se bat pour l’éducation et les
droits des femmes, fait des discours publics et écrit des articles dans des journaux locaux en faveur des
femmes. Elle incarne la femme musulmane moderne.
En 1980, elle reçoit le prix Noma, récompense décernée au meilleur roman d’un écrivant africain à la foire
du livre de Francfort pour son premier roman « Une si longue lettre ». Ce roman a été écrit sous forme épis-
tolaire. Le livre est une correspondance entre deux jeunes femmes sénégalaises qui s’interrogent sur leur
vie. Ce roman soulève les problèmes de polygamie, caste, exploitation des femmes. Son second livre « Un
chant écarlate » apparaît peu de temps avant sa mort.

Elle a été l’une des premières femmes à agir pour l’amélioration de la condition féminine. La femme sénéga-
laise d’aujourd’hui lui doit beaucoup.

Yassine Sarr Fatou Sarr


I am Yassine Sarr, I Senegal is one of the most
was born in Atlanta, beautiful places I’ve been to. It
Georgia, I came to Se- is against the Atlantic Ocean
negal thirty days ago just like America. It doesn’t
to do a program called have all of the stuff fancy tech-
Yowli. I have class nology. Instead the cars o on
Monday through Sa- every direction even on the
turday. I have come to Goree Island to sand, however I have not seen a car accident
learn. Here at Goree Island we learn lots since I got here. Senegal is close to Goree Island
of things such as poverty, and about kids and there are boats that come from Dakar to
who are less fortunate than us. We talk Goree. Their names are Beer and Coumba Castel.
about how we can help them. We also go When going to the city, there is a lot of traffic, ho-
on field trips during the week-ends. Yes- wever it slows down a t night. In Senegal, people
terday, I went to a market to take pic- mostly speak Wolof but they also speak French
tures. I learn a lot of wolof from my here.
cousins Makha Fall and Alioune Seye. My Senegal is a very hot place because it is near the
experience here is always growing every equator, so it is easy to get sick there. There are a
day. lot of mosquitoes, bugs and creatures in Senegal
but it is still a wonderful place to be in

YOWLI
78 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Responsabilité des religieux dans la
formation de jeunes leaders au Sénégal

Si l’Islam est en pleine expansion, il adhèrent à ces mouvements par hé-


n’en est pas moins affecté par des ritage, par conviction, mais aussi
manifestations contextuelles liées à par besoin d’intégration écono-
la manière dont les peuples isla- mique, sociale et politique. L’expan-
miques explorent des tentatives de sion de ces mouvements religieux
réponses aux mutations sociales et de jeunes coïncide avec l’aggrava-
politiques qui les affectent. Il en est tion de la pauvreté qui devient de
ainsi du phénomène de la consécra- plus en plus juvénile, et la stagna- Selly Ba
tion de leaders sociaux, de vedettes tion ou la régression de la capacité Age: 26
ou de politiciens au grade de des partis politiques et des organi- Senegal
Cheikh, que nous analysons ici sous sations formelles de la société civile
l’angle de la rationalité politique et à convoyer le dynamisme et le vo-
sociologique, et en privilégiant la lontariat des jeunes confrontés au
compréhension de la relation entre chômage, au désœuvrement et à
ce phénomène et la question de la l’incertitude. Cette insuffisante ca-
jeunesse telle qu’elle se pose dans pacité des secteurs politiques et ci-
rences dans les confréries concer-
notre pays. les jeunes sont frappés
Au Sénégal, viques à servir d’espace
nées.
de plein fouet par une crise pluridi- d’épanouissement et d’intégration C’est sous ce rapport à l’or-
mensionnelle. des jeunes les plus défavorisés ren- thodoxie que certains commenta-
Avec l’islamisation de l’Afrique oc- force la résonance politique, écono- teurs considèrent que le
cidentale, la notion de Cheikh s’in- mique, et sociale des mouvements phénomène de « cheikhisme » en
tègre dans la hiérarchisation religieux dont la vocation ne se li- cours dans les milieux confrériques
religieuse musulmane pour des- mite plus à être la voie d’accession sénégalais, est une instrumentalisa-
igner le fondateur de la confrérie et au paradis, mais intègre de plus en tion de certaines figures publiques
ceux qu’il a élevés à ce grade pour plus la résolution sur terre des pro- en vue d’un maillage de la jeunesse,
leur fidélité, leur dévotion, leur éru- blèmes sociaux auxquels sont dans le but de renforcer les rela-
dition et leur sobriété. En effet, confrontés les talibés. tions de clientélisme avec le pou-
l’histoire religieuse du Sénégal, re- Cette résonance grandissante des voir politique. S’il en est ainsi, le
gorge de saints dont les figures em- confréries implique une ouverture projet de réalisation d’une société
blématiques qui ont été à la base de vis-à-vis des entrepreneurs poli- dans laquelle la jeunesse sénéga-
la création ou de l’expansion des tiques et sociaux et des grandes fi- laise pourrait s’épanouir est déjà af-
confréries qadr, tijanes, mourides et gures de la scène politique fecté par des lacunes profondes
layènes. Dans le contexte sénéga- sénégalaise qui peuvent y occuper qu’il convient de corriger. C’est
lais, le titre de Cheikh dès qu’il est des positions de leadership. Ceci donc le lieu de se poser au moins
acquis, est souvent hérité de père nous pousse à attester que ces fi- les deux questions suivantes :
en fils, et celui qui parmi les des- gures publiques (chanteurs, lut- 1. Quelles sont les opportunités que
cendants du guide, exerce les res- teurs, hommes politiques) aient le militantisme confrérique offre
ponsabilités de khalife, hérite aussi adhéré à ces confréries pendant aux jeunes pour leur permettre de
du privilège souverain de nomina- une période suffisamment longue répondre de manière citoyenne et
La prolifération
tion des talibés méritants àdes
ce cheikhs
titre. en y investissant leur renommée et
semble intimement liée à l’expan- responsable aux défis qui les inter-
leurs ressources propres. Il est pellent ?
sion des mouvements religieux de d’autant plus étonnant que leur no- 2. Quelle est la part de responsabi-
jeunes. Il en est ainsi du Mouve- mination, n’entraîne pas une rup- lité des guides confrériques, des
ment Moustarchidine, du Mouve- ture fondamentale dans leur politiques et des intellectuels dans
ment Mondial pour l’Unicité de trajectoire de vie ou leur carrière, l’instrumentalisation des jeunes par
Dieu, et des talibés de Cheikh Be- de sorte à rapprocher leur attitude le vecteur religieux ?
thio Thioune, pour ne citer que les en public à celles des vénérés
plus en vue. En général, les jeunes Cheikh Oumar Tall, Cheikh Abdou-
laye Niass ou Cheikh Sidy Lamine
Kounta qui constituent des réfé-
L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership
YOWLI 79
LEADERSHIP

Education:
An Essential Element in
Youth Leadership

Jemila Abdulai
(Ghana)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,


than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
These words by William Shakespeare meant little to me
as I sat on the plane on my way to the United States in
September 2005. But a good two and a half years later,
and with a substantial number of life-changing expe-
riences on hand, these words have formed the core of
what has become my educational and life experience.

I have always been an individual with decades ago. Consequently, despite


a wide variety of interests and as the fact that there are educational fa-
such I prefer to operate in an educa- cilities in place, many youth complete
tional setup that allows me the flexi- their secondary and tertiary educa-
bility to explore and brainstorm. tion without the skills, knowledge or
Fortunately or unfortunately, I had to exposure necessary to take up posi-
leave the shores of my homeland in tions in society as leaders and agents
order to find such an academic setup. of change. The simple explanation for
Ghana has one of the best educatio- this is the fact that the educational
nal systems in Africa and has paved system in Ghana does not meet the
the way for young Africans to realize current needs of the Ghanaian so-
their dreams and contribute substan- ciety.
tially to society. The unfortunate as- Mount Holyoke College is a private
pect of this ‘success’ story is the fact women’s liberal arts college in the
that the country is operating an edu- United States. It is also a turning
cational system that was put in place point in my life, perceptions, unders-

YOWLI
80 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
tanding of global issues, and 2002, Ghana’s first liberal arts- as young leaders to inform
most especially in my compre- based university started ope- ourselves and examine our si-
hension of the power of ration with a pioneer class of tuations so as not to be tricked
choice. In many African socie- 30 students on a small campus into thinking that we have no
ties there is the widespread in Accra. What started as a choice in a matter. Deciding
idea that only ‘elders in so- mere dream of Patrick Awuah not to choose is choosing.
ciety’ can take important deci- - a US-based Ghanaian citizen Thirdly, we need to work to-
sions or make substantial and former Microsoft em- wards being the change we
contributions. These notions, ployee – is a shining, real-life want to see. Finally and most
as well as many other misper- example today of the possibili- importantly, no contribution is
ceived ideologies, contribute ties available to us as Africans too small. Strive at being the
to our inability to effect sustai- and the power of young peo- best you can be and doing the
nable developmental change ple in society. Ashesi Univer- best you can do. So long as
on our continent. We would sity has made great strides in there are young people wor-
rather listen to and implement advancing education in Ghana king towards a positive goal,
the directives of foreigners and has formed strong and the hope of Africa and the
than listen to what the people important partnerships with Diaspora continues to burn
and youth – who coinciden- other educational institutions strong.
tally form a greater percen- and agencies across the globe.
tage of our respective Some members of Ashesi’s
populations – have to say. first graduating class went on
There have been past efforts to set up Dream Oval - a com-
aimed at introducing liberal puter software development
arts components such as criti- firm that is making important
cal thinking into the educatio- contributions to the informa-
nal systems of African tion technology sector in
countries. But these efforts Ghana.
have been thwarted with the The Ashesi example is one of
excuse that we are imbibing many and has received inter-
western culture and values, national recognition. It is my
and that providing a platform fervent desire that there will
for young people to question be a replication of the Ashesi
authority is akin to providing experience not only in Ghana,
youth with the tools to stage a but across the African conti-
rebellion. Unless we take a nent and in the Diaspora.
strong stand to involve young In order for this to happen ho-
people and set up institutions wever, we need to realize four
that encourage critical-thin- things as young leaders.
king among youth, we will re- Firstly; we need to realize that
main in the cancer of our we do have the power to
current situations. contribute to and change our
Is it possible to think outside current situations. We are the
the box and operate outside of masters of our own destinies.
what has been the norm in so- Secondly, we ought to remem-
ciety for centuries? The ans- ber that we always have a
wer to that question rests in choice regardless of obstruc-
our own backyard. In March tions. It is our responsibility

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 81
LEADERSHIP

I will not be moved


Whittle Titian-Rose
Age: 25
University of Caen, France
Trinidad/Tobago/France

Flames – burning. way we feel about ourselves. If we are bogged down by fee-
Blood spilling lings of guilt and have a poor self image it is almost impossi-
Hearts breaking. ble for us to make decisions that are healthy and safe.
Feel the disconnect, the severance of ties between Despite the many incidents of gay bashing, the Caribbean
spirit, mind and body. governments are lacking in responsiveness to this issue.
Trapped. Local Caribbean music hums freely gay bashing lyrics:
Trapped, by the absence of wholeness. “Boom bam bye in a batty boy head” a song advocating or
Trapped, indicating the consent to shoot a gay man in his head.
Inside a box, too small, too narrow to contain human
Artists that promote such violence still walk freely without
life.
any reprisal. If, in that rare occasion, perpetrators of this ly-
I am a believer in humanity. I am a believer in living and ex- rical violence are taken to court, the outcome is never equa-
pressing one’s self freely. I also believe that every man, led to the violence perpetrated. In June 2004, a case was
woman and child has the capacity to co-exist in harmony, reported against Jamaican artist Buju Banton along with
regardless of race, political views, age, class, sexual orienta- five other men. They were charged with trespassing and
tion and religion. Today’s reality however, proves the oppo- violently assaulting a middle aged homosexual male in his
site. In the Caribbean, let alone my country Trinidad and own compound. International human rights groups filed
Tobago and the neighbouring island of Jamaica, people are complaints. The end result is as follows: Banton was char-
verbally abused and attacked because of their “homosexual ged in the Fall of 2005, but the case was dismissed soon
conduct”. The Jamaican newspaper, the Gleaner after because it lacked evidence.
clearly states: Human rights activists in Trinidad are pushing for a draft
“In the Caribbean being open about homosexuality is suici- policy in Parliament, in an effort to open up the debate on
dal or an invitation to serious violence.” sexual orientation. At the moment, the process is slow and
I am puzzled. Generation, upon generation has seen strug- tedious. Despite being a secular state, religious bodies are
gles to end discrimination of many kinds. 1945 brought still major forces of influence. I urge our government, of Tri-
adult suffrage to Trinidad, 1970’s the black power move- nidad and Tobago, to ignore the ranting of such fundamen-
ment. The definition of our rights as human beings was rati- talists and work on ensuring that justice prevails in the
fied in 1946 however, with one major oversight. No mention country.
is made about these rights without distinction based on “Repressed taboos should be replaced by more balanced
sexual orientation. objective views of sexuality based upon a sensitive aware-
Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Human Rights Declaration state the ness of human behavior and human needs. “ Every human
following: being has his or her own rights and responsibility, it is the-
“All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights… refore of utmost importance that these rights are promoted
without any distinction of any kind such as race, sex, colour, and upheld.
language, religion, political or other opinion. Everyone has “NO!
the right to life, liberty and security of person. “ I will not still my voice
Bearing all this in mind, I dare question: to which direction I have too much to claim
should we look, in this year 2008? When you see me
Avoiding discussions on sexual orientation only fosters Marching in the sun
ignorance and fear. There needs to be a universal unders- Walking in your ranks
tanding that in our current society, sex, sexuality and self es- Know that I look for fire
teem go hand in hand. A person who feels prosecuted I have learnt from books of men hungering in a room wi-
because of his/her sexual orientation is unable to have a thout light
healthy self image. This in turn affects their self-esteem. Who did not die, since death was far too poor
Hearts healing, peace flowing, love in abundance of love.
One might ask the question, what is self-esteem? It is the Who did not sleep to dream
But dreamed to change the world.”
YOWLI
82 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Women’s’ Leadership and Political Participation:
The South African Ambiguities
Every year the 9th of August, which is
Women’s Day in South Africa is reco- “Advocating, lobbying, petitioning and confe-
gnised and celebrated by the South rencing are never going to be enough to ad-
African government and public as a
tribute to women and the role they vance the women’s’ agenda. Real action is also
play in society. In 1956, on this very necessary. It is up to us as Young Women to
day, thousands of women marched to
Pretoria to hand over their petition to take our plight to the next level.”
then President of the country deman-
ding that the rights of all women be re-
cognised and respected. They also roots organisa-
registered their contempt for the apar- tions and com-
theid regime that governs South Africa munity based
during this time. Is it surprising to organisations
note that 60 years later, despite the pu- to be closer to
blic holiday and history of women the realities on
marching for their rights to be reco- the ground is
gnised and respected, women are still also critical to
influencing po-
Kgomotso Mmalegae Moalusi
fighting. Sadly, this is true for many
(South Africa)
women around the world. The aim of licy shifts that
this article is to inspire young women are in line with
to advance the struggle through the peoples needs.
use of existing platforms such as the Informed peo-
Beijing Platform, CEDAW.. With a new ple are more
impetus, positive attitudes and a bur- aware and bet- How they ensure that other supportive
ning desire for change, young women ter equipped to of their decision?
should rise up to the challenge, by organize themselves and advocate for
Things
taken uparethealways
batoneasier saidand
and run then
win their cause. Similarly the empower- • In addressing the plight of empowe-
done, but
the race. if women are serious about ment of women and young women in ring Young Women and Women, can
advocating for change that advances particular will have the same positive our women leader’s side step political
women’s’ rights, then processes of re- result. So, what do we need to do at differences and engage in inter-party
flection are required. During elections At the Political party level we need to dialogues to develop a common stra-
the political level to achieve this?
a certain political party wins and then ask a few important questions: tegy around women issues?
nominates their preferred candidates There are issues that affect women re-
• Are the women who sit in these
to fill government positions. These fo- gardless of our diversity; i.e. educa-
spaces and positions truly represen-
rums of are the core decision making tion, socio-economic status, access to
ting our interests, will they advance
sectors for society. If women, and health care and water, abuse, family,
our cause bearing in mind our diver-
young women in particular are not re- employment etc.
sity?
presented in these spaces and do not Are we, as the stakeholders willing,
What are their views on gender, femi-
participate in these processes, there able and ready to do the work neces-
nism and other social issues?
will be no-one to influence policies. sary to take up these positions and to
What direction they plan to follow?
Women are the only ones who can provide the support and guidance to
How do they plan to assess their pro-
change this by building solid and se- our women leaders?
gress? (In other words what do they
cure constituencies. As true leaders Before we “rise up in arms” against
stand for, who are their specific res-
they need to represent the interests of our women leaders and government,
pective constituencies and how do
those they serve, who in turn would where do we stand on the plight
they account back to them.)
support them to advance these inte- • Who selects these women to repre- of empowering women and the girl-
rests. These constituencies can be built sent us in various parties? child?
through information focal points per- Who exactly makes up the selection Can we also become accountable and
taining to specific interests. The disse- panel? active participants in advancing their
mination of information and best Who decides on the criteria for these cause, or are we merely asking of
practices and knowledge learnt at women to be our representatives? and others what we ourselves refuse to do
conferences, amongst constituents is for our
L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes women-kind?
femmes au leadership
YOWLI 83
paramount. Networking with grass-
Panafricanism /African diaspora

Keepers of our own dignity


Joan Dogojo
(Suriname)
ways in which the African Dias- these communities to maintain
pora is trying to preserve their their culture as they have until
culture and heritage. An impor- present.
tant element of the African cul-
ture and heritage is the African Upon examining the necessary
identity and how it relates to elements of humankind when
our professional and social lives engaging with others one may
when we engage with others. mention identity. The Western
media is colonizing us that so-
Suriname is situated at the Nor- metimes it becomes difficult to
thern Coast of South America find your own individuality.
It was the 30th of July 2003. between Guyana, French There needs to be a balance. In
The Anthony Nesty Sporthall in Guyana and Brazil. Suriname this century of globalisation it is
Paramaribo, Suriname did not has a population of approxima- more than important to expose
have enough space to accom- tely 500.000 of which 47% are young people from the Dias-
modate everyone. More than Afro descendants. The census pora to the African continent.
3000 people came to witness of 2005 identified two groups of The question of who we are
Miss Alida, an African Heritage Afro- descendants; the Stads- might be answered in this pro-
pageant; prior to the 140th cele- creolen, who are the descen- cess. The Africa we know from
bration of the abolition of sla- dants of the slaves who ones the media is synonymous with
very in Suriname. who stayed in the city during pity, bitterness and hopeless-
That year I was crowned Miss slavery; and the Boslandcreo- ness. That leaves you with a
Alida. When the traditional len/ Maroons who are the des- feeling of gratitude that the
crown was given to me the cendents of that group of the West managed to rescue your
thought of Alida came into my African people that were forci- nation from the harshness of
mind. bly transported to Suriname in Africa.
The story of Alida is a painful the 17th and 18th century for The core of identity comes from
one: She was a young slave working on the coffee-, sugar- being content with who you are
whose breast was cut by a jea- and cotton plantations, but who as a human being and accep-
lous “mistress” and given to refused to accept slavery. ting yourself as a whole. Once
“the master” as a meal because There are six politically autono- you know where you come
he used to fancy her breast. mous Maroon nations: Ndyuka from you might know who you
Another story was the idea be- or Okanisi, Saamaka, Pamaka, are, where you are going, as
hind the koto. The koto was pri- Matawai, Aluku or Boni and built onto your sense of dignity
marily created by the slave Kwiinti, each with an ordered in what you represent
mistresses to hide the curves of structure based on those of .
black slave women in Suri- their African heritage. They In the final analyses it is about
name. Now the koto is the tra- were mainly originating from the wounds that were created
ditional wear of an ethnic the present Ghana, Togo, during slavery, and how to cope
group in Suriname. Benin, Cameroon and Angola. with them as many of them
For fourteen years this pageant Currently the Maroons are the were not healed. Africa must be
was held to help the Afro- Suri- third largest ethnic group in more proactive in telling her
name people celebrate their he- Suriname. They managed to story, the heritage of her people
ritage and empower young preserve their culture, a culture so that we can unite and toge-
girls to be proud of their heri- with rich African elements. Ho- ther create a world where black
tage; and also because the koto wever with globalisation a people can stop trying to sur-
made us look even more gor- number of foreign companies vive and start to live as full citi-
geous. This might be one of the have settled in the interior. This zen and proud keepers of their
makes it extremely difficult for own dignity.

YOWLI
84 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Racism:
The Novelties of A Common
Experience

Mafoane Odara Poli Santos


Age: 30 Brazil

"Racismo à brasileira" (racism the Brazilian way) or "covered ra-


cism" is sustained by an inheritance of the slave system. Even after
120 years of its official ending, it still exercises its daily influence in
the society and in the world of the worker. Furthermore, that in-
fluence is recreated and intensified over time. This cycle of disad-
vantages and prejudices is cumulative and several of the inequalities
observed between Whites and Blacks continue to perpetually in-
crease instead of decrease.
Carlos Moore, a Cuban black intellectual, who specializes in affirma-
tive action in Latin America, has the explication. Moore argues that
democracy in its more general sense will not have a sustainable an-
chor in Latin America, an area of authoritarian tendencies, without
the demolition of the model of racial relationships.

Data on inequalities in Brazil

In terms of numbers, Telma Marotto, journalist from São Paulo, sug-


gested an innovative way of reading statistics about racial relations
in Brazil. She showed that Blacks -- defined by the government and
nongovernmental organizations as people who describe themselves
as either ``preta'' (black) color or ``parda'' (brown and inter-race)
color -- make up almost half of the population. Of the nation's more
than 187 million people, 92.7 million are black and 93.1 million are
white; Asians, Indians and those who haven't declared a race make
up the rest. On average, they earn little more than half as much as
whites, 578,2 reais (361 US$) a month compared with 1087,1 reais
(679,35 US$), according to a report based on 2006 data by IPEA -
Institute for Applied Economic Research, a government group in
Brasilia.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 85
Panafricanism /African diaspora

Black women are particularly were Black, up from 12.5 per- race is fragile. But they don't
disadvantaged. According to a cent in 2006. President Lula, 62 want to accept that the term
study by IPEA and the United years old, a founder of the Wor- race was created for social
Nations Development Fund for kers' Party, has expanded edu- control purposes and it is an
Women (UNIFEM) using 2003 cational opportunities for empty word, fulfilled by the
data, Black women earned 70 Blacks since taking office in Ja- existence of racism. As long as
percent less than White men, nuary 2003. Lula by pressing racism exists, “race” as a
35 percent less than Black men for Black Movement promulga- concept and an ideology will
and almost 18 percent less, on ted law number 11.645 which continue existing!
average, than White women. obliges the official system to The second way is to try de-le-
Few Blacks make it into mana- teach Afro-Indians Brazilian gitimize affirmative action by
gement. They account for an history. In addition, he initiated showing unsuccessful cases.
estimated 3.5 percent of the a scholarship program to help Alan da Cunha, 19, and his
executives, 17 percent of the the poor attend private univer- identical twin brother, Alex, re-
managers and 17.4 percent of sities. He supported affirmative gistered last year to enter Uni-
the supervisors at 500 major action to ensure the entry of versidade de Brasília, the public
companies, according to the blacks into federal universities university in the country's capi-
Instituto Ethos (Ethos Institute), called ProUni. tal that sets aside 20 percent of
a Sao Paulo-based business its seats for Blacks. Their father
group that seeks to promote so- New racism: invisible barriers is Black and their mother is
cial responsibility. In compari- No factor, other than the use of White. The twins are what
son, in the U.S., Blacks make up discriminatory criteria based on might be called light-skinned.
about 13.5 percent of the popu- skin colour of individuals, may During the selection, Alan was
lation and hold about 6.3 per- explain the systematically unfa- considered Black and admitted
cent of the management jobs, vourable indicators concerning and Alex, White and he was not
according to U.S. government Black workers, whatever aspect admitted. The media showca-
data. is considered. However legal sed this extraordinary event se-
The Education area is a sector efforts to guarantee civil rights veral months during to
in which Black Brazilians have for Blacks have been slow in emphasize the downside of ins-
a big gap in comparison with coming. All researchers have titutional racism. But mains-
White Brazilians. According to proven that Black people are tream media did not show how
IPEA, in the last decade, social discriminated against in com- many Black people benefited
and economic indexes have im- parison with White people but the existing system and how
proved in the education and this data about inequalities many people had their rights
health sectors but the gap bet- aren't enough for changing the ensured.
ween races have not changed. reality of Black people. Ultimately, Black people in Bra-
For example, 7 out of 10 Afro- Who is part of black race in zil need to continue breaking
Brazilians children do not Brazil? Nowadays, the racist through to these invisible bar-
conclude middle school compa- system has created other invisi- riers that obstruct their deve-
red to 4 White-Brazilian chil- ble barriers to obstruct deve- lopment and prevent
dren out of 10 White-Brazilian lopment of Black Brazilian affirmative action real expan-
children; Afro-Brazilians aged people. The first way is the use sion across the Brazilian so-
25 years old average about 2.3 of biology debate to justify sta- ciety. They need to become
fewer years of schooling than tus quo about inequalities more conscious about this pro-
the White. based on race. According to blem and work to attract more
At the Universidade de São some Brazilian geneticist re- partners to fight against it and
Paulo, one of the best public searchers, most people across its devastating impact on our
universities in Latin America, all races have more genes from people.
for example, 13.4 percent of the Europe than from Africa. For
students registered in 2007 this reason the debate based on

YOWLI
86 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Haïti:
Femmes en état de siege

Marie Soudne Rivette


(Haiti)

Le niveau de pauvreté d’Haïti a une femme.


grimpé en une courbe ascen- o En milieu urbain, l’écart du ni-
dante durant les trois dernières veau de pauvreté entre les
décennies, en raison notamment femmes et les hommes est parti-
des crises politiques récurrentes, culièrement grand (17% et 29%
d’une récession économique et dans l’aire métropolitaine et 48%
de l’anéantissement des institu- et 64% dans les autres milieux
tions de l’Etat. urbains).

Les chiffres sont alarmants et les En effet, Les femmes en Haïti


indicateurs sont au rouge pour sont victimes d’un ensemble de
toutes les sphères de la vie natio- disposi¬tions économiques, so-
nale. Une analyse géographique ciales, juridiques et politiques qui
de l’extrême pauvreté en Haïti, exacerbent l’extrême pauvreté.
montre deux caractéristiques Elles sont ainsi les plus pauvres
particulières : parmi les pauvres, avec une
• les clivages entre la ville et le degré de vulnérabilité plus élevé.
milieu rural :
o l’incidence de la pauvreté ex- Des données ventilées par sexe et
trême en milieu rural où elle est des analyses approfondies
de 80%, contre 65% en milieu ur- étayent cette assertion.
bain et 22% dans l’aire métropo-
litaine de Port-au-Prince. Premièrement, en termes d’occu-
o la mortalité infantile est plus pation et de sources de revenus
faible en milieu urbain qu’en mi- le profil des femmes est différent
lieu rural soit 58% contre 76%. de celui des hommes :
o la concentration des investisse- • Dans la paysannerie, où se
ments dans les milieux urbains trouve concentrée près de 80%
renforce la marginalisation des de la popula¬tion globale, les
zones rurales. femmes représentent 48% du
• les disparités sociales entre les nombre total des agriculteurs.
hommes et les femmes. Elles travaillent la terre et prati-
o le taux de pauvreté extrême est quent l’élevage mais, en plus,
de 53% pour les ménages dont elles sont fortement présentes
l’apporteur principal est un dans les activités liées à la com-
homme contre 58% pour les mé- mercialisation et à la transforma-
nages où l’apporteur principal est tion.

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 87
Panafricanism /African diaspora

• Le secteur des services est Madan sara et re¬vendeuses où seulement 1 enfant sur 11
dominé par les femmes à 73% parcourent le pays pour écou- va à l‘école. De ce nombre les
; elles sont largement majori- ler les produits agricoles et ra- petites filles ne représentent
taires dans le secteur informel. vitailler les marchés ruraux et que le 1/3, et ce sont elles sur-
Cependant, leur salaire est in- urbains. A leur tour, les paco- tout qui abandonnent préma-
férieur de 40% à celui des tilleuses vendent les produits turément l’école pour garder
hommes. de consommation courante les plus jeunes. Le nombre
• Dans le secteur industriel, importés ou de fabrication lo- d’analphabètes est plus grand
leur présence est plus impor- cale. Ces marchandes jouent parmi les femmes que parmi
tante que celle de l’homme un rôle clé dans l’organisation les hommes. De plus l’école et
dans cer¬taines branches : de la vie des masses popu- la famille vé¬hiculent une
trieuse de café, ouvrière des laires. idéologie qui perpétue la sou-
filatu¬res de coton, coutu- mission de la femme et les dis-
rière, ou brodeuse dans les criminations à son égard.
Deuxièmement, les femmes
maisons de confection... sont particulièrement expo- • Une autre forme d’exploita-
o Elle constituent l’essentiel tion de la femme est la prosti-
sées aux risques sociaux et
(70%) des forces ouvrieres d’autres formes d’oppression tution qui a pris une ampleur
dans les manufactures d’as- considérable par suite de l’ag-
sociale attachées spécifique-
semblage. ment à la condition féminine : gravation de la misère. Cette
o elles occupent en général les exploitation alimentée par un
• La non-reconnaissance
métiers et professions consi- de leurs droits sexuels et de tourisme corrupteur et la pré-
dérés traditionnellement sence des militaires étrangers.
reproduction, les limitations
comme féminins et qui appor- dont elles souffrent aggravent Les fillettes de 10 à 12 ans ne
tent peu de revenu : secré- sont points épargnees et sont
leur situation de pauvreté et
taire, infirmière, institutrice, leur vulnérabilité. L’écrasante parfois sujettes a une véritable
On y compte un certain nom- traite.
majorité des femmes haï-
bre de membres de profes- tiennes ne bénéficie d’aucune • La multiplication de nom-
sions libérales, mais toujours breux cas de violences perpé-
sorte de protection sociale et
nettement inférieur à celui des ne beneficie pas au droit à une trés contre les femmes et les
hommes. filles et assumées publique-
maternité librement consentie
o Elles constituent l’armée des (éducation sexuelle, informa- ment est une tendance qui
travailleuses à la pièce et des s’affirme de plus en plus dans
tion sur la contraception, droit
travailleuses à domicile, dont à l’avortement). la société haïtienne. La plupart
les conditions de travail sont des femmes sont battues, mal-
• L'indice de participation des
dénoncées par les défenseurs Femmes dans les hautes traitées, violées, tuées et ne
et défenderesses des droits sont pas prises en considéra-
sphères de prise de décision
humains. politique, économique et so- tion. Elles ont été victimes de
o Les femmes représentent le la généralisation de l'impunité
ciale, reste très faible (7.28%
majeur partie de la domesti- de femmes cadres). Pourtant, qui a prévalu et prévaut en-
cité, et cela dès le très jeune core dans le pays : les cas de
en dépit de ces circonstances,
âge, où leur condition s’appa- les Femmes se retrouvent viols, de violence à leur en-
rente souvent à l’esclavage. droit se sont multipliés et les
dans la majorité des cas, chefs
• Le commerce interne est as- de ménages et doivent pour- auteurs ne font l'objet d'au-
suré en majeure partie par les cune poursuite judiciaire.
voir à leur famille.
femmes. Dans cette catégorie • Les femmes sont discrimi- Cette situation a été aggravé
elles sont 9 fois plus nom- avec les chaos et le non droit
nées dans le système éducatif,
breuses que les hommes. no¬tamment à la campagne des quartiers populaires ou les

YOWLI
88 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
femmes, les marchandes am- vorce lui sont défavorables. pact. Notamment :
bulantes et les « Madan Sara L’avortement est pénalisé • La faiblesse des institutions
» étaient littéralement violen- comme un crime. de l’état plus précisément la
tées et violées par les gangs corruption qui ronge le sys-
armés chez elles, dans les Toutefois plusieurs avancées tème judiciaire ;
marchés et dans les rues. On dans la défense des droits so- • Le grave déficit que connaît
se rappelle encore avec une ciaux et politiques des femmes Haïti en ce qui a trait à l’exer-
acuité traumatisante des cas et l’égalité entre les sexes peu- cice intégral des droits civils
de femmes qui ont été enle- vent être constatées ces der- et politiques pour les femmes.
vées, violées, maltraitées et nières années. Certaines • l’absence d’un cadre global
certaines fois tuées après que initiatives des ONG et du Gou- d’intervention pour enrayer
leurs ravisseurs aient sollicité vernement laissent entrevoir les discriminations contre les
des parents de ces dernières une volonté d’accompagne- femmes et promouvoir l’éga-
des sommes mirobolantes. ment de la femme haïtienne. lité entre les sexes. Les petits
projets pillulent et ont ten-
dances a implémenter des ac-
Enfin dans la législation, une
tions spécifiques pour les
série de dispositions confirme Cependant, de nombreux fac-
femmes dans la conception
la situation d’infériorité faite teurs structurels et culturels
IFD
aux femmes dans la société font obstacles aux nombres
• la concentration et la centra-
haïtienne. La femme mariée initiatives lancées en direction
lisation des investissements
est considé¬rée comme mi- du respect des droits des
publiques.
neure. Les procédures de di- femmes et limitent leur im-

Editorial Team
Chief Editor: Yassine Fall
Jemila Adbulai - Ghana
Yaganoma Baatuolkuu - Ghana
Moiyattu Banya - Sierra Leone
Salimata Bocoum - Senegal
Liliane Braga – Brazil
Aissatou Cisse
Hameda Deedat – SOUTH AFRICA
Binetou Fall - Senegal
Rachel Gaicchero - Ethiopia
Regina Kacwamu
Joan W. Karanja - Kenya
Kgomosto Maolusi - South Africa
Nana, Ghana
Adji Samb - Senegal
Mafoane Odara Poli Santos – Brazil
Sophie NZinga Sy - Senegal
Agnes Thomasi - Gambia
Angela Wainaina - Kenya
Titian-Rose - Whittle - Trinidad & Tobago
Mariama Williams, Jamaica

L'institut pour l’éducation des jeunes femmes au leadership


YOWLI 89
Panafricanism /African diaspora

Educação para quê e para


quem?

Érica Ferreira Viviane de Jesus


Age : 28 Age: 30
YOWLI (Brazil) ActionAid Brasil (Brazil)

Ao pensarmos no processo de globalização devemos compreen-


der a relação entre tempo e espaço e de que maneira as ações hu-
manas se modificam e se reproduzem nos diferentes lugares a
partir da ótica do sistema capitalista atual.
Nessa perspectiva as transformações sociais são insuficientes,
pois a ação do Estado torna-se insatisfatória e o seu papel de
transformar e promover instrumentos de ações políticas para os
cidadãos é transferido para as ONGs – Organizações não-gover-
namentais – e instituições privadas que se apropriam da ineficá-
cia do Estado e acabam apoderando-se de políticas públicas
relativas à educação, saúde, moradia, cultura e lazer.
O lado positivo desse fenômeno é que, nele, encontram-se insti-
tuições, organizações e movimentos sociais brasileiros que têm
compromisso social com as questões de gênero, raciais, educa-
ção e de mobilização popular. Como o Instituto Sócio Educativo
Steve Biko, em Salvador/ Bahia, e o MSU – Movimento dos Sem
Universidade – em todo Brasil.
A Biko, como é conhecida a instituição, é a primeira experiência
de curso preparatório para o vestibular para jovens negros po-
bres no Brasil. A instituição surgiu da necessidade de garantir o
direito dos jovens negros ao acesso à educação e ao empodera-

YOWLI
90 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
mento dessa parcela da popu- cação onde os excluídos, prin- a prova do vestibular durante
lação da juventude negra. Já cipalmente mulheres negras e três anos e, assim, conseguiu
são 15 anos de existência da homens negros brasileiros, ingressar no curso de História
Biko e, nesse período, cente- possam ter garantido o direito da UNIFESP – Universidade
nas de estudantes negros a uma educação de qualidade Federal de São Paulo.
foram inseridos em Universi- e porque o atual modelo de Joyce é uma cidadã que pôde
dades públicas e privadas. exclusão social global não per- ultrapassar as barreiras im-
O MSU é um movimento so- mite que sejam cidadãos de postas pelos modelos de ex-
cial, cultural e popular com fato. Afinal, não existem cida- clusão neoliberal, lutando pela
grande destaque nas áreas dãos num espaço onde todos garantia do direito ao acesso à
educacionais e da luta por di- não o são. Então para quê e educação pública de quali-
reitos, principalmente de estu- para quem é a educação? dade para todas e todos ao
dantes afro-descendentes e É para todas e todos, a fim de continuar atuando no MSU
pobres quanto ao acesso e garantir a cidadania plena. A após o seu ingresso na univer-
permanência nas universi- história da estudante Joyce sidade. Esse exemplo de-
dades públicas e de qualidade Ferreira, moradora da perife- monstra que uma outra
de todo o Brasil. ria de Taboão da Serra, região globalização é possível. É pos-
No livro “Por uma outra glo- metropolitana da grande São sível uma transformação so-
balização”, o intelectual negro cial fortalecedora, que
brasileiro Milton Santos – promova a dignidade humana
geógrafo e pai da geografia e empodere cidadãs negras e
crítica no mundo –, diz que cidadãos negros para que
“...a globalização proporciona possam experienciar também
males que tornam difícil a vida a mobilidade social.
das mulheres e homens. Os movimentos sociais visam
Impõe a tirania do dinheiro, sociabilizar mulheres e ho-
informação que domina o mens por uma educação po-
mundo e a produção de mer- pular, onde cidadãos se
cadorias.” auto-afirmam como sujeitos
Tal análise nos faz pensar de direitos. Trata-se de uma
ainda mais sobre os efeitos da proposta de transformação
globalização no Brasil, quando social que fortalece a partici-
se revelam dados de que a pação dos excluídos face à po-
cada cem mil jovens brasilei- lítica neoliberal que se estende
ros que morrem assassinados do século XX aos dias atuais.
68,40% são negros, contra O acesso a uma educação de
34,10% de brancos. Que 71% qualidade se faz na construção
dos jovens abaixo da linha de da cidadania plena. De acordo
pobreza são negros; 73% dos com o educador Paulo Freire
jovens analfabetos são negros; Paulo, é um exemplo. Filha de em seu livro “Pedagogia do
69% dos desempregados jo- mãe empregada doméstica e Oprimido”, a prática da edu-
vens são negros e 70% das pai polidor de carros, ambos cação libertadora somente
mães solteiras são negras, de negros e pobres, Joyce teve a será permitida se o oprimido –
acordo com os dados do possibilidade de cursar o en- o excluído – tiver condições
PNUD e da UNESCO. sino fundamental e o ensino reflexivas de descobrir-se e
A pergunta do título permite médio em escolas públicas de conquistar-se como sujeto de
fazer uma reflexão sobre qualidade no Estado mais po- sua própria destinação histó-
como propocionar uma edu- puloso e desigual do Brasil. rica.
Mesmo assim, ela precisou
fazer curso preparatório para

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Panafricanism /African diaspora

African Youth Living Abroad:


Investing in our Continent

Moiyattu Banya
(23; Sierra Leone)

I can never turn my back on my homeland because I have


very strong ties to this place. Living in the United States for
10 years since the war in Sierra Leone, has changed my life.
To be so far removed from ones home, allowed me to foster a
sense of value for the place I once dwelled in. I learned that I
have an obligation to give back to my country, and to be a
key part in rebuilding the infrastructure of what the war des-
troyed. Many Africans come to the United States to find a
better life. Too many of us have set up permanent lives and
do not look back. The concept of brain drain has been occur-
ring for too long and we as African youth must put a stop to
it. As we form our identities in other societies, we must help
those that we left behind. Though there are challenges that
we face, there are ways to overcome those challenges that I
personally have found useful.

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92 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Imagine being asked questions such as was very hard over the years but I never
“do you live in trees in Africa?”, “do you gave up and stayed positive. I knew that
guys wear clothing?” At age 12, first arri- since I had the opportunity to leave my
ving in the United States, it was very hard country for a purpose and I was willing to
to handle such situations. The most hurt- work hard to fulfil that purpose.
ful part about the situation was that I ex-
perienced these comments from One thing I found that helped was staying
African-Americans. I rationalized over the around positive people, and those with si-
years that African-Americans have been milar agendas of doing work in Africa.
cut off from the African continent for cen- Becoming educated about the political
turies; and should not be blamed for such and economic issues in your country and
comments but be encouraged to recon- overall continent is also very important.
nect back to their roots. My sense of Another action I took was getting invol-
value and self worth developed as I be- ved with our communities abroad, be-
came involved with my Sierra Leonean cause forming alliances are always a
community. In college, I developed a more powerful force for change. I urge
strong liking for choreographing diffe- youth to be involved with non profit orga-
rent forms of African dance, was involved nizations and United Nations conferences
in African student unions and took many that focus on a particular area of interest.
political and history classes relating to Programs such as study abroad, interna-
Africa and black relations. I yearned to tional conferences such as YOWLI are
give back, however there were many useful because they allow for strong net-
challenges I faced. working opportunities, and create lear-
ning opportunities as well. These
approaches worked for me and I recom-
When I mentioned what I wanted to do to mend them as well to other African youth
some family and community members, who are interested in rebuilding our so-
they snorted up their noses in disgust and cieties.
stated to me that Africa was a lost cause. As I look forward to finishing my last year
Buying a flight ticket to Sierra Leone was of my masters program at Columbia Uni-
very expensive. I was not able to go versity, I contemplate many thoughts.
home, especially in the process of paying What would I do next? Where will I live?
for college expenses through summer What always remains constant is my love
jobs. Another challenge that I experien- for my country and my people. With a
ced was finding organizations that shared well developed sense of identity, know-
my vision. I became angry and puzzled, ledge of ones history and present and the
when I attended numerous United Na- right alliances, we can begin to create a
tions Conferences, and found that youn- more prosperous Africa for us all.
ger white women were more favoured to
do work in Africa. I struggled to think,
how do I begin to link up with organiza-
tions in my country, and in the United
States and where was I going to start. It

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Panafricanism /African diaspora

Strengthening Africa and


Diaspora’s Struggle
Against Racism

Priscilla Ferreira
YOWLI (25; Brazil)

We still have a long way to and ran only by the White elite As Brazil emerges as an impor-
walk, as panafrican internatio- who pursues its own interests, tant developing country, as a re-
nal civil society, until we get which are in no way connected sult of the exhaustive work of
strong enough to be major to the interests and needs of Africans and African descent
players in pressuring our go- Black people, neither in Brazil for building the wealth of our
vernments to seriously imple- nor in Africa. At Brazilian uni- nation since slavery, nowadays,
ment the principles of versities and schools, the majo- African labor force are fre-
diplomacy and build a truly ho- rity of researchers and teachers quently considered as a threat
rizontal and equalitarian coope- are White. Therefore, they have to our development... Ironic! As
ration between African no interest in doing research we have discussed for several
countries and Brazil. about African countries’ cul- occasions during our YOWLI I
President Luiz Inácio Lula da ture, history, politics and eco- and II meetings in Brazil, we
Silva has taken important steps nomy. The law has not been have to seriously discuss, carry
towards strengthening alliances effectively implemented, and out researches and organize
between Brazil and the African we continue to ignore the rea- ourselves to protect the rights
continent. Unlike all other Bra- lity of African countries, and to of African immigrants in Brazil.
zilian presidents, he has visited reproduce prejudice, distorted Special attention and support
many African countries and has and racist perception of Africa shall be provided to refugees
signed several bilateral agree- and its peoples. and other workers who do not
ments to establish cooperation In a context where the Brazilian have documents.
in different fields such as Agri- Black Movement has been figh- As we move forward with our
culture, education, commerce, ting racism, the Brazilian go- network, we must mobilize Pa-
HIV/ Aids among others. Also, vernment has recognized nafrican international society to
due to the Black Brazilian Mo- institutional racism and has build concrete partnership,
vements’ pressure a law has started implementing affirma- such as planning and organi-
been approved by the tive action policies, such as zing exchange programs for ac-
Congress, which makes com- “scholarship program which tivists, so that we can truly
pulsory the teaching of African provides support for Afro-des- experience each other`s culture
and Afro-Brazilian’s history and cendents to get prepared to and share know-how from our
culture in all school and univer- enter into the diplomatic aca- struggles against racism and
sities. demy, strategic power position the consequences of injustice
However, due to widespread ra- such as diplomacy is almost en- and inequalities it generates wi-
cism in Brazilian culture and tirely composed by white diplo- thin our countries, whether in
institutions, cooperation is mats who prefer to work in Africa or in Diaspora.
being implemented on a preju- Europe. African immigrants are
dice and neo-imperialist bases. having hard time to get visas to
In Brazil, enterprises are owned go to Brazil.

YOWLI
94 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
Ghanaian Hospitality:
Inferiority Complex or Lost
Identity
had to be deported for forcing
his employee, a Ghanaian who
had spat on the floor of the che-
mical plant in which he worked,
to lick the sputum of the floor.
Were it not for the media atten-
tion that the case received, he
may have gotten away with it.
Yaganoma Baatuolkuu More recently, a Chinese
(27 Years; Ghana) contractor intentionally ground
his Ghanaian employee to a pulp
by turning on a cement mixer in
which the employee was wor-
king. The contractor has fled the
It is a hot afternoon and I am footed as and when I please, yet I country, unpunished. A more
standing at the bus stop waiting am asked the same question over worrying case included a Leba-
for a 'trotro', the local public and over again. These are the nese owned biscuit making com-
transport. A young man comes things that made Richard believe pany that was exposed by the
and stands by me, and starts to I was either an American, or media to have been using expi-
'chat' me up. I show my disinte- from the Caribbean. But I am red, worm-infested flour to make
rest as my mind is pre-occupied. African, and I am Ghanaian. biscuits that were distributed to
This does not perturb my African Why is it that I am treated better schools in the whole country. All
brother in anyway. He continues by Ghanaians when they think the company’s products were re-
to pester me. To show my disin- that I am an African-American, called and the company shut
terest, I move away but he moves and treated with indifference (so- down. But in about five months
closer asking, "where are you metimes disgust) when I am the company was back in busi-
going?" Hoping to shut him up I found to be from the motherland. ness. A further case of a British
respond, "to campus." Ignoring This attitude makes me wonder consultant, who turned out to be
my continued disinterest, he tells whether we have identity crises a pedophile, was found to have
me his name is Richard and then, in the country. molested a three year old girl
out of nowhere, the question I It has come to my realization that and was sent back to his country.
have been dealing with since re- my people will condone anything Were it a Ghanaian committing
turning back to Ghana pops up, coming from outside of Africa, these violations in any of the
"Are you American?" and further still the lighter the above perpetrators countries,
This angers me, and brings rage skin colour the better. In the would he get away with it or be
in me that has been suppressed name of Ghanaian Hospitality we prosecuted mercilessly. The ans-
for eight years. Eight years of ha- willingly watch, support and wer is the latter.
ving to defend my African-ness condone gross human rights vio- Whenever I am perceived to be a
and eights years of trying to lations against our kinsmen be- foreigner, I receive preferential
sound and be Ghanaian enough cause the perpetrators are treatment; I am offered a seat at
and never really being African thought to be 'better' than us. the front of a 'trotro'. I am spo-
enough. Several examples of this have re- ken to with kindness and almost
I dress like the African I know, cently taken place in Ghana. slavering respect. I feel like I can
eat with my fingers, walk bare- About four years ago, a Korean get away with anything.

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Panafricanism /African diaspora

Even our government officials, child prostitutes, child workers line up every day outside the
who are meant to proudly lead in and more, all in the name of American embassy, with the
upholding our culture, seem to money. We have sidelined our- hope of leaving for greener pas-
be suffering from identity crises. selves as a proud people, and we tures.
Yet, during Ghana’s Golden Jubi- called it development. Young Ghanaian women are sel-
lee celebrations, the President The youth of the country have ling themselves out to foreign ex-
His Excellence Kufour turned up also been greatly affected by patriates for a couple of dollars
for the official event in an Ar- empty promises and the lack of a and cased of sodomy, prostitu-
mani suit. An even greater National policy. The voice of the tion, child prostitution and mo-
shame was the promotion and youth has further been silenced lestation, by these 'expats' are
sale of Jubilee textiles made and by referring to young people almost a daily occurrence in
imported from China. who speak .out as being rude Ghana. The youth are the most
Due to our Ghanaian Hospitality and overly westernized. Meanw- affected. But is the government
and status as the “gateway to hile, these western cultures are doing all that it can to curb these
African Excellence,” Ghana is constantly on our media and are growing issues? The answer is a
now the dumping ground for se- our daily lives. resounding no!
condhand goods and is currently The problem of brain drain in I am Ghanaian, I am Hospital. I
on Interpol's list as a narcotic Ghana is a major challenge as am the Gateway to African Excel-
depot. We sell our offspring as large numbers of young people lence.

POETRY
In His own Image HOPE to LIVE

Yet so diverse is mankind Lost without words,


In the beating of our centre have they not heard?
The voice of the conscious I see, I sleep,
Divine were our thoughts just so it won’t hurt.

This temple of mine I have heard of love,


Painted with the night straight from above,
Sometimes like the waters in creeks I have not felt it,
The voice of your conscious I have not touched it.
Divine were your thoughts
Can you hear me, anyone?
Is this the who in me someone, somewhere?
Desires of the time Can you come?
Gone with tears of blood I have no air, I cannot
The voice of my conscious breathe, cannot see,
Divine are my thoughts cannot sleep, but only weep.

In His own Image But love from Mother, with


Yes that was his purpose strength from Abba, with
The garden of life courage to go on.
Lets be the Free Rose we want to be, The little will to live,
Lets be the Violet of freedom I want to be A new me is born.
That is His Image”
Only Love can I give...!
Joan Dogojo
Surinam Segakweng Khutlapye
(South Africa)

YOWLI
96 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
CULTURAL IDENTITY

Dem A Bleach…
The reason for choosing this parti- Our society
cular title for my article is because makes it clear
of a very popular reggae song in that to be of a
the early nineties that was compo- light complexion
sed by a famous DJ by the name of or to be as phy-
Nardo Ranks. The song was high- siologically close Stephanie Grant
lighting a new craze in Jamaica to the white race Age: 23
about young girls and women that is something po- University of West Indies
were bleaching their skins. Few sitive. It transmit- Jamaica
lines from the song goes “dem a ted subtle ways,
bleach dem a bleach out them skin in commercials
dem a bleach fi look like brow- that showcase
ning…” This song was in no way positive imagery and beauty pro- while she was working in a hospi-
promoting the skin bleaching, but ducts; we tend to use mostly white tal, a young lady that was blea-
jeering the girls that were doing Jamaicans, or Jamaicans of light ching got into a fight and was
this to their bodies. complexions. In commercials that stabbed in the face; however she
show youth being violent or poor had damaged so much of her me-
or negative imagery we tend to lanin, that the doctor was unable
It is now 2008, forty six years since to give her stitches.
use darker skinned Jamaicans.
we freed ourselves from oppres-
sion and health authorities say Is this what we really want?
hundreds of young women and In the inner city areas you have
men are bleaching their skin. The young girls and women that will These women are not only blea-
population in Jamaica currently find various ways to bleach their ching their skin but they wear
stands at 2,780,132. The majority skin, they will use home products blonde extensions and blue
of the population are people who such as toothpaste, curry powder, contact lenses. It seems as if they
are black, why is it that we have milk powder, household bleach are trying as hard as possible to
this self hate craze taking over our and cornmeal, they will also buy dissociate themselves from being
country? bleaching creams that are manu- black! It is important to note that it
factured in Europe and sold over is not only women in the inner ci-
In Jamaican society the message the counter in Jamaica. Using ties that are bleaching their skins
that is being taught to the youth is these various methods have se- but women in the “uptown areas”
that if you are of dark skin tone, it rious health and life threatening as well, the difference is that they
is something bad; that to be “dark” implications, but these women is go to professionals and do various
is ugly. For example I know a not educated about it or if they things such as, chemical peels,
young girl that attends a high have a bit of knowledge about it they also can take injections that
school where she is constantly tea- they do not care. Dr. Neil Persad- help lighten their skin. These
sed by her peers about her skin singh, a Jamaican dermatologist women frown at the women in the
tone. They tell her she is black and explains, “Some creams work by inner city that they bleach, and be-
ugly. Not only does this affect her killing melanin, the substance that have as if they themselves are not
emotionally but physiologically as lends skin its pigmentation and also entertaining this idea of self
well, she has already started to protects the skin from cancer cau- hate. We have forgotten what it
wish that she was of a lighter skin sing ultraviolet rays of the sun. All means to be who we are and what
tone, she looks at herself and hates people have melanin in their skin, we represent, we look at ourselves
the person looking back at her, the more melanin the darker the and still want to change what sim-
and she thinks that to have a ligh- skin.” Not only are we beautiful ply was not meant to be changed,
ter skin tone would make her more already it does in fact help to be of we do this and we are destroying
beautiful. In actuality the women a darker complexion! We are less our bodies and our minds.
that do in fact bleach their skin are likely to get skin cancer. A very “Emancipate yourself from mental
responding to internalised oppres- vivid example of the negative ef- slavery none but ourselves can
sion. fects of skin bleaching was an inci- free our minds.” Bob Marley.
dent my friend’s mother told us,

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YOWLI 97
African Americans make up the single largest racial minority in the United States.

MANY BLACK WOMEN LIVE IN THE UNITED


STATES OF AMERICA. THEY LIVE THERE
NOW STILL. MANY BLACK WOMEN VISIT
OTHER COUNTRIES TO SHOW PEOPLE IN
THOSE OTHER COUNTRIES HOW BLACK
WOMEN SURVIVE.
Karen Walker

Di·as·po·ra [dayh-as-per-uh]:
any group that has been dispersed outside its traditional home-
land.

Li·mi·nal·i·ty [lim-uh-nal-i-tee]:
a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious
state of being on the "threshold" of or between two different exis-
tential planes… People, places, or things may not complete a transi-
tion, or a transition between two states may not be fully possible.
Those who remain in a state between two other states may become
permanently liminal.

Black women represented 66% of AIDS diagnoses in women in 2006,


though just 12-13% of American women are black.

Collage Makini Boothe

YOWLI
98 The Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute
The Young Women Knowledge
and Leadership Institute (YOWLI)

YOWLI’s objective is to:


• enhance the knowledge building capacities of young
women and men;
• widen their horizons and enhance their networking ability
• support their social justice monitoring efforts.

Through a one-month intensive knowledge and leadership


training held once every two years, starting in 2006, AWOMI
tries to contribute in nurturing democratic citizenship. Fol-
lowing the 2006 YOWLI several young women who partici-
pated developed innovative initiatives to respond to the
follow up action plan they had put together. These initiatives
were supported by AWOMI through the mentorship of part-
ner organizations and women leaders in these countries.
They are presented as follow.
POST 2006 YOWLI ACTIVITIES are presented in another
table annexed here

YOWLI 2008 will be held in Goree Island, Dakar Senegal


from 30 June to 25 July

AWOMI published the call for application through its website


and circulated it among partner organizations. A selection
committee composed of old YOWlees and AWOMI staff has
identified the following participants. Applicants selected are
all members of organizations that are already partners or
have indicated interest in being partners of AWOMI. This will
be one of the important factor that ensure sustaininbility of
the YOWLI vision.

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