Gender and Politics in the media

‘Arabs Got Talent’ rapper spotlights women’s issues. Role of Palestinian women in the uprisings.

Russian Punk Rockers Leaving Band Behind to Campaign for … Newly-freed Russian rockers Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina are leaving their punk band behind them to focus on their new prison reform campaign group.

The Pussy Riot stars were set free on Monday (23Dec13) as part of a presidential amnesty after serving almost two years for hooliganism charges for staging a controversial church protest against Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

India’s Benchmark Year for Women’s Issues Tolerance Adjacent to the Delhi’s Chief Minister’s office in the capital, six women answer a stream of phone calls from women in distress. The toll-free 181 number was set up by the government after last year’s brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old student in the capital led to her death. The response to the hotline has been unprecedented: more than 1,500 calls every day. More than half of the callers complain about sexual harassment or domestic violence, and roughly one in five calls fall in the…

Rapper Myam Mahmoud, 18, poses for a portrait in Cairo on Dec. 10. “We cannot stay silent,” about challenges facing girls and women, she says. AP

‘Arabs Got Talent’ rapper spotlights women’s issues Press Herald CAIRO — As soon as the beat started, the young veiled woman bobbed her head to the rhythm, raised her hands to get the crowd clapping and then unleashed a flood of rap lyrics that tackled some of the biggest social challenges women face in the Arab world.

With the Middle East’s hit TV show “Arabs Got Talent” as her stage, 18-year-old Myam Mahmoud rapped about sexual harassment, second-class treatment of women and societal expectations of how a young religious woman should behave.

The Egyptian teenager didn’t win the program – she crashed out in the semifinals – but she did succeed in throwing the spotlight on something bigger than herself.

“I wanted to tell girls in Egypt and everywhere else that they are not alone, we all have the same problems, but we cannot stay silent, we have to speak up,” Mahmoud told The Associated Press.

KARACHI CHRONICLE: Women in local government Business Recorder Despite the gerrymandering of electoral districts and constituencies the revival of the Local Government (LG) system through elections in January 2014, is good news, in fact it is specially good news for women. It will go a long way to bridge the gender gap in politics and to empower women at the grassroot level in all kinds of enterprises.

Ours is a patriarchal society. Men object to sharing power with women and find dozens of reasons to marginalise women. Political scientists, however, advocate that governments function better and are more responsive to the needs of the people if women comprise at least 30 percent of legislators whether in national, provincial or local bodies systems of governance.

The men don’t like that. Since 1976 they have been pretending women are useless. They ignored the report of the Women Rights Committee 1976, chaired by Yahya Bakhtiar which proposed 25 percent reserved seats for women at the local government level. The quota of reserved seats was proposed because otherwise male politicians would not field female candidates on their party tickets.

An Israeli soldier scuffles with a Palestinian protester after clashes erupted during a protest against Israel’s plan of forced relocation for Bedouin residents in the southern Negev, outside the Beit El settlement near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 30, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Role of Palestinian women in the uprisings
Amid memories of the first Palestinian intifada [1987] and the anniversary of the second intifada [2000] earlier, social media websites published photos of the first and second intifadas, which are separated by about 13 years. People skimming through these photos will surely spot the difference. They likely notice, without reading or analyzing, the aspects of change conveyed by photos that hold more messages than one.

The photos I skim through reflect the fashion of the time of the first and second intifadas. They are photos documented to show women’s participation in demonstrations, sit-ins, activities, events, meetings, roles and tasks.

Photos of the first intifada depict women who occupied a visible and distinctive leading position. They were unveiled and wearing trendy clothes. The photos show the most important characteristics of women’s participation and their mass and democratic features. They show how women clearly proved their presence, the momentum of their expansion and their national and progressive identity. That stage produced female leaders whose influence is still clearly felt. During that stage, women played different roles depending on the requirements and needs of the intifada, in an automatic and natural way, and away from sexist separation of tasks and roles.

Gender issues: Bring them all on board The Express Tribune MULTAN: Where does an adolescent boy go for advice as he faces growing up? Is his father open to talking about taboo subjects with a son approaching puberty? Do young people take advice from their parents about matters that are hushed up? Can teachers, both at schools and at seminaries, be trained to guide young adults to guard themselves against exploitation?

These are important questions often left unanswered.

The people behind the Awaz Foundation Pakistan aim at connected the dots. Adopting a holistic approach that is expected to educate the masses on important issues such as gender issues, domestic violence, reproductive health and early marriages, their centre for development services plans to further intervene into thematic areas that are usually not touched upon.

Kalash women urged to participate in LB elections Pakistan Observer Chitral—A day long seminar on mobilization of maximum participation of women in local government election was held at Rural Community Development Program (RCDP) Chitral in collaboration with Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO).

Engineer Temour Shah Coordinator RCDP briefed the participants about importance of participation of women in local government election and how they can change the system. He stressed upon the minority women participants from Kalash community to participate in upcoming local government election and play vital role in development of their areas. Highlighting objectives of the seminar Temour Shah said that most of our women folk are barred from casting their vote but they must raise voice against it because this is their constitutional right.

FIDA Urges traditional councils in Rivers to End Gender discrimination Nigerian Bulletin The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Rivers through Mrs Florence Itamunoala, Chairperson of the Federation in the state, has appealed to traditional rulers in the state to assist it end discrimination against women and girl-child.

Itamunoala said FIDA had visited and spoken with traditional rulers in Port Harcourt City, Ikwerre, Emohua and Etche local government Areas on the need to end ‘’this gender discrimination’’.

She frowned at a situation where women and girls were discriminated against in most things in a modern dispensation.

Itamunoala decried a situation where a man’s extended family members scrambled for his property immediately he died and called for a review some of the state laws.

The lawyer said some of such laws include estate (property) and dehumanising and harmful traditional widowhood practises in the state.

Goodwill message from Gender Ministry GhanaWeb On behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and on behalf of the Government of Ghana, we wish all Ghanaians a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It has been an exciting year for us at the ministry, with our new vision of ensuring a harmonious society in which the survival and development of the sexes, children, vulnerable and persons with disabilities are guaranteed.

As a ministry, we have maintained our core values of integrity, excellence and social justice.

In January 2013, we expanded and renewed our mandate to the people of Ghana – our ministry is now mandated to ensure gender equality through mainstreaming gender considerations, promoting the welfare and protection of children and empowering the vulnerable, excluded, aged and persons with disabilities through the use of social protection interventions to achieve national development.

Women and Elections YouTube 3 min د ننګرهار په ولایت کې ګڼ شمیر میرمنې په را روانو ټاکڼو کې د میرمنو د ونډې په اړه اندیښنه لري. ولایتي‌ شورا ته ځینې نوماندې میرمنې د سیمه ایزو زورواکو شتون هغ…

Zanzibar Women Now Strive for Involvement in Decision-Making Zanzibar — THE Zanzibar government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are now seeking to involve women in the planning, implementation and evaluation of development programmes, an indication that cultural norms which make women reluctant to speak out are declining.

At least government authorities now consider that involvement of women in planning has effective and positive impact on development programmes and provides valuable insight into their needs.

“There are still a lot to be done to liberate women, but we have been seeing positive changes in the society and government,” says activist Asha Aboud of the Zanzibar Gender Coalition (ZGC).

It’s women to the fore The Sun Daily The year of the Snake witnessed a clarion call for domestic violence victims to be protected under the Domestic Violence Act, and for women to also be given equal standing in the political arena by upholding their stature and rights.

The public cried foul in August when a video clip went viral of a 36-year-old man repeatedly assaulting his wife in a private hospital’s lift in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The husband repeatedly punched, slapped and kicked his wife, a factory worker, in the lift after the couple, who were in the midst of filing for a divorce, visited their eldest child who was warded for fever.

The act occurred in front of the couple’s children – aged between four and five.

Diageo’s women empowerment initiatives The Nation Diageo recently inaugurated the Women’s Empowerment Journalism Awards to recognise and honour outstanding reporting of women’s issues. The awards are part of “Plan W: Empowering Women through Learning” launched last year to reach women of all socioeconomic profiles through training and skills development to empower two million women in 17 countries in Asia-Pacific over five years.

The awards programme aims to inspire, nurture and advance quality reporting on women’s empowerment issues and to educate and empower communities across Asia-Pacific. The programme is open to journalists in 10 markets across the region.

Jayne Harvey, managing director of Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand), said last week that DMHT is passionate about proactively extending opportunities to women, both internally and in the broader community.

“In Thailand, around 40 per cent of our staff are women, and Diageo’s global goal is for women to make up 30 per cent of our top leadership by 2015. As the first female managing director of DMHT, my Diageo journey is a practical demonstration of this commitment.

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