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Waging a lyrical war against FGM

Waging a lyrical war against FGM

She doesn’t remember how old she was when it happened. Was she four years old, or maybe five? She just can’t recall. But 33-year-old Fatou Mandiang Diatta does remember the iron grip of the women who held her down, the blood that spattered her feet, and the terrible pain between her legs. And it wasn’t […]

Memories of FGM: ‘I was screaming in pain and fear’

Memories of FGM: ‘I was screaming in pain and fear’

“What hurt me the most was the indifference of the people around me,” says Assita Kanko. She is sitting in an elegant tearoom in Brussels, Belgium, having tea and cake. But she is talking about the worst experience of her life – the day she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). “I was […]

Why tackling the stigma around menstruation is key to gender equality

Why tackling the stigma around menstruation is key to gender equality

On any given day, more than 800 million women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating worldwide. That’s right, I said it:menstruating. For me, being on my period can be a minor nuisance: uncomfortable, yes, but something I understand, expect, and can manage safely, hygienically and easily. Unlike millions of girls […]

The former ISIS sex slaves waging war on their abusers

The former ISIS sex slaves waging war on their abusers

Hundreds of former ISIS sex slaves have joined an all-female battalion to launch a massive assault against their abusers in Iraq. The Yazidi women – who call themselves the ‘Force of the Sun Ladies’ – have taken up arms in the quest for revenge but also to preserve the future of their race. They are […]

Liberia’s Ebola Widows Learn to Become the New Breadwinners

Liberia’s Ebola Widows Learn to Become the New Breadwinners

Montserrado — Huddled together in the bedroom of their mud-brick home in rural Liberia, Marthaline Sweet’s children stare at her hungrily as she picks up her one-month-old baby. Sweet, an Ebola survivor and mother of five, chokes back tears as she recalls contemplating an abortion after the virus killed her husband – leaving her alone […]

The Continuous Stripping and Dehumanising of Sarah Baartman

The Continuous Stripping and Dehumanising of Sarah Baartman

Baartman, at the age of 17, was shipped to Europe during the 19th century and exhibited at freak shows under the name Hottentot Venus. (The term “Hottentot” is an offensive term used to refer to the Khoisan people). “She was a victim of egregious human trafficking. For every hour of degradation and humiliation she suffered […]

Tanzanian Govt Rubbishes Miniskirt Ban Reports

Tanzanian Govt Rubbishes Miniskirt Ban Reports

Tanzania has rubbished as unfounded recent reports that President John Magufuli had banned women in the east African country from wearing miniskirts. In a statement, Tanzania’s ministry of foreign affairs said it had noted with “serious concern” and “disapproval” reports that Magufuli had banned miniskirts. “There is no doubt that His Excellency President Magufuli and […]