After flying into the city of Bolin in the Republic of Chad, over the lush fields and receding lakes; Amina Mohammed, the United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General landed to a rapturous welcome from traditional rulers and local women. Their faces reflected a hope and dignity slipping away under the harsh reality of poverty and insecurity. The women, smiling at them as they disembarked, showed the same resilience she had seen in women in countless contexts: an ability to survive, even in the face of multiple forms of violence and insecurity at home, in public or from political conflict.
BY CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO
As ride-hailing apps proliferate the globe, the year-old An Nisa Taxi in Kenya is one of the standouts in Africa. Developed by 33-year-old Mehnaz Sarwar, An Nisa is run by women and serves female passengers and children exclusively. Ms. Sarwar sought to overcome two obstacles: limited job opportunities for women in a male-dominated industry and the reluctance of women to hail taxis, because physical abuse from drivers—including sexual abuse—is known to take place.
BY BABOKI KAYAWE
Bogolo Kenewendo describes herself as having been “an ordinary Botswana child with an ordinary upbringing.”Ms. Kenewendo, poised and focused beyond her years, is being modest. At 32 she is Botswana’s youngest minister, in charge of investment, trade and industry. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, specializing in macroeconomic policy, public debt management, export development and other trade-related fields.
BY KINGSLEY IGHOBOR
Government staffer Souhayata Haidara enjoys talking about her life in a patriarchal society. Her career is a triumph of patience and perseverance, she tells Africa Renewal with a smile and a wink. Ms. Haidara, currently the Special Adviser to Mali’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, says she was lucky not to be married off at age 14 like some of her peers. Her father resisted pressure from suitors and relatives and insisted that the teenager be allowed to complete high school before getting married.
BY ZIPPORAH MUSAU
In the fight for gender equality, women around the world have advanced in small and large ways. Yet for women in Africa, progress is measured in micro steps, and the struggle has a long way to go. The good news is that women’s rep-resentation in political decision making has been on the rise globally. The not-so-good news is that the increase has been stubbornly slow, barely 1% in 2018 compared with the previous year. In 2018 the number of women ministers world-wide reached an all-time high at 20.7% (812 out of 3922).
By Jacqueline Njeri
40 years ago in 1979, the right of women and girls to participate in sports was affirmed. A balanced world is envisioned as a better world, for women, men, children, and youth. Balance being where and when opposing forces combine. It is truly an instinctive picture of collaboration. To come together with every intention to bring balance to the way we approach women and youth empowerment means to accept that there have been mistakes and to embrace future challenges as synergies and possibilities. In the sport for development and peace sector, groundbreaking initiatives have been set in motion to empower women and girls, with recent ones such as the 'One Win Leads to Another' project by UN Women.