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22 December 2014

Catcalls are not Compliments

Days ago I went to a local mall to do some shopping. As I was walking in the shopping centre, a group of young men (how I wish I could call them gentlemen but they were far cry from that) walking behind me started to give me catcalls. I ignored them and kept on walking but unfortunately the catcalls did not stop, as a matter of fact people started to stare at me so I decided to do the only thing that I thought will save me from further embarrassment I was forced to endure - I slowed down to allow them to pass me by. As they passed, one of them took hold of my left arm and did the Jason Derulo’s Wiggle line on me (Now I don’t have anything against Derulo, as matter of fact, I'm his fan.); and he said, “Damn, gal you have bright future behind you.” Hearing that, I saw red; in my mind I was puffing my chest. If there is anything I can’t stand is a situation whereby a woman is demeaned and worse still, when that woman happens to be me! - I felt so degraded. So what did I do? I gave the guy my most sincere smile, looked him in the eyes and said, “Too bad I can’t say the same about you but then again you wouldn’t know what to do with it!” His response: “Why you tripping, I was only paying you compliment.” I don’t know which was worse for him; his so-called friends laughing at him or me turning the table on him. Of course, I could have brushed off their comments but all it would have done was to put me under further objectification. This incident made me reflect on what women go through every day - Violence Against Women (VAM).

9 December 2014

Botswana: Africa's Shining Star

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GABORONE, BOTSWANA - The just released Transparency International (TI)Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2014 has ranked Botswana as the least corrupt country in Africa for the 19th year in a row. Since 1995, the anti-corruption group TI releases its annual CPI which has been a vehicle in bringing out the international issues of corruption in public sectors to light. It has prompted governments to heed to the corruption subject and put it on the international policy agenda.
The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain...
Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity,... Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.”
José Ugaz, the chair of Transparency International.

4 December 2014

Women and Girl Child Empowerment Post the 9th African Regional Conference of the BDPfA (Beijing +20)

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – Almost twenty (20) years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) by the United Nations’ 189 member states at the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, China, 1995), the Declaration is still a powerful tool to be recognised.* It has enabled and compelled its members to address the challenges faced by all women and to swiftly respond to those challenges in order to assist in the development of women. Each Member State that espoused the Platform for Action committed itself towards advancement of gender equality, peace and empowerment goals for all women.
The governments of Member States have carried out regular reviews of the BDPfA progress every five years; Beijing +5 held in 1999, Beijing +10 (2004), Beijing +15 and they are currently in embarked in the preparation for Beijing +20 review to be held in March 2015.
The Declaration has been described as “the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights.”

3 December 2014

Africa: Cry the Beloved Continent

In Africa, corruption by the people in high powers seems to be a thing of a norm. Many years since the end of colonisation of the last country in Africa and the Scrabble for Africa, the Africans are still colonised and enslaved and this time by their own kind; fellow Africans. Most of African countries are said to be democratic but what is democracy if the people who vote are looted by the very people they put in power- the people they have entrusted with their well-being? A study in 2002 by African Union (AU), estimated that the continent loses approximately $150 billion of its revenues to corruption annually.
Politics have always been said to be dirty games but this couldn't be far from the truth when observing what most political figures and government officials are dishing out to their fellow men. During campaigns and rallies, the candidates usually make lots of promises (most of them unrealistic) to the citizens of their countries and once they are voted into power, they start to load their pockets with ill-gotten riches, forgetting all about their voters and only to remember them when their tenures come to end and they start to lobby for votes from them. Most of them are driven by greed and poverty to exploit their countrymen. They want to enrich themselves before they can concentrate on the interest of the people. Corruption is a transgression against the development of the continent as it hampers the much needed progress of the Mother continent. What makes this issue even more absurd is the fact that most of the perpetrators are usually granted impunity from the law.