Themes

This article looks at the current road infrastructure development in Northern Kenya. It demonstrates numerous instances of non-compliance with national laws, provisions of the environmental management plan and environmental impact assessment license, and illustrates the grave ways that the local community is being impacted by these violations. It points out the need to adhere to the rule of law, which is there to protect rather than deprive us of a prosperous nation.

This was the question that lingered in everybody’s mind at the recently concluded Gender Forum in Mombasa. The forum was held against the backdrop of a Mombasa court ruling that dismissed arguments that the practice of anal examination is degrading and amounts to torture and-by extension a violation of one’s rights.

Half a million people are expected to visit Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics and Paralympics in August and September. At first glance this will be a huge benefit for the city. But just as for the World Cup in 2014, the city has become a contested space of political and economic interests.

Inside the green economy - promises and pitfalls.

Green Economy is a source of both hope and controversy. For some, it points the way out of permanent environmental and economic crises and promises to reconcile – a long cherished Utopia – ecology and economics. It fosters the hope that we can hang on to our current high standard of material prosperity.

During the May 2016 Gender Forum, we discussed what Feminism means for Kenyan women from different perspectives and facets, and a man asked an important question. His question was, with all this feminism and equality things, what would happen when women achieve this? Wouldn’t women seek to harm men?

Actual transformation of gender relations is painfully slow. Women in Kenya continue to suffer the brunt of poverty, illiteracy and exclusion from decision making. And men’s voices are largely missing from the equality dialogue. There seems to be political reluctance and resistance to reforming the system of governance in order to increase representation of women in public life.

Governments around the world are taking draconian steps to suppress civil-society organizations, with measures ranging from restrictive laws and bureaucratic burdens to smear campaigns, censorship, and outright repression by intelligence agencies or police. Whatever the means, governments are striving to interfere with the work of political, social, and environmental activists to an extent not seen since before communism collapsed in Europe a quarter-century ago.

In order to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May, the Cartooning for Peace Swiss Foundation and the City of Geneva present the 2016 International Editorial Cartoons Prize awarded by the Honorary President of the Swiss Foundation, Mr. Kofi Annan, to the Kenyan caricaturist, Gado and the Malaysian cartoonist, Zunar.

When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

The 60th Mandated Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was held from 14th to 24th March 2016. What are the resulting implications for women all over the globe? Joan Birika gives her thoughts on the just concluded event.

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