Friday, July 31, 2015

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Writer

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013). She also released a short story collection, The Thing around Your Neck in 2009. Chimamanda self-identifies as a feminist and has written and given speeches on various current topics relating to women’s issues in Nigeria and across the Diaspora, including her celebrated TED talks.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tanzania: Rebuke of Inheritance Laws Is a Victory for Women

Estelle (not her real name) had a good life as a tailor and a mother of three children, living in a home she acquired with her husband. But when her husband passed away, Estelle, like many Tanzanian widows, soon found that she and her three young children were homeless.

When the court named her brother-in-law the administrator of her property, he seized it and began renting it out for profit. Under customary law, widows may inherit nothing from their husbands, women and girls cannot inherit clan land, and sons inherit more than daughters. 

Estelle had no choice but to leave town and move in with her parents in a neighboring district.

This story is all too common throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Factors like high HIV prevalence have led to a large number of premature deaths and, in turn, very young widows—many of whom are left homeless and destitute by their in-laws.

HIV only magnifies the consequences of discriminatory property and inheritance laws. According to UNAIDS, “One of the most serious economic effects of HIV for women has been the loss of property.” Women’s inability to own and inherit property leads to both HIV vulnerability and greater difficulty coping with the virus.

Economically dependent on men, women are less able to take steps to protect themselves from infection. They may be trapped in abusive relationships and, upon a husband’s death, be forced to participate in polygamy or marry a relative of their late husband to survive.

Rather than accept this as inevitable, however, Estelle fought back.

With the help of Tanzania’s Women’s Legal Aid Centre and Georgetown University’s International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, she and another widow initiated court proceedings to challenge the system of discriminatory inheritance laws. They argued that these laws violated Tanzania’s constitution and its obligations under international human rights treaties it had ratified.

The court agreed, acknowledging that these laws were “discriminatory in more ways than one.” But it refused to take any action, fearing that doing so would open “a Pandora’s box” of challenges to numerous discriminatory customs.

Undeterred, Estelle pushed forward, appealing the decision. Yet this appeal was never heard. Four years passed before the Court of Appeal pointed out a clerical error that stymied the case—an inconsistency in the dates in the lower court’s order. Over the next two years, Estelle repeatedly requested a corrected order to no avail.

Estelle next turned to the United Nations committee responsible for monitoring state compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In late March, this committee decided its first case about land and property rights, issuing a groundbreaking judgment in Estelle’s favor.

The committee held that by condoning discriminatory inheritance and property laws, the state denied the widows’ “equality in respect of inheritance and failed to provide … any other means of economic security or any form of adequate redress.” The committee found both a substantive and procedural violation since the court’s failure to hear the widows’ appeal violated their access to justice and right to an adequate remedy. In addition to compensation, the committee recommended the following:

  • repeal or amendment of discriminatory customary law provisions
  • dialogue between civil society, women’s organizations, and local authorities, including traditional leaders, on removing discriminatory customary law provisions
  • capacity building for judges, prosecutors, and lawyers on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • education to enhance women’s knowledge of their rights under the convention
  • prohibition against courts resorting to excessive formalism and undue delays
  • a coordinating mechanism to monitor the implementation of these recommendations

Justice is at last in sight for Estelle and Tanzanian widows like her. 

Governments too often ratify international human rights treaties for political appeal, never dreaming that they will be held to account for these obligations. It takes women like Estelle, with the persistence and courage to challenge injustice, to give teeth to these treaties. It is only through struggles like hers that rights can have any meaning.
Tamar Ezer
Tamar Ezer is deputy director of the Law and Health Initiative of the Open Society Public Health Program.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rainatou Sow

Rainatou Sow – Executive Director of Make Every Woman Count

Rainatou Sow is the founder and executive director of Make Every Woman Count, an organization that monitors women’s rights throughout the African contintent. The Guinean activist was named "Inspirational Woman of 2012" by the United Kingdom based group, Women 4 Africa. She has also been featured on CNN, as well as in Forbes Africa. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Women’s Groups Alarmed by Financing for Development Plans

Call on Governments to Adopt Strong Political Declaration Rooted in Human Rights

UNITED NATIONS—The Women’s Major Group, representing more than 600 women’s groups from over 100 countries, is deeply disappointed with the outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week. What came out of the conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, is the world’s plan for implementing and financing global development. While the Action Agenda is being heralded by many governments as a
strong outcome for women and girls, it fails to address profound inequalities in economic policies and institutions that undermine human rights and gender equality.
The Action Agenda is not in accordance with the demands of developing countries, and if implemented, is unlikely to improve the lives of the world’s poorest women and girls or facilitate sustainable development. In fact, the plan endangers the success of the Sustainable Development Goals—which are to be adopted by UN member states this September.
One of the biggest disappointments was around international tax cooperation; developed countries rejected a proposal by developing countries for a global tax body that would have curbed illicit financial flows by multinational corporations and allowed poorer countries to increase their revenues. Under the current tax structure, developing countries lose up to 10 times as much money in illicit financial flows as they get in aid.
Further, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda fails to:
• Advance solutions to developing countries’ debt crises, continuing to jeopardise the human rights of women and girls worldwide who bear the burden of harsh austerity measures and debt repayments.
• Address systemic imbalances in the global financial system or advance a new paradigm for democratic economic governance. Women continue to act as shock absorbers and stabilisers during financial crises.
• Regulate the role of the private sector through binding frameworks that align their actions with human rights and sustainable development objectives and hold corporations accountable for violations of human rights and gender equality.
• Ensure that trade and investment agreements do not undermine policies intended to uphold human rights and provide decent work consistent with international labor standards.

“The new global development agenda is being described as transformative, but we can’t expect change if it’s business as usual,” said Tessa Khan, international human rights lawyer with Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. “What’s needed is a more equitable global economic and development system—one that protects, respects, and fulfils human rights.”
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Let’s break the barriers to contraception in Burkina Faso.

If you’re a girl in Burkina Faso, chances are your childhood won’t last long. Forced early marriage is common, as is early pregnancy.

If you’re a woman, you may be denied contraception, simply because you don’t have your husband’s permission. And if you do manage to get contraception, you may be forced to use it in secret for fear of being accused of adultery by your partner or in-laws. 

If you’re a rape survivor, pregnant as a result of that assault, you must pay for your own emergency medical care – something that is out of reach for most victims.

It’s an unsustainable situation. Burkina Faso’s girls want their childhoods back. Their mothers, aunts and sisters are fed up of being side-lined from the decisions that affect their lives. Stand with them today.

Unequal treatment denies women choice

In Burkina Faso, whether you’re a woman or a girl, you are prevented from making crucial decisions that belong to you. Decisions like whether or when to get married, whom to marry, and whether or when to get pregnant. These barriers to choice are fuelled by social attitudes that value men and boys over women and girls.

This discrimination results in abuses of the basic human rights of women and girls, including their right to life, to education and to quality health care, particularly sexual and reproductive health care.

Above all, this discrimination denies women and girls their sexual and reproductive rights – rights which allow them to freely make decisions about what happens to their bodies and their lives without threat of violence. This includes the right to proper information and services on sexual health, family planning and sexuality.

The consequences of these abuses are clear when you look at the numbers. Only 64.2% of girls can access education but many of them are forced to give up school to get married or to take on domestic work. By the time they are 19 years old, most girls have already become wives, and nearly half of all young women are already mothers.

My Body My Rights in Burkina Faso

For the girls whose families force them to get married, for the woman who needs her husband’s or in-laws’ permission to use contraception; for the girl who becomes pregnant after being raped and has no choice but to carry that pregnancy to term; we take the My Body My Rights campaign to Burkina Faso.

Together with the many women and girls there who continue to demand their rights, we call on the government to break the barriers to free choice in Burkina Faso.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Maame Afon Yelbert-Obeng

Maame Afon Yelbert-Obeng – Activist and Musician

Born and raised in Ghana, Maame is a committed advocate and a passionate leader, who is also a dynamic singer and recording artist. She recently released her second album, titled Ekome. She has worked as a Program Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at the Global Fund for Women, and is Board Member and co-chair of the Bay Area Regional Advisory Committee for the African Women’s Development Fund in the U.S.A. (AWDF-USA). Maame is also a board member and Program Director for Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in Africa, and is also board member of We Care Solar, an award winning organization using organization using solar technology to facilitate timely and appropriate emergency care for maternal and infant health. 

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Free Narges Mohammad

Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi was arrested on 5 May. She is on trial for charges stemming from her human rights activities. She is a prisoner of conscience.

The Intelligence Ministry has made a written request to impose the maximum punishment on human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

“Recently Ms. Mohammadi’s case file has included a letter from the Intelligence Ministry which recommends that the judge give her the maximum punishment. But this letter is against the law and undermines the independence of the Judiciary as well as the judge presiding over Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court,” Rahmani stated.

The latest charges against Mohammadi, who is the spokesperson for the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center, include “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “membership in the Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty” group, which is regarded as an illegal and anti-state group.

Since her controversial meeting with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Tehran in March 2014, Mohammadi has received ten summonses and warnings and has been questioned by security authorities several times.

Taghi Rahmani told the Campaign that his wife’s trial was due to start on July 5 but for unknown reasons she was not transferred from Evin Prison and did not appear. The judge postponed the trial but no new date has been announced. Mohammadi’s trial was originally set for May 3 but her lawyer had requested more time to prepare.

Mohammadi wrote a letter from prison addressed to Tehran’s chief prosecutor. In the letter, published in on July 6, Mohammadi criticized the authorities for not allowing her to speak to her children on the phone.

“Is it against the country’s judicial regulations to let a mother or father hear her or his child’s voice for a few minutes, a couple of times a week? If not, why is this unfair practice going on? Does a mother’s contact with her child threaten national security? Or do you just want to further punish women who criticize?” the letter asked.

Mohammadi’s family have been told that her latest detention on May 5 is to enforce the six-year prison sentence imposed on her in 2012. At the time she was held in Zanjan Prison, but because of serious medical issues she was released on 600 million tomans (US $200,000) bail.

Two hundred and fifty human rights and women’s rights activists and journalists signed a statement on May 6, demanding the release of Narges Mohammadi.

Mohammadi’s husband has asked Iran’s Minister of Intelligence to help launch an investigation into her case, as well as the cases of other individuals prosecuted in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election and who are still in prison, such as Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Seifzadeh.
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Ama Ata Aidoo

Ama Ata Aidoo – Writer

Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, née Christina Ama Aidoo, is a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright, and academic. She also served as a Minister of Education in Ghana under the Jerry Rawlings administration. She currently lives in Ghana. In 2000, she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers. 

Follow her on Twitter: @AmaAtaAidoo

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Melissa Kiguwa

Melissa Kiguwa – Poet and Artist

Melissa Kiguwa is an artist, a daughter, and a radical feminist. Her artistry ranges from designing one of a kind custom-made pieces of jewelry to poetry to improvisational blues performance. Her work is rooted in acknowledging and giving praise to diverse global Afro experiences. Raised by a Haitian father and a Ugandan mother, Melissa considers herself an “Afro-nomad.” Her latest poetry book is titled the Reveries of Longing. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Feminist Principles of the Internet

Developed at the Gender, Sexuality and the Internet Meeting organized by the Association for Progressive Communications
13-15 April, 2014 – Malaysia - In April 2014, the Association for Progressive Communications, APC, organized a Global Meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet in Port Dickson, Malaysia, bringing together 50 participants from six continents comprising gender and women’s rights activists, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex) movements, internet and technology rights organizations, and human rights advocates. The goal of the meeting was to bridge the gap between feminist movements and internet rights movements and look at intersections and strategic opportunities to work together as allies and partners.
The existing discourse around gender and the internet tends to focus on gender components lacking in polices that govern the internet, violations that take place as a result, and the need for increased women’s participation in decision-making forums. In a bid to reframe the conversation, the Global Meeting used a collaborative process to ask the question: ‘As feminists, what kind of internet do we want, and what will it take for us to achieve it?’
Over three days, the participants discussed and debated intersections of gender, sexuality, and the internet – not only as a tool – but as a new public space. In thinking through these issues, the participants at the meeting developed a set of 15 feminist principles of the internet. These are designed to be an evolving document that informs our work on gender and technology, as well as influences our policy-making discussions when it comes to internet governance.
1. A feminist internet starts with and works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to dismantle patriarchy. This includes universal, affordable, unfettered, unconditional and equal access to the internet.
2. A feminist internet is an extension, reflection and continuum of our movements and resistance in other spaces, public and private. Our agency lies in us deciding as individuals and collectives what aspects of our lives to politicize and/or publicize on the internet.
3. The internet is a transformative public and political space. It facilitates new forms of citizenship that enable individuals to claim, construct, and express our selves, genders, sexualities. This includes connecting across territories, demanding accountability and transparency, and significant opportunities for feminist movement-building.
4. Violence online and tech-related violence are part of the continuum of gender-based violence. The misogynistic attacks, threats, intimidation, and policing experienced by women and queers LGBTQI people is are real, harmful, and alarming. It is our collective responsibility as different internet stakeholders to prevent, respond to, and resist this violence.
5. There is a need to resist the religious right, along with other extremist forces, and the state, in monopolizing their claim over morality in silencing feminist voices at national and international levels. We must claim the power of the internet to amplify alternative and diverse narratives of women’s lived realities.
6. As feminist activists, we believe in challenging the patriarchal spaces that currently control the internet and putting more feminists and queers LGBTQI people at the decision-making tables. We believe in democratizing the legislation and regulation of the internet as well as diffusing ownership and power of global and local networks.
7. Feminist interrogation of the neoliberal capitalist logic that drives the internet is critical to destabilize, dismantle, and create alternative forms of economic power that are grounded on principles of the collective, solidarity, and openness.
8. As feminist activists, we are politically committed to creating and experimenting with technology utilizing open source tools and platforms. Promoting, disseminating, and sharing knowledge about the use of such tools is central to our praxis.
9. The internet’s role in enabling access to critical information – including on health, pleasure, and risks – to communities, cultural expression, and conversation is essential, and must be supported and protected.
10. Surveillance by default is the tool of patriarchy to control and restrict rights both online and offline. The right to privacy and to exercise full control over our own data is a critical principle for a safer, open internet for all. Equal attention needs to be paid to surveillance practices by individuals against each other, as well as the private sector and non-state actors, in addition to the state.
11. Everyone has the right to be forgotten on the internet. This includes being able to access all our personal data and information online, and to be able to exercise control over, including knowing who has access to them and under what conditions, and being able to delete them forever. However, this right needs to be balanced against the right to access public information, transparency and accountability.
12. It is our inalienable right to choose, express, and experiment with our diverse sexualities on the internet. Anonymity enables this.
13. We strongly object to the efforts of state and non-state actors to control, regulate and restrict the sexual lives of consenting people and how this is expressed and practiced on the internet. We recognize this as part of the larger political project of moral policing, censorship and hierarchization of citizenship and rights.
14. We recognize our role as feminists and internet rights advocates in securing a safe, healthy, and informative internet for children and young people. This includes promoting digital and social safety practices. At the same time, we acknowledge children’s rights to healthy development, which includes access to positive information about sexuality at critical times in their development. We believe in including the voices and experiences of young people in the decisions made about harmful content.

15. We recognize that the issue of pornography online is a human rights and labor issue, and has to do with agency, consent, autonomy and choice. We reject simple causal linkages made between consumption of pornographic content and violence against women. We also reject the umbrella term of pornographic content labeled to any sexuality content such as educational material, SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) content, and expression related to women’s sexuality.
By APC – 20 August 2014
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim – Professor and Activist

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim is the Director of the Gender Research and Documentation Centre at the University of Sierra Leone’s Fourah Bay College. In 2009-2010, she was the Helleiner Visiting Research Fellow at The North-South Institute, an IDRC-funded fellowship. While at The North-South Institute, Ibrahim’s work focused on affirmative action as a means to overcome barriers that limit women’s entry into politics. Aisha also serves as President of the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone, which focuses on advocacy, policy, and capacity building for women’s leadership.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Yaba Badoe

Yaba Badoe – Activist and Filmmaker

Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker, producer, and writer. A graduate of King’s College in Cambridge, she worked as a civil servant in Ghana before becoming a General Trainee with the BBC. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica, and has worked as a producer and director making documentaries for the main terrestrial channels in Britain and the University of Ghana in Accra. Her documentaries include The Witches of Gambaga (2011) and The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (2014).

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Purity Kagwiria

Purity Kagwiria – Executive Director of the Akili Dada Institute

Purity Kagwiria serves as the Executive Director of the Akili Dada institute, an organization that provides education and leadership opportunity to girls and women in Kenya. A journalist by profession, Purity is an active member of the feminist/women's rights movement and she is committed to analyzing the private and personal spaces that women inhabit and developing strategies that lead to the emancipation of women. Purity holds a degree in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Journalism from Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. 

Follow her on Twitter: @Pruncie 
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Yewande Omotoso

Yewande Omotoso – Writer

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father, and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992. Yewande trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a master’s degree in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel Bomboy, which was published in 2011.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Amina Mama

Amina Mama – Professor and Researcher

Professor Amina Mama is Nigerian-British feminist writer and intellectual who has worked for over two decades in research, teaching, organizational change, and editing in Nigeria, Britain, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the U.S.A. She spent a decade at the University of Cape Town’s African Gender Institute where she led the collaborative development of feminist studies and research for African contexts. Amina currently works as a professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of California, Davis. 

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Nana Sekyiamah

Nana Sekyiamah – Writer, Blogger & Activist

Nana Sekyiamah calls herself a “Fab African Feminist.” She has served in many leadership roles on the African continent for years as the Communications Specialist for the African Women’s Development Fund, a leading pan-African grant funding organization in Ghana. She focuses on writing stories that explore issues around the diverse sexualities of African women. She is the curator of Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, a highly acclaimed and widely read blog on African women and sexuality.

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Follow her on Twitter: @Nas009

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Amina Doherty

Amina Doherty – Artivist

Amina Doherty is a Nigerian feminist ARTivist whose work focuses on feminist philanthropy and creative arts advocacy. She has facilitated learning initiatives on women’s rights, youth development, philanthropy, and economic justice. Amina actively supports several community-led media platforms and brings to her activism a passion for music, art, travel, photography, fashion and poetry. 

Follow her on Twitter: @Sheroxlox

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Monday, July 6, 2015


On 9 February 2015 the Dili District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision and convicted the defendant HGS for committing the crime of domestic violence against his wife in Dili District.

The court found that in February 2012 the defendant punched the victim once in the face and once on the back of the neck and caused the victim to fall to the ground. These acts caused the victim to suffer swelling to her face, pain to the back of her neck, and she urinated on herself and fell unconscious.

On 9 April 2012 the defendant hit the victim in the face with his elbow which caused swelling and pain. Then, on 19 April 2013 the defendant struck the victim above the eye with a broom, ordered the victim to kneel in the bedroom and prohibited the victim from using a telephone or going to school.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant with violating Article 154 of the Penal Code on the crime of mistreatment of a spouse.

In its decision the court referred to Articles 1, 2 and 5 of the CEDAW Convention (Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination against Women) which provides that State parties to the Convention must prevent and eradicate discriminatory practices and violence against women.

“JSMP values the decision of the court in using the legal instrument CEDAW as a reference in making its decision. This is good practice to guarantee justice for victims of gender based violence, and to encourage the community to access formal justice,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

JSMP congratulates the judicial actors for using the CEDAW instrument in trying cases of gender based violence. JSMP believes that this decision demonstrates progress since a round table discussion was held by JSMP and UN Women on 4 December 2014 with female legal professionals including judges, prosecutors, public defenders and private lawyers on the topic of the application of the CEDAW instrument in judicial practice.

With this practice, JSMP believes that victims of domestic violence will receive adequate protection and this will encourage victims to access the formal justice system.

Following the trial of this case, the court amended the legal charges to join Articles 2, 3 and 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence because previously the public prosecutor did not include these articles.

After amending the charges in this case the prosecutor and the public defender did not request time to prepare their respective legal positions, so the court proceeded to announce its decision.

With reference to the facts established during the trial and the mitigating circumstances of the defendant, the court concluded this matter and sentenced the defendant to 3 years in jail, suspended for 3 years and ordered the defendant to pay court costs of US$50.

This case was registered with the court as Case No. 302/14.TDDIL. The hearing was presided over by Jacinta Correia da Costa representing a panel of judges. The public prosecution service was represented by Reinato Bere Nahak and the defendant was represented by public defender Sebastião Amado.

East Timor, or Timor-Leste, a Southeast Asian nation occupying half the island of Timor, is ringed by coral reefs teeming with marine life. Landmarks in the capital, Dili, speak to the country's struggles for independence from Portugal and then Indonesia.

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Minna Salammi

Minna Salammi – Activist, Blogger & Speaker

Minna is a Nigerian-Finnish writer, blogger and speaker and the founder of MsAfropolitan, a multiple award-winning pan-African feminist blog. She is also a member of the Duke University Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network, the Guardian Africa Network, a board member of UK Charity For Books’ Sake, and a Huffington Post contributor. 

I am a Nigerian-Finnish writer, blogger and speaker and the founder of MsAfropolitan, a multiple award-winning pan-African feminist blog. I am a member of the Duke University Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network, the Guardian Africa Network, a board member of UK Charity For Books’ Sake and a Huffington Post contributor. I am listed as one of Applause Africa’s “40 African Change-makers under 40″, one of Nokia’s “50 Remarkable Women Connected by Nokia” and listed by Eelan Media as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Black People on Digital/Social Media”.
My commentary has appeared in leading papers: The Observer, The GuardianThe Independent and The Huffington Post. I am aTEDx speaker. My appearances include talks and debates at The Victoria & Albert Museum, London City Hall as well as fora and events in South Africa, Nigeria, Gabon, Morocco, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Gambia, Austria, Belgium.
I studied Gender Studies at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and Political Science at the University of Lund in Sweden. I have lectured and presented talks at a number of universities in Britain and Europe including Warwick, Westminster, Berlin and London.
Prior to founding MsAfropolitan in 2010, I had years of branding, marketing and project management experience in the creative industries, across different countries and continents. In this role, I successfully oversaw campaigns for clients such as The Oxford Literary Festival, International Masters Publishers and Simon & Schuster.
For two years, as a complement to the blog, I ran The MsAfropolitan Boutique, an online shop selling a wide range of products made by women of African heritage. The shop was launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020.
When I am not writing, blogging or speaking, I am likely to be found reading books – some of the many authors I cherish are Siri Hustvedt, Wole Soyinka and Sefi Atta; doing yoga – Ashtanga and Yin especially but I devour all yoga forms; dancing – I used to samba professionally; spending time outdoors – running and walking; or listening to music – gladly Fatoumata Diawara, Nneka, Susheela Raman, Jean Sibelius, Fiona Apple and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
I speak five languages and have lived and worked in Nigeria, Sweden, Spain, New York and London, where I now reside.
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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee – Activist

Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, social worker and women's rights advocate. She is also a 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate. She is the founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia. Leymah is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia's devastating, 14-year civil war in 2003.

Follow her on Twitter: @LeymahRGbowee

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Osai Ojigbo

Osai Ojigbo – Lawyer and Activist

Osai Ojigbo is a lawyer, gender justice advocate, and human rights activist. She holds a law degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and a Master’s of Law degree from the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. She served as the Deputy Executive Director at Alliances for Africa (AfA), where she coordinated the Gender Justice in Africa Initiative. Osai has designed and implemented programs aimed at building the capacity of community-based women leaders on issues related to human rights.

Follow her on Twitter: @livingtruely

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