#moneypowersex: the blog

the online interactive zone that provides a space for the free-flow of words, images, thoughts, discussions, and ideas around the OpenForum 2012 theme, 'money, power, sex: the paradox of unequal growth.'

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"When Zimbabwean activist, Rudo Chigudu, made us all emotional about gender injustice"

~ herzimbabwe

The Open Forum 2012 has come to an end in Cape Town, South Africa, with Day three putting a spotlight on Money, Power and Sex: The paradox of unequal growth, where the need for effective sex education was stressed.

There were lively and witty discussions on issues surrounding sex, with some strong argument focused on inequalities and homophobia as well as policies and legislation relative to women’s rights to sexual pleasure.

One of those sitting on the panel at a plenary session on The Politics of Sexual Pleasure was Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah of the African Women’s Development Fund, who runs a blog called Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women.

“Growing up, I had very little sex education, which was basically limited to…you watch TV programs and that teenage girl gets pregnant and she gets thrown out of school, that’s all I knew—those sad stories,” Sekyiamah told West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) at the recent Cape Town forum.

Seyyiamah explained that this was what led her to start her blog.

 “I didn’t know you can have safe sex, you can use contraceptions, sex should be pleasurable, I din’t know all of these issues,” the Ghanaian blogger added.

OpenForum 2012 was organized by four Open Society foundations in Africa convening in Cape Town from 22-24 May to discuss Africa’s future, in the face of present day realities.

WADR’s Peter Kahler caught up with the Ghanaian blogger and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah explains her motivation.

Listen to the audio, here.

A short clip of the proceedings of the Open Forum ‘Sex’ sessions. Beautiful people, brilliant minds, amazing conversations. Stay tuned for full video!


Produced and Directed by Illume Creative Studio (http://illume-cs.com)


With a female majority in parliament, women at all levels of government and equal literacy rates for boys and girls, Rwanda looks to be a model of equality.

The country made history in 2008, when 45 women were elected out of 80 members of parliament. At 56%, this is by far the highest percentage of women MPs in any government in the world. The constitution of Rwanda, adopted in 2003, states that at least 30% of posts in “decision-making organs” must go to women across the country.

In elections for district and sector council officials last year, women won 43.2% of district and Kigali City advisory posts. Women lead a third of Rwanda’s ministries, including foreign affairs, agriculture and health, and every police office in Rwanda has a “gender desk” to take reports of violence against women, as does the national Army.

Usta Kaitesi, a teacher of gender and law and vice-dean of post-graduate research in Rwanda University’s Faculty of Law, says political will was lacking in the years up to the genocide even though the country had already signed the 1978 UN Convention prohibiting all discrimination against women.

“Generally, there was an environment of tolerating discrimination” she says, regarding ethnicity, religion and gender.

Nowadays, she says, “There is political will to avoid discrimination in Rwanda, and that will gives a legal direction.”

“Most countries do have good laws, laws that don’t have any form of injustice but the application of such laws is another issue altogether,” she adds. “So in Rwanda there is a political will to empower women and women are quite aware of their role to play in society.”

via b-sama

(via sos-panafricanclub)

Laura Reynolds

Tue, 15 May 2012 10:52:52 GMT

An award winning photographer who has devoted her working life to documenting the lives of black lesbians has had five years worth of her work stolen.

 Zanele Muholi, described by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa as “one of the country’s foremost artists”, had more than 20 external hard drives stolen from her flat in Vredehoek, Cape Town on April 20.

The hard drives contain stills and video footage, including photos from the funerals of victims of homophobic hate crimes. It is thought that the burglars were targeting Muholi’s work, as little else was taken from her flat, and back up hard drives were also taken.

Muholi’s partner Liesl Theron, with whom she shares the flat, said that her possessions were left untouched, except for a laptop which was stolen, further fuelling belief that Muholi was the intended target of the crime.

The work taken had been captured across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Malawi, according to the Cape Times. Also stolen was work due to be shown at an exhibition in July, which Muholi believes she will now have to cancel.

Despite the volume of work stolen and the imminence of the planned exhibition, Muholi’s plight has been largely ignored by the media. It is believed that the lack of publicity is due to the nature of her work, which shows a different side to the black lesbian community than that usually represented in the mainstream media.

“I’m not myself. I can’t even sleep at night since I’ve heard about the burglary,” the devastated Muholi told DIVA. She has appealed for anyone who knows the whereabouts of the hard drives to return them.

Queer photographer Del LaGrace Volcano said of the theft; “Zanele’s work is, in my not so humble opinion, some of the most important work being produced, not just in Africa, but anywhere. I consider her a dear friend and mourn the loss of her archive as if it were my own.”

Zanele’s supporters are fundraising to help her replace the stolen equipment. Donations can be made online at IndieGoGo.

The investigation into the burglary is ongoing, according to a police spokesperson.

via navigatethestream

(via yourhue)

Twelve years ago, the influential Economist magazine described Africa as “the hopeless continent”. Last year the same publication ran the headline: “Africa rising: the hopeful continent”, noting that some of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.

According to the 2012 Africa Progress Report, seven in every 10 people on the continent live in countries that have enjoyed an economic boom – growth rates averaging in excess of four percent for the past decade. From 2005 to 2009, Ethiopia recorded higher growth than China, and Uganda outperformed India.

The World Bank’s most recent estimates suggest that the number of poor people in the sub-Sahara region fell by around nine million between 2005 and 2008.

While there is clear evidence that in the past decade the continent has made significant gains in areas such as reducing infant mortality, curbing the spread of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, and promoting economic growth, the findings of the report show that for the vast majority of Africans, life on the “hopeful continent” remains a daily challenge.

Entitled, “Jobs Justice And Equity – Seizing Opportunities in Times of Global Change”, the 2012 Africa Progress Report (APR) says that after a decade of “buoyant growth”, wealth disparities within and across African countries are “increasingly visible”, with almost half of Africans still living on less than U.S.$1.25 a day.

“The current pattern of trickle-down growth is leaving too many people in poverty, too many children hungry and too many young people without jobs,” says the APR. It notes that governments are “failing to convert the rising tide of wealth into opportunities for their most marginalised citizens” and that unequal access to health, education, water and sanitation is “reinforcing wider inequalities”.

The report also finds that smallholder agriculture has not been part of the growth surge, leaving rural populations trapped in poverty and thus vulnerable to disease and marginalisation.

The Africa Progress Panel – a group of 10 individuals chaired by the former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, publishes the APR. Other members include Mozambique humanitarian and former South African first lady Graca Machel, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Ivorian businessman Tidjane Thiam, Bangladesh Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, French economist Michel Camdessus and musician and activist Bob Geldof.

The panel says it chose to highlight justice and equity in the 2012 report because “they are missing from the lives of too many Africans, making the present growth socially unsustainable”.

Nonetheless, the continent’s economic growth has helped it make significant progress towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. In the past decade, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has fallen by half from the number who died before the age of five in the decade from 1990 to 2000.

(cont. reading)

via dynamicafrica

Difficult Love: the autobiographical documentary about OpenForum speaker, Zanele Muholi.

South African artist Zanele Muholi talks about the inspiration behind her autobiographical documentary Difficult Love.

The film puts a spotlight on the South African black lesbian community and tackles many of the misconceptions about their experiences by personalizing their stories and challenging the stereotypes often associated with being black and lesbian in South Africa.

Click here to find out how you can watch Difficult Love (for free).

via dynamicafrica

(via africaisdonesuffering)

Cape Town
Radio station:     Bush Radio 89.5FM
Website               http://bushradio.wordpress.com/
Listen Live          http://tunein.com/radio/Bush-Radio-895-s6367/

Accra
Radio station      X FM 95.1FM
Rebroadcasting  Vibe FM 91.9FM
Website X           http://www.xfm951.com/       Listen live: http://radio.gjoy24.com/online/X_FM_951 
Website Vibe      http://vibefm.com.gh/vibe/    Listen live:   http://streema.com/radios/Vibe_FM_2


Dust Magazine will also be tweeting the debate live from Accra! Follow @DustAccra


Nairobi

Radio station      Ghetto Radio 89.5FM
Website              www.ghettoradio.co.ke
Listen Live          http://www.thisisafrica.me/radioplayer/live/ghettoradio
Host                    Linda Ochanda

 

Money Power Sex Debate Series: Has Democracy Brought Blind Hope?

All over the world, democracy is pitched as the ultimate salvation of the state. It is the panacea for political problems; the benchmark for social progress; the pathway to economic success. In African countries, the notion of democracy rode the high-spirited coattails of independence. With national government structures freed from the heavy presence of colonial masters, democracy promised an era of state-sanctioned freedom: one in which citizens could claim their power to get what they need, from governments that they want – governments that were answerable to people, not the other way around.

 

But today, this hopefulness has been replaced by frustration with leadership that is anything but answerable. Seun Kuti, Nigerian musician and son of the late Fela Kuti, references this disenchantment when explaining the inspiration behind his latest album, ‘From Africa with Fury’ – a title he chose to convey the building frustration of young African people with a system that has failed them at all levels. Kuti says, “In Africa we do not have leaders, we have rulers. These rulers first serve the interest of multinational corporations and western powers before they consider the welfare of their people. People had forgotten this. Democracy brought some blind hope…”

 

The #moneypowersex radio debates will explore the questions: has democracy brought blind hope? How do the triumphs and failures of democracy manifest around the axes of money, power and sex? Do deeper problems with global economic dynamics get overshadowed by the hyped-up pursuit of national ‘democracies’?

 

The questions are not just public, but also profoundly personal. How does the idea of ‘democracy’ interact with more deeply-rooted prejudices, such as patriarchy or homophobia? What is the role of the individual in sustaining political systems, for better or worse?

 

Most importantly, if democracy has brought real hope, how can this be strengthened to redress inequalities? But if it has brought blind hope, where is the real hope to be found? These questions and more will be examined in light of current affairs in each of the countries where debates will be taking place, all of which are identified as leading democracies in the continent: Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

 

The debates are being organised by ThisIsAfrica (www.thisisafrica.me) in collaboration with OSISA. Podcasts of the debates will also be available on the OpenForum and TIA websiteS within a week, as well as at the forum itself.



CAPE TOWN DEBATE

 

Monday 14 May

Bush Radio 89.5fm

3-4pm SAST/CAT

 

Participants

Hemel Besem – Hip-hop artist and activist

Ncebalaza Manzi – September National Imbizo coordinator
Rebecca Davis – Daily Maverick journalist
Marion Wanza – Occupy Cape Town organiser

 

Host

Bassie Montewa

 

ACCRA DEBATE

Tuesday 15 May

Vibe FM 91.9

11-12pm GMT

Rebroadcast Wednesday 16 May

XFM 95.1

11-12pm GMT

Participants

Bridget Babiee Dappah – News Anchor and social commentator 

Nana Oye Lithur – Director, Human Rights Advocacy Centre
Tic Tac – Hip-Life Musician and producer

Agyeman Badu Akosa – leading member, Convention People’s Party

Host

Kojo Mensah


Food for thought for the OpenForum Youth Summit. ‘Is this land your land or my land?’  

Check out the pieces below by Youth Summit participant, Arrianna Marie

  1. 'The Great Land Rush: Land Grabs & Food Security' - http://thesojournerproject.wordpress.com/2011/10/
  2. Land Grabs and Post-War Development in South Sudan: http://thesojournerproject.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/land-grabs-and-post-war-development-in-south-sudan/#more-301
  3. Forcible Resettlement and Land Grabs in Ethiopia: http://thesojournerproject.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/forcible-resettlement-and-land-grabs-in-ethiopia/