On October 11, 2014, the world will celebrate International Day of the Girl Child. Adolescent girls are among the world's most vulnerable populations, and face a slew of unique and very real challenges. The international community needs to recognize that an empowered woman is the most effective catalyst for sustainable change, and it starts when they are teenagers. Protecting young women from violence increases their odds of completing school, and pursuing a successful and meaningful career!
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When the students at Kisaruni All-Girls Secondary School in rural Kenya had the opportunity to set their school hours, they pushed the limits. The girls begin their studies each morning at 4:45 a.m. and end at 10 p.m., with classroom instruction from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The grumbling resentment toward schoolwork that typifies the North American high-school experience seemed, well, positively lame, compared to the Kenyan girls' fierce dedication to learning.
It won't surprise you to hear that women are among the world's most vulnerable populations. But it might surprise you to learn that one of the most difficult parts about being a woman is also one of the most natural: menstruation. A girl's transition into womanhood is often marked by the beginning of her menstrual cycle, an occasion that is celebrated in many cultures as an important rite of passage. But in many parts of East Africa, it marks the beginning of a lifetime of discomfort, embarrassing health problems, and even harassment. It marks the beginning of schoolyard bullying, missed days of school, and the start of a lifetime viewed as a sexual object.
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On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. It is now over 100 days, and counting, since the six Zone 9 bloggers and the three freelance journalists were thrown into Ethiopian prison cells. The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media.
In Kenya, following the terrorist attack on Westgate Mall last September, parliamentarians passed two harsh media laws known as the Kenya Information and Communication Act, or KICA, and the Media Council Bill of 2013. Both pieces of legislation, labeled as "draconian" by journalists, were signed by President Kenyatta last December.
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Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama created an online resource for Kenyan mothers to connect and share stories. Due to combining both passions: motherhood and journalism, she was offered a chance to attend a digital media workshop by Internews, an international media development organization, and accepted.
For us in the West, it's hard to imagine life without education. But what if you couldn't read the words on a basic contract, write your name on a job application, or count the money you earn at work? Imagine no one in your community knew how to prevent your crops from failing, basic accounting to run a family business, or how to treat a common illness.
These days, with so many avenues of "talk" (including this blog), we are going through an unparalleled era of free expression. But with this exponential explosion of expression comes the almost immediate counter-attack of disbelief.
Any time that an unfamiliar idea is forced onto society, some political schlepper will invariably say something like this: "We all want the same things: safe communities, fairness and equality, and th...
At the yearly Afro FEST, Ruth Mathiang has been welcomed regularly and is one of the most anticipated artists year after year. She sings in a trio of languages -- in English, Arabic and Kiswahili -- and her audiences are always moved by the beauty and style of each of her songs.
Months after my return to Canada, their hopeful and upbeat rhythms transport me back to the awe-inspiring country I am lucky to know. The Kenya they embody is a far cry from the scenes of terror at Nairobi's upscale Westgate that were part of the biggest news story in the world for four days.
Mbugua Mwangi was a University of Ottawa graduate from Kenya. Two weeks removed from what would have been their wedding day, he and his fiancee became victims of the Westgate mall terrorist attack and lost their lives while shopping for a wedding ring. He decided to shield her with his own body and took a total of eight bullets and they both died instantly.
One of two Canadians killed in a Kenya mall shooting attack came from a family of foreign service workers who lived all over the world, CBC News has learned. Annemarie Desloges, 29, was off-duty and...
TORONTO - Canada offered its support to Kenya Sunday, saying it was "prepared to do more" to help the east African country recover from a horrific terrorist attack that killed at least 68 people, incl...