The African Iceberg attempts to sketch the interconnections between conflict, identity, and gender in Africa. Of course, in addressing these issues, this blog is merely the tip of an enormous iceberg. Yet I hope that by exposing elements below the surface, a conversation about some very real problems and possible solutions in and about Africa is fostered.
On 23 November, Uganda’s infamous anti-gay “Kill the Gays” legislation was passed by a committee vote. It will now move to Parliament, where it will be debated on the floor. Speaker of the House Rebecca Kadaga expects to pass the Bill by the holidays as a “Christmas gift” to Uganda.
One in seven women in South Sudan will die during pregnancy or childbirth, making the world’s newest country – and one of the poorest - the most dangerous place in the world to give birth. A 15 year old girl has a better chance of dying in childbirth than of finishing school.
Sudan’s most recent spate of demonstrations that began on 16 June at the University of Khartoum and have since spread across the country have been a long time coming. Similar student demonstrations began in late January 2011 and were revived in January 2012. Both were met with strong crackdowns by police and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
Views of the Kony2012 campaign launched by Invisible Children (IC) have drastically fallen after its initial premiere on 5 March and the subsequent backlash. On 16 March, IC founder and star of the video Jason Russell was back in the news after having a breakdown in San Diego. The rhetorical space for advocacy around the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been eroded. The work of IC, in its own right, has largely been discredited and oversimplified.
On 27 December Judge Aly Fekry of the Cairo Administrative Court banned virginity testing of female detainees.
Originally scheduled to take place on 28 November, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s legislative and executive elections bled into the 30th following logistical issues in delivering ballots, widespread irregularities, and long lines on the first day of polling. With over 30 million voters, thousands of polling stations, and lack of basic infrastructure, DRC’s elections were a logistical nightmare.
A population-based assessment completed recently by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 40% of women and 23% of men in three Eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had been subjected to gender based violence (GBV) since conflict reignited in the mid-1990s. Though some INGOs operational in the region have questioned the methodology of the survey, no one has questioned the existence of GBV against men.