For women’s day, I wanted to commerorate amazing African women who’s contributions to society have gone virtually unnoticed by the larger media. (from left to right).
Wangari Muta Mary Jo Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In the 1970s, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental NGO focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. In 1986, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005. Furthermore she was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d’État, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She placed a very distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006. She successfully ran for re-election in 2011. Sirleaf is the first and currently the only elected female head of state in Africa.
Graça Machel, (17 October 1945) is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is the third wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel. She is an international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and in 1997 was made a British dame for her humanitarian work. attend University of Lisbon in Portugal, where she first became involved in independence issues. In that university, she earned a scholarship from Romance Languages. She is fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and English, as well as her native Tsonga. She returned to Mozambique in 1973, joined the Mozambican Liberation Front(FRELIMO) and became a schoolteacher. Following Mozambique’s independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture. She married Samora Machel the same year. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children.
Birtukan Mideksa (born 1975) is an Ethiopian politician and former judge. She is the leader of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party. she joined Addis Ababa University where she graduated from Law School with a Bachelors Degree in Law. She practiced law at the 3rd district of the federal judiciary. She joined the Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice party and later Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) after a coalition of four parties. After election or 2005, her party won over a third of the seats. As a result, Birtukan was convicted of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and sentenced to life in prison. She was pardoned and later founded UDJ (Unity for Democracy and Justice) with the same principles followed by CUD.
Hafsat Abiola (born 1974 in Lagos) is a Nigerian human rights activist, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society in Nigeria. Abiola graduated from Phillips Academy in 1992 and Harvard College in 1996 and later received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College. Abiola is the founder of China-Africa Bridge, which promotes mutually beneficial cross-cultural collaboration between China and Africa. In 2000, Abiola was honored as one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum. In 2003, she was elected as a Fellow of the Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. In 2006 she was nominated to be a founding councilor at the World Future Council. Also in, 2006 she raised funds by organizing performances of The Vagina Monologues in Nigeria. Since May 2008 she is also a Councilor at the World Future Council among 49 other well known personalities.
Niemat Ahmadi is the Darfuri Liaison Officer with the Save Darfur Coalition. A native of North Darfur, she promotes cooperation between the coalition and the Darfuri diaspora within the United States and abroad, focusing in particular on the role of Darfuri women in the peace process. She is a Founding Member of the Darfuri Leaders Network, a coalition of more than 20 domestic Darfuri organizations working to promote peace and security in Darfur.
Unlike the U.S. version, “Sh*t People Say to Native Americans,” this is a single scene, uploaded by one “Meshybedosmesh,” who made it in response to seeing the Stolen Sisters documentary about Canada’s missing and murdered women. The words stream past her head as she stares nearly unblinkingly at the camera, expressionless. She gets it all in there, in an unending, 3.5-minute stream of chitchat from a snippy-sounding female voice that comments on everything from prostitution to the economy.
On a somewhat serious note today because of a conversation the other day:
I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child, coming home and telling their parents, uncle, aunt or grandparent about a boy who had pulled her hair, hit her, teased her, pushed her or committed some other playground crime. I will bet money that most of those, if not all, will tell you that they were told “Oh, that just means he likes you”. I never really thought much about it before having a daughter of my own. I find it appalling that this line of bullshit is still being fed to young children. Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy. If you try and feed MY daughter that crap, you better bring protective gear because I am going to shower you with the brand of “affection” you are endorsing.
When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment? And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships? How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.
My daughter is `10 years old and has come home on more than one occasion recounting an incident at school in which she was teased or harassed by a male classmate. There has been several times when someone that she was retelling the story to responded with the old, “that just means he likes you” line. Wrong. I want my daughter to know that being disrespected is NEVER acceptable. I want my daughter to know that if someone likes her and respects her, much less LOVES her, they don’t hurt her and they don’t put her down. I want my daughter to know that the boy called her ugly or pushed her or pulled her hair didn’t do it because he admires her, it is because he is a little asshole and assholes are an occurrence of society that will have to be dealt with for the rest of her life. I want my daughter to know how to deal with assholes she will encounter throughout her life. For now, I want my daughter to know that if someone is verbally harassing her, she should tell the teacher and if the teacher does nothing, she should tell me. If someone physically touches her, tell the teacher then, if it continues, to yell, “STOP TOUCHING/PUNCHING/PUSHING ME” in the middle of class or the hallway, then tell me. Last year, one little boy stole her silly bandz from her. He just grabbed her and yanked a handful of them off of her wrist. When I went to the school to address the incident, the teacher smiled and explained it away to her, in front of me, “he probably has a crush on you”. Okay, the boy walked up to my daughter, grabbed and held her by the arm and forcibly removed her bracelets from her as she struggled and you want to convince her that she should be flattered? Fuck off. I am going to punch you in the face but I hope you realize it is just my way of thanking you for the great advice you gave my daughter. If these same advice givers’ sons came home crying because another male classmate was pushing them, pulling their hair, hitting them or calling them names, I would bet dollars to donuts they would tell him to defend themselves and kick the kid’s ass, if necessary. They sure as shit wouldn’t say, “he probably just wants a play date”.
I will teach my daughter to accept nothing less than respect. Anyone who hurts her physically or emotionally doesn’t deserve her respect, friendship or love. I will teach my boys the same thing as well as the fact that hitting on girls doesn’t involve hitting girls. I can’t teach my daughter to respect herself if I am teaching her that no one else has to respect her. I can’t raise sons that respect women, if I teach them that bullying is a valid expression of affection.
The next time that someone offers up that little “secret” to my daughter, I am going to slap the person across the face and yell, “I LOVE YOU”.
All across Canada today, people are marching in remembrance of the many First Nations women who have been murdered or missing.
Aaron Paquette (Metis/Canadian) made this image as a reminder.
Take a look at http://www.amnesty.ca/campaigns/sisters_overview.php for more information.
Late in reblogging, but reblogging nonetheless. Jealous and proud of everyone who could make it out to the DTES Memorial March yesterday.