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gender norms

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Mattel’s new athlete Barbies might seem like a win for feminists and young girls – but they’re not

        By Lauren Gurrieri, RMIT University and Suzie Gibson, Charles Sturt University     Mattel released a new range of Barbie dolls this week honouring nine trailblazing women in sport. The recognised athletes include Matildas soccer star Mary Fowler, tennis champion Venus Williams and seven other record-breaking and world champion sports stars from across the globe. Mattel’s Krista Berger said the brand wishes to acknowledge “the impact […]

todayMay 31, 2024 29


TikTok activism: how queer Zimbabweans use social media to show love and fight hate

iZhenya/iStock/Getty Images Plus, CC BY     By Gibson Ncube, Stellenbosch University and Princess Sibanda, University of Fort Hare   In Zimbabwe, there is a long held public view that queerness is “unAfrican” and imported to Africa from the west. Even though numerous studies have proven this not to be true, reiterations of this lie by the state has led many to believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer […]

todayMay 29, 2024 15


The Gambia may allow female genital mutilation again – another sign of a global trend eroding women’s rights

    By Satang Nabaneh, University of Dayton   The Gambia’s ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) since 2015 is under threat. Proposed changes before parliament could permit medicalised female genital cutting and allow it for consenting adults. This potential reversal has thrust the country into the global spotlight as the latest example of the backlash against gender equality. The Gambia’s criminalisation of FGM was not the first in west […]

todayApril 2, 2024 5

Opinion Pieces

UN Rights Experts Make False Promises About Prostitution

The essayist, an expert in human trafficking, writes that a guidance paper produced by a UN human rights group on eliminating discrimination against “sex workers” actually “advocates for policies that will endanger women and girls.” TONY WEBSTER/CREATIVE COMMONOpinion By Taina Bien-Aimé   The United Nations working group on discrimination against women and girls published a paper last year that not only fails to address the widespread human rights violations caused by prostitution […]

todayMarch 14, 2024 12


Africa’s renewable energy sector is shattering gender norms

  By Bonface Orucho, bird story agency   Africa's fast-evolving renewable energy landscape is catalysing a shift in gender dynamics, with more women seizing employment opportunities than in the traditional energy sector, according to a new report. According to the report, “more women are assuming positions as business creators, energy producers, distributors, and service providers,” challenging longstanding gender norms prevalent in the energy industry. The report, “Empowering Women in Clean […]

todayMarch 8, 2024 19


Women fishers in Makoko, Lagos’s ‘floating slum’, are struggling as breadwinners: education and funding would make a difference

Makoko women fish traders waiting to buy fish from fishermen. Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty Images Ayodele Oloko, University of British Columbia Makoko, a coastal fishing community in Lagos, Nigeria, was established by fishermen in the 19th century. It is considered the world’s largest “floating slum”. There are conflicting figures about its population but it is home to about a million inhabitants living in poor and informal housing built […]

todayFebruary 7, 2024 5