- Mona Eltahawy, award-winning journalist and blogger

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Strategic communications for WWF

June 20th, 2013

- Mona Eltahawy, award-winning journalist and blogger

The Arab uprisings may have removed a string of dictators but the fight still goes on, especially for women’s rights. As Mona Eltahawy argues, women fought side-by-side with men against regimes that oppressed everyone and now they must take the fight to the oppressors on our streets and in our homes – because “unless we topple the Mubaraks in our mind, in our bedrooms and on our street corners, our revolution will not even have begun.”

 - Mark Gevisser, Open Society Fellow

The battle over the rights of sexual minorities has raged across Africa for the past few years, with the two opposing sides - backed by supporters from around the globe - struggling for supremacy. Indeed, sometimes it seems as if another proxy war is being fought across the continent as in the Cold War years. And as Mark Gevisser writes, international solidarity for the rights of sexual minorities remains essential on a continent where these rights are violated so brutally, and so carelessly. But this is not a 'war' that international community can dictate the outcome of. Africans are, ultimately, going to change their own societies, for better or for worse.

- Tabeth Masengu, Research officer at Democratic Governance & Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town

A landmark judgement in the Botswana High Court of Botswana has been lauded as a game-changing watershed for gender rights in southern Africa. In a remarkable decision, Judge Dingake ruled that culture could not trump constitutional rights and made a powerful call for other judges to take a stand on gender issues. But Tabeth Masengu asks, can other judges adopt such an ‘activist’ approach? And should they? Is our current situation akin to America during the civil rights era when an ‘activist’ Supreme Court made a series of rulings that changed the nation? Is judicial activism really the only way to tackle gender inequality in southern Africa, given the lack of movement by executives and legislatures?


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