Friday, 13 November 2015

“Documentation and Public dialogue an important route to address Violence against Women”

“Documentation and Public dialogue an important route to address Violence against Women”
Emmanuel Manyati

A short film 'MARGINALIZED WOMEN IN JEOPARDY' was screened at17:30 at the Alliance France in Harare during the Women Arts Festival (WAFEST) by Young Voices Network.
 The film  by Emmanuel Manyati gives an account of the incredible gender based atrocities experienced by women and girls in Hoyuyu Resettlement areas of Mutoko, the area breaks the record on rape cases and child marriages in Zimbabwe.In that film a traditional chief openly draws a red line against gender equality.
Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of objectives of equality, development and peace. It violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedom. The long standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedom in the case of violence against women is a matter of concern. 

Most cases of violence against women in Mutoko derives essentially from cultural patterns, in particular the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices. Lack of or inadequate documentation and research on domestic violence, sexual harassment and violence against women in private and in public, impede efforts to design specific intervention strategies. In addressing violence against women, governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that before decisions are taken an analysis may be made of their effects on women and men, respectively. 

In an interview with this writer Emanuel explains more about his film and what pushed him to come up with this film. "Tradition should be a guider not a jailer", he said. Globally many countries are willing to change, having signed the 1979 UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women and, more recently the 2000, the UN millennium goal of empowering women and combating discrimination. Helping countries improve gender equality and ending violence against women is not only important but an international commitment as well. 

There is need to start investing in better information and high quality data. Providing forums to reveal people's experiences with local customs and laws will have important effects, it will help improve the information that is available on the situation of women around the world. It is important to foster dialogue with the public to promote Gender Equality and address gender based Violence.

By Abel Mavura

Thursday, 5 November 2015

"Vision Commitment and Action for Young Women Empowerment"

||James Suriwiecki (2004) argued that it is often the case that the many are smarter than the few.||

 I had an interactive planning process to enable diverse of views from selected potential leaders of the Young Urban Women Project (Movement) Ghana a project by Action Aid Ghana, NORSAAC and The Ark Foundation which has 2000 young women selected from Greater Accra and Tamale the Northen Region. The Project is also being implemented in India and South Africa under the theme of "Young Women's Life choicesand livelihoods in Poor Urban Areas"
Action Aid is currently implementing this project with a focus on young women's economic rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in these cities. The research and experience gained through a baseline study that was conducted reaffirms the need for an integrated approach to working with young women.

The objectives of the meeting was to get the whole system in the room for vision, commitment and Action, coming up with a strategic plan, identify opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and threats of the movement.
I also managed to apply the Future Search Model to review the past experiences of the project since 2013 from different perspectives, we mapped the present and identified common ground and developed action plans for the Movement, the model helped us to identify the KEEPS, DROPS, PROUDS and SORRIES of the project which will guide the movement on its work.

The young women contributed on the objectives of the movement, Aim, vision, areas of focus/ issues to be considered by the movement, Leadership and membership structures that they want for their movement, key thematic areas to be campaigned and advocated for with much emphasis on mainstreaming of HRBA since it encourages strategies that are empowering,monitoring and evaluation of programmes and using in synergy of both top-down and bottom approaches .
Their effective participation made the process easy to undertake, besides inspiring them I am also inspired.
It is important to note that forums for building capacities of young women to take leadership at the individual and collective level for economic and social empowerment are crucial to have a committed number of women to lead the way to change attitudes, behaviors and policies around gender, violence against women, reproductive health and rights and leadership. BY ABEL MAVURA
A presentation on Group's purpose "Bashari"

Young Urban Women during group discussion on the Movement

Young women capturing views and contributions in groups for presentation

Abel Mavura and Young Urban Women Movement Leaders

Future search Model presentation by Abel Mavura

Friday, 30 October 2015

Ending Corruption Anas Aremeyaw Anas By STRIVE MASIWA

Ending Corruption Anas Aremeyaw Anas  By STRIVE MASIWA

__Ending corruption: It only takes one brave person.
Sometimes just one person trying to do the right thing can change the course of history.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Ghana is an undercover investigative journalist with a focus on exposing corruption, exploitation and human rights abuses. Last month his work changed the course of Ghanaian history when he released an anti-corruption film called Ghana in the Eyes of God, Epic of Injustice.
“The most powerful weapon against corruption is transparency and exposure,” says Anas, who was born in the late 1970s and first trained as a lawyer. He says the aim of his life’s work is to “name, shame and jail” people who hurt others and break the law.
Released in late September, Anas’ new three-hour documentary has led to the shocking suspension of seven of Ghana’s 12 High Court judges and 22 lower court judges who were secretly filmed in an alleged judicial bribery and corruption scandal which Anas investigated for about two years.
Money, sex, yams and even a goat were among the alleged pay-offs. In exchange, many robbers, murderers, drug dealers, rapists and others allegedly received shortened sentences or went free.
Anas notably works undercover, usually wearing disguises and pretending to engage with “bad people” who he then tries to film committing crimes.
__People rarely see his face. Even when he gives public talks about his work or receives awards, he hides it.
Could corruption charges against these judicial officials be true?
Ghanaians are now waiting for rule of law to take its course -- for all parties concerned. What seems to have come to light through Anas’ brave undercover work is 500 hours of raw footage of judicial corruption in action, allegedly involving some 180 judicial officials – judges, magistrates, court clerks, policemen, state attorneys and bail contractors!
In trying to block the screening of Anas’ whistle-blowing film, one High Court judge ironically argued that showing the film “brings the authority and administration of the law into disrespect and disrepute…”
Each of the seven implicated high court judges has been give a week between now and 11 December to appear before a special Chief Justice Committee. Anas will also appear for cross-examination, and some defendants have demanded that he remove his disguise when in court.
___The five-member Committee has contended this week that Anas is protected by the Whistle Blower’s Act. As such, he must not be unmasked and is also covered by immunity.
While not his first choice, Anas says he believes working in disguise is necessary, given the powerful and sometimes dangerous subjects of his investigations.
Acknowledging his own fear and the hazards of doing the work he does, Anas advises, “You’ve got to take intelligent decisions… If you don’t, you will end up losing your life.” (He usually works with a backup team of private investigators).
Notwithstanding the risks, Anas says he and all professional journalists have the responsibility to keep the public informed about activities affecting the health of their democracies, and their own personal lives. Colleagues say his work is driven by the belief that it is corruption that is holding Africa back.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas, I salute you.
Image Credit: TED Conference

Thursday, 15 October 2015

After being inspired & trained on how to utilize Social Media for Advocacy and Campaigns it's good to see young women taking the lead on social media platforms discussing issues pertaining their development ‪#‎SRHR‬ ‪#‎UnpaidCareWork‬ , ‪#‎DecentWork‬, ‪#‎ViolenceAgainstWomen‬ Let's give them the chance to say out their concerns, To have their views ‪#‎WomenCanDoIt‬!!
Social Media can be used to expand opportunities for women they can take advantage of these social forums to get things done.
The twitter hashtag function in particular allows women to easily follow issues that matter to them and forge coalitions based upon shared concerns, from immediate personal needs to calls for large scale social change.
Women who were formerly isolated can now access high profile players in their field of interest and conversely, build accessible visible platform for self promotion, they can self publish through these platforms.
Women can build networks of support that counteract the negative systems and structures of the past that undermines their development . Lets Support Women - ‪#‎AbelMavura‬