More emphasis to be placed on removing derelict vehicles – Armogan

first_imgCorentyne Highway dangersRegion Six Chairman David Armogan said the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) will have to take a more active role in ensuring that the Corentyne Highway is cleared of derelict vehicles and is not used as a parking lot for agricultural machinery which is not in use.Discarded vehicle parts are also thrown on the road shoulders to rotThe Corentyne Highway has become a cemetery for draglines, combines, steam rollers and all sorts of heavy-duty machinery as well as other vehiclesThe Regional Chairman acknowledged that the issue is generally debated whenever there is a fatal accident involving some piece of equipment which has been permanently parked on the shoulder of the Corentyne Highway.Meanwhile, regional representative Gobin Harbhajan, who has in the past been very vocal over the situation told this publication that parking on the road shoulders with heavy-duty agriculture machines has become a norm in the region.He called it a hazard to both pedestrians and motorists.The Corentyne Highway, Harbhajan noted, has also become the resting place for old minibuses and cars and it has always attracted a blame game between the Communities, Public Infrastructure and Public Security Ministries as to who is responsible for having these dangers removed.Regional Chairman Armogan has placed the responsibility at the feet of all three Ministries.Heavy duty machinery left on the road shoulders“If it in on the reserve of the NDC [Neighbourhood Democratic Council] it is a NDC matter if it is on the road; once there is pitchmen there is the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and once it is an encumbrance on the road itself where commuters have to move, then it is the police.”The Police is the local arm of the Public Security Ministry and the NDC is an arm of the Communities Ministry.“The RDC has oversight of all what is happening in the region, so we have to also take some responsibility too. But then the people who have the legal jurisdiction, those are the people who will have to give the notices. The RDC cannot give a notice for an encumbrance in an NDC area,” the Chairman explained.Armogan said the regional administration will begin to issue letters to NDCs informing them of the dangers posed by the derelicts and permanently parked vehicles on the road shoulders.Many of the encumbrances stem from the agricultural activities in the region since it is predominantly agriculture based.last_img read more

Meeting to decide on ‘hookah’ bars

first_imgWHITTIER – The Planning Commission at its 6:30 p.m. meeting tonight will decide whether “hookah” bars should be allowed in Uptown Whittier. Fred Chang of Hacienda Heights has said he wants to open a smoking lounge, which would include the hookah pipes, at 6727 Comstock Ave., Whittier. Hookah originated in India in the 16th century and is commonly used today, in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The hookah or “water pipe” is made out of a clay bowl with the body used as a water reservoir, and a stem or hose for the inhalation of tobacco smoke, according to a Whittier city staff report. Hookah tobacco is a moist, paste-like mixture consumption of tobacco, honey, molasses, and pulp of different fruits. Smoking from a hookah has become popular among young adults, the report stated. 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Help raise money for the FSJ Hospital Foundation during Light a Moose

first_imgFor 3 days Moose FM will broadcast live from the parking lot of the Old Visitor Centre with our 6’ x 12’ sign. With your donation to the Foundation, we’ll add one light to our sign.Once it’s all lit up we hope to raise over $35,000.This year proceeds from the event will go towards the purchase of five new Panda Warmers. Panda Warmers are used in the maternity ward to help keep newborns warm immediately after birth. This is year 10th for Light a Moose. Last year we raised just over $38,000 for the Foundation.- Advertisement -WE NEED YOUR HELP! Collect donations at your office or workplace and donate to Light a Moose. Every penny helps as we work towards bringing the best health care to Fort St. John. If own or operate a business and would like to make a public donation call us at 250-787-7100 or e-mail If you or your group have collected money also call or e-mail Moose FM.Make a donation online, by clicking here. On top of our usual antics, this year we will be running a special online auction for mandolin signed by The Dixie Chicks. This auction will run the week of November 25 with all the proceeds going directly to the Hospital Foundation. We’ll post more details about the auction next week.For more information on Light a Moose and how you can help the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation call Adam Reaburn at 787-7100 or e-mail areaburn@moosefm.caAdvertisementlast_img read more

Immigration debate can strain relations

first_imgThe national immigration debate is muddying Republican relations with Roman Catholics – coveted swing voters who comprise about one-quarter of the electorate. While Catholic bishops and many Republican politicians share opposition to abortion, they’re often split over the specifics of immigration reform. Church leaders are challenging – and in some cases even vowing to defy – the tougher enforcement proposals by GOP lawmakers. The issue highlights the roadblocks that the Catholic worldview creates for Republicans and Democrats. Catholics are generally conservative on personal issues such as marriage, but tend to be liberal on social justice problems, limiting the appeal of both major parties and leaving Catholics “politically homeless,” said the Rev. James L. Heft, president of the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. “I’d like to see more pro-life Democrats,” Heft said, “and social justice Republicans.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventImmigration is not the first issue to split GOP and Catholic leaders. Pope John Paul II opposed the U.S.-led war on Iraq and the death penalty, for example. But these latest differences have emerged only months before much of the Republican-controlled Congress is up for re-election, and when the GOP and Catholics had seemed closer than ever. “Right now, a higher proportion of Catholic voters (than in the past) would identify with the Republican Party, or some of the themes that the Republican candidates have been using,” said David Leege, a professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and an expert on Catholics and politics. But the impact of the immigration debate is unclear. “The jury is out on the Catholic vote in long run,” Leege said. Catholics, once solidly Democratic, have been moving toward the Republican Party for the last 25 years or so. When struggling Catholics established themselves financially, they started voting less according to religious ties and more according to economic interests. The Democrats’ embrace of abortion rights also drew them to GOP candidates. President Bush, a Methodist, won the 2004 Catholic vote 52 percent to 47 percent over Democratic nominee John F. Kerry, who is Catholic. Leading up to the election, bishops had warned Catholic lawmakers they risk “cooperating in evil” if they vote for candidates supporting abortion rights. Church leaders insisted their position was nonpartisan, yet the timing of their statements was clearly a boon to Republicans since Kerry backs abortion rights. But now, many of these same bishops are accusing GOP lawmakers of lacking compassion for illegal migrants. St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who said in 2004 he would refuse to give Holy Communion to Kerry, was among many church leaders who organized recent rallies in favor of giving undocumented workers a chance at citizenship. Burke noted that American Catholics were immigrants themselves, and that by welcoming migrants, “we obey the command of Our Lord, who tells us that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome Christ Himself.” Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, galvanized Catholic opposition by sponsoring legislation that the House passed in December that would make it a felony to be in the country illegally and making it a crime to help illegal immigrants. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony said his priests would disobey such a law. Successive popes, including John Paul II, have stressed that nations with the resources to accommodate people fleeing persecution or economic hardship have a moral obligation to do so – regardless of legal status. About 30 percent of the nearly 65 million U.S. Catholics are Hispanic, and the church has an extensive social service network for migrants. Catholics in AP-Ipsos polling were more likely than Protestants and white evangelicals to support allowing immigrants to be temporary workers and to oppose making it a serious crime to be in this country without documentation.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Celtic legend John Hartson says club’s haters are just jealous

first_img silverware Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Celtic are going through a sticky patch impact highlights How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS possible standings England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won “People just love to knock winners, don’t they?”However, the former Celtic striker, who scored over 100 goals for the club, admitted Rodgers is irritated by the board’s lack of support in the transfer window.The Hoops boss was reportedly interested in signing Scottish midfielder John McGinn from Hibs, but the 23-year-old joined Aston Villa instead.He added:  “There is a little bit of frustration that’s crept in. Brendan, they tell me, is frustrated with the fact that they’ve not backed him. Celtic are currently quite short on numbes.“The McGinn deal was crazy because apparently Hibbs wanted £3.5m and he ended up going to Aston Villa for £2.75m.“To think of the money Celtic have brought in and they couldn’t find that money to tie McGinn down, a player that Rodgers is desperate to have at Celtic. For the life of me, I don’t know how Celtic could’ve let that one slip through their hands.” 2 Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade center_img NEW ERA Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more And, despite a frustrating summer transfer window, Hartson thinks the club’s current situation has been blown way out of proportion.He told talkSPORT: “There’s just so many Celtic haters out there, it’s unbelievable.“What happens is – you’re serial winners and you’ve won a double treble, you’ve competed in the Champions League group stages for two years, there’s 60,000 people at the stadium every single week, there’s not a spare seat in the house and Brendan Rodgers has done a remarkable job.“Yes, Rodgers is frustrated because he’s not been able to sign the players he wanted. But crisis? Come on, do me a favour. gameday 2 How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Hartson was a fan favourite at Celtic Park Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener smart causal Celtic legend John Hartson believes suggestions of crisis at the club are ridiculous and stem from jealousy.The Hoops lost 1-0 to Hearts on Saturday and find themselves needing to score in their Champions League third round qualifying match against AEK Athens tonight in order to progress. ALTERED last_img read more

Lomas Named MVC Athlete of the Week

first_img Print Friendly Version Lomas went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles for the week to help lead the Bulldogs to victories over South Dakota and Augustana (S.D.). After dropping the first set 6-3, she rebounded to beat USD’s Nanette Nylund, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 4 singles, evening up the team score, 3-3. Lomas was the first one to finish in Drake’s win over Augustana, rolling past Taylor Jackson 6-0, 6-2. In doubles, Lomas teamed up with Summer Brills and earned 6-1 wins at No. 2 doubles against the Coyotes and Vikings. ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Drake University’s Joely Lomas was named Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday, Feb. 7.center_img Lomas and the rest of the Bulldogs return to action on Friday when they host Iowa State at 4 p.m.last_img read more

Five Bulldogs Advance to Saturday’s Finals At The Kansas Relays

first_imgAdditionally, the Bulldogs had two top-two finishes in the distance medley relay as the women’s team of Tess Misgen, Victoria Coombe, Meghan Kearney and Olivia Rogers won the event in 12:24.87. The men’s team of Xavier Lechleitner, Angelo Romagna, Matt Cozine and Kevin Kelly were second in 10:14.35. On the women’s side, Victoria Coombe advanced to Saturday’s final of the 400-meter hurdles with the fifth-fastest time of the day at 1:03.04. Friday Results (HTML) Also in final events, Lexie Chapman took fourth in the women’s shot put with a toss of 45-1.75 (13.76m). LAWRENCE, Kan. – A total of five Drake University track and field student-athletes advanced to the finals in three events Friday at the Kansas Relays. The competitors will step into the blocks of the finals Saturday during the final day of the three-day event. Saturday Heat Sheets Friday Results (PDF) The duo also ran legs of the team’s 4×100-meter relay with Aaron Chier and Aobakwe Malau to finish with the fourth-fastest qualifying time of the day at 41.27. 400-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)5. Victoria Coombe, 1:03.04 Saturday’s final day of the Kansas Relays will be the Bulldogs final competition before returning home next week for the 110th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. 200 Meters (Prelims)25. Mariah Crawford, 25.58 200 Meters (Prelims)2. Kundai Maguranyanga, 20.947. Viktor Peka, 21.3514. Aobakwe Malau, 21.71center_img Drake Women100 Meters (Prelims)25. Sophia Jackson, 12.26 400-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)14. Angelo Romagna, 56.3718. Simon Perrotin, 56.78 4×100-Meter Relay (Prelims)4. Cheir, Maguranyanga, Peka, Malau, 41.27 The Bulldogs advanced two to the finals of Saturday’s 200 meters as Kundai Maguranyanga and Viktor Peka qualified in their preliminary heats. Maguranyanga ran the third-fastest 200 meters of his Drake career to finish second among the competitors in 20.94 while Viktor Peka was seventh in a personal best time of 21.35. Distance Medley Relay2. Lechleitner, Romagna, Cozine, Kelly, 10:14.35 Kansas RelaysFriday ResultsDrake Men100 Meters (Prelims)14. Viktor Peka, 10.7115. Aobakwe Malau, 10.72 Story Links 400 Meters (Prelims)27. Ellie Mendlik, 1:04.47 Shot Put4. Lexie Chapman, 45-1.75 (13.76m)18. Katelyn Williams, 36-5.5 (11.11m) Print Friendly Version Distance Medley Relay1. Misgen, Coombe, Kearney, Rogers, 12:24.87last_img read more

‘An absolute revelation!’ – Chelsea fans delighted with key man’s new contract

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesChelsea fans on Twitter were broadly united in their delight that Victor Moses has signed a new deal.The Nigeria international, whose contract extension keeps him at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2021, has established himself as a regular in the Blues’ table-topping side this season.And many supporters were in agreement with technical director Michael Emenalo’s assessment that Moses thoroughly deserved a longer stay…Moses signs 2 year contract. Fantastic news for the club and fans. He’s been an absolute revelation this season! #CFC— Arjun Rangarajan (@arjranga) March 1, 2017Victor Moses signing a new contract is great news!He has really come into his own this season. Well earned.#CFC— Matthew (@matt_mcgaughey) March 1, 2017Buzzing that Victor Moses has signed a new contract. What a season he is having & such a vital player for us in this 3-4-3 formation. #CFC— Olivia Buzaglo (@buzaglo16) March 1, 2017Moses deserved that contract, work pays off #CFC— Harry (@httchelsea) March 1, 2017Can’t believe I’m saying this Victor Moses deserves his new contract been absolutely fantastic for us this season #CFC @selfy @mikeybsam— Ben Church (@Churchieboy86) March 1, 2017Good news about Moses’ new contract. What a find he’s been this season! Never would have predicted his role in the side 12 months ago!— Hannah Duncan (@Hannah_Duncan89) March 1, 2017Buzzing for Moses 🙌🏼💯 #CFC— Aaron Wallace* (@AronWallis97) March 1, 2017Not the biggest fan of Victor Moses as a player but I love how much he loves the club. I love how much he appreciates being part of CFC.— Padrino (@Contelism01) March 1, 2017   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Anti-Republican Science

first_imgIf science is supposed to be apolitical, reporters and journal editors are not remembering their duty to stay neutral.Gaffe watch:  Live Science used the occasion of Todd Akin’s remark about rape, universally condemned by other Republicans and apologized for by Akin soon after he uttered it, to count other alleged scientific gaffes by politicians.  Suspiciously, 4 out of the 5 in the list were gaffes by conservative Republicans: Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell and Tom Coburn.  As if doing penance, reporter Stephanie Pappas added one by President Obama, but portrayed it as a waffle, not a gaffe; she quoted him saying “The science is not conclusive,” giving him a way out.  Some of the Republican gaffes could be argued to be positions on legitimate scientific controversies, such as global warming.  Pappas snuck in an added swipe by characterizing Santorum’s alleged gaffe as “one of his more memorable comments”.  One would think she wouldn’t have to look far through Democrat VP Joe Biden’s numerous gaffes to find something to help balance the scales, and what about Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who thought the Mars Pathfinder Rover would be able to see the flag left by Apollo astronauts?  Notably, bloopers by scientists, including those of Darwinians who frequently exaggerate claims far beyond the evidence, escape her notice: like this dandy printed uncritically on Nature News, “In-law infighting boosted evolution of menopause.”Hark! The Republicans Are Coming:  For Nature News, reporter Amy Maxmen headlined, “Republican Spending Plan Casts Shadow on Science.”  Her focus was on Paul Ryan, Romney’s VP pick, as someone who wants to “limit the reach of government.”  She wrote, “As chairman of the House of Representatives budget committee in the current Congress, Ryan has crafted a federal spending plan that contrasts sharply with that of President Barack Obama, whose budget requests have largely maintained science and technology funding as an economic investment.”  Maxmen failed to mention that President Obama and Senate Democrats have brought the USA to the edge of a fiscal cliff that risks economic disaster for everyone, including scientists.  Her article failed to mention which science taxpayers should be responsible to pay for, and also failed to mention sources of private funding available to scientists, such as foundations and industry.Lionizing JFK and Obama:  What’s this doing on a science site?  That’s a question a reader might legitimately ask of an entry on PhysOrg about JFK’s influence on Obama. The question becomes stronger when one realizes it’s a review of a book by a non-scientist: “Researcher Greg Frame, from the University of Warwick’s Film and Television department, has explored how Obama, whose birthday is Saturday August 4, has shaped himself in Kennedy’s image.”  Nothing negative is said about either Democratic president, even though commentators on both sides of the aisle this week are decrying Obama’s current presidential campaign as one of the dirtiest on record.  Nothing was said about Obama’s deficit spending that has run up a national debt of $16 trillion, more than all prior presidents combined.  Yet this is the image of JFK and Obama PhysOrg allowed Mr. Frame to project on their webspace: “leader, superhero, and subsequently father.”  One will look in vain for any such pedestals for the likes of Ronald Reagan, let alone an announcement about his birthday.Political correctness:  When it comes to moral and cultural issues such as abortion or homosexuality, science news sites can be counted on to take the leftist line.  In “Why Women Choose Abortions,” Live Science writer Jeanna Brynner ostensibly reported a survey about women’s reasons for killing their infants in the womb, giving ample time for them to describe why the thought of having a child added stress to their life.  One of the “solutions” listed was “free birth control” without the important follow-up question, “at whose expense?”   In another article on Live Science, Stephanie Pappas was all uptight about “Hateful Political Ads” against “Transgender People,” implying that conservatives have no justification to be concerned about gender-confused men entering women’s bathrooms or applying as daycare workers, calling these concerns “scare tactics.”  Pappas gave complete free rein to Amy Stone, a sociologist, to talk about homosexual issues and gay marriage, but never asked for a balancing opinion from a conservative spokesperson from someone like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, whose offices were targeted by a gay activist with a gun recently.A rare balance:  One recent article on Science Daily showed exemplary non-partisanship.  It was about a forecasting model at University of Colorado that predicts Romney will win the electoral college vote in the upcoming election.  The Romney mention is not the balance at issue; it is the fact that the article steered clear of advocacy or partisanship, and simply stated the facts:  if the same model that has been used since 1980 holds, the outcome will be as stated.  Even so, it is not clear whether a paper published by the American Political Science Association belongs on a science news site.No matter the issue, no matter the controversy, science news sites and leading journals can be counted on to take the leftist position.  Democrats will be cast in a positive light, Republicans as villains.  Articles are written by leftists to leftists.  Sometimes, for instance, they appear aimed at helping fellow leftists convince conservatives of the wrongness of their position.  On PhysOrg, for instance, a psychologist who runs a website attacking global warming skeptics was given the platform to instruct fellow leftists that coming across too strong can backfire, because conservatives (by implication) take comfort in their worldview and see science as a threat.  But while he applied his psychological model to skeptics of anthropogenic global warming (usually conservatives), he avoided applying it to leftists confronted with facts threatening their Darwinian world view.  The slant is always one way.  Sometimes journal editors will feel they have done their job of balanced reporting by printing a letter to the editor complaining about their bias.  They never think about avoiding the bias in the first place.What to do?  First of all, have a respect for facts, but differentiate between facts and opinions.  Second, realize that most science reporting these days is coming through a leftist filter.  Third, exercise discernment by noticing the bias and asking the questions the reporter is failing to ask.  Fourth, complain to managers and sponsors of the politically biased sites.  Fifth, support services like Creation-Evolution Headlines that point out the bias and boldly ask the questions the other reporters should be asking. Researcher Greg Frame, from the University of Warwick’s Film and Television department , has explored how Obama, whose birthday is Saturday August 4, has shaped himself in Kennedy’s image.Read more at: 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Women and Girls Summit tackles issues affecting African women

first_imgOn 13 and 14 October 2014, a thousand women and young girls from all over Africa will gather in Abuja, Nigeria, to try and find solutions to current issues affecting them.The African girl child is much more at risk of dropping out of school than the boy child. (Image: United Nations)Ndaba DlaminiAlthough some progress has been made in uplifting women’s lives in Africa, a lot still needs to be done to overcome cultural, economic and health burdens borne by most both young and elderly women on the continent.On 13 and 14 October 2014, a thousand women and young girls from all over Africa will gather in Abuja, Nigeria, to try and find solutions to current issues affecting them. The conference will touch on the following thematic areas: safety and security, education, health, and economic empowerment.This first ever Women & Girls Summit is organised by the National Centre for Women’s Development (NCWD) and Friends Africa, in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria. The summit coincides with the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, a day set aside to promote the rights of girls and address the unique challenges they face.The gathering of African women and girls comes at a time when violations of women’s rights are under the spotlight, not only in Nigeria but in the rest of the continent. The summit aims to:Create a platform for high-level dialogue on current issues affecting women and girls in Nigeria and AfricaCreate an avenue for the economic empowerment of marginalised women and girlsCommunicate the pulse of the African women and girls to the regional (African Union) and global (United Nations) development processes for women and girlsBuilding on the momentum generated by the United Kingdom and Australia Girl Summits held in the two countries earlier this year, the African summit also aims to create long lasting solutions to decades of institutional challenges marginalising women and girls.Studies show that African women-owned farms produce less than men-owned farms. (Image: Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank)Gender violence and educationAccording to a 2010 UN report on violence against women in Africa, the scourge of violence against women in Africa is still largely rampant, but hidden beneath cultural practices and beliefs. This because of a number of reasons, namely;• the predominance of the system of patriarchy across Africa has meant that women are still perceived of and treated as subordinate to men;• violence against women is accepted as the cultural norm in many societies and is often condoned by community and sometimes state leaders;• the stigma attached to female victims of violence has resulted in very low rates of reporting; and• often if women do report violence against them, they are either turned away because the authorities see violence against women as a matter to be dealt with privately or within the family, or they struggle to access justice in a criminal justice system that is not informed by or sensitive to the needs of women.Recent attacks on young girls in Nigeria and other African areas facing internal strife has also brought to light the security problems that girls face in their efforts to attain education. The importance of education to the girl child cannot be over-emphasised. A recent study on African demographics shows that education for women, even at the primary-school level, was associated with a lower risk of child mortality. In another study by the University of Pennsylvania, it was discovered that in Malawi, one year of additional schooling for a girl cut the probability of testing positive for HIV as an adult by 6% to 7%.United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics’ 2012 edition of the “World Atlas of Gender Equity in Education” shows that in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, school enrolment ratios lag significantly behind global averages, with Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia all showing less than 80% of girl learners enrolled in primary school.According to the UNESCO report, dropout rates are as high as 70% throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, with higher rates for girls. World Bank research on girl education in Africa indicates that the number of girls who are out of school is decreasing only slowly, falling from 25 million in 1999 to 17 million in 2008. On the other hand, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative states that Nigeria has a 66% literacy rate for 15- to 24-year-old females, versus a 78% literacy rate for males. Girls’ primary school attendance is 60%, compared to boys’ 65%, and by secondary school the rates are 43% and 45%, respectively.The issue of religious violence against girls in Africa has been brought in the forefront by the abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamic Militants Boko Haram. “Boko Haram” roughly translates as “Western education is forbidden”. The incident highlighted the African girl child’s plight at a time when there are concerted efforts, not only by African governments but international organisations such as the United Nations Women, to push for gender equality and the empowerment of women.African women and healthThe World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the health of the African woman is affected by a plethora of factors, most of which revolve around lack of adequate health facilities and infrastructure. Lack of medical facilities, supplies and trained staff and poor transport means that 60% of mothers in sub-Saharan Africa do not have a health worker present during childbirth, a situation which heightens complications, leading to higher maternal and child death, according to WHO.According to a WHO 2012 report entitled Addressing the Challenge of Women’s Health in Africa, the state of maternal health in Africa is dismal, with the region accounting for more than half of all maternal deaths worldwide, each year. Unfortunately, the situation is not improving.In Nigeria, WHO estimates that 800 000 women are living with fistula, a disabling condition often caused by problems in childbirth. The number grows by 20 000 each year. In Tanzania, 9 000 women die annually from complications related to pregnancy. The country’s maternal health facilities are often too far away and the women lack adequate transport.WHO estimates that about a quarter of maternal deaths in Africa could be prevented through emergency obstetric care. In fact, maternal mortality can be prevented. In Europe, for example, maternal mortality is a rare event, occurring in only 20 out of 100 000 live births, compared to 480 per 100 000 on the African continent, the highest ratio of all the regions in the world.Despite the HIV/AIDS scourge continuing to ravage some parts of Africa, other health problems loom, according to WHO. In their advanced ages, African women suffer increasingly from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), notably cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. According to WHO, if nothing is done to address the issue of NCDs, they will represent at least 50% of mortality in the Africa by 2020.African women, equality and economic empowermentPromoting gender equality and empowerment of women is of benefit to any economy and the society at large. However, in many African countries women face stumbling blocks at a time when Africa’s economy is on the upsurge, with economists predicting that over the next decade, the continent’s GDP is expected to rise by an average of 6% a year.A result mainly of cultural practices, gender inequalities and gender-based discriminations are rife in Africa, hence the need to raise awareness about the disadvantages of these discriminations, not only to women and girls, but to the community at large.African women play a significant part in agriculture (the United Nations Development Programme estimates that women farmers account for nearly 50% of the agricultural labour force in sub-Saharan Africa). Despite the role women play in agriculture, productivity on women-owned farms is significantly lower per hectare compared to men, according to a new report jointly published by the World Bank and the ONE Campaign entitled  “Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa”.The report, which looks into the differences between how much men and women farmers produce in six African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda – which together make up more than 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population.The report reveals deep-rooted inequalities in African agriculture. In the six countries profiled, the report found that women farmers are refused access to land ownership, credit and productive farm inputs like fertilisers, pesticides and farming tools, and access to markets, factors essential to their productivity.The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 agreed that gender equality and women’s participation in the economy are important the sustainable development of any economy.“One of the most important steps countries can take to drive progress is to ensure and improve the political, economic and social rights and opportunities of women”, says Helen Clark on the UNDP website. “Africa has achieved notable economic growth in recent years. To be sustained, that growth must be inclusive, and translate into concrete improvements in the lives of women, men and children.”Countries that eliminate gender disparities in education, for example, will accelerate progress towards eliminating hunger and will improve child and maternal health, as educated women and girls are better able to make informed choices about family planning, nutrition, health, and education.The World Bank estimates that eliminating barriers that discriminate against women’s working in certain sectors could increase labour productivity by as much as 25%.  Ensuring women’s equal access to agricultural resources and financial credit would have a dramatic impact on food security and overall economic growth.Closing the gender gap could help reduce hunger and improve livelihoods for Africa’s growing population, which is expected to quadruple within the next 90 years, according to the World Bank.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more