PAMBAZUKA NEWS 201: Zimbabwe: Elections, despondency and civil society's responsibility

Back in 1997, 13 Senegalese villages publicly declared that they would no longer permit female circumcision, or female genital mutilation (FGM) as it's called by critics. In the eight years since, the number has grown to 1,527, representing 30 percent of Senegalese communities where FGM has been practiced. Dozens more villages are preparing to make similar declarations in the coming months. The sea-change in Senegal is being credited to a slow but steady program of human rights education more

The experiences, practices and focus of the Ghanaian student movement make for a sad reflection, states this commentary on the website of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. " The flame of student struggle which was set burning and handed down to successive generations of Ghanaian student leaders began dimming from the early 1990s, got worse in the late 1990s, and in the year 2005 I can state without fear of contradiction that this flame has finally gone off." In more

Rebels and the Ivory Coast government have agreed to end hostilities after four days of talks in South Africa. Tension has risen in recent weeks, prompting fears of renewed war in the world's biggest cocoa producer. A ceasefire agreed in France two years ago failed to end conflict in the country which remains divided in two.

Thanks for sending me the newsletter. It has lots of interesting things in it. I was really concerned, however, when I saw the header in the newsletter that read Women/Gender. I must say that I am very tired of the word gender altogether. What it means is socially acceptable behaviour according to a person's sex. It therefore applies to both women and men. But it is never used in this way. It has now become a substitute word for women. I realise the UN and other government agencies are key more

'Afrique Continent en Crise' is a French version of 'AIDS Africa Continent in Crisis'.  It was launched in July 2004 at the Bangkok International AIDS Conference.  Written by Helen Jackson and published and being distributed by SAfAIDS, the book was funded by Sida with further support from UNESCO. The book concentrates on the hardest-hit countries, exploring the driving forces behind the epidemic, impact of HIV/AIDS at different levels and policies and programmes to make a difference.