On 26 October, Togo became the 15th country to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa  thus ensuring the ratification of the Protocol within 30 days, writes Black Looks.
The protocol is groundbreaking and far-reaching  says Black Looks, and protects a broad range of African women’s human rights while reinforcing international law on women’s equality. Other countries that have so far ratified the Protocol are Cape Verde, The Comoros, Djibouti, The Gambia, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Benin. 38 African countries have yet to ratify the Protocol and much work still needs to be undertaken by civil society and African women’s organisations, nevertheless, this development should be viewed as a significant starting point.
Black Looks also honours Hauwa Ibrahim , a Nigerian human rights lawyer who is joint winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament together with Reporters without Borders and Cuba’s Ladies in White . The award honours individuals who work to combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. Hauwa Ibrahim , has defended many women accused of adultery and condemned to death in the Nigerian states applying Sharia law.
Helenism writes about religion and the conflict in her mind with regard to wishing to convert from the Eritrean Orthodox Church , the religion she grew up with and Buddhism, a religion she feels a close affinity with and which she feels could be the route to her physical and spiritual awareness .
Poverty, economic mismanagement, political instability and war are ever increasing realities in Africa despite the continent having a multitude of resources, writes Keeper of her thoughts. Keeper says what required “is better governance, stronger institutions and more stalwart systems of management” and more importantly, a willingness of Africans to make governments accountable .
Keeper follows this article with a personal tribute to Professor Wangari Maathai – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2004 , who she says is the African woman at her most heroic .
As an example of when moaning about what needs to be done will not make things done , Bee writes about a story she recently read about a man who travels the desert with a mobile camel library and who “brings the understanding of how the sun sets to others through books”.
Bronwyn takes beautiful photographs and writes poetically about the jacaranda season in Johannesburg :
“When the jacarandas are in season it seems that the air itself becomes infused with a soft purple light. The flowers drift down on to your windshield as you drive and scatter the pavements everywhere as if a purple snowstorm has hit town…..and when the jacarandas are in bloom, you know that the whole summer stretches before you and it just makes you feel happy.”