According to the United Nations (UN), recent elections in East and Southern Africa have left fewer women in politics, placing countries at risk of not meeting equality targets.
Speaking at a women conference in Johannesburg, UN Development Programme director, Bo Asplund, pointed out that, "Elections in the region have shown regression with regard to women's representation in parliament."
People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) says it is concerned about the large number of sexual offences that go unreported in South Africa.
POWA executive director, Nonhlanhla Mokwena, points out that while the decrease in the number of sexual offences is encouraging, optimism over the figure must be balanced against the knowledge that some women do not report that they have been raped.
Mokwena states that, "There are a huge number of women who are not going to police stations to report cases because they do not have trust in the justice system."
The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that in South Africa men are 1.6 times more likely to succeed as business owners than women.
This shocking statistic is reported to be a particularly South African phenomenon. Amongst other things, it appears to be related to low levels in self-belief amongst women that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to start and succeed in business.
A Zimbabwean gay rights activist has pleaded not guilty to breaching censorship laws when he appeared before a magistrate's court accused of possessing pornography.
Ignatius Muhambi, an accountant for Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), and office administrator, Ellen Chademana, were arrested in a police raid at the association's offices in May.
A London-based human rights organisation, Women of Africa (WOA), has denounced plans by 'flesh networks' and some individuals to sexually exploit and abuse African women during the FIFA World Cup.
The organisation says states that it is, "Very concerned to know that alongside preparations for the games, there are robust plans to traffic our vulnerable women and girls to South Africa for sexual exploitation during this historic world event for financial gains."
Ghanaian NGO, the Foundation for Grass Roots Initiatives in Africa (GrassRootsAfrica), has urged the political parties to nominate women as running mates for the 2012 general election.
GrassRootsAfrica policy and advocacy officer, Viola Naawiete Desoberi, argues that political parties should create room for women to become running mates, in order to help bridge the gender disparity in governance and decision making and to facilitate balance development
Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, says the issue of gay rights being written into the country's pending constitution cannot be discussed.
Mugabe has described those wanting to discuss gay rights as ‘mad’, adding that, "If we do, the dead will rise against us."
The country's power-sharing government headed by Mugabe and former opposition leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is shortly to embark on nationwide public hearings about the drafting of a new constitution.
The Republic of Uganda implemented the Penal Code Act which defines homosexuality as an offence punishable by law on 15 June 1950 (2). The Ugandan Constitution furthermore forbids same-sex marriages(3), a decree that impinges on citizens’ human rights on the grounds of traditional family norms.
The Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya has sharply condemned the idea of a porn channel on South African television.
Mayende-Sibiya says that, “Adults can source porn wherever, but now when you want to bring it at home, then it becomes a problem. Also, there is a linkage between porn and violence and the abuse of women and the abuse of children.”