Publication

Life among the dead in Haiti’s largest graveyard

Article published in Göteborgsposten
1 November 2019
By George Harry Rouzier

In Sweden we remember and honour our dead during All-Hallows’ weekend by decorating graves with flowers and lighting candles. In Haiti All Souls Day, 2 November, is marked by the feast of the dead, where thousands of vodou priests and priestesses gather to communicate with the spirits and remember relatives. But in Port-au-Prince, death is not the end.

Full story (in Swedish) here: https://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/livet-bland-de-d%C3%B6da-p%C3%A5-haitis-st%C3%B6rsta-kyrkog%C3%A5rd-1.19840816

Colombia: Imagine if we could go back to the future

Article published in Omvärlden
2 September 2019
By Gerald Bermudez

“Three years ago I was working on a book of photographs about the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the left-wing FARC guerrillas. I dedicated the book to my six-year-old son because I saw a possibility that he wouldn’t have to grow up with fear as his constant companion. ”

Full article (in Swedish) here:
https://www.omvarlden.se/Opinion/kronikor1/colombia-tank-om-vi-kunde-aka-tillbaka-till-framtiden/

Senegal – passionate and colourful

Article published in Fönstret
#3 2019
Av Ngoundji Dieng

Culture-rich Senegal’s first president was also a poet, and the country’s biggest football stadium is named after him. Next to the Leopold Sédar Senghor stadium is an artists’ village. In the capital, Dakar, painters, sculptors and potters display their work along the beachside highway.

Senegal also has a proud film tradition. After the internationally acclaimed director Sembène Ousmane’s last film in 2004 (Moolaadéabout six girls who run away to avoid genital mutilation) and his death in 2007 the movie lights dimmed, but now Senegalese cinema has been reignited by a new generation of directors.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.fonstret.se/artikelarkivet/kulturland/senegal/

Haiti: ‘My success belongs to my parents and siblings’

Article published in Omvärlden
6 August 2019
By Ralph Thomassaint-Joseph

Widlore Mérancourt  lives a privileged life in Haiti. But on his shoulders rests the responsibility for nine family members, and his greatest fear is that something will happen to him – something that would throw him back into the poverty of his past.

‘I’m 27 this year but can’t plan anything for my own life. With the responsibility for an entire family it is impossible to think about the future. My parents always told me they invested in me so that I would be able to help my brothers and sisters. So I grew up knowing that my success in life belongs to my parents and siblings.'”

Full article (in Swedish) here:
https://www.omvarlden.se/Intervju/intervjuer-2019/haiti-min-framgang-tillhor-mina-foraldrar-och-syskon/

Colombia: The taste of poverty

Article published in Omvärlden
6 August 2019
By Gerald Bermudez

When Diana Gordillo tastes a slice of mortadella sausage, she experiences the same feelings of luxury that she did as a hunger-stricken child. But for most well-off Colombians mortadella is still associated with poverty.

“People in the middle-class, which is where I now find myself, find foods popular with poor people repulsive,” she says. “In order not to seem different I usually say I don’t like mortadella, even though I actually love it!

“In the nice public school where I work, a colleague turned down guava juice because she said it tastes of poverty. This made me uncomfortable and sad – so many people deny their background, even though a big portion of Colombia’s middle-class grew up under much simper circumstances.'”

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.omvarlden.se/Intervju/intervjuer-2019/colombia-smaken-av-fattigdom/

25 years since the Rwanda genocide: He married the daughter of the man who killed his family

Article published in Göteborgsposten
6 April 2019
By Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

Rwanda. John Giranza was brutally beaten, with broken bones and a cracked head. He lost 38 members of his family and was hospitalised for six years. ”It’s a miracle I survived”, he says.
Today, he is married to the daughter of one of the murderers.

It was in April 1994 that all hell broke loose in Rwanda. The Hutu militia, called Interhamwe, armed themselves with machetes and other weapons and then started killing people all over the country, with the support of police and military. Interahamwe was driven by an extremist ideology whose flames had been fanned by officials in the Hutu led government. The UN estimate that around one million people were killed during the 100 days of the genocide between april and june 1994.

”The perpetrators were mainly people who we knew and lived side by side with” says John Giraneza, who was 20 years old at the time of the Genocide.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/25-%C3%A5r-sedan-folkmordet-i-rwanda-han-gifte-sig-med-dottern-till-sin-familjs-m%C3%B6rdare-1.14382895

‘These flowers aren’t for us, they’re for Europeans’

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Hon jobbar för dig (She works for you)
17 December 2018
By Kimani Chege
Photos: Brian Otieno

Kenya. It is hard and difficult work.  Anne Aketch is one of the workers cutting roses for the European market. She hopes that her children won’t have to work on the flower plantation – and she shudders at the thought of Valentine’s Day.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/de-har-blommorna-ar-inte-for-oss-de-ar-for-europeer

The silent climate conference

Article published in Syre
4 December 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan

At a glance, a former mining town in the heart of Poland’s coal district might seem a strange place for UN’s climate change conference. The coal mine Wujek and the coal museum are only a few kilometres from the city centre. But Katowice is moving away from its dirty past, to rise as a clean and green city.

Full article (in Swedish) here:
https://tidningensyre.se/global/2018/nummer-74/den-tysta-klimatkonferensen

With the land free from mines, she started growing coffee beans

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Hon jobbar för dig (She works for you)
17 December 2018
By Constanza Bruno Solera
Photos: Gerald Bermudez

Colombia. It wasn’t until after her divorce that Emilse Naranjo was recognised for her coffee. Today she makes a relatively good living selling her beans to Europe.
“Making good coffee requires, patience, care, and love. It’s like making a nice soup”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here:
https://www.svd.se/fritt-fran-trampminor–da-borjade-hon-odla-kaffe

Sharmin makes your jeans – “We have to work even when mortally ill”

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Hon jobbar för dig (She works for you)
16 December 2018
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Taslima Akhter

Your jeans might be made by Sharmin Akhter.  Her wages support her entire family – including her husband. From entering the factory as a curious 12-year-old, she’s now a tired 35-year-old who sews clothes for famous fashion brands and desperately longs for some rest.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/sharmin-syr-dina-jeans–vi-maste-jobba-dodssjuka

Colombia – magical and multicultural

Article published in Fönstret
By Constanza Bruno

The country of magical realism is also the country of pluralism. There are a mix of ethnicities here: native, black, white, mestizo, and romani. But Colombians identify more with the region they’re from, like costeños (those from the coast), paisas (from the mountains) or rolos (from the capital Bógota and the inner parts of the country). Each group speaks with its own accent and has its own customs.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.fonstret.se/artikelarkivet/kulturland/colombia–magiskt-och-multikulturellt/

Women openly harassed in Pakistan

Article published in Göteborgsposten
27 August 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Pakistan. In Lahore, many women are scared of using public transport because of sexual harassment. The organisation Environment Protection Foundation is trying to counteract this by an initiative in which women are trained to drive rickshaws.

Ghulam Fatima, a widow, says the decision to drive a rickshaw is the best she has ever made.

“I’m so happy to no longer have to rely on my inlaws to support my children. I used to not even be able to ride a bike, and now I’m driving my own vehicle around Lahore!”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kvinnor-trakasseras-%C3%B6ppet-i-pakistan-1.7849486

Cameroon on the brink of civil war

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 October 2018
By Arison Tamfu
Photos: Rodrigue Mbock
 

Cameroon. Paul Biya, Cameroon’s president, almost holds the world record for time in office. Today, Sunday, he’s likely to be given another seven years. But the country is increasingly divided. Separatists have declared independence in the English-speaking parts of the country, and violence is escalating.

Full article (in Swedish) here:
 http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kamerun-p%C3%A5-randen-till-inb%C3%B6rdeskrig-1.9726458

Every chance I get to eat with my daughters is holy

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Äta tillsammans (Eating Together)
13 July 2018
By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos: Yayo Lopez

Lima. The single mother Vanadis Phumpiú is one of Peru’s leading cacao experts, and her job means that she spends a lot of time travelling in various south american countries.

“Work means I have to be away from home at least two weeks per month”, she explains. “Every chance I get to eat with my daughters is holy. I cook their favourite dishes, and fun food like homemade pizza and tacos. As they eat lunch in school during the weeks, dinner becomes a way for me to show love”, says Vanadis who is divorced from her children’s Canadian father.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/varje-chans-att-ata-med-mina-dottrar-ar-helig

Pakistan – the world’s best kept secret

Article published in Fönstret
#3, 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan

Pakistan.  Less consideration is being shown in Pakistan to the Islamists who have been trying to stop everything from book fairs to kite-flying. Rina Saeed Khan writes about her often criticised country.

Article published in Fönstret, #3 2018. Full article (in Swedish) herehttps://www.fonstret.se/artikelarkivet/kulturland/ny-sida/

 

Groundbreaking lesbians in Bangladesh

Article published in Ottar
29 September 2018
By Sushmita Preetha

Three years ago, the activists of Boys of Bangladesh launched Dhee – the country’s first graphic novel that explores sexuality and love beyond the norm. For security reasons the movement went underground after the murders of two gay activists and journalists in April 2016, but the group are now continuing their work.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.ottar.se/artiklar/banbrytande-lesbiskt-i-bangladesh

Eating together is about more than just food

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Äta tillsammans (Eating together)
8 July 2018
By Armsfree Ajanaku
Photos: Rahima Gambo

Nigeria. Adebayo Abejide, a radio station engineer, lives with his family in a suburb of the capital Abuja. As he often gets stuck in traffic on his work commute he is usually home too late to have dinner with his family.

“All of us are away from home many hours a day. From morning until evening, me, my wife, and my children are apart and mainly speak on the phone. Only occasionally do we manage to eat together at the weekends, but that too can be difficult since my wife is studying for a master and doesn’t always have her weekends off”, says Adebayo.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  https://www.svd.se/gemensam-maltid-handlar-inte-bara-om-mat

Tensions rise in enormous refugee camp

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
24 August 2018
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Anisur Rahman

Bangladesh. When the military systematically murdered, raped, and plundered the minority group rohingya in Rakine in Myanmar, around 700 000 people fled to the neighbouring country of Bangladesh.

There they were at first received with open arms, but now, a year later, many locals have grown tired of the refugees – and the fight for the already limited resources has toughened.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/motsattningar-kokar-i-gigantiska-flyktinglagret

I was surprised that grandma accepted cooking with eggs

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Äta tillsammans (Eating Together)
16 July 2018
By Bhrikuti Rai
Photos: Bikram Rai

Nepal. Thirty year old marketing manager Yukti Pant lives in Kathmandu with her parents and grandmother. Traditionally the family are strict vegetarians, but Yukti got a taste for meat when she was visiting relatives, and often eats out with friends so that she can choose a meat dish.

“Grandma is so strict with her traditional customs. That she accepted egg to be cooked in her kitchen was really surprising”, says Yukti.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/att-farmor-skulle-acceptera-agg-var-ovantat

Vibrant culture on the streets of Bolivia

Article published in Fönstret
November 2017
By Rocio Lloret 

Bolivia. The cultural life in Bolivia’s two biggest cities depicts a modern country full of ambition, yet deeply anchored in history, religion, and cultural identity.
It is 850 kilometers between the financial hub of Santa Cruz and the political capital La Paz, a journey that starts in a tropical climate and ends in the Andes, 3 900 metres above sea level.
Continue reading Vibrant culture on the streets of Bolivia

Ikea is so desirable that shops sell their own imports

Article published in Market
15 August 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan

Islamabad. Ikea is hugely popular in South Asia. In  Hyderabad, India, 40 000 people flooded in when the furniture giant first opened its doors there last week. In neighbouring Pakistan, shops deal with their own imports – and Ikea signs.

-I love Ikea products, especially things like storage boxes and kids’ furniture. But this shop that sells their things is way too expensive, says Uzma Khan, mother of three in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.market.se/premium/har-ar-ikea-sa-hett-att-butiker-kor-egen-import

Change on everyone’s mind in Zimbabwe’s historical election

Article published in Göteborgsposten
30 July 2018
By Farai Mutsaka
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe is preparing for a historical election. For the first time, the inhabitants in the once flourishing country to vote without Robert Mugabe’s name on the ballot.
In November last year – during his 38th year in power – the ageing ex president was forced to leave his seat after strong pressure from the military, the own party Zanu-PF, and the general public.

Full article (in Swedish) here:
http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/f%C3%B6r%C3%A4ndring-p%C3%A5-allas-l%C3%A4ppar-i-zimbabwes-historiska-val-1.7377012

Cricket star favourite candidate in Pakistan elections

Article published in Göteborgsposten
23 July 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Pakistan. Pakistan’s former Prime Minister was recently imprisoned following a corruption scandal. A cricket star can become the new leader. GP reports from the fragile democracy preparing for elections.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kricketstj%C3%A4rna-favorittippad-i-pakistanska-valet-1.7274018

90 rape threats per minute at news agency Rappler

Article published in Feministiskt Perspektiv
1 May 2018
By Purple Romero
Photos: Fruhlein Econar

The Philippines. The news agency Rappler fights against explicit threats from the country’s president Rodrigo Duerte, and increasingly far-reaching attempts to silence them and make it impossible to work. The news agency is mainly run by women, and sexist attacks and threats are an everyday occurrence for the journalists.

Threats of rape, gang rape and murder is common for Pia Ranada, one of the agency’s journalists.

“Many of the threats and insults are personal, and the sexual threats are often visual. Some people find old photographs and use them to make ‘memes’ of me or to post insulting comments”, Ranada says.

 

The forgotten disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 April 2018
By Daniel Majack
Photos: Chol Mayak

South Sudan. The conflict in South Sudan – the youngest country in the world – is in its fifth year, and the humanitarian crisis has both intensified and expanded to unbelievable proportions.
In one of the world’s worst – and simultaneously least known – humanitarian disasters, two million people have fled abroad. They have fled mainly to the neighbouring countries Uganda (one million), Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. The same amount of people have been forced to leave their homes but are refugees within the country’s borders.

The refugees are predominantly women and children, according to the UN. The men have been swallowed up by the conflict between government forces and the armed opposition. Some have been killed; others are actively at war. Women and children have been left to flee the violence.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/den-bortgl%C3%B6mda-katastrofen-1.5676758

The queue for the bank is several days long

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
11 April 2018
By Farai Mutsaka
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has not one, but ten different currencies – and currency chaos rules the country. The days of hyperinflation might be over, but the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe this autumn, has a difficult challenge in sorting out the economy.

Outside the bank Cabs in Harare, the queue is over a kilometre. Many have brought blankets to keep warm, having spent the night. To prevent fights, security guards have given queue tickets to the first 50 people.

“The rest of you will have to see if there is cash left when you arrive” he shouts dismissively.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/har-koar-de-till-banken–i-flera-dygn

Women’s fight for divorce

Article published in Göteborgsposten
8 March 2018
By Purple Romero

The Philippines. The first time Jona’s husband hit her they had been married for eleven years. Soon the abuse became a routine, and when he started hitting the children too Jona chose to escape. But she is still married to him – the Philippines is one of only two countries in the world that does not allow divorces.

“I feel like a prisoner in this marriage”, says Jona. “I want to get a divorce but I can’t, as it’s not allowed. They say that matrimony is holy, but don’t they care about those of us who are suffering?”

The resistance comes mainly from the catholic church, which has considerable power over public opinion.The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have tirelessly opposed the attempts of legalising divorce, as they believe it would be “against family and against matrimony”. All attempts have either failed or fizzled out as the legislators don’t want to lose the support of the influential catholic bishops.

Full article (in Swedish) here:
http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/h%C3%A4r-k%C3%A4mpar-kvinnor-f%C3%B6r-att-f%C3%A5-skilja-sig-1.5337502

 

A flourishing container economy in Kenya

Article published in Göteborgsposten
15 October 2017
By Kimani Chege
Photos: Migwa Nthiga

Nairobi. Lately, shipping containers have revolutionised business in Kenya. The containers are renovated and put to new uses, such as shops, offices and homes. They are appreciated for their safety, their relatively low cost and for being reasonably easy to move.

Josphat Mwangi who sells food and household items in a refurbished container appreciates the location right behind a police station, as well as the durability. Nobody can break in, because the shipping container is made from such sturdy materials, he says.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/en-blomstrande-containerekonomi-i-kenya-1.4734156

Taliban attacks on Sufism

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
4 September 2017
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Islamabad. Over 200 people have died in suicide attacks on sufi shrines in Pakistan. The Taliban view Sufism, the mystical interpretation of Islam, as heresy and want to eradicate their way of living.

The Bari Imam temple outside of Islamabad is an important sanctuary for first and foremost sufists. 12 years ago, the temple was attacked by a suicide bomber and around 25 people were killed. The attack was the first in a string of attacks on sufi shrines. According to Center for Islamic Research Collaboration and Learning, at least 209 people have been killed and 560 injured in 29 terrorist attacks on shrines for sufi saints in Pakistan.
The last attack, in February this year, was the deadliest yet. Over 80 people lost their lives in a suicide attack in the 800 year old Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in south Pakistan, where Christians, Sikhs and Hindus also go on pilgrimage.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/en-attack-mot-hjartat-av-sufiska-tolkningen-av-islam

Obesity and malnourishment in the same country

Article published in Göteborgsposten
28 augusti 2017
By Rocio Lloret

Bolivia. In March this year, 12-year old Eva Vega Quino starved to death in the small room – previously a toilet – that she shared with her parents and five siblings. Her death shook the entire nation and made the extreme poverty many Bolivians live in visible.
“When she died we hadn’t had anything to eat for two weeks”, says Eva’s half brother Alan Quino. Alan is 19 years old, but only weighs 45 kilos and does not look older than 14.

The family lives in El Alto, close to the capital of La Paz, in a house given to the family by the state after Eva’s death.

El Alto has thousands of migrants from the countryside, and three of its districts suffer extreme poverty. According to UNICEF, 46 percent of the children in the poorest part of the population are malnourished.

 

App saves lives in Nairobi’s informal settlements

Article published in Göteborgsposten
24 August  2017
By Kimani Chege
Photos: Migwa Nthiga

Kenya. Kenya is one of the countries in the world with high mortality rates for women and children. Although the situation has steadily improved since 2004, still 510 of 100 000 women die in childbirth, according to the UN.
Grace Gathigia luckily wasn’t among them. She became a mother six weeks ago.
“It’s not easy being pregnant in an informal settlement. I’m glad I survived and gave birth to a healthy child in a clinic, and then received continuous care from local health care workers. Some of the women pregnant at the same time as me lost their children during pregnancy, or shortly thereafter”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/app-r%C3%A4ddar-kvinnor-och-barns-liv-i-nairobis-slum-1.4565884

She sews your clothes

Article published in Fönstret
15 May 2017
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Taslima Akhter

Bangladesh. Renu Begum started working in a sweatshop in Dhaka as a twelve year old, and barely remembers what her life looked like before then. She is a widow and the sole provider for her children, so she works as much as she can but on her meagre salary it is difficult to make ends meet. She has to work overtime every day.

The working days are long. Renu knows she sews clothes for many different brands but cannot read the labels. However, she can read the price tags and is amazed by how the clothes can be so expensive when her salary is so low?

Full article  (in Swedish) here: http://www.fonstret.se/Artikelarkivet/Reportage/Hon-syr-dina-klader/

Egyptian women have had enough of sexual harassment

Article published in Göteborgsposten
29 January 2017
By Nesma Nowar
Photos: Heba Adel

Egypt. A study made by UN Women and Egypt’s National Council for Women in 2013 showed that 99,3 percent of women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment in public places.

Sarah Salah, a 19-year old student, says that she daily gets sexually harassed, either on public transport or on her walk from the bus station to the university.
“I can’t handle this daily stress anymore”, she says. “It’s common that men on the crowded bus use the lack of space as an excuse to shamelessly touch intimate parts of my body.”

Sarah is scared to tell her parents about her experiences because she is worried they would stop her from going to University. Although sexual harassment happens to women across the Egyptian society, those on a lower income are more vulnerable because they rely on public transport.

“These women are often forced to stay at home because the family sees it as a way of protecting them”, says Nevine Ebeid from the women’s rights organisation New Woman Foundation. “The message from society is that women have no place in the public realm.”

Full article (in Swedish) here:
http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/egyptiska-kvinnor-har-tr%C3%B6ttnat-p%C3%A5-sexofredande-1.4134600

Armed men stormed the studio

Chronicle published in Journalisten
4 January 2017
By  Arison Tamfu

Cameroon. Cameroon’s president Paul Biya, 83, has occupied his post for 34 years and is one of most Africa’s long-lived rulers. At the beginning of 2008 he announced that he wanted to modify the constitution, implicitly securing his power hold for life. Masses of Cameroonians took to the streets to protest.

I was working at the privately owned Equinoxe Television (ETV) – one of the most popular TV channels in the country – and on February 25 I was meant to interview the leader of the opposition, Fru Ndi, about the suggested changes to the constitution.

I had barely started the interview before armed police stormed the studio and ordered the interview to stop and the TV channel to be shut down. A few weeks later, the constitution was changed to the president’s advantage.

Full article here: https://www.journalisten.se/kronika/bevapnade-man-stormade-studion 

 

People think I should be more authoritative towards my wife

Article published in Omvärlden
23 November 2016
By Rahmina Gambo

Nigeria. 47-year old Samuel Oruruo likes to cook and does not boss his wife around, something that has made many people in his surroundings question his manliness. The patriarchal structures in Nigeria are strong, but things are starting to change, he says.

“I was raised differently from how most Nigerian men are raised. I have five brothers and four sisters, and my mother didn’t treat us differently when it came to household chores; on the contrary she pushed me and my brothers to cook and clean.
In those days I didn’t understand why my mother would do that. I hated household chores, I wanted to hang out with my friends. But with time, I’ve come to realise that she wanted us to grow up to become responsible and capable of doing everything, regardless of our gender.”

Samuel says that when he got married, his in-laws and other relatives thought that he was not masculine enough, as he was not opposed to household chores. It is often women who are his loudest critics, he adds.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.omvarlden.se/Opinion/kronikor1/manga-tycker-att-jag-borde-vara-mer-auktoritar-mot-min-fru/

I encourage men to buy sanitary pads for their sisters

Article published in Omvärlden
22 November 2016
By Bhrikuti Rai
Photos: Bikram Rai

Nepal. Sabin Singh tries to break old patriarchal patterns by talking to boys and men about menstruation. Women who menstruate are often seen as unclean, and in more traditional areas they can be forced to sleep in cow manure, he says.

“I was first introduced to ideas that question traditional gender roles in Nepal when I was a teenager. In an after school club in the neighbourhood, games were based on themes related to gender roles and the importance of gender equality. Since then, I’ve participated in several programs and projects that aim to encourage gender equality at home and at the workplace. Currently I’m working with the popular Nepalese radio show ‘Saathi Sanga Manka Kura’ (in English: ‘Chatting to my best friend’) which discusses topics about growing up and becoming an adult. Gender roles is a recurring theme.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.omvarlden.se/Opinion/kronikor1/jag-uppmanar-man-att-kopa-bindor-till-sina-systrar/

A macho man is like an alcoholic

Article published in OmVärlden
21 November 2016
By Álex Ayala Ugarte
Photos: Patricio Crooker

Bolivia. Javier Badani Ruz, 41, grew up in a traditional family and was raised with macho ideas of what a man is supposed to be like. A new job and the birth of his daughters changed everything. But taking off the macho mask is like living like a sober alcoholic, he tells journalist Álex Ayala Ugarte.

“A macho man, to me, is like an alcoholic: He can recover but only if he is capable of becoming aware of his illness. For many years, I had macho traits, and it was like it was in my genes. My dad was a Don Juan his entire life. My mother comes from a very traditional family and took care of everything when I was little: She tidied my room, gave me breakfast in bed, ironed my clothes and really spoiled me.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.omvarlden.se/Opinion/kronikor1/en-machoman-ar-som-en-alkoholist/

 

More boreholes dangerous for Nairobi

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 November 2016
By Geoffrey Kamadi
Photo: Migwa Nthiga

Nairobi. Tap water in Nairobi is a very unreliable resource. In many areas water flows from the taps three days a week – but sometimes people will go without water for up to two weeks.

The lack of water means that people buy water from wandering salespeople instead – who in turn get their water from an increasing number of boreholes.  This has led to an exploitation of the city’s groundwater, which could become a big problem further down the line as there is a risk the city will start to sink and the infrastructure might become unstable.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/fler-borrh%C3%A5l-farligt-f%C3%B6r-nairobi-1.3976838

 

Zimbabwe’s youth has had enough

Article published in OmVärlden
11 October 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. The older generation has let the younger one down. Now young people are protesting in the streets and on social media to express their frustration with Robert Mugabe’s government. Widespread corruption is one of the reasons – it was recently established that diamond revenue worth £1,5 billion has just disappeared.

For the last three months different movements of upset citizens are protesting in Zimbabwe. The protests started after the young pastor Evan Mawarire’s social media post was shared across the country. Using the hashtag #ThisFlag, he encouraged Zimbabweans to hold the government responsible for the collapsed economy.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.omvarlden.se/Branschnytt/nyheter-2016/zimbabwes-unga-har-fatt-nog/

The hope of freedom has turned into anger and disappointment

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
2 October 2016
By Shahira Amin
Photos: Eman Helal

Egypt. More than five years have passed since president Mubarak was unseated in Egypt. There was hope that the revolution would lead to much wanted reforms, but today the Egyptians are as far away from democracy as they were when they took to the streets in 2011.

Today, Tahrir square – once the symbol of the Egyptian revolution – has few similarities with the public space that was occupied by tens of thousands of democracy activists in the beginning of 2011.

The hope and optimism then felt has been replaced by anger and discontentment from unfulfilled expectations. Since the unseating of the president Mohamed Morsi 2013, supported by the military, society is deeply polarised. Tens of thousands of the leaders and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are imprisoned.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/fem-ar-efter-mubarak–langt-till-frihet-och-demokrati/om/varlden

“Mugabe is the glue in the oppressive system”

Article published in Fria Tidningen
28 September 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

The last few months have seen big protests in Zimbabwe, demanding president Robert Mugabe’s resignation. We have met some of the driving forces behind the protests. “We are fighting for a fair society where financial justice, legal security, and democracy are maintained” , says Promise Mkwananzi.

For the last 2,5 months, Zimbabwe has been experiencing a wave of protests demanding Robert Mugabe’s resignation. In September, this made the authorities announce a ban on protesting – despite it being a constitutional right. That in itself is not new. Zimbabwe’s constitution guarantees democracy and a number of rights, but the juridical system is not always free to exercise its powers to enforce the laws. The authoritarian rule of Robert Mugabe and his ruling party Zanu PF means that many key state nominations are partial, especially within the juridical system.

But this time the Supreme Court went against the state and declared the ban as invalid; a real landmark for the protesting masses.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.friatidningen.se/artikel/124803

The importance of disciplining your children

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Att vara förälder (To be a parent)
19 September 2016
By Maina Wairuru
Photos: Migwa Nthiga

Kenya. Njau and Lydia Dancun  live with their four daughters in Uthiru, a suburb of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.  They work hard to make sure their children can go to school, and when it comes to raising them, discipline is the most important cornerstone.  Njau is worried about his 16-year old daughter, Wairimu, who was suspended from school for two weeks last year after skipping class.

“We really wanted to hammer it home to the girls that a lack of discipline can never be tolerated. Therefore we made sure that the principal punished them by letting them clean the school” says Njau. “Considering how hard I work to be able to pay the school fees it is not acceptable that they skive.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/disciplin-ar-viktigast-av-allt-i-uppfostran/om/att-vara-foralder

Her childhood is slipping through my fingers

Artikel publicerad i Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Att vara förälder (To be a parent)
13 September 2016
By Rocio Lloret
Photos: Patricio Crooker


Bolivia.
31-year old Alicia Muños is a  nursing assistant and single mother. To make ends meet, she works long days and has little time for her daughter. The short time they spend together are mainly filled with nagging, Alicia says, but it is her hope that one day her daughter will understand her situation.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/hennes-barndom-rinner-mig-ur-handerna/om/att-vara-foralder

Pressure to succeed

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet, from the series Att vara förälder (To be a parent)
12 September 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Taslima Akhter

Dhaka, Bangladesh. Painting is 14-year old Umayer Itmam’s passion, and if he was free to choose he would study art or architecture, but he’s obeying his mother’s wish for him to become a doctor like her. She makes sure he doesn’t “waste” his time but follows a strict study schedule.

“I have to follow a strict routine. I have a one hour break for lunch and a shower. Then I have a two hour break in the afternoon and one hour for dinner. Apart from that I have to study the whole time”, says Ummayer.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/pressad-hemifran-att-lyckas-i-livet/om/idagsidan

Resistance against Mugabe grows in Zimbabwe

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
6 September 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Harare. The last two months Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu PF have seen the loudest protests of their 36 years of rule. The reason for the protests is a frustration over the difficult financial situation and president Robert Mugabe’s politics.

“We need these protests in Zimbabwe. We’ve been quiet for too long and we’ve had enough. Hopefully this people’s movement will bring positive changes, like jobs for unemployed academics”, says 24-year old Brian Dube. He has a degree in electro engineering but makes ends meet by selling mobile phones.

But at the same time Brian is worried about how he might be affected financially. At the Copacabana market, sellers have been forced to watch their piles of second hand clothes being burnt, and last week traffic came to a standstill in the central parts of Harare after the protesting masses used stones and bins to block the roads.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/motstandet-mot-mugabe-vaxer-i-zimbabwe

Women take to the road

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 August 2016
By Ahmad Quraishi

Afghanistan. The number of female drivers is increasing in Afghanistan, 15 years after the fall of the Taliban. This is not to everybody’s liking, but is a societal right and not against islamic law. 23-year old Sadaf Fetrat says that she feels safer in her own car than in a taxi, as sexual harassment against women is common. The number of female drivers is rising steadily, but there is a fear that the taliban and other oppositional groups might use women’s driving as a term in peace negotiations with the government.

 

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