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:


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:

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

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.




Agriculture hit hard by El Niño

Article published in Göteborgsposten
8 August 2016
By Purple Romero
Photos: Veejay Villafranca

The Philippines. The province of Isabela in the Philippines has been badly affected by the weather phenomenon El Niño, and worst hit is the city of Cabagan.
“It’s never been this bad”, says Dominga Bucag who, despite the warnings, decided to grow corn. “The crops didn’t even survive through April”

El Niño doesn’t exist because of climate change, but its effect is enhanced by the fact that climate change brings heat. Isabela’s 85 000 corn farmers were doubly hit because of a combination of two weather phenomena: As well as El Niño, the province was hit by the typhon Melor, which caused massive amounts of flooding.


Dispute over new wind park

Article published in Göteborgsposten
12 June 2016
By Geoffrey Kamadi

Kenya. In the far away region of Marsabit County, 365 wind turbines are being installed. The project, named Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) is to be ready in 2017 and is estimated to produce 310 megawatts yearly, adding 15-20 percent to Kenya’s electricity production.

The cost is mostly covered by government funded Scandinavian investors, with the aim of furthering development, and it is presented as the largest private investment in the history of Kenya. But the locals who live where the wind park is planned are upset. 150 000 acres have been leased to realise the park, and the land is owned by local communities.


Climber crushes gender norms

Article published in  Fria Tidningen
27 May 2016
By Bhrikuti Rai
Photos: Bikram Rai

Nepal. Despite Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita being  very a experienced mountain climber, it wasn’t until she won a prestigious National Geographic award that most Nepalese people heard of her. Nepal is home of 8 out of the world’s 14 summits over 8000 metres, so mountain climbing is a significant sport – albeit very male dominated. Pasang Lhamu is adamant about challenging the gender related stereotypes and making her mark within the sport.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.fria.nu/artikel/123346


Women violently punished

Article published in Expressen
16 May 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Prabir Das /  Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin / Taslima Akhter

Bangladesh. Sara Hossain has been a solicitor at the Supreme Court in Bangladesh since 1992, and she is one of the strongest voices against ingrained patriarchal structures within the country’s juridical system.

Earlier this year, she was awarded the International Women of Courage Award from the American Foreign Office for her achievements. One of the reasons for her nomination was her victory in her fight against the fatwa, a religious decree issued by muslim scholars and often used in village courts to motivate violence against women. Through the fatwas, women are publicly punished for things like rape, infidelity, and extramarital pregnancies. The punishments range from shaving the woman’s hair off and social exclusion to whipping and stoning.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.expressen.se/geo/sa-straffas-kvinnor-med-piskrapp-och-avrakat-har–sara-hossain-leder-kampen-mot/

Israel and Palestine threaten press freedom

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016

By Nizar Habash
Photos: Ziad Sabbah

Israel/Palestine. The attacks on journalists are increasing in the occupied territories in Palestine. There are no laws that guarantee the right to information, and journalists are constantly worried about getting harmed or arrested.

There are over 400 Israeli checkpoints on the West Bank. Journalists are frequently searched, and Palestinian media coverage is often denied by the Israeli forces.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.svd.se/journalister-pressas-fran-tva-hall

Sexual harassment and threats against journalists in Zimbabwe

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. During the colonial era of Zimbabwe, laws were established to prevent journalists from reporting on government violence. The current government uses similar tools to gag the country’s media, 36 years after independence. 

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/koloniala-lagar-lagger-munkavle-pa-pressen

Terror after wave of brutal killings in Bangladesh

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Taslima Akhter

 Roopban is the first magazine for HBTQ people in Bangladesh, and its headquarters has turned into a murder scene. The 25 April, Roopban’s editor Xulhas Mannan and his friend Tanay Majumdar were murdered and dismembered. The local militia group Ansar al-Islam, who is said to have connections to al-Qaida, have claimed responsibiity for the murders. Their motivation being that Xulhus and Tanay worked to promote homosexuality.

Full article (in Swedish) here:: http://www.svd.se/skracken-vem-star-nast-pa-tur


Journalists risk prison for criticising politicians

Article published in Svenska dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Jorge Riveros Cayo
Photos: Yayo Lopez

In Peru it’s become clear that a democratic regime doesn’t automatically mean protection of press freedom. Two court cases show how old laws against criminal slander is used to punish critical journalists.

In April Fernando Valencia, journalist and former editor of the daily newspaper Diario 16, was sentenced to a 20 months provisory prison sentence and a 100 000 soles (£23 500) fine to Peru’s former President Alan Carcía. García sued Valencia for slander for a headline in 2013.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/fortalslagar-hotar-strypa-pressfriheten

Time for Peru to choose its path

Article published in Göteborgsposten
10 April 2016
By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos: Martin Mejia

Peru. The Presidential election is coming up in Peru, and it looks like it will be a tight race, with Keiko Fujimori in the lead. She’s the daughter of the previous president Alberto Fujimori, who at present is serving a 24 year long prison sentence for corruption and crimes against human rights.

Keiko Fujimori has had around 30 percent of the votes in the polls, but the last few months that number has increased to 40 percent, which means she has a big chance at winning the election in the first round. But her father’s history means a lot of people are upset she might become the president.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/dags-f%C3%B6r-peru-att-v%C3%A4lja-v%C3%A4g-1.185221

Tough for poor people with diabetes

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 April 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. Today, the World Health Day focuses on diabetes. In Zimbabwe HIV/Aids receives more support, but almost as many are estimated to have diabetes. For poor people it is a challenge keeping the illness in check.

“To be a diabetic doesn’t mean that life is over, but it is a diagnosis that is testing both financially and emotionally”, says Betty Mapuranga, 57. She lives in Warren Park, one of the poorest areas of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

In Zimbabwe, 72 percent of the population lives on less than 1,25 dollars per day. Diabetics such as Betty Mapuranga has a difficult time managing the problem of costs related to medicines and healthy foods.
“I’ve had to give a lot of things up because of this illness”, she says.


Young women are stopping child marriages

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
7 March 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha

Zimbabwe. Child marriages are common in Zimbabwe, despite being against the constitution.  When Ruvimbo Tsopotsa was 15 years old, her father forced her to marry a man who went on to abuse her. Ruvimbo turned to the constitutional court to repeal the  marriage and was successful. Now child marriages may be stopped. 

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/unga-kvinnor-stoppar-barnaktenskap-i-zimbabwe

Towards a fifth term

Article published in Göteborgsposten
17 February 2016
By Richard Kavuma
Photos: Samson Baranga / Benon Herbert Oluka

Uganda. Tomorrow Uganda holds elections, and most signs indicate that the sitting head of state, Yoweri Museveni, is heading for a fifth term. However, organisations concerned with human rights issues warn that the calm in the country is false.

In previous elections, both courts and the opposition has claimed that the elections were neither free nor fair, but in favour of the ruling party. This time opposition groups have been talking about forming citizen armies to protect those voting, something that can be interpreted as a call to confrontation.


Six have been killed since the fall of Mubarak

Article published in Journalisten
22 December 2015
By Shahira Amin

Egypt. For many years, Shahira Amin worked as a news anchor and reporter for the English speaking public service channel. When the protests came in 2011, she resigned.

“For the first time in my 30 year long career I felt truly free.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.journalisten.se/kronika/sex-har-dodats-sedan-mubaraks-fall

Polio is getting eradicated

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 December 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Islamabad. At the health clinic in the G-9 district of Islamabad, free polio vaccine is given in drips. Doctor Zeenat Mahtab says that a lot of people refuse the drops because of rumours and false information spread by the taliban.

“It is rumoured that the polio vaccine causes infertility in children and that it makes them sick. Now we’ve finally been able to get religious leaders to publicly state that there are no issues with the polio drips and that they actually are very important for a child’s health”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/nu-%C3%A4r-polion-p%C3%A5-v%C3%A4g-bort-1.179351

Bumpy road to equality for Tunisia’s women

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
9 December 2015
By Shahira Amin
Photos: Anis Mili

Tunisia. The network Tha’era is an organisation working to promote democracy and women’s political engagement.
“There needs to be a shift in the way both women and men think”, says Ommezine Khelifa.

Before the revolution Ommezine Khelifa, engineer and policital activist, had a top job in the finance sector in France. But since the Arab Spring 2011, she’s back in Tunisia.
“When I heard about the protests in Tunisia I didn’t think twice, but packed my bags. I clearly felt that I had a part to play in the movement for change”, says Ommezine.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/knagglig-vag-mot-jamlikhet-for-tunisiens-kvinnor/om/idagsidan

Why is there a shortage of water?

Artikel published in Forskning & Framsteg
22 November 2015
By Munyaradzi Makoni

Africa has a fast growing population of over a billion people, and the access of fresh drinking water is a growing challenge. In the tropical countries with much precipitation, river water is often used. In North Africa where the climate is dry, the groundwater plays a crucial part. But despite a healthy supply of groundwater, only a small part of what’s available is actually being used.

Forskning & Framsteg have spoken to the Ethiopian scientist Tamiru Abiya, who has monitored the water situation for almost 30 years and now works at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://fof.se/tidning/2015/10/artikel/varfor-ar-det-vattenbrist#overlay=tidning/2015/10/artikel/varfor-ar-det-vattenbrist

Climate change threatens the Kalash people

Article published in Göteborgsposten
15 November 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan

Pakistan. “What choice do I have? This is the only piece of fertile land I own, even if it’s covered in blocks of stone right now. I must get it in order so I can plant my crops”,  says Mohd Faizi, a villager from Ayun in the Chitral district, whilst removing stones and digging in the sand covering his corn fields and fruit orchards.

Chitral has been badly affected by floods the last few years – especially in 2010 when all of Pakistan was hit – but the extent of this year’s flooding is unprecedented. Normally the monsoon never reaches Chitral, and many experts say that the floodings are because of climate change.



Blind football commentator

Article published in Perspektiv
29 October 2015
Av Didier Bikorimana

Rwanda.  A big part of what you can hear on the radio in Rwanda is about sport, it could be a report from the English Premier League, or a discussion about who the world’s greatest football player is. You may be listening toLéonidas Ndayisaba’s voice. He’s 35 years old, an appreciated sports commentator – and he’s blind.

“I’ve always enjoyed listening to football on the radio. It’s probably about the atmosphere and the commentators’ passion and choice of words”, he says.

Léonidas uses Braille in his work and listens a lot to the radio himself. During the live reports of big football games he usually works with a seeing colleague who comments the games. Léonidas jumps in with statistics, player profiles, and other details that help making the reports fuller and more interesting.

In 2008, the National University of Rwanda started accepting students with low vision for the first time in 45 years. It was in line with the country’s policy of “education for all”.


Nigeria’s young, smart agripreneurs

Article published in Forskning & Framsteg
8 October 2015
By Jackie Opara

Nigeria. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Africa has the youngest population in the world. Sixty percent are between 15 and 24 years old. In many African countries, the population increases more rapidly than in the rest of the world, which means an increased demand for food. Meanwhile, sixty percent of the world’s fertile but uncultivated land can be found in Africa.

This has meant that many African countries are trying to attrac young people to become “agripreneurs”, a merge of “agriculture” and “entrepreneur”. It refers to young people who love farming and approach it with a business mind.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://fof.se/tidning/2015/9/artikel/nigerias-unga-smarta-agriprenorer#overlay=tidning/2015/9/artikel/nigerias-unga-smarta-agriprenorer

There’s enough love for more than immediate family

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
8 September 2015
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Amilrul Rajiv

Dhaka. Bedom Warsi and his family share their house with three of Bedom’s siblings and their families. The house is also home to their 80-year old father, who is a learned man within Sufism, a spiritual branch of Islam.
“When you grow up like this, you learn to love the extended part of your family just as much as your nuclear one. Whose brother and cousin is whose doesn’t really matter”, says Bedom.

The whole family are sufists. Bedom was the only one among the siblings interested to take over as a spiritual leader after the father, and like him, he has disciples all over the country.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/att-vara-familj-ar-att-finnas-for-varandra/om/familjeliv-i-varlden

Concerns over new mine

Article published in Göteborgsposten
23 August 2015
By Jorge Riveros Cayo

Peru. The planning of a new copper mine in Tía María is the latest in a string of conflicts around mines and environment in southern Peru. Local farmers are worried the mine will contaminate the water and their land. At the same time, mining is an important income source for Peru.


Prepared for a new disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
16 August 2015
By Maria Elena Hurtado
Photos: Joaquin Elgueta

Chile. In the evening on the 1st of April the lights suddenly went out in 52-year old teacher Cecilia Araya’s house in northern Chile. The floorboards started shaking and windows shattered – she knew exactly what was happening.

-Three minutes later, the local authorities sent out an earthquake and tsunami warning via phones, TV and the local radio stations. The sirens along the coast urged people to go inland, Cecilia remembers.



The wounds are still not healed

Article published in Göteborgsposten
3 August 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan

Pakistan.  “Eight children and four teachers died in this school”, says Mehmooda Gilliani, vice principal for a girl’s school in Muzaffarabad.

Ten years ago, the region was struck by an earthquake measuring 7,6 on the Richter scale. Muzafarrabad was close to the epicentre of the earthquake, and of the 75 000 people killed in Pakistan, 35 000 were children, crushed under concrete when their schools collapsed.


The silent war of the Amazon

Article published in Göteborgsposten
2 May 2015
By Ana Aranha

Brazil. The Brazilian government is planning to build a hydroelectric facility on the land of the indigenous munduruku people, something that has made the mundurukus declare war.

“Let the government come, we will fight till our death”, says Maria Leusa Cosme Kaba Munduruku. She is a 28-year old mother of four and respected by her people as a leader and warrior.

The hydro power project in the Amazon was started when the sitting president Dilma Rouseff was the mine and energy minister. She claimed that hydroelectric powers would play a strategic part in the promised acceleration and growth of Brazil.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/det-tysta-kriget-i-amazonas-1.121189

Ging has fought for LGBTQ rights for fifteen years

Article published in Fria Tidningen
24 July 2015

By Purple Romero

The Philippines. For fifteen years Ging Cristobal has fighted for LGBTQ people’s rights and for laws against discrimination in the Philippines. She tells us about life as a lesbian and the fight in a country that slowly gets better.

Ging Cristobal grew up in the southern Philippines with her family. When she realised she was a lesbian she didn’t even know what to call herself.

“I couldn’t imagine that a lesbian woman could have a family or be successful, I was scared there was no future for me.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.fria.nu/artikel/118335

Back home and safe from the violence

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
9 May 2015

By Sergio Cruz

When Katerin Malespí was 14 she left her home to go and live with a man twice her age. When the relationship ended four years later, she returned to her childhood home with a baby in her arms.

“I felt totally ruined and didn’t want the neighbours to see me. But there was nowhere else I could go. I’m deeply grateful that my mother welcomed me with open arms”, says Katerin.

Katerin’s relationship ended due to violence. In Nicaragua, men’s violence against women is common. In order to escape, women often have to move back home or find a new husband. The responsibility for the children usually falls on the women. Katerin’s 41-year old mother Carmen Torres has four children with three different men. Her relationships  were characterised by the men’s violence and their excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/har-hos-mamma-slipper-jag-valdet/om/familjeliv-i-varlden