Domestic Violence: Does the African Context Demand a Different Approach?

By: Victoria Breyer How does the context of domestic violence in Africa differ from the United States? Even with severe underreporting in African countries, they have a larger amount of domestic violence. This could be due to “the persistence of formal notions of women as property” or background conditions such as poverty, economic devastation, social transition, and the state&rsquo... Read More

Mali: Facts on Gender based violence and Female Genital Mutilation

By: Emi Watanabe Mali is located in Western Africa and has been struggling with political instability since 2012 after an armed conflict in northern Mali. This conflict has led to cases of “rape and other forms of gender based violence (GBV)”(USAID 2014).  Starting at the age of 15, about 4 in 10 women (38%) experienced physical violence, which was “mainly inflicted by... Read More

Cote D’Ivoire: Engaging men in women's social and economic empowerment programming

By Emi Watanabe: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global health concern affecting the health of women worldwide. Côte D’Ivoire is one of the many countries where IPV is prevalent and affecting women’s health negatively. Women’s perspective on IPV is an important aspect to consider and many programs target women in their interventions, but it is also important to cons... Read More

What is normal? Belief systems & history’s role on Intimate Partner Violence in Liberia

By Emi Watanabe: The beliefs about gender in Liberia are dichotomous; there is a strong belief about gender norms and roles of men and women in the country. 87% of respondents believed that “men and women are not equal partners in marriage in Liberia” and 96% “reported men have more power” than women.  The respondents consisted of Christians and Muslims, therefor... Read More

Stigma & HIV: Reflections from the Field

         by Kathryn Baughman Stigma continues to deliver a shattering blow to the prevention and effective treatment of HIV.  It has only recently been brought into the limelight as a major contributor to the persistent rates of HIV in already marginalized communities across our fine Nation.  In 1996, I joined the AmeriCorps providing respite ca... Read More

Ghana: Stats on Domestic Violence

By Victoria Breyer: Women are the subject of daily abuse in Ghana, where one in three women have been physically abused by their most recent partner. This high incidence might be explained by the cultural “belief in the inherent superiority of men, and the acceptance of violence as a means of resolving conflicts within relationships.” A study also found that it was "not uncommo... Read More

On Internally Displaced Persons in Sierra Leone; War-Relatd Sexual Violence

By Emi Watanabe: Sierra Leone experienced a civil war between 1991-2002 resulting in war-related sexual violence and human rights violations, mostly due to the actions of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). A proportion of the population that was affected by the war and inhumane acts against civilians includes Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Sierra Leone.  According to a cross... Read More

Impact of Education & Financial Independence on Domestic Violence in Ghana

By Victoria Breyer: In Ghana, there are several organizations that help victims of abuse, such as WAJU, NCWD, FIDA, WISE, and the Ark Foundation. In Ghana, violence against women takes many forms, including widow inheritance, widowhood rites, Trokosi, and female genital mutilation. Culture plays a significant role in the perpetuation of gender violence, as the patriarchal structure of Ghanaian ... Read More

Mapping Vulnerable Populations

There are a number of innovative ways to visualize infrastructure development challenges and opporutnities for improving citizen quality of life. Really like this interesting article on mapping Quality of Life dimensions in Nigeria. It is important to ensure that when developing community mapping platforms that attention to appropriate Phsyical, Economic, and Social concerns are captured. This is ... Read More

Soak Up the Sun and Save Money

Renewable energy products have demonstrated their relevance as central to energy security in the 21st century. Due to increasing environmental awareness, lower costs of technology, and a friendly policy climate; solar and wind energy markets have rapidly expanded in innovative and dynamic ways.  Louisiana currently offers some of the best renewable energy credits of any state in the countr... Read More

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