By Aimable Twahirwa

KIGALI, Jul 26 (IPS) - Rwanda is the first country in the world where women outnumber men in parliament, with women occupying 45 out of 80 seats. However, despite this, experts say that the country still needs a gender equality perspective on how national resources and programmes are implemented.

"The move will help ensure government spending addresses the needs of women and men equitably," said Susan Mutoni, referring to the situation in Rwanda. Mutoni is the project coordinator of gender responsive budgeting in Rwanda’s ministry of finance and economic planning.

By Nnaemeka Meribe and Gbenga Adeniji

Thursday, 16 Dec 2010

A comparative analysis of Nigerian legislators‘ earnings and those of other countries reveals that the former can pay many of their counterparts in other countries and still remain very rich,  Nnaemeka Meribe and Gbenga Adeniji write.

An Indian lawmaker needs to work for at least 49 years to earn the annual salary of a Nigerian senator. A lawmaker in India earns $23,988 (N3.7m) per annum while a Nigerian senator earns $1.2m (N182m) per annum. A monthly breakdown shows that while an Indian lawmaker earns $1,999 (N305, 058) per month, a Nigerian senator earns $ 99,167(N15.18m) per month.

In his piece CBN and Sharia Banking (The Guardian 16 June 2011), Lateef Adegbite abjectly misunderstands the meaning of secularism. Nigeria is a secular nation not a multi-religious one. And it is precisely because of its secularism that makes its multi-religious character possible. Think of it this way: no Muslim would want a church to be built on a land they have consecrated to be their holy ground even though the church is also a holy place. And no Christian would want traditional worshippers to practice in their church. The space which made it possible to build churches, mosques, shrines in their respective places without infringing on the other’s holy grounds is the secular space. The more secular a space is, the easier for religions to coexist. A completely multi-religious setting guarantees that one religion is always infringing on the space of the other.

By Chief Femi Fani-Kayode

April 7, 2011

I do not mean any offence to Nigerian women by asking the question that I am about to ask or by making the assertions that I am about to make in this note. However this is an important question that I have not been able to answer myself for a number of years even though I have tried my best to do so. And the question is as follows. What precisely is it about Igbo women that have made them excel in public office, business, politics, the arts, the sciences, religion, leadership and social activism in just the last 12 years when compared to their counterparts from other parts of our country?

Professor Cheikh Thiam of Department of African American and African Studies, and Department of French and Italian speaks about violence, Africa, and perception in preparation of the upcoming ISAPS conference (The International Society for African Philosophy and Studies) at Ohio State University on April 17-20, 2011.

By Ahmad Ghashmari

221pp. Heinemann. $12. ISBN: 0-435-90026-9. 1966

Flora Nwapa is the first Nigerian female novelist to be published. Her first novel, Efuru, was published by Heinemann in London in 1966. Although it came out to be a well written book with a profound message, the novel did not receive the attention it deserves; unlike novels written at that time by African male writers like Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong'o, who both were also published by Heinemann. Efuru is a portrayal of life in the Igbo culture, especially women's life. Set in the village of Oguta, where Nwapa herself lived, the novel tells the story of an independent-minded woman named Efuru. She is a woman who becomes a role model and a catalyst for change in her own society. Despite her success, brightness and wealth, she is unable to have a lasting marriage or give birth to children like other women in her village. She marries twice, but both marriages failed. She gives birth to one daughter who died. But even though, Efuru remains firm and strong, maintaining very successful and prosperous business and standing as a perfect example of generosity, intelligence, and care among her peers.

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