#033: Secure Your Wigs...
Secure Your Wigs...
...because if you are in Tanzania, the government is coming for it. Last week during a budget speech to parliament, Tanzanian Finance Minister, Philip Mpango, announced a 25% tax on imported wigs and extensions and a 10% levy on those made locally, in a bid to promote government revenue. Mr Mpango also reinstated value added tax (VAT) on sanitary products, stating that the previous exemption did not reduce prices of sanitary products for consumers.It is unclear why the Minister believes that knowingly charging a pink tax will improve the Tanzanian economy. Thisis not what we mean when we say that women should play a greater role in the economy.
Although seemingly trivial, this tax is yet another way to control women's bodies quite literally from head to toe. Tanzanian women are empowered enough to have autonomy over their bodies and they certainly do not need government imposition on theirownhair.
Read for:"Supporters of the tax argue that it will increase revenue and encourage women to embrace their natural hair, but detractors say it feels like a punishment for women who want to change their looks"
The Revolution will Persist
At 5am on June 3rd, the day before Eid Al-Fitr (one of two major Muslim holidays celebrated in Sudan), Sudanese Armed Forces began shooting at peaceful protestors to disperse a massive sit-in at the headquarters of the Armed Forces. This attack, led by Hemedti Dagolo, an infamous warlord, left over 200 protestors killed, over 700 injured, dozens of bodies thrown in the Nile river, dozens of women and men raped, and many children killed. The Sudanese Armed Forces shut down hospitals and began raiding the streets and peoples’ homes.
Nonetheless, the people persevered. Millions of Sudanese participated in a Civil Disobedience Campaign the first day of the following Sudanese work week where they shut down their shops, emptied the streets, and refused to pay government taxes. In retaliation, the government imposed a media blackout, cutting off internet throughout the country to prevent the revolution from spreading further. Though it is said that the campaign has officially ended, the people continue to protest and have endured over two weeks of internet blackout. We pray for the strength of the people of Sudan and center their voices and hopes for the country that must be.
Read for: "Social media users across all platforms, particularly Instagram, have taken action to raise awareness about the ongoing atrocities in Sudan, with many changing their profile images into blue in solidarity with protesters."
Misogyny in the Kenyan Parliament
Kenyan MP, Rashid Kassim Amin, has been arrested and charged with assault for slapping his female colleague, FatumaGedi, in the parliament car park in Nairobi. Mr Amin, the MP for Wajir East constituency in northeast Kenya, allegedly slapped Ms Gedi after confronting her over allocation of funds to his constituency. Another female MP told the BBC that the male MPs were mocking their female colleagues, saying "it was slapping day". Last Thursday, female MPs staged a walk-out of parliament in protest of the assault on Ms Gedi.
This shockingly loutish behavior from male MPs is intolerable - they should be properly reprimanded and Mr. Amin himself should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Read for: "I am shocked that women leaders can be attacked by none other than their male colleagues in this parliament. If we leaders are not safe, then how about our women and girls in the counties?"
Porous Borders fan Ebola Crises
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is fighting another vicious Ebola outbreak which has thus far killed over 200 people. In DRC, there has been particular difficulty managing the disease as doctors and treatment centers have been routinely attacked, while medical practitioners struggle to gain trust in local communities.
In a recent and alarming case, a Congolese family travelled to neighboring Uganda and the grandmother and her grandson subsequently died of Ebola in Uganda, the first two people in that country to do so. Due to informal paths that allow movement between the two countries, local authorities have sounded the alarm about potential further spread of Ebola in Uganda, given porous borders between DRC and Uganda. Nonetheless, Ugandan authorities have declared that they have the capacities to contain Ebola in the country. Although this is the third Ebola outbreak in the DRC, the World Health Organization has declined to declare an international public health emergency.
Read for:"Officials claim the Congolese family likely did not pass through official border points, where health workers screen all travelers for a high temperature and isolate those who show signs of illness"
-Duaa Mohamed assisted in the production of today’s issue by preparing ‘The Revolution will Persist’ – the summation on the mayhem in Sudan.
CAPE TO CAPE: Female entrepreneurs took center stage at Dakar Fashion Week; Uganda jails hundreds of men for sex offenses against women and girls; Kenya's high court has established a landmark ruling on safe abortion and women's reproductive rights
You Should Know
McKinsey Healthcare Group: Women in the Healthcare Industry
International Institute for Environment and Development: Steering gender to the centre of the blue economy
Social Science & Medicine: Women who break the rules: Social exclusion and inequities in pregnancy and childbirth experiences in Zambia
Business Roll Call
Shirley Machaba has been appointed as new CEO of PwC Southern Africa - effective July 1
Barloworld Limited, a major industrials company, has appointed Nopasika Lila as Group Finance Director