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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Call For Chapter Proposals: Book Project on Patriarchy and Gender in Africa

Globally, males disproportionately predominate leadership roles and exert power in diverse forms of social systems and institutions. Patriarchy, the supremacy of fatherhood whereby women and children rely totally on male line, is entrenched in many societies around the world. Differential enjoyment of rights and dignity predetermined for women and men, based on their social, cultural and legal disposition, typify gender inequality. Patriarchy and gender inequality are two important but complex and debatable issues facing the African continent today. Argued to be the main cause of gender inequality, patriarchy plagues Africa in spite of immense progress made in the last two decades to address the prolonged impacts of gender injustice and male dominance. On the occasion of the 15thanniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, we announce a call for chapter proposals to critically analyze the situation of girls and women in Africa. To assess the state, role and impact of patriarchy and gender inequality on African girls and women, we seek broad themes of Patriarchy and Gender. We welcome papers from all disciplines that address the following, but not limited to: 
  • the roots and foundations of patriarchy and gender in different societies and cultures in Africa;
  • the expressions of femininities and masculinities in religion (e.g., African Traditional Religion, Christian, Islam and others);
  • power relations among, between and within the sexes;
  • traditional and non-traditional roles of gender;
  • issues of domestic, family and personal violence;
  • various social factors affecting patriarchal and gender institutions;
  • issues of gender identities, gender expressions, gender relations, and gender roles;
  • inter-connections between patriarchy, gender inequality, and violent extremism in Africa;
  • existing gaps and opportunities for policy, law and social reform in gender justice; and
  • empirical research and case studies on regional and sub-regional best practices and solutions to addressing patriarchy and gender inequality. 
Other issues related to patriarchy and gender are most welcome with particular regard to an examination of major issues relevant to the above themes for the purpose of contributing to deeper understanding of patriarchy and gender inequality, as well as, developing long-term solutions to the problem at stake.

Guided by the core objectives of the African Studies Research Forum (ASRF), we aim for a comprehensive coverage of the African continent in our search for well-researched papers to generate knowledge on reforming discriminatory laws, benefitting human-centered public policies, promoting best practices, harnessing research rigor, and expanding academic scholarship beyond the African continent. Selected papers will be published under “The ASRF’s Book Series.”

Submission Guidelines
Chapter Proposal: All chapter proposal must contain the following: i) topic (12 words maximum), ii) name, iii) institutional affiliation, iv) a brief description of the chapter (300-500 words maximum), and v) keywords (a maximum of five). 
Submission Deadline: 30 September 2018
First Chapter Draft: 31 December 2018
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Submit chapter proposal to egodi.uchendu@unn.edu.ng and fynnbruv@seattleu.edu

Journal of Internal Displacement-IDMC Special Issue: Call For Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS
‘Getting to 2030: The Future of Internal Displacement and Sustainable Development’
Special Issue January 2019

The internal displacement of millions of people every year is a human tragedy, as well as a political, social and economic challenge for many countries across the globe. It is increasingly recognised that large-scale, protracted internal displacement is often underpinned by problematic development trajectories, and that long-term displacement has a significant, if still unquantified, impact on national and regional economies, stability and security. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gives express attention to internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a vulnerable group not to be left behind. Moreover, internal displacement cuts across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), meaning that failing to address the realities of internal displacement risks holding back or even reversing progress on achieving those goals. Yet, while the negative impacts of internal displacement can hamper national progress, the evidence for how this plays out remains fragmented, and systematic studies are scant.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. A number of initiatives and events are celebrating this important milestone by taking stock of the progress made over the last two decades. While reflection is of course crucial, we must also look to how we take the internal displacement agenda forward, beyond 2018, building on what has been achieved to date. Towards this aim, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is hosting a conference in Geneva in October 2018, for which it has published a call for abstracts inviting contributions that explore the relationship between internal displacement and sustainable development. For its next issue, the Journal of Internal Displacement (JID) is collaborating with the IDMC to build on the outcomes from the conference, as well as inviting additional contributions that explore how internal displacement concerns fit into national and global sustainable development efforts and the UN prevention agenda. 

Paper themes: 
To address the identified knowledge gaps, lessons on the relationship between internal displacement and the SDGs are sought from a range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, migration and mobility studies, economics, human rights, human geography, health and political sciences, law, and area studies. By inviting contributions from across the globe, and from differing socio-economic and governance contexts, this Special Issue will unpack what it actually means to integrate internal displacement into national and regional development planning today and into the future.

Paper submissions are specifically welcome on the following themes: 
  • the impact of internal displacement on long-term educational and employment outcomes; 
  • the effect of protracted displacement on economic growth and inequality; 
  • the interplay between sudden-onset disasters, slow-onset impacts arising from climate  change, and internal displacement; 
  • the nature of access to justice and state accountability barriers faced by IDPs; 
  • the challenges of collecting and aggregating data to support planning, as well as the prevention of internal displacement; 
  • the existing gaps and opportunities for financing; and 
  • case studies of instances where national and local authorities have integrated internal displacement into planning. 

Beyond these themes, papers that present further relevant lessons under the SDGs are welcome, as are papers that explore any other aspects of the relationship between internal displacement, sustainable development and prevention. 

Submission guidelines: 
  • Manuscripts must be submitted to internaldisplacement@gmail.com no later than Thursday 8 November 2018. 
  • Manuscripts must be a maximum of 30 pages (i.e. approximately 15,000 words including references). Further author guidelines are provided here. 

-->Please direct all questions on the JID Special Issue to Ben Hudson (Assistant Editor) at internaldisplacement@gmail.com. All questions specific to the IDMC conference should be directed to bina.desai@idmc.ch and christelle.cazabat@idmc.ch. For more information, visit: JID.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Gender Inequality in Global Political Leadership

Hello Everyone! I know what you're thinking: it's been way too long. Yes indeed I've not kept up with my once-per month post. I am simply overwhelmed with so much. Please hear me out. I wrote eight exam papers and completed submission of two dissertations (LLB and PhD) in 2016. Trust me, it was not an easy feat. But guess what? I did it!!! YEAH! And now that the LLB is done and I am almost done with the PhD, research, book publication, conference, and journal article review requests started to literally crash in on me. Well, it is all good,  but just busy.

OK, like most people around the world, I was also immersed into the US elections for obvious reasons. In the wee hours of 8 November 2016, I sat on the couch, resting my head on the shoulders of my husband with tears running down my cheeks as I watched the results of the election. Initially, I had anticipated being a living part of two great histories, i.e., to see the first Black President and the first Female President elected in the US. It hurt then and still hurts with every news and tweets larking around on Donald Trump

As I thought about topics to share on my block the global trend of rejected female leadership in politics became obvious. Each day as I introspect and think critically about social justice and equality issues, I wonder why females in leadership face ongoing challenges especially from men. Then, I started to familiarise myself with more information on these political leaders in relation to Hillary Clinton's loss of the US presidency to Trump: Dilma Rossef, President of Brazil (2011-2016), Park Geun-Hye (President of South Korea 2013-2017), Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (President of Mauritius (2015-2018) versus Jacob Zuma (president of South Africa 2009-2018) and Rodrigo Duterte, (President of the Philippines 2016-present).

I am constantly abhorred by some Americans narrow view and lack of ability to think critically about Obama's leadership. Even when there seems to be some level of objective assessment of Trump's insanity, still he and the GOP will find a way to always blame President Obama for every political problem in America. Sometimes, it is ridiculous and nonsensical how far some of these vitriolic spew can go. But for the ability to exercise independent research and examination, I wonder the fate of all those who gulp down junk media in a zombie-like fashion. Such toxic hatred definitely spilled over to inherent dislike of Clinton and the most powerful democratic nation mockery of gender equality. Well, at this point, the only logical conclusion as to why women are so fiercely examined and discriminated against by men primarily boils down to their gender. The patriarchal and paternalistic world over, men will stop at nothing to ensure they continue to assert power and control over women. But, not for too long, especially with increasing rise in women's voices.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Comments: The New Jim Crow Online Documentary

I find that comments made online in response to a You-Tube video, a news article or whatever are awash with hate, racism, and insults. So, if there is one place I exercise the most restraint, it is making comments online. However, nine months ago, I watched The New Jim Crow Online Documentary and felt the need to respond to two comments made by HG and TR:

HG: I'm a white man, from the west coast, of lower middle class means. I live in a wealthy area with hardly any African Americans. That is due to a certain level of racism. I get that. Police routinely harass black men just because they can. That is racism. I understand that. Prisons are disproportionately filled with black men when we all know that white men commit many crimes as well. That is injustice. I believe that. We have a serious problem in this country. Overall, black men trail other races in the area of income level. That is something that desperately needs to change. I watched this video because I care, and I despise racism. Having stated all of that, I have a serious question. When I was in university, I saw that African Americans were extremely underrepresented. There were many White, Hispanic, and Asian people of both sexes, but very few African Americans working toward their university degree. Why? What can we do to change that? There are many African Americans in the metropolitan area of Southern California where I live, but they are not educated as well as the other races. We have a high population of incarceration and a low level of education. That is very troublesome. I was a substitute teacher from 2003-2005. In my own professional opinion, the students who had recently immigrated from Africa were much more enthusiastic about their education than African Americans. What can we do to change that? Vietnamese people started to immigrate to the USA on a massive scale in 1975. They were poor, could not speak English, and lived in the ghettos of America. Yet, they escaped the ghettos while other races continue to languish in those ghettos. Why? What can we do to bring the level of education and income of African American men up to those of White men, or even Asian men? If that were to happen, it would certainly get rid of some of the injustices that we have seen in this documentary.

TR: Read the bell curve. What MSM and the apologists fail to mention is that nobody makes anybody commit a crime. That's voluntary behavior. The FBI DOJ crime stats separate black n white criminals. BUT ... included in white category are Latinos. If you were to separate the whites from latinos in the stats provided then white criminals diminish substantially and what you have is hi brown n black crime. Why? Education n work ethic. Simple.

My response was:
+HennaGaijin: Thanks for your humility, sincerity and respect. 

+tomas rader: I respectfully beg to differ. Reductionist theories can be dangerous, simplistic and downright uncritical; so that it lacks any room from substantial inclusive debates. To completely disregard such complex intergenerational history of subjugation, colonialism, trauma, slavery,  and everything else shoved down the unfair avenues of Blacks in America; only to reduce their predisposition to "apparently" high crime prevalence rates as a matter of choice, in my view, is naive, ignorant and condescending. A sophisticated introspective mind always tend to offer an opportunity for genuine learning exchange. Complicated issues in life and the intertwining conditions and factors could make one person prune to say "committing" a crime (or not). (Note my careful use of inverted commas on "apparently" and "committing" - go figure). 

HennaGaijin: now to attempt a response to your question (because I don't have the answer) , I think your current geographical location might partly explain the low representation of African Americans in your particular university. If you must know, I am not an African American, but I am Black from Africa. I'm a sucker for education. I have attended world-class universities on at least 4 continents on the globe. Most often than not, I'm the only black person in my class or program or one of very few. Again, this is partly due to where I have chosen to go to school. Notwithstanding, if you were to visit (for example) Howard, Spelman, or Morehouse universities, your observation will certainly be different.

Immediately after I posted my comments, TR reacted:
+Fynn Bruey: So lets take a look at tye cradle of civilization whete white men had very minor interactions wuth the heathens. Africa today. Your PC mindset will eventually get tou or someone you live killed, robbed, raped, or worse ... loose their very soul to rap. Nature or nurtures been bullshit from its inception .... like keeping it real keeps me alive and aware. I don't source from MSM or a doctorates thesis read online ... I go back to hardcover texts that taught and didn't indoctrinate. They ceased to exist after the fourth global warming climate change hoax ... greenhouse effect circa 1976. I only trust math now ... it can't lie or have a funding agenda. 

Then, that of DE's six months ago:
+Fynn Bruey: Well if intergenerational history of subjugation continues after the subjugation then something is the matter.

Alas, six hours ago, I woke up to a message in my inbox that SB has left a comment:
SB: The actual truth is hard to swallow. There is a disparity on the average IQ of different racial groups in America as follows: Blacks

Well, as I said earlier, I refuse to be dragged into a fit of rage and anger where much needed energy is wasted on frivolous arguments that usually lead to hate, racial slurs and insults. But I thought, since this is my critical thinking space, I could briefly respond to SB's comments here. Question! Why would anyone try to compare Asian-Americans to African-Americans regarding IQ test scores and incarceration rates? I guess it is easy to do, especially when it does not require much thinking/researching. Notwithstanding, here are three points SB and other could consider. One, IQ test scores are not reliable. Two, none of the 12.5 million Africans in 20,528 voyages across the Atlantic for almost 315 years were Asians. Three, the last time I checked, there was no law ever passed in the US to prevent Asian-American from acquiring education.

I could go on, but let me leave you with a message I read from a presentation made by Jeannine Bell at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans early June -- a message a White person delivered to a Black family who recently moved into a so-called "White neighbourhood" in Chicago:

We don't know if you have realized this, but you and your family are niggers. We, as members of the white society, do not down the idea of having niggers living in our community. We are not happy to see our property values plummet to an all-time low. We have worked hard to bring up our property value with strict community restrictions. Since the real estate appraisers have learned that niggers live in our communities, we lost thousands of dollars on the resale to the nigger section in town, to another state or community, or to Africa where you really belong.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yet Another Trek

I know, I know, I know...it's been almost a year. I have been neglectful in keeping up with my monthly postings. It's been an interesting journey in the last nine months: from successfully completing the final milestone of my PhD in August 2015, to returning to Liberia to present findings of the dissertation before completing it (almost there) and delving into new research and teaching opportunities. In early June, I presented at the Law and Society Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans. Now, that was a real experience, not just of NOLA's wonderful food and friendly culture but certainly getting a glimpse of the reality of former slaves who returned to Liberia in the early 1800s. These days, I have been inhaling "hateful" toxins exuding out of America's election. You bet I certainly have my perspectives...you will soon find out.

I can't thank you enough for your continuous visits to my blog!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Long Hiatus

GOSH in deed, new year came and 8 months have passed by. It is truly something to strive for completing a full PhD with enormous amount of empirical data in 2.5 years. Uh Huh! I know I am crazy. But there is nothing for nothing. You have to give something to have something. Please accept my sincere apologies for the long silence. Thanks for continuous reading and viewing...almost 16,000 hits now. I'm humbled.

No doubt that "the writing hiatus" is filled with bouts of highs and lows. Albeit, the most important thing is to keep the pace, reduce distractions and aim for the end-point. Speaking of "lows", two days ago I was embroiled with the former Deputy of the Executive Protection Service, Mr Darlington George brutal violence against a young woman in Liberia. Whilst I wholeheartedly welcome President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's immediate response; four issues/questions are disturbingly concerning:

1. Why do men (generally) in Liberia (specifically) have a sense of entitlement to control women's bodies? Where do they get the audacity and authority to physically inflict harm, pain, and suffering on women and girls? I think I know the foundation of patriarchy and male dominance but why must it be so? Aren't we human beings?

2. Is the President of Liberia (the Executive) interfering with the due process of law (Judiciary) when she says Mr George should report to the Ministry of Justice for further investigation? What other investigation would there be apart from a police one?

3. Why did Front Page Africa go out of their way to reveal the true identity of the survivor? Isn't there survivor protection law in Liberia (save Liberia's ratification of the ICCPR) that prevent media houses from revealing survivor's identity in certain sensitive circumstances?

4. Considering the supposedly high-profile nature of this case (i.e., the case involves a presidential guard), will the police and courts deliver fairly and justly in adjudicating for the survivor? In the candid words of Mamensie Kabba, a Female Activist: 

If it was an ordinary person who did what Darlington George did, that person would have been arrested by government, since it is someone who is around the President that's why he still passing around here and the girl is in pain.

It saddens me each day to see unfairness and injustice against women and children, yet the "Rule of Law Illusion" prevails.

Yesterday morning I woke up to Ahmed Mohamed's news. The first thought that ran through my mind was how simplistic, dismissive and condescending some ignorant people can be when they make comments like, "Black people are lazy" or "Africans are not intelligent". Without realizing the full impact of their actions, some are very good at Drawing the Global Colour Line to segregate and disenfranchise Black people. And if your name is Ahmed Mohamed and you live in America, then the stakes are even higher. You might think I am making a mole hill out of an ant hill. But I always think complex picture. Think about a bunch of 10-14 year olds watching Ahmed arrested, handcuffs, and interrogated by police without his parents or lawyers (partly why the United States of America would not sign on to the CRC) because his ENGINEERING TEACHER thinks he's created a bomb rather than a clock. How distasteful and offensive! The very teacher(s) who is supposed to inspire, support and be a mentor, is the very one who behaves as if s/he never went to school. Though troubling, I am so glad it all turned out well. Not only is Ahmed a positive force to be reckoned with, he gets to hangout with the President of the United States and the Founder of Facebook, Google and the list goes on. I do look forward to seeing Ahmed at MIT in readiness for his great inventions to revolutionise the world! Kudos my young friend.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Liberia, Ghana, and Australia - 11 Months of PhD Research Journey

Where do I begin? It's been over a year since I wrote the last blog. It must take undying commitment and interest to religiously return in hopes that you might just catch a fresh read. I deeply apologise. Life's journeys has taken intricate turns - filled with excitements, uncertainties, new beginnings and achievements. Here I am, 4am in the middle of India's most literate State, thinking about my unacceptable negligence. It's time to step up to the plate as 2015 closes in on us. Without further a due...

Updates: I am 21 months into my PhD program. It's been intensive with self-imposed deadlines. Life is worth more than studying and racking up degrees. Don't get me wrong, my life-spine is completely intertwined with education, as many as I can possibly obtain without the limits of an average lifespan. Yet, at the same time, I feel this strong urge to move on to greater things. Complete the PhD, get a job  with decent pay and be creative about how to contribute toward making a social justice difference. 

So, after 9 months, I was done with the first year milestones (proposal and ethics approval) in anticipation to embark on an 11 month data collection. Saving the minute details for the actual PhD dissertation, I begun data collection in Australia. Sitting at the feet of experienced Aboriginal women advocates was the beginning of incomparable learning peaks. By December, I was packed and ready for Liberia via Accra, Ghana. I left Liberia 1992, just after the "first war" subsided. I returned 18 years after for the first time in 2010. Since then I've stayed for a maximum of 6 weeks. This time, I'm going for 7.5 months. Am I ready for this considering how "colonised and imperialised" my thoughts, appearance, countenance, speech etc., have become. Please note, as a matter of survivor, I'm morally obliged to "decolonise" my mind on a regular basis as an active form of resistance to Western hegemony and resilience for sustaining critical thinking skills.

How many times did I cry? How many times did I ask myself, "what am I doing here?". How many times did I question my resolve to focus my PhD research on "violence against Indigenous women and girls?" Many times too often. You see, my passion for social justice, gender equality and ending violence against women and children is so strong that I will stop at nothing to fight the cause. But having such deep-seated passion doesn't mean that I am not vulnerable. My spirit is broken too often than I can bare to contain. The overt sight of violence against women and children in Australia and Liberia keeps me awake at night. Experiencing my own retraumatisation especially when still vulnerable to abuse after years of acquiring confidence through education; makes for a long breathless thought of hopelessness. In essence, it has been a intense 11 months of trying and testing.

Without dismay, be ye optimistic! Because in spite of, I am. In barely 20 months, I have officially completed my second year which ended with a successful mid-term review showcasing the wealth of data collected during my fieldwork. Semi-structure interviews, surveys, secondary statistics, court cases, informal conversations, specific targeted reports, unique case studies and more. Over 1400  literature have been reviewed and are currently being assessed. With this much heap of data, its perfect time to migrate and cocoon into the next stage...transcribing, analysis and writing. Care to know? Well, this next phase happens in a new space...watch this space.