Yes, Kenya’s Election Had Problems, But Here’s Why Things Are Better

Contributed by Hillary Omala, the Executive Director of CFK Africa

Fifteen years ago, more than 1,100 people lost their lives in the violence following Kenya’s 2007 elections. Every five years since then, the Kenya General Elections have occupied international headlines, and tensions have risen across the country as painful memories come flooding back. 

But the truth is, things have gotten better.  

While tensions rose during the recent election period, so did calls for peace. And even though this year’s results were contested, the arguments were resolved in our courtrooms rather than in our streets. 

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Saving lives with medical oxygen in Kenya

The U.S. helped train nurse Sandra Karimi and other health care workers in Kenya to provide therapeutic oxygen. Above, Karimi works at Wangige Hospital in Kenya October 27, 2021. (USAID/Lameck Ododo)

For Sandra Karimi, a nurse at Wangige Hospital in Kenya, treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic felt like working in a war zone.

When she first encountered COVID-19 patients gasping for air, she froze. “I was scared, honestly,” says Karimi, who works in Kiambu County, Kenya. “We were all scared.”

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2022’s Best and Worst States for Women’s Equity

With Women’s Equality Day around the corner and the U.S. ranking as only the 27th best country for gender equality, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best & Worst States for Women’s Equality.

In order to determine where women receive the most equal treatment in American society, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 17 key metrics. The data set ranges from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity in unemployment rates for women and men.

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3 Teas and Coffee Brands That Support Women

With all that is going on in the world, helping women through our everyday consumer actions is a way we can make a difference in their lives. While we can’t all take to the streets in protest or write impassioned letters to our senators or even donate to a cause every month, we can divert the money we spend to companies that support the causes we care most about. It’s called conscious consumerism and it’s on the rise. Consumers are increasingly voting with their dollars on products that make a social, economic, and environmental impact. Two of the most consumed products in the United States are tea and coffee giving consumers a real opportunity to make a difference based on where they buy. In fact, Americans drank a whopping 89 billion servings of tea in 2021, and on average Americans consume two to three cups of coffee per day. Sixty-six percent of Americans are coffee drinkers. 

I was recently sent two tea brands and a coffee brand to try and all three support women which I am exceptionally happy about. Here’s what they’re all about.

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Help Nordstrom Give 40,000 Back-to-School Shoes to Kids in Need

This year from August 11 through October 15, Nordstrom customers can get involved in its 12th annual Shoes That Fit campaign with a goal of raising $1 million and donating 40,000 shoes to kids in need. Each back-to-school season Nordstrom partners with Shoes That Fit and Nike to provide properly fitted athletic shoes to children in need in the communities it serves. This year’s campaign will mark 300,000 shoes donated since 2010.

Copyright: Nordstrom

Shoes are the most expensive item on kids’ back-to-school list. Every child wants to go back to school with shoes that are trendy and that fit. It gives them joy that most take for granted.

“Giving back to the community has been rooted in our 121-year history, since our beginnings as a shoe store. Helping to provide for the basic needs of children and families is core to who we are at Nordstrom. We’re excited to team up with Shoes That Fit and Nike to help kids start the school year feeling comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”

Jamie Nordstrom, chief stores officer at Nordstrom.
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Book Review: #MeToo and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Movement

#Metoo and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Movement by M Cristina Alcalde My rating: 5 of 5 stars #MeToo and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Movement challenges students of the #MeToo movement to look beyond the global North’s dominance of the now ubiquitous hashtag that went viral in 2017 to broaden their perspectives about gender-based violence around the world. While language, culture, and location keep … Continue reading Book Review: #MeToo and Beyond: Perspectives on a Global Movement

Kansas Scores Victory for Abortion Rights

In the first statewide referendum after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, Kansas voters overwhelmingly voted to protect abortion rights. Before yesterday’s primaries polls suggested an abortion ban would ultimately prevail in Republican-led Kansas. Still, even in some of the most conservative counties, “no” votes outpaced overall votes for Republican candidates. 

With a massive primary voter turnout of 800,000 the “no votes” won by over 17% with only 96% of votes counted thus far. 

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Why sexual and reproductive law for east African countries is being resisted

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Anthony Idowu Ajayi, African Population and Health Research Center and Nicholas Okapu Etyang, African Population and Health Research Center

Six of the countries of the East African Community – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania – recently concluded public hearings on a new sexual and reproductive health bill. Proponents of the bill argue that it will improve access to sexual and reproductive health which, in turn, will improve other public health and development indicators such as maternal mortality and HIV infection rates. But the bill has faced fierce opposition since it was first tabled in 2017. The Conversation Africa’s Ina Skosana spoke to researchers Anthony Ajayi and Nicholas Etyang to unpack what the bill covers and where the sticking points are


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Holocaust Remembrance Day Marks Increase in Antisemitism in the United States

On this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) marks an all-time high in antisemitism in the United States. In its 2021 Audit of Antisemitism, 2717 incidents were recorded last year including assaults, vandalism, and harassment. 2021’s antisemitic incidents are up 34 percent. It is the highest number on record since the ADL began recording antisemitic incidents in 1979.

Antisemitic harassments were up 42 percent, vandalism by 14 percent, and assaults increased by 167 percent. Additionally, most of the incidents occurred in May 2021 and coincided with the military conflict between Isreal and Hamas. The previous highest month on record was November 2018 (300 incidents) which was the month after the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, PA. The states with the highest number of incidents were New York (416), New Jersey (370), California (367), Florida (190), Michigan (112), and Texas (112). Combined, these states account for 58% of the total incidents.

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From Boots to Baby Brands: 7 Gifts That Give Back With Every Purchase

There is never a bad time to give gifts especially when those gifts give back with every purchase. Here are seven products from boots to baby and kids’ brands and more that have an added component of social good. These companies give back to nonprofits that help kids and even honeybees.

ROMA BOOTS

Price: $12.99-$118

ROMA Boots was founded on fashion and philanthropy to give back to children in need. For every pair of boots sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need. Their mission is to bring impoverished children hope, love, and lasting change throughout the world through aid and education. Their next mission is to donate 100,000 boots to Ukrainian refugees in 2022 as part of their humanitarian initiative. Their next mission is to donate 100,000 boots to Ukrainian refugees in 2022 as part of their humanitarian initiative. Combining cutting-edge design to create durable rain boots, retail fashion merged with humanitarian efforts to build a charity-based brand that gives back. Available in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes, they range from various styles and fun patterns fit for everyone. Let’s empower impoverished children worldwide to break out of the cycle of poverty and contribute their gifts and talents to society. 

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Products with a Purpose: Vegan Brands That Give Back

Every so often I like to feature products for good and brands that give back. It is important for me to not only use such products but share their work with others. These products with a purpose are all about vegan skincare. I use them daily. Most of these products I get from Whole Foods Market, Ulta, or respective sites.

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Idaho Lawmakers Send Texas Copycat 6-Week Abortion Ban to Governor’s Desk

Women, pregnant people, and reproductive rights activists are reeling about the nation’s latest blow to abortion rights. Yesterday, Idaho became the first state to pass a copycat abortion ban that successfully became law in Texas last year. Now, the Idaho bill is on its way to the desk of Idaho governor, Brad Little, to officially become law.

Anti-abortion activists have seen several state legislative and court ruling successes for their cause of late. And this summer there are real concerns that the Supreme Court may effectively reverse Roe v. Wade as more states, upwards of 26, seek to also ban abortion and allow costly litigation against abortion providers. 21 states already have trigger bans meaning that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, abortion bans will automatically be in effect. States are starting to fall into place like dominoes in abortion bans. Kentucky Republicans advanced a copycat Mississippi abortion ban on abortions after 15 weeks and Florida also passed abortion bans after 15 weeks. The Idaho and Texas abortion bans are more punitive at six weeks. Since the bill passed in Texas, abortions dropped 60 percent.

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On This #IWD2022 Join CAMFED’s Global Sisterhood to Educate Young Girls

CAMFED is one the world’s leading organizations that advocates for and helps young girls in sub-Saharan Africa attain an education. CAMFED which stands for the Campaign for Female Education has to date supported 379,000 young girls with secondary school scholarships, one million girls attend primary school, and works with 6,787 partner schools across sub-Saharan Africa.

As we all know, girls who are deprived of an education are most likely tethered to a cycle of poverty for an entire lifetime. But girls who are afforded an education can leap out of poverty and and into the realms of economic development. They can take on better jobs, learn to save money, or become entrepreneurs. Women who are educated take better care of their individual environments and therefore take on climate change. And studies show when sub-Saharan women have an education, they fight for their daughter to have an education as well. They become stewards of passing down education and leaders in their communities.

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Donate to These 5 Organizations to Help Ukraine

As the Russian military continues to move to take over Ukraine’s largest cities many, some say as high as 870,000, are frantically heading for border countries or are holed up in bomb shelters or in their homes and apartments. Ukraine has said that 2000 civilians have already died since the Russian invasion and long lines at the grocery stores are more common as fears of food and water shortages persist. Sadly, many believe that this is the early stages of the war and that it could last for many months. It’s clear this is the beginning and not the end.

Ukrainians are going to need food, water, and medical supplies for the long haul. Here are five organizations that are already providing aid in Ukraine and across borders.

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New Documentaries About the Maternal Health Crisis, Sex Trafficking Coming to VOD This Year

When I want to learn more about a subject I always turn to documentaries. They provide a quick way to get the facts and crucial information about an issue I am interested in and then if I want to learn more I turn to other resources including books, news articles, research papers, and the like.

While I know a considerable amount about two new documentaries coming to video on demand (VOD) this year, I know some don’t and can use these as jumping points to learn more about the maternal health crisis in the United States and sex trafficking around the world.

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