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African Women in Power

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Worldfocus

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During the past several decades, women politicians have made strides in Africa. The share of parliamentary seats held by women increased from 7 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2007. The Rwandan parliament is a world leader in terms of female political participation, with 56 percent of its seats held by women. Liberia now has Africa’s first elected woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Watch Worldfocus’ signature story and an extended interview with Sirleaf: Africa’s first elected female president lifts Liberia. But this heightened gender equality in government has not necessarily translated into equality in everyday life for the majority of African women, who still face disproportionate poverty, violence and challenges in accessing education. Worldfocus.org’s weekly radio show on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. EDT will explore the political, economic and social implications of the rise of women power players in Africa. Worldfocus anchor Martin Savidge will host a panel of guests: Micheline Ravololonarisoa is the chief of the Africa Section at the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She has more than 25 years of experience as a sociologist, feminist and activist specializing in African development and women’s issues. Micheline began her activist career with a student movement in her native Madagascar and was forced to leave the country in 1974 because of this work. She has served as program director at the Agency for Cooperation Research and Development (ACORD) and remains a member of several African and international women’s networks, including Akina Mama wa Afrika and ABANTU for Development. Lynn Sherr is an award-winning journalist and author who has contributed to Worldfocus reports from Liberia, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua. She is a former correspondent with ABC’s “20/20? and covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women’s issues and social changes, as well as investigative reports. Lynn is the author of “Failure

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