popular
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

CNN Names Ethiopian Innovator Freweini Mebrahtu This Year's 'Hero of the Year'

Freweini Mebrahtu designed a reusable sanitary pad to help keep girls in school and has fought to end the cultural stigma around menstruation.

Last night, Ethiopia's Freweini Mebrahtu was been named CNN's "Hero of the Year". The award was in recognition of her work on menstruation and keeping girls in school as well as fighting to end the cultural stigma still attached to menstruation. Mebrahtu was also awarded USD 100 000 to help in expanding her work.


Upon receiving her award, Mebrahtu said that, "I don't even know what to say. I am so humbled and grateful for CNN ... this is for all the girls and women everywhere. Dignity for all."

Ethiopian women freweini mebrahtu won CNN hero of 2019 www.youtube.com

In 2005, the Ethiopian innovator designed a reusable sanitary pad which she mass produced at her factory in Ethiopia and went on to help 800 000 women and girls as a result. Speaking from her own experience, Mebrahtu has since described what drove her to design the reusable sanitary pad saying, "I remembered (hearing) that it's actually a curse to have a period...or that it meant I am ready to be married, or (that) I'm being bad."

It is commonplace for girls in especially low to middle income countries to miss school or even drop out entirely because of their periods. Sanitary wear is largely inaccessible to these girls and usually because of financial constraints. According to UNESCO, of the 131 million girls who are currently out of school, 100 million of them are of high school age and one of the major reasons for this is periods.

Just last year, the South African government announced that it would scrap the tax on sanitary pads while in 2017, Botswana's government launched the nation-wide provision of free sanitary pads for schoolgirls in both public and private schools.

popular
Photo by Simon Maina /AFP for Getty Images

'Chalk Back' Sees Kenyan Women Fighting Back Against Street Sexual Harassment

Kenyan women and girls in Kibera are using chalk to literally document their experiences with sexual harassment on the very streets they've been harassed.

Kenyan women and girls living in Kibera, one of the largest informal settlements on the continent, are fed up with being sexually harassed daily on the streets by men.

In a campaign dubbed "Chalk Back", women and young girls are using chalk to document their experiences with sexual harassment on the same streets they've been harassed, according to the BBC.

Keep reading...
popular
Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tunisian Women March Against Gender-Based Violence Under the #EnaZeda Movement

The march comes after a newly-elected politician was allegedly seen on video masturbating outside of a school.

This past Saturday, hundreds of Tunisian women took to the streets of Tunis in protest against gender-based violence in the country, according to the BBC. Under the banner of #EnaZeda, the Arabic translation of the #MeToo movement, the women urged the government to exercise political will in ending violence against women and carried brooms to symbolize the "sweeping away" of gender-based violence. The march comes after a video and images emerged which allegedly showed the newly-elected member of parliament, Zouheir Makhlouf, masturbating outside of a school in October.

Keep reading...
Video
Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

Keep reading...
popular
The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.