Furniture workers make up a large portion of Zimbabwe’s informal economy. But in this particular manufacturing complex, their livelihoods are in danger from constant fires that the authorities can’t address.
In 2013, the Ugandan government passed the Public Order Management Act, stating that organizers must inform police before holding any large public gatherings. Officials say they want to prevent disorderly conduct, but many people point to the law as a convenient way to discourage opposition.
A recent silent protest in front of the president’s office in Colombo was part of an effort to use the new Right to Information law to get the facts on missing persons, voter identification, land rights and other issues. A youth network called AFRIEL facilitated the demonstration and has assisted people in developing more than 1,000 applications under the law.
Protestors in Haiti continue to demand a government overhaul, expressing anger with the country’s inability to deliver on promises of new infrastructure, education, and healthcare projects. But for many Haitians, the protests present yet another obstacle in their already challenging daily routines.
Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo want to play a bigger role in political decision-making, and the possibility of the November elections are viewed as opportunity for change. A group of women from different political parties, known as "Nothing Without Women," is leading the effort.
President Yoweri Museveni has been in power since 1986. Despite his advancing age, his supporters are changing laws to let him run for office again. Meanwhile, his record of human rights abuses is piling up. Now, a new group of citizens is taking the lead in opposing his rule: musicians and entertainers.
More than 7 million Rwandans do their banking through their cellphones, but many of the agents who facilitate the banking transactions never declared their income to the country’s tax authority. Now the tax authority has started taking a 15-percent withholding tax from these agents’ incomes with the cellphone provider, plunging some of these agents into financial turmoil.
Barely more than one-third of the members of Zimbabwe’s Parliament are women, and the average age of past election candidates has been over 50. That’s part of what makes Joanah Mamombe, the 25-year-old woman who represents Harare West, exceptional – and her work with young people is already beginning to draw attention in her district.
Fear of change, as well as a legendarily corrupt political system, will challenge Sam Lyomoki, a member of the nation’s ruling party. His proposals include a streamlining of Parliament and assurances of public access to health, education and utilities.
In Nepal, many families view the birth of a baby girl as an economic burden. To reduce sex-selective abortion, one city in Nepal is encouraging families to keep their daughters - and it’s paying them for having baby girls.