Husbands may represent worse threat to women than gunmen

    | July 16, 2012

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    This week we focus on health issues, starting with a story on violence against women. A new report maintains that, in parts of West Africa that are recovering from recent conflict, husbands present more of a threat to women than armed assailants. Violence against women increases during conflicts, and may persist when conflicts end. Violence against women is a global issue, fed by discrimination against women which is enshrined in law, societies and cultures.

    Our second story explores the treatment of disabled children in Togo, but is applicable to all of Africa. When children with various kinds of disabilities are given the opportunity to take part in normal life, rather than being subjected to discrimination fed by fear, shame, and traditional beliefs, they are able to take an active part in society.

    In Uganda, cervical cancer, though little-known, is proving deadly. Twice as many Ugandan women die from cervical cancer than from breast cancer.  Health workers worry that, due to lack of knowledge, cervical cancer will continue to go undiagnosed and untreated.

    Our final story comes from Rwanda, where a government-operated health insurance scheme is proving challenging for the poor. Not only have annual premiums been raised over the last year, but patients are being asked to pay 10% of the cost of transportation and medical care. One health activist says that increased costs are forcing the poor to turn to traditional healers or self-medication.

    This week’s Event section highlights a competition for journalists. Journalists are invited to submit an original piece which investigates the challenges and opportunities for small-scale farmers in value chains, and to showcase success stories and best practices. The top six finalists will be supported to attend an international conference on value chain development in November.

    Happy reading!

    -The Farm Radio Weekly team