There are few women at the helm of political leadership in Nigeria. There are only seven women senators out of 109 senators and 22 in the 360-member House of Representatives. While the number of women serving in elected and appointed political positions has been rising the world over, this is not the case for Nigerian women. Damilola Agbalajobi unpacks the main economic, social and cultural barriers for Nigerian women seeking a role in leadership. When women are not participating in politics, it’s less likely that policies will benefit them.

Kenya recently nominated its first female chief justice, Martha Koome, who will also serve as president of the supreme court. This is a historic moment in a country whose High Court had a female judge only in 1993. Martha Gayoye explains why women judges matter, and sees Koome’s ascendance as raising hopes and expectations for Kenyan women and children. Internally, the new chief justice is expected to extend ongoing reforms to rid the judiciary of corruption and inefficiencies to enhance access to justice.

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Ogechi Ekeanyanwu

Commissioning Editor: Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigerian Senate in 2015. There are very few women representatives. Sunday Aghaeze/AFP via Getty Images

Nigeria has few women in politics: here’s why, and what to do about it

Damilola Agbalajobi, Obafemi Awolowo University

The equitable participation of women in public life is essential to building and sustaining strong, vibrant democracies.

Kenya’s Chief Justice-designate Martha Koome responds to questions during her job interview.

Kenya has its first female chief justice: why this matters

Martha Gayoye, University of Warwick

Justice Martha Koome's ascendance to the role of Chief Justice raises hope and expectations among many for a better world for women and children.

Business + Economy

Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security has turned out better than feared. But risks remain

Wandile Sihlobo, University of the Witwatersrand

Government support for farmers, higher rainfall and grain imports have helped sub-Saharan Africa stave off food insecurity, but the region isn't out of the woods yet.

Women are a mainstay of fishing in West Africa. But they get a raw deal

Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood, University of St Andrews; Sayra van den Berg Bhagwandas, University of St Andrews

The contributions that women in West Africa's fisheries make to the sector are widely un(der)paid, undervalued and largely invisible.

Arts, Culture + Society

The N-Word: a volcano kept active by the flickering embers of racism

Sanya Osha, University of Cape Town

It took black folk unimaginable resources of creativity, humanity, humour and generosity to detoxify the N-word for their own collective sanity.

Philip Ochieng: Kenyan editor and author who did it his way and inspired a generation

Elizabeth Gitonga, Moi University

In the final years of his life – and with his poor health beginning to slow him down – Ochieng persisted in his love for teaching.

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Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford

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COVID in India: the deep-rooted issues behind the current crisis

Vageesh Jain, UCL

The deep-rooted issues at the heart of the current crisis.


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