African press review 21 January 2015

Violence against women is still widespread in Egypt. Kenyatta apologises for the teargassing of schoolkids. Zimbabwe does better on jobs than some people say.

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In Egypt new reforms have failed to end violence against women, according to today's Egypt Independent.

According to rights group Amnesty International, despite recent initiatives that include a bill criminalising sexual harassment, there is still widespread public, domestic and state violence against women in Egypt.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Women and girls still face sexual abuse, mob attacks and torture in custody on a daily basis.

When they choose to report this to the police, explains the daily, they face a lack of interest and inadequate criminal laws.

The Egypt Independent says that "women played a key role in the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak" but the "rising influence of Islamists" in the country is "a major setback for women's rights".

According to a study by the UN, 99 per cent of women and girls in Egypt reported being subjected to sexual harassment in 2013.

The country was also ranked as the worst country in the Arab world for women's rights in a 2013 poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Kenyan President Uhruru Kenyatta has apologised after a police crackdown in a playground

According to the Standard, Kenyatta yesterday expressed regret after police fired teargas at pupils protesting at the sale of their playground to a property developer.

Five children and a police officer were injured during Monday’s demonstration to save the playground from a land grabber.

The Kenyan president blamed the ministry that deals with land disputes for failing to act when the issue arose in December.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Police also suspended the officer in charge of the operation, explains the Standard.

According to the daily, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery visited the school and apologised to pupils.

As a token of good will, he gave the private developer a 24-hour ultimatum to vacate the site.

There is a funny little cartoon from Gado on the matter in today's Daily Nation.

Kenyatta, the interior minister and the police chief are shown reassuring two children that they are doing "everything they can to fight land grabbing".

Reassuring?

Not really. All of them are attached to a steam roller, owned by a company called "Land Grab Inc".

Zimbabwe's unemployment is lower than expected.

You might have heard stories about Zimbabwe's unemployment rate being at an all-time record of 90 per cent.

The Zimbabwe Daily says that since 2011 more than 4,000 companies have closed and 55,000 jobs been lost.

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A lot of Zimbabweans work in South Africa to make ends meet.

But, according to the South African Times, this number is actually false.

Apparently, the 90 per cent rate "does not take into account the vast numbers of people in informal employment".

According to the International Labour Organisation, Zimbawe's real unemployment rate has been around five per cent since 2009, the paper says.

The country's economy, explains the newspaper, has been doing poorly since 2006 and that means the numbers of "those in formal employment" is steadily decreasing.

And there's been a lot of resistance to President Robert Mugabe's efforts to tax the informal sector, explains the Times.

Nevertheless, most of those working in the informal sector earn less than 150 euros per month.
 

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