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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

FRW news in brief

1- Botswana: Court ruling allows LGBT rights group to register organization

In a groundbreaking decision, the Botswana High Court recently ruled that members of a rights group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT persons can formally register their organization.

According to Monica Tabengwa of Human Rights Watch, “The court’s ruling is a significant victory for the LGBT community, not only in Botswana but elsewhere in Africa where LGBT groups have faced similar obstacles to registration.”

In upholding the application, Justice Terence Rannowane of the Botswana High Court ruled that, although same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Botswana, freedom of association, assembly, and expression are important societal values. He added, “Enjoyment of such rights can only be limited where such limitation is reasonably justifiable in a democracy.”

To read the full article, go to: https://www.ifex.org/botswana/2014/11/14/basic_freedoms/

2- West Africa: One in seven women at risk of dying in childbirth in Ebola-hit countries

Women are dying in childbirth at an alarming rate in countries hit by the Ebola epidemic. Aid agencies warn that as many as one in seven are at risk because helpers fear contact with bodily fluids.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 800,000 women in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will give birth in the next 12 months. Some 120,000 of these could face life-threatening complications and tens of thousands die, according to a group of 13 leading UK charities, including ActionAid.

Korto Williams is the head of ActionAid in Liberia. He says: “We have to do more to [prevent this]. We have to ensure that pregnant women get the care they need or we will see the rate of maternal deaths skyrocket.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141111000016-1mypz

3- Central African Republic: Crisis leads to ‘information blackout’

The Central African Republic is caught up in the worst humanitarian and political crisis of its history, with almost half its 4.6 million people in need of emergency aid.

The ongoing violence and turmoil in CAR has led to an information blackout. The country has poor mobile phone connectivity and the largely rural population relies heavily on radio. But the national broadcaster has ceased broadcasting and many other radio stations have been looted and shut.

According to Reporters Without Borders, three local journalists have been killed. A recent report by International Media Support found that “Central Africans are living in complete darkness as they have no access to information.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/central-african-republic-chaos-and-self-censorship-stalk-nations-journalists/

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