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AAWS Newsletter

Through its newsletter, AAWS encourages information dissemination/sharing and networking within Africa and between Africa and the other continents. The newsletter is issued twice a year.

African Women Bibliographies: A Global Project

Through this project, AAWS hopes to encourage and facilitate research on women of African women. The first volume of the biennial African Women Bibliographies, covering works published in 1999-2000, will be published in 2001. This unannotated bibliography will be made up of titles of journal articles and books on African women published in all countries during the two year period. We are seeking three bibliographers (librarians and scholars) from every country (inside and outside Africa). The bibliographers will compile lists of titles (in original language) on African women published in their respective countries. We have been very successful in signing up country bibliographers (although we have been more successful in some countries than in others). We still have openings and are seeking bibliographers for the remaining slots. The project is a collaborative effort and the names of all country bibliographers will appear in the book as collaborators. If you would like to participating in this exciting global project, please contact AAWS: Association of African Women Scholars, Women’s Studies Program, Cavanaugh Hall 001C, Indiana University, 425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. Phone: (317) 278-2038, (317) 274-0062/274-7611 (messages); fax: (317) 274-2347; e-mail: aaws@iupui.edu;

AFWOSCHO (AAWS internet discussion group on gender issues in Africa)

The association administers a vibrant internet discussion group on gender issues in Africa. In addition to engaging in debates on the global, regional, and national dimensions of issues affecting women in African and the African Diaspora, AFWOSCHO subscribers provide information for researchers and students (college and high school) who are working on these issues.

AWPA Project (AWPA—Against Widowhood Practices in Africa)

Although female circumcision has become a cause célèbre in feminist and Africanist discourses on women’s oppression in Africa, not much attention is paid to other cultural "sore spots" which constitute severe human rights violations for African women. By focusing on one such "sore spot" that instills fear in women in many African cultures—widowhood—the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS) underscores the urgent need for a collective interrogation of existing nefarious widowhood practices. For women in many parts of Africa, the emotional and psychological pain at the death of a spouse is exacerbate by profound short-term and long-term struggles over rights—burial rights, inheritance rights, hu(wo)man rights, individual versus communal rights, etc. A close examination of the key players in these struggles and the complex network of competing forces expose widowhood as an arena of intragender (woman-on-woman) violence. Studies of widowhood in Africa have focused, and rightly so, on the abuse, antagonisms, and violence which subtend widowhood practices without paying much attention to the sisterhood and solidarity that is forcing changes in this area. In collaboration with activists and NGOs in Africa, AAWS has launched and intense campaign and advocacy work through legal and political processes. AAWS firmly believes that the elimination of the practices that violate women’s human rights will depend on the galvanizing of the "forces of solidarity" within African cultures and societies. The plight of widows in Africa is a central concern of the upcoming WAAD conference that is co-sponsored by AAWS.

Instructional Materials Drive

AAWS is collecting instructional materials—books, journals, articles, syllabi, films, etc—on Women's Studies and African Studies for distribution to Women Studies Programs, Women's Centers and Organizations inn Africa. Please send donations to:

The Associations of African Women's Scholars
Women's Studies Program
Cavanaugh Hall 001C
Indiana University
425 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Proceedings of the first WAAD Conference

The catalog of the proceedings of the first international conference on "Women in Africa and the African Diaspora" is posted on this site. This encyclopedic ten-volume (over 260 papers) collection of original papers on African women spans many disciplines (from literature and religion to agriculture and health) and continents (from Africa and Europe to the Americas and the Caribbean). AAWS is offering them at cost to individuals, libraries and academic centers. Price list and order form are in the catalog.

Second WAAD Conference (Indianapolis, October 23-27, 1998)

AAWS is co-sponsoring (with the Women’s Studies Program-IUPUI, Program in International Human Rights-IU, Indianapolis, African Studies Program-IU, Bloomington, African American Studies Program-IUPUI, and the Children’s Museum, Indianapolis) the second international conference on "Women in Africa and the African Diaspora: Health and Human Rights" to be held in Indianapolis (October 23-27, 1998). The conference has generated enthusiastic response worldwide. We have to date received over 200 proposals from 37 countries and 45 organizations in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. At the conference, health will be discussed not only as a physical and medical question but, in a broader sense, as a social issue, thus allowing participants to debate health issues in their relatedness to the economy, education, human rights, militarization, cultural practices, the environment, the arts, ethnic conflicts, refugee problems, etc., in the context of global interdependence, international politics, and the role of non governmental organizations (NGOs). The presentations will include recent trends in morbidity and mortality in women of African descent, sociocultural factors which impact on the health of women of African descent, and the impact of changing focus of medical research. Workshops and panel presentations will target specific health and human rights issues—AIDS, female genital surgeries, reproductive health, child and maternal health, traditional medicine/birth, preventative care, widowhood, medical research, health care policy, religious fundamentalism, war and ethnic conflicts. Human rights questions will be discussed in a holistic way by linking socio-economic rights to civil and political rights. Contact: Obioma Nnaemeka, Convenor. Second WAAD Conference, Women's Studies Program, Cavanaugh Hall 001C, Indiana University, 425 University Boulevard, IN 46202, USA. Phone: (317) 278-2038; (317) 274-0062/274-7611 (messages); fax (317) 274-2347; e-mail: nnaemeka@iupui.edu; website: http://www.iupui.edu/~aaws/waad/home.html


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