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Africa Tops U.S. In Gender Equality Argues Author


Liberians are getting reading for the January inauguration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president. Chika Onyeani is publisher and editor of the African Sun Times newspaper, based in New York City. He is also author of the controversial bestseller, “Capitalist Nigger.” Mr. Onyeani says after more than 250 years of independence, the United States has not come close to election a woman president. The United States has had two female presidential candidates and two women secretaries of state in its history, but Mr. Onyeani says the U.S. does not come close to Africa on the issue of gender equality. He says Africa has had women serve as prime ministers, deputy presidents, and in important government positions. In South Africa, Mr. Onyeani says President Thabo Mbeki chose Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as deputy president. He says even though the Western press continues to malign Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, they say nothing about the fact that Zimbabwe has a woman vice president, Joyce Mjuru. He gave a number of other examples, and said despite 14 women Senators in the United States, Africa is more progressive than the United States when it comes to women in legislative houses. He notes that in Rwanda women make up half of the parliament, and six of the eight commissioners in the African Union are women. Mr. Onyeani says it is a Western misconception that Africa is a chauvinistic society, because African women have always stood side by side with their men. He says in Africa, women with the same qualifications as men receive equal pay. On the other hand, Mr. Onyeani says American women are still fighting for equality even though they have the same qualifications as men.