World Economic Forum
The Global Gender Gap Report was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to analyze disparities between genders in a worldwide context. It assesses national gender gaps in political, economic, health, and education-related areas and ranks countries according to data, allowing comparisons across regions, time, and income groups. According to the report’s introduction, these rankings “are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.” This excerpt looks at women’s impact on economic growth through increased education, participation in the labor force, and women’s role as consumers, or the “power of the purse.”
From “The Global Gender Gap,” World Economic Forum, 2010. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2010.pdf (downloaded November 20, 2012).
The archaeological site of Mapungubwe, first discovered and excavated in the 1930s, spans the borders of present-day South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It was one of the most powerful African Iron Age states, dominating southern Africa from 1070 to 1300 and establishing trade contacts with the Middle East and India. The source of its influence was the gold mined in the territory, fashioned into objects, and then exported far beyond the borders of the kingdom.
University of Pretoria Museums, South Africa, Mapungubwe Collection, copyright University of Pretoria
Liyongo is the trickster-hero of a several East Africa tales, which were transmitted orally and eventually written down in the nineteenth century. They may have been told as early as the tenth century. They represent the intersection between the Islamicized Swahili culture along the East African coast in what is today Kenya and Tanzania, with the native animist cultures closer to the interior. The conversion of East Africans to Islam began quite early, and by the seventh century there were already Swahili trade centers and ports. However, the animists of the interior continued to practice their beliefs until the modern era.
In this excerpt, Liyongo travels to meet the Sultan of Pate, an island off the coast of Kenya. It is literally a meeting of animist traditions, represented by Liyongo, and Islam, represented by the Sultan.
Alice Werner, The Swahili Saga of Liongo Fumo (1926)