Two women who’ve used music to empower women talk to Kim Chakanetsa about writing a song that become a rallying-cry around the world.
Madame Gandhi is a percussionist, producer and activist who has drummed for M.I.A and toured with Oprah. Her musical catalogue doubles as a manifesto for gender equality.
Sibila Sotomayor is part of LasTesis - a collective of four female artists in Chile who wrote the song, A Rapist in Your Path. Within a few weeks of its first performance it was replicated hundreds of times around the world, and videos of flashmob performances from Turkey to Venezuela have gone viral.
L: Sibila Sotomayor (credit: Sibila Sotomayor)
R: Madame Gandhi (credit: Djeneba Aduayom)
Albinism: Dispelling the myths
Two women with albinism talk to Kim Chakanetsa about countering superstition and prejudice around the condition.
As a ‘white African’ growing up in Nigeria Ikponwosa Ero was well aware of the danger some people with the condition face. In June 2015 she was appointed the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and campaigns against stigmatisation, myths and violence.
Connie Chiu is known as the first international fashion model with albinism. Born in Hong Kong she and her family moved to Sweden when she was a child to avoid harsh sunlight and in an effort to help her 'fit in.' She talks about challenging conventional ideas of beauty and wants to dispel the myth that albinism is limiting.
Left: Ikponwosa Ero (credit: A F Rouen)
Right: Connie Chiu (credit: Ellis Parrinder)
Nurses on the frontline
Nurses risking their lives to treat coronavirus patients. Hospitals around the world - and in particular Intensive Care Units - have been described as the frontline of the pandemic. It's there that the sickest Covid19 patients are looked after round-the-clock by highly specialised nurses. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two of them at the height of the current outbreak.
Hannah Gray is a 23-year-old nurse working in an Intensive Care Unit at a major London hospital. Her unit has rapidly expanded to accommodate extra patients, and all the staff are getting used to working in full PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. Hannah has been documenting her experiences on her blog, The Corona Lisa.
Bianca Dintino is a 26-year-old critical care nurse based at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She was among the first to volunteer to work with coronavirus patients when they started arriving at her hospital in mid-March. She describes the camaraderie that has developed among her co-workers.
(l) Bianca Dintino (credit: Anne Marie)
(r) Hannah Gray (credit: Simi Sebastian)
The vagina myths
The vagina: separating myth from fact. Kim Chakanetsa and her two expert guests examine a part of the body that's often shrouded in mystery and shame.
Dr Jen Gunter has been described as the world's most famous gynaecologist, and is also known as a fierce critic of the multi-million dollar wellness industry. The Canadian-American author of The Vagina Bible says 'Weaponizing women’s bodies is profitable' and believes companies are making money out of women's fears about their genitals. She wants to empower instead by debunking the myths and health misconceptions.
Dr Susan Adongo Meme is an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya. She says most women don't know that the place they urinate from is not the same place they menstruate from. Cultural taboos mean they are not encouraged to even look 'down there' and there's a general belief that the vagina is unclean. Potentially harmful douching is therefore widespread - as it is in other parts of the world, including the US.
L: Dr Susan Adongo Meme (credit Dr Susan Adongo Meme)
R: Dr Jen Gunter (credit Jason LeCras)
Riding across continents in some of the world's toughest cycle races. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who've used their reserves of physical and mental strength.
Fiona Kolbinger was the winner of the Transcontinental Race in 2019. She crossed Europe, from Bulgaria to France - a distance of 4000km - in ten days two hours and 48 minutes. She beat the second closest rider, a man, by almost six hours. She says when a part of her was in pain she focused on the bits of her body that had hurt yesterday but had got better, knowing that something different would hurt tomorrow!
Emily Chappell worked as a cycle courier in London before developing a taste for long distance adventures, cycling from Wales across Asia to Japan. In her first Transcontinental Race in 2015 she made it only halfway, waking up suddenly on her back in a field, floored by the physical and mental exertion. The following year she was the first woman to cross the line - two days ahead of the other female competitors. She says these cycling challenges make her feel powerful and confident in all aspects of life and more women should give it a go.
(L) Emily Chappell (credit: Kristian Pletten)
(R) Fiona Kolbinger (credit: James Robertson)