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It's back to school again! Where did the summer go? Take a break from your studies and read about the music and artistry of Sia, visit Kenya and meet Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, and discovver a painter who should be known to all - Artemisia Gentileschi, and so much more......
Volume 6, Number 5 September / october 2015 Publisher Janet Kim
Send your questions, rants and musings to Shannon Says: email@example.com. In this issue: • Let's explore the beautifl but troubled country of Kenya • The incredible SIA • Back to school fashion - trends • Awesome free apps • A career in catering • The greatest artist you've never heard of - Artemisia Gentileschi
Managing Editor Margaret Udovc Creative Director Victoria Kim Consulting Technical Officer S. Lally
EDITORIAL ADVISORS Prof. Nicholas Bala Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
Join us as we cover the hip, the bent, the real. What’s coming in the November / December issue? • Let's go to Norway • Consider a career as a social worker • Holiday fashion • Book reviews, fanart, quizzes & games. When you have finished reading the magazine and want more, visit us on the web at: www.girlworks.ca for free content, help with Like girlworks on Facebook!
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"African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence." -Wangari Maathai
WANGARI MAATHAI “It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.”
3 | September-October 15 girlworks.ca
Wangari Muta Maathai was a Kenyan political and environmental activist. She was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman, and environmentalist, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She won dozens upon dozens of other awards for her work as well. Maathai acted as an ambassador for environmental conservation, and her actions have inspired people around the world. Maathai was born April 1st 1940 in Ihithe, a village in the Nyeri District in Kenya. She moved at a young age and spent her young life on a farm where her father worked. Later, at age eight, she returned to her birth village of Ihithe with her mother in order to attend primary school alongside two of her brothers. When she was eleven, Maathai transferred to St. Ceciliaâ€™s Intermediate Primary School, where she learned English and became a Catholic. Finishing first in her class, Maathai then moved on to Loreto High School, a Catholic high school for girls. It was during this time that programs allowing Kenyan students to study in western nations became available. Maathai was one of around 300 Kenyans chosen to study in the United States. This began her studies at Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas, where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry and German. After obtaining her degree in Biological Sciences, she pursued a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. It was during her time at the University of Pittsburgh that Maathai was introduced to environmental protection. The University of Pittsburgh Author: Crazypaco
After obtaining her Masters, Maathai sought out doctoral studies in Germany, being offered to study at the University of Giessen. She began veterinary studies and met her husband, Mwangi Mathai, during this time. She was later persuaded to get her doctorate at the University of Giessen, studying also at the University of Munich. It was in 1969 that Maathai became pregnant with her first child, a son by the name of Waweru. She continued her studies and received her Ph.D. in veterinary anatomy in 1971. Later, in December, her daughter Wanjira was born. Maathai became aware that most of Kenyaâ€™s problems were due to environmental degradation. She worked with the United Nations Environment Programme and the National Council of Women of Kenya, developing solutions to the problems she was seeing. This began her work of communitybased tree planting. In 1974, her third child, Muta, was born. In 1976, Maathai became the chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and then an associate 5 |September-October 15 girlworks.ca
of Veterinary Anatomy and then an associate professor in 1977. She was the first woman to achieve both positions in her region. Later the same year, Maathai would plant seven trees just 7! - in Nairobi. This act became known as the first â€œGreen Beltâ€? and later turned into the Green Belt Movement. Maathai encouraged women to begin planting trees all over the country by using seeds that were indigenous to the area. Though 1977 was promising in regard to her environmental work, personal problems arose for Maathai. She separated from her husband, filing for divorce in 1979. Her husband accused her of adultery, which led the judge to charge her with contempt of court. After being found guilty, Maathai was sentenced to six months in jail. She spent three days instead, after her lawyer released her statement to the court. Her divorce took a toll on her income, making it difficult for Maathai to provide for her children. When she was offered work from the Economic Commission for Africa, she took the job, although it meant that she had to send her children to her ex-husband. Despite this, Maathai visited them regularly.
Author: Croes, Rob C. / Anefo
President Daniel arap Moi
The government continued to oppose Maathai in 1992. She was part of a pro-democracy group, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy, and the police were arresting their members. Maathai barricaded herself in her home, but police broke through and arrested her for treason. The arrest of the activists earned criticism from around the world, including from eight U.S. senators. The Kenyan government was pressured to release the activists, risking relations (that means cash) with the United States. The charges were dropped shortly after.
Again, in 1993, the government attempted to put a halt to Maathaiâ€™s work. The president accused her of persuading the Kikuyu people (Maathaiâ€™s ethnic group) to attack the Kalenjin people. Her friend Dr. Makanga was then kidnapped, which pushed Maathai into hiding. While in hiding, she was invided to the Green Cross International in Tokyo, but replied that she feared her government would not allow her to leave the county. The founder of the summit questioned the government, but President arap Moi denied that they were not allowing Maathai to leave the country. Maathai was too late for the meeting, but she travelled elsewhere, receiving various awards from around the world. Author: Crazypaco
Maathai faced more trouble in 1989 when she learned of plans to construct a 60-storey Kenya Times Media Trust Complex. The complex would serve a variety of purposes, including housing the headquarters of KANU, be a trading centre, and contain shopping malls, accompanied by a huge parking lot and a large statue. All of this space would be built in Uhuru Park, a concept in which Maathai was strongly opposed. She wrote letters of complaint to various people, including President Daniel arap Moi. Her efforts only earned her spite from those she had complained to. The president himself claimed that if Maathai were a proper African woman, she would respect the mensâ€™ decision and remain quiet. Though construction began in Uhuru, the large amount of negative media coverage led to foreign investors to cancel the project.
Maathai was being recognised for her work all around the world, though the Kenyan government did not approve of what she was doing. The president claimed on many occasions that she was a mad woman, and the government accused Maathai of various offences. In spite of all this, Maathai continued her work and was chosen to speak at the Earth Summit.
Wangari Maathai Trees and Garden, University of Pittsburgh campus 6
Maathai holding an award given to her by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Author: Demosh
In 1998, Maathai began to campaign called the Jubilee 200 Coalition. The campaign sought to cancel the un-payable backlog debts of the poor countries in Africa by the year 2000. The same year, Maathai learned that the government planed on privatizing public land in Karura Forest. Along with supporters and journalists, Maathai went to the forest and planted trees in protest. Her group was attacked, and Maathai was injured. Supporters of Maathai had filmed the attack. Student protests continued until 1999, until the president came out and announced that he was banning all allocation of public land. In 2002, Maathai ran for parliament, and won with a shocking 98% of the vote. She was appointed by the president as Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife. Maathai served in that role until 2005. An Honour was bestowed to Maathai in 2004. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the first African woman and the first environmentalist to win the prize. Maathai remained an active ambassador, protecting the environment right up until her death in September of 2011. Maathai had complications due to ovarian cancer and passed away at the age of 71. Today, the Green Belt Movement continues to work in protecting the world’s forests. Additionally, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests launged the inaugural Wangari Maathai Award in commemoration of Maathai. The award is given to an individual who actively works to preserve and restore the earth’s forests and the environment. Though she faced many adversaries in her life, Wangari Maathai was never discouraged and did not hesitate to take a stand for what she believed in. Maathai’s “little thing” of planting trees has grown into a global effort to conserve the environment. 7 |September-October 15 girlworks.ca
Fun Facts • • • •
Maathai’s husband, Mwangi Mathai, wanted her to change her name after the divorce. Instead, she added another “a”, which is why her last name is now “Maathai”. The Green Belt Movement has resulted in the planting of more than 20 million trees. During a hunger strike in 1992, police knocked Maathai unconscious in order to cease her protests. Though she was hospitalized from the incident, she continued to protest. Maathai met with President Barack Obama in 2006. Obama’s father was educated in America through the same program in which Maathai had been educated.
Published on Mar 11, 2018
Published on Mar 11, 2018
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