I once spent time in Uppsala, Sweden. As you might know, it’s well-known for its policies on gender equality. So I went over to think about African men’s genders.
I recall that it was winter when I went over the first time. Winter in the Nordic region is quite an experience. But for some of us who live in sunnier and warmer climes, the experience of darkness at 4pm and snow up to your ankles makes you appreciate some things about yourself and the world around that you didn’t quite appreciate. When you are used to things you do tend to take them for granted or they fade from conscious view. Sort of like how many men never think much about themselves as gendered. Or how many white people never think about themselves as raced.
Like a bad habit, gender inequality is still too attractive to many of us in Africa. It may be time to go back to Uppsala to here how they are doing.
To be honest, though, I am not a good traveler. And there is the small matter of Europe and African and other dark migrants/travellers that makes me even more nervous to visit these days.
Regardless, I am considering going back to Uppsala because gender is on the agenda of the Nordic Africa Days (NAD). This year’s theme for NAD is: Gender and Change: Global Challenges for Africa? And we need gender-transformative change in Africa.
For those who may wonder what NAD is, it is the biennial international conference of the Nordic Africa Institute. NAD has been organised since 1999 in the Nordic countries. The closing date for panel proposals is next week Thursday, 3 March 2016.
Read all about it here.