Latest Stories

Environment

Zanzibar's 'Solar Mamas' flip the switch on rural homes, gender roles

On the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, hundreds of households too poor and remote to have access to the electrical grid are getting low cost solar power for the first time, from a group of local female engineers trained by and Indian NGO. It's the first of several "solar mamas" projects planned for parts of rural Africa, and it's turning some traditional gender roles on their head.

Belief

Does France's 'burqa ban' protect — or persecute?

In 2004, France banned the wearing of all conspicuous religious symbols in grade schools. Then, in 2010, France enacted the so-called "burqa ban," making it illegal for Muslim women to wear the traditional face and body covering in public. These rules, based in France’s extreme separation of church and state, have stirred debate over whether France is protecting secularism or stifling religious freedom.

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