Earth Science News  





. HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge

by Staff Writers
Mbabane (AFP) Aug 21, 2008
More than 1,500 mostly HIV-positive women staged an unprecedented protest in Swaziland Thursday against a foreign shopping tour by eight of the ruling monarch's 13 wives, in a country ravaged by AIDS.

Dressed in red, white, blue and orange T-shirts, the demonstrators marched across the capital, carrying placards with such slogans as, "we want multi-party democracy now," "enough is enough," or "tax payers' money does not belong to royalty."

"With this march, we want to drive home the point that we people living with HIV are not happy with the way our money is being used," said Siphiwe Hlophe, spokeswoman of two NGOs for HIV positive women -- the Women's Coalition of Swaziland and Swaziland Positive Living -- which organized the protest.

It appeared to be the first such demonstration here by people living with HIV/AIDS as they questioned how money could be spent on a shopping trip when Swaziland -- with the world's highest HIV prevalence rate -- faced shortages of medicines including AIDS-fighting drugs.

The eight wives, children, maids and bodyguards left the impoverished mountain kingdom last week to shop for the "40-40" double celebrations to mark its 1968 independence from Britain and King Mswati III's birthday on September 6.

"We cannot be allowing such exorbitant, luxurious expenditure of the tax payers' money in the face of the dire poverty which is demonstrated by the fact that two-thirds of the population are being fed on food aid," the women said in a petition against the chartered flight.

Close to 40 percent of adults in the landlocked southern African nation are living with HIV and AIDS, the highest infection rate anywhere in the world, according to United Nations figures.

Per capita income here is just over 1,000 dollars (673 euros), according to government figures -- the lowest in southern Africa.

But government spokesman Percy Simelane justified the spending spree for the celebrations.

"Poverty has been with us for many years. We cannot then sit by the roadside and weep just because the country is faced with poverty," he said.

"We have made great strides as a country that gives us pleasure in celebrating the 40 years of independence and the king's birthday," Simelane added.

Swaziland is Africa's last absolute monarchy and is known for its annual Reed Dance celebrations in which thousands of bare-breasted young women dance in front of the royal family.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 20, 2008
Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday that it had developed a new way of predicting from a person's DNA their response to medication and risk of developing disease.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Florida asks for disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Fay
  • Japan warns of iPod nano fire risk
  • 30 still missing after truck swept into river in Haiti
  • Teacher sent to labour camp for China quake photos

  • Bones Beat Trees As Markers For Environmental Change
  • Droughts Have Lasted Centuries In Eastern North America
  • Aerosols Impact On Australia's Climate
  • Climate Change May Boost Middle East Rainfall

  • Saharan Dry, Dusty Air Lessened Intensity Of 2007 Hurricane Season
  • Ball Aerospace Begins Final Prep For NPOESS OMPS Instrument
  • Portrait Of A Warming Ocean And Rising Sea Levels
  • ESA Meets Increasing Demand For Earth Observation Data

  • Analysis: Oil prices hit U.S. military
  • Analysis: Turkish-Iranian energy ties
  • Analysis: Energy crisis in the Caucasus
  • Sustainability Standards For US Biodiesel Industry

  • HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge
  • Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks
  • Canopus Biopharma Chinese Researcher Team Up To Treat Avian Influenza
  • UN gives aid to Guinea Bissau to fight cholera epidemic

  • Mirror self-recognition found in magpies
  • Birds can't keep up with climate change: study
  • Trees, Forests And The Eiffel Tower Reveal Theory Of Design In Nature
  • Cockroach King reigns as pest-killers discuss climate change

  • Greenland Ice Core Reveals History Of Pollution In The Arctic
  • Even in Europe, 20 million people without toilets: forum
  • Bangladesh bans 'toxic' oil tanker
  • Study Shows Continued Spread Of Dead Zones

  • Oetzi The Iceman Dressed Like A Herdsman
  • Face Recognition: Nurture Not Nature
  • Desperate families snub corrupt police in Mexico kidnap epidemic
  • CSHL Neuroscientists Glimpse How The Brain Decides What To Believe

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement