Game Drive: Your Guide to Life in Africa Hi there! I’m coming at you from South Africa and will be sharing stories with you on important events that are happening in this gorgeous part of our world. Now, you may be wondering: Why from South Africa? There is a bit of a story behind this one. I grew up in eight different countries on five different continents, and after having done my undergrad in Toronto, Canada, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree that brought me to Norway first, followed by three semesters in South Africa. Here, I founded an award winning organization that focuses on girls and women’s empowerment through sport, called Girls & Football SA. Growing up in so many different places piqued my interest for politics and fueled my passion for women’s rights. There is still a lot to do with regard to gender equality, and every week I want to share a bit with you about things that keep the girls and women in South Africa — and Africa as a whole — busy, worried, suppressed. In Somalia, 9 out of 10 girls has undergone female genital mutilation. In Mauritius and the Democratic Republic of Congo, not one woman works in a political decision-making position. In Guinea Bissau, women have only about half the income of men and are only half as likely to be able to read or write. The women who are affected are women that deserve a voice, yet their stories remain largely untold. That is exactly why it’s important they are brought to the forefront. I also want to give you a peak into the brighter side of things, and share with you what makes the women here happy, what their hopes for the future are, and what they wish you knew. Although we may feel in the Western world that we have things reasonably figured out when it comes to gender equality, there are still plenty of areas where more work needs to be done. The same goes for the situation for many girls and women here. All the more reason it’s important that a platform is provided to get the word out to you. To avoid making what I share with you too heavy all the time, I’ll also be showing you a bit of the beauty that South Africa and Africa have to offer. Africa might seem like a ‘scary’ place (as most places and traditions that we may not know much about seem), but I find the contrary to be true. This continent has a lot to offer. By showing you different sides, I can hopefully peak your interest and encourage you to want to learn more. The beautiful countryside, interesting people, and vibrant cultures are what keeps the rest of the world so fascinated, and rightfully so. Ready to be part of this journey with me? Buckle up, and get ready for an exciting game drive through a magnificent continent… Jos Dirkx Jos Dirkx was born in Rio de Janeiro and has since been traveling the world with her parents and brother. She has lived in Brazil, Bangladesh, Spain, Senegal, The Netherlands, Canada, Norway and currently resides in South Africa. She has spent significant amount of time in Sudan and in Austria. Her passion for social justice and gender equality has propelled her participation in projects, debates, fund-raising and campaigning for increased public awareness of women’s rights, and her hands-on experience with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sudan has furthered her dedication to making social justice and gender equality a worldwide priority. She has worked on various projects, including projects for victims of the Tsunami, as well as on services for commemoration of the events of 9-11 and annual memorial services for World War II survivors and victims. Currently, she is obtaining a master's degree in International Relations at the Stellenbosch University Political Science department and is the director and founder of an award winning NGO, Girls and Football SA.