Weekly HIghlight of WPS on the African Continent from August 16 – 22, 2020

In situations of crisis all over the world, women have shown enduring courage and resilience and have used their voice and power to be agents of change. This week’s report chronicles government commitment towards action against GBV in South Africa, Continued demand for action across multiple African countries as well as fears of increased risks particularly in Western Africa.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa speaks out against the high rates of GBV in the Country
As part of his address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out on the spike in Gender-Based Violence calling it a second pandemic. The president highlighted this as part of the celebration of women’s day in the country noting that
cries of women can no longer fall on deaf ears. Further context: South Africa has disproportionately high rates of rape and murder
of women. While the country continues to institute steps to combat these, systemic issues continue to hamper these attempts. For example, news reports have surfaced this week that there is a backlog of DNA testing on cases of rape in the country. This
has denied thousands of rapes, gender-based violence, and other crimes access to justice. The report that was presented to the parliament clearly indicated that only
62% of case exhibits have been finalized by the police.
Further details available here:

A new wave of kidnapping and abduction of women in Northeast Nigeria
Media sources are reporting the abduction of hundreds of people including women in Nigeria by Islamic State West Africa Province(ISWAP) a splinter group of Boko Haram on the 18th of August 2020 in Kakuwa, Borno State, Nigeria. Further context: Abduction of women and children is a key strategy for terrorist groups in West Africa. These groups abduct women to claim ransom, as ‘rewards’
for their fighters and for domestic duties. Hitherto demobilized splinter groups of Boko Haram, notably ISWAP and Ansaru have carried out abductions these years leading to concerns about the emergence of a new wave of abduction.
Further details available here:

Women Protest held in South West Cameroon
On the 19th of August 2020, the women of South West Cameroon took to the streets to protest the increasing threat to their lives by rebels. Women in that part of Cameroon suffered the brunt of the crisis as they the victims of the 4-year separatist conflict. Women protested the fact that they are having to bury their husbands, children, and increasingly, other women.
Further context: Protests and Conflict has continued in English Speaking Cameroon as separatist powers have clashed with the government leaving the people of that region in a continued fragile context.
Further details available here:

Peace Brigades Initiative launched in Liberia
Some positive news was reported on the 19th of August 2020, as the Gbowee Peace Foundation in collaboration with Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund and Spotlight Initiative is currently training women as Peace Brigades. It is expected that these women will be work as community agents sustaining the peace in 5 communities in Liberia.
Further Context: Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowe, leads Gbowee Peace Foundation and has extensive experience mobilizing women for peace in Liberia. The Spotlight Initiative was launched by the EU and the UN with the implementation of the agreement signed with the AUC in May 2020.
Further details available here: https://allafrica.com/stories/202008190513.html

Military Coup in Mali
On the 17th of August 2020, the State of Mali experienced a military coup. The
President and the Prime Minister were forced to resign because of the threat to life from the military coup plotters. There are unconfirmed reports that erstwhile Minister for Foreign Affairs and recent Secretary-General to the President, Ms. Kamissa
Camara is still detained by the coup plotters. Further Context: Mali has continued to experience coups and conflicts last
military coup in 2012, Tuareg Rebellion, and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) control in Northern Mali, Pastoral vs Agricultural ethnic groups in Central Mali, etc. Although Mali adopted a National Action Plan on Resolution 1325 in 2013,
implementation has been weak due to lack of political pressure. The on-going coup in Mali as a clear case of militarized masculinity may further hamper the implementation.
Further details available here:

Protests in Sierra Leone after a 5-year-old girl was raped and killed by a family member
Protest was held this week in Sierra Leone to demand justice for 5 Year old raped in June 2020. It was reported that in June 2020, a 5-year-old girl was raped and killed by a family member in Sierra Leone. This sparked outrage and protest as women took to the streets to protest the continuing violence against women in the country. Though the president declared rape and sexual violence an emergency due to the rising cases, citizens believe that there several cases that go unreported.
Further details available here:

Lack of access to health service leads to increases
mortality in women population across Africa In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability of health institutions to respond to
other health needs of women and girls have been greatly hampered. Research has shown a surge in teenage pregnancy in some parts of Africa like Kenya. The surge in teenage pregnancy is caused because of lack of access to contraceptives, which has led
to young girls using broken glasses, pens to abort pregnancies resulting in deaths. Also, research has shown that In West Africa, women’s access to contraceptives has reduced by 50% in some instances since the pandemic.
Further details available here:

Rape Victim completes 448k walk to raise awareness
On the 21st of August 2020, Leilani Kuter, a South African rape activist completed a 448km nostalgic walk to support rape survivors of GBV on the 28th anniversary of her rape that left her for dead. The walk was also done to stand against all forms of sexual assault and
gender-based violence that threatens the lives and livelihood of women.
Further details available here:

Related Posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.