Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from August 24th to 28th 2020


Women and girls across South Africa, anti-gender-based violence groups are calling for a nationwide protest on Saturday, August 29. The #EndTheFemicide March is calling on all South Africans to participate in the March planned to hold outside Parliament on Saturday Morning. Participants are reminded to socially distance, bring a mask and to wear black and red.

Meanwhile, to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic death of Uyinene Mrwetyana killed by a postal service worker in 2019 while trying to pick up a parcel, a foundation established in her memory (UMF) initiated a webinar to discuss the prevalent nature of violence against women in South Africa. During the webinar, it was revealed that one week into Level 5 of the nationwide lockdown more than 2000 cases of gender-based violence (GBV) were reported on the South African Police Service’s GBV hotline.

More from the link below: https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2020-08-25-gbv-how-will-it-end

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Says Life of Congo’s Nobel Laureate Doctor in Danger

Dr Denise Mukwege who won the Nobel Peace prize for his work support rape victims is in danger after a series of death threats. The threats appear to be linked to his advocacy and the very robust positions he has taken on accountability, on protection of women as a result of what he has seen over two decades in the Panzi hospital,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman at High Commissioner Bachelet’s office, adding that he had also recently criticised civilian attacks in South Kivu.

More from the link below: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08/28/world/africa/28reuters-congo-security-doctor.html

Vodacom launches Gender-Based Violence Fund

As part of the Women’s month celebration, Vodacom Foundation hosted a GBV webinar on the 25 August to bring further awareness to the high rate of GBV across the continent.  During the webinar, Vodacom launched a 5 Million Rand Gender-Based Violence Fund to further support survivors of GBV. Women on the panel shared their experience on sexual abuse and how it affected their lives. This development is important as it may provide impetus to further private sector actors to lead change and act. This will ensure that the responsibility goes beyong just government actors, public actors and community networks.

More from the link below: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/379/207634.html

EAC launches 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform

The East African Community has launched a 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MAWS), is a digital platform aimed at empowering millions of women in Africa to start, grow and scale up their businesses. The expectation from implementing the project is ensuring that providing networking opportunities within the region will further empowerment of women within the region across thematic areas of interests.

More from the link below:

Egypt orders arrests after Instagram account exposes gang rape

In 2014 a gang rape incident involving six men from Egyptian powerful families and the authorities did nothing about it. An expose in July on Instagram of the attackers caused an upheaval across the country. As a result of this, the Egyptian police has ordered the arrests of the men accused of the crime in a Cairo hotel.  A #MeToo movement has emerged amidst a growing number of women speaking up against sex crimes. This demonstrates once again the power of social media to drive advocacy and force action. More from the link below https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/08/25/egypt-orders-arrests-after-instagram-account-exposes-gang-rape/

Sierra Leone: women punished severely for ‘survival crimes’ prison report says

A new report was published by  Cyrus R. Vance Centre for International Justice (CRVC) and AdvocAid that 86% of women are in prison or are awaiting trial for cases such as poverty, domestic violence, limited education etc. The report noted that women in Sierra Leone are punished for what the author refers to as ‘survival crimes’ considering this a breach of international obligations. For example, punishing women for domestic violence is more of a cultural reaction than a legal reaction in Sierra Leone as many families do not tolerate women challenging their husbands who have abused. Prisons have, thus, remained overcrowded due to these survival crimes. More in the link below https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20200825-sierra-leone-women-in-prison-punished-severely-for-survival-crimes-legal-report-africa-domestic-violence-poverty

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