Weekly Highlight fof WPS on the African Continent from 12th to 16th October 2020

New Report Finds 73% of Refugee and Displaced Women Reported an Increase in Domestic Violence Due to COVID-19

A new report published by the International Rescue Organization studied patterned from detailed accounts of violence against refugee and displaced women across 15 African countries during this COVID 19 pandemic. The interviews for the report was spread across 3 different regions in Africa where 850 refugee and displaced women were interviewed. The report noted that GBV in the pandemic outnumbered previously reported cases in camps. The report stated 73% of women reported and increase in domestic violence and 51% reported sexual violence and 32% reported a growth in early and forced marriage.

Further details: https://www.rescue.org/press-release/new-report-finds-73-refugee-and-displaced-women-reported-increase-domestic-violence

Boko Haram raids in Cameroon’s Far North region

New Boko Haram raids were reported in the course of the week. Notable, it was  reported that Boko Haram terrorist group raided Oudal village of Mayo Moskota subdivision of the North Cameroon in the dead of the night. The raid left three men killed and abduction of men and women from the village was reported. The villagers have embarked on a search and rescue mission in the region. Reports have shown that in the last two weeks, the village has been a target of Boko Haram attacks leaving many civilians injured.

Further details: https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/10/16/3-killed-5-kidnapped-in-boko-haram-raids-in-cameroons-far-north-region/

Twelve migrants dead, others missing off the coast of Djibouti: IOM

The bodies of 50 Ethiopian migrants including women have been found off the coast of Obock a small port town on the Gulf of Aden. The bodies have been recovered and buried by IOM staff on Friday. About 34 migrants that survived are being treated for minor injuries and shock are being cared for by IOM Migrant Centre in Obock.

Further details: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1075642

Civil society fears spike in GBV cases if government cuts Covid-19 relief funds

The former public prosecutor Thuli Madonsela has joined Civil Society Organization to raise concerns about moves by the government to cut COVID-19 relief funding. The CSOs have expressed concerns of increase in gender-based violence if the relief funds are cut as women and girls will be greatly affected. CSOs are pleading with government to continue providing the R350 social relief of distress grant as well as the R585 monthly grant to caregivers.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/civil-society-fears-spike-in-gbv-cases-if-government-cuts-covid-19-relief-funds-2f18a349-59b5-4681-af93-13cec20b620b

Domestic workers suffer abuse, sexual harassment by employers: study

A study commissioned by the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance has shown a spike in increase of domestic violence of domestic workers. The assertion came from analysis of date from a hotline initiated by the International Labour Organization to report abuse focused on domestic workers. This hotline was initiated after a study alleging that domestic workers in Southern Africa had experienced sexual harassment at the hands of their employers particularly during the pandemic. This report focused on the Western Cape in South Africa.

Further details: https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2020-10-12-domestic-workers-suffer-abuse-sexual-harassment-by-employers-study/

Namibian anti-femicide protesters met with teargas

During the week, the Namibian Police attacked peaceful protesters against gender-based violence in Namibia  with teargas and rubber bullets.. Dozens of protesters were also arrested in Windhoek during the nationwide demonstration. Almost 400 marching in the city to shut it down were beaten and arrested by the police. Women have experienced violence and police brutality in Namibia as over 200 gender-based violence cases are reported monthly with the protesters requesting the president to declare a state of emergency and enforce special training for police dealing with violence and femicide.

Further details: https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2368953/namibian-anti-femicide-protesters-met-with-teargas/

Namibia drops GBV protest charges against gender activists

The Namibian prosecutor general Martha Imalwa has declined request to prosecute gender activists arrested for protesting gender- based violence. The group of activists were scheduled to appear in the Windhoek Magistrate Court following their arrest but were later freed. The activists were arrested and charged for allegedly contravening the public gathering act where gathering of more than 50 people is classified as public disorder.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/namibia-drops-gbv-protest-charges-against-gender-activists–0a202c98-9868-522b-b6f4-68ba8e42d898

Coronavirus Pandemic Worsens Hunger, Malnutrition in Parts of Africa

Hunger and Malunutrition has worsened significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to a survey done from June to August of 2400 people in 10 different countries by the International Committee of the Red Cross economic and security analysts for Africa. The survey showed that the pandemic has caused job losses and curtailed people’s ability to farm or access markets. Since the start of the pandemic 94% of respondent reported a hike in food process and 82% said they had lost income or revenue and only 7% had only enough savings to cope with the prolonged crisis

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/coronavirus-pandemic-worsens-hunger-malnutrition-parts-africa

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