Weekly Highlight of WPS on the Continent 17th to 21st May 2021

Spike in Sexual Violence in Cameroon Anglophone Crisis

Cases of sexual defilement in Cameroon by uniformed security agents have increased in the past weeks as a result of the ongoing conflict in the region. Over 500 cases of sexual assault have been reported in the first quarter of 2021 while 4300 cases were reported in 2020. As with many conflicts, women and girls are disproportionately affected as conflict exposes the vulnerabilities of the systems that fail to protect women and girls which opens up avenues for them to be exploited.

Further Details: https://www.dw.com/en/sexual-violence-rampant-as-cameroons-anglophone-crisis-intensifies/a-57581115

Intercommunal Conflict in Sudan

In a new report, the Head of the UN Mission in Sudan noted that despite the progress made by Sudan towards a peaceful transition of government, continued conflict and violence against women and girls has threatened the countries peace and stability. He further stated that there is a need for accountability particularly for crimes against women and girls, and the need for more women participation in the transitional legislative council.

Further Details: https://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/amid-sudan-s-transition-process-intercommunal-conflict-violence-against-women

South Africa Department of Women and Gender out of Touch with realities of Women

Opposition MPs have slammed the Minister of Women and Gender of South Africa Ms. Maite Nkoana Mashabane for not doing enough about the increasing levels of GBV in the country noting the ministry has not done much to eradicate this shadow pandemic. The MPs stated that no adequate policies have been driven by the department to end Violence against women rather more women are considered at risk as the government has failed to implement interventions to end GBV.

Further Details: https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/you-are-out-of-touch-minister-opposition-mps-slam-department-of-women-over-gbv-response-20210519

Ethiopian Government Prosecutes Soldiers for Rape

The Government of Ethiopia has finally prosecuted 3 soldiers of rape and pressed charges against 28 others suspected of killing civilians. This is long overdue as calls against violation of the rights of women have been made to the Ethiopian government since the onset of the conflict in the Tigray region. Additionally, 25 soldiers have currently been charged with rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/ethiopia-convicts-3-troops-rape-charges-28-killings

Tanzania Deporting Displaced Mozambicans

UNHCR has called on the Government of Tanzania to accommodate Mozambican refugees that are seeking asylum in Tanzania as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country. Many women and children have been affected by the conflict in Mozambique and have fled into Tanzania for safety but have been forcefully deported back to Mozambique. This contravenes the pillars of the WPS agenda which expects the protection of women.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/unhcr-calls-tanzania-stop-deporting-mozambican-asylum-seekers

Africa hosts the highest number of displaced people  

In a new report by the International Displacement Centre, North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East constituted 90% of the population of displaced people. The organization which reports the number of internally displaced notes that more often than not, women are more affected by conflict and displacements which sets them back as they face challenges in securing a decent livelihood and lack the right resources that meet their specific needs. These displacements reinforce pre-existing discriminations and social-economic disadvantages against women.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/record-55-million-people-displaced-last-year

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