Weekly Highlight of WPS on the Continent 5th to 9th July 2021

Hundreds of Tigray women come out to tell their story

Women of Tigray who experienced gender-based violence during the Tigray conflict have come out to tell their stories. Cases of gross violation of human rights on the part of government agents. Cases of rape and torture were recorded by the women. Witnesses have stated that cases reported are inaccurate as most women for fear of stigma and reprisal attacks have refused to report. One common denominator that the rape victims keep mentioning is that they were all violated and assaulted by the military.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/ethiopia-tigray/hundreds-women-girls-brutalized-soldiers-tigray-war-0

Zimbabwe goes back into lockdown to curb the spread of COVID 19

COVID 19 infection rate in Zimbabwe has tripled over the past months and this has spread panic in the country. This spike has forced the authorities to impose tighter lockdown measures. Human Rights groups have expressed concerns over vulnerable groups including women as there have been reports of a drastic increase in gender-based violence since the pandemic began. Also, most women in Zimbabwe depend on the informal sectors for their livelihood and cannot get exemption letters that are needed to get to their place of work. This in turn hinders women from having a steady source of income which keeps women in poverty.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/zimbabwe-reverts-2020-lockdown-covid-19-cases-rise

The Right to Education In Nigeria Is being threatened

Rights to education is a fundamental human right that everyone irrespective of gender is entitled to. In Nigeria, the current wave of kidnapping by bandits has threatened the rights of children to education particularly that of the girl child. North-western Nigeria has more than 70 percent of school dropouts and low levels of literacy and school enrolment. The continuous kidnappings have worsened the situation. The government of Nigeria has closed 13 schools in the region after more than 140 students were kidnapped from their place of primary learning.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/nigerian-state-closes-schools-after-140-students-kidnapped

Nigerian Women Lead Reintegration

Resolution 1325 addresses, amongst others,  two critical issues such as the inordinate impact of violent conflict and wars on women and girls as well as the crucial role that women play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. With this in mind, women from North-eastern Nigeria organized a two-day conference to discuss the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ex Boko Haram combatants into their communities. Women from these affected regions are being supported to head the reconciliation processes between ex-combatants of Boko Haram and communities as the government has faced pushbacks from communities in their bid to reintegrate these ex-militants. This conference was a welcome event knowing that when women are involved in these conversations, the processes are very effective.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/nigerian-women-lead-reintegration-ex-boko-haram-militants

Rwanda Sends Troops to Mozambique to fight Militant

Given the increased need for support to combat the conflict in Mozambique, Rwanda has deployed 1000 soldiers and policemen to help Mozambique in the fight against Jihadists in Cabo Delgado. Women in Mozambique have faced severe hardship as a result of the conflict and women and girls live in fear of being kidnapped, raped, or forced into marriage or prostitution.  The need for international intervention serves as a beacon of hope in ending the conflict.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/rwanda-sends-1000-soldiers-police-fight-mozambique-militants

Widows of South Sudan Veteran Army Cry out for Help

As South Sudan celebrates its 10th year anniversary, widows of liberation soldiers of South Sudan have cried out as they are in desperate need of help. The conflict in South Sudan has left thousands in desperate need of welfare, healthcare, and education which has left many women resentful. Women who were widowed by the conflict have stated that they have been forgotten by the government and this has left these women in poverty.

Further Details:  https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudan-focus/veterans-widows-south-sudans-liberation-war-accuse-government-neglect

No End in Sight as Violence in Central African Republic Continues

Since the overthrow of the government in 2013, the Central African Republic has been in turmoil leaving 1.2 million people displaced. A human rights lawyer appointed by the United Nations Human Rights body to the Central African Republic has reported to the UN apex body that the major rebel group (Coalition of Patriots for Change) has intensified its attacks on the civilian population. In his report he stated that child soldiers have been recruited, sexual violence and murders have been on the rise. Sexual violence against women has been classified by the UN as a war crime and resolution 1325 speaks to the protection of women which must be done in CAR.

Further Details:   https://www.voanews.com/africa/violence-and-abuse-wreak-havoc-central-african-republic

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