Weekly Heighlight of WPS on the African Continent from 19th to 23rd October 2020

Six Mother Francisca International Academy students die inside school attack for Southwest Cameroon

Gunmen attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Fiango Kumba Meme division Southwest Cameroon killing six students and injuring 13 others. According to eyewitness, gunmen suspected to be separatist fighters opened fire on the school. The armed men arrived on motor bikes in civilian clothing on the 24th of October. The children died because of gunshot and machete attacks.

Further details: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/24/five-children-killed-in-attack-on-cameroonian-school-officials


President Paul Biya has condemned the killings that occurred in Mother Francisca International in Kumba, Southwest Cameroon and instructed that appropriate measures be taken to ensure that the perpetuators are apprehended by the Defence and Security Forces in other to ensure justice.

Central African Republic: some warlords still walk free

Amnesty International many perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses in the Central African Republic have not been brought to justice even though the country has carried out several investigations. In a report published during the week, Amnesty International found that the Special Criminal Court inaugurated by the country could not achieve the desired progress as a result of deficiencies in the countries national justice system such as weakness in addressing the vast scale of human rights violations. The Special Criminal Court is expected to sit on violations including killings and sexual violence throughout the decade of conflict by various armed groups and individuals.

Further details: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/10/central-african-republic-many-people-hungry-for-trials/

Only 0.6% of Continent’s Indigenous Women Are Educated

A study conducted globally by the International Indigenous Women Forum, a global network for indigenous women, has shown that only 0.6 percent of 18.5 million indigenous women in Africa have some form of advanced education and nearly 97% of these women work in the informal sector. The study sampled indigenous women from 11 countries in Africa. This report was pegged on the sustainable development made under the Beijing Declaration 25 years ago.

Further details:  https://allafrica.com/stories/202010220101.html

We want justice for these girls’: the Kenyan helpline for victims of gender violence

While Kenya has made progress eradicating Female Genital Mutilation, the COVID 19 pandemic seems to have led some families to revive this practise. A phone helpline by the UN for victims of gender-based violence has recorded a rise in calls with regards to Female Genital Mutilation since the beginning of the pandemic. This practise has been restored due to the closure of schools and no means for the girls to report the crimes as their absence will not be noticed in school.

Further details: https://www.cnbcafrica.com/africa-press-office/2020/10/17/we-want-justice-for-these-girls-the-kenyan-helpline-for-victims-of-gender-violence/

We are on the brink of a hunger pandemic

The World Food Program hosted its 4th Annual Global report on food crisis involving at least 16 partners. The report noted that almost 80% of all malnourished children live in countries affected by conflict. Additionally, the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurities in families and the number of hungry people could increase to 270 million. Regional conflict in Africa has continued to drive acute food insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin and Central Sahel. Also, weather events have affected food productions in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. In East Africa, armed conflict has led large number of people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and economic crisis has impacted countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan in Africa.

Further details: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/10/633343/we-are-brink-hunger-pandemic

Cameroon closes schools as Boko Haram suicide bombings increase

More than 62 schools have been closed in the Cameroon’s Northern Border with Nigeria due to continuous fear of Boko Haram attacks on children and teaching staff. The Military has displaced children to safer locations as the recent attacks have made schools unsafe for learning. Thirty-four thousand students have been registered as IDP’s.  The Cameroon Military has been reporting at least three Boko Haram Attacks every week since January with most of the attacks being suicide bombers mainly women and children.

Further Details: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/cameroon-closes-schools-as-boko-haram-suicide-bombings-increase-348324/

Covid-19 and conflict forced over 12 million children from school across Africa’s Central Sahel region

According to a figure collated by Norwegian Refugee Council, 12 million children have been out of school as 40,000 schools have been closed for 4 months in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger due to COVID 19 and 776,000 children were prevented from attending school the entire year due to insecurities. In Burkina Faso, overcrowded schools made space for displaced children who fled violence. Students in conflict affected Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger still cannot attend schools. The report also stated that 40 attacks was experienced in Burkina Faso and this has been recorded as the highest rate of attack in recent times in schools.

Further details: https://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/covid-19-and-conflict-forced-over-12-million-children-school-across-africa-s

Government of Uganda hosts Donor Roundtable on National Action Plan III

The Government of Uganda has hosted a donor roundtable to raise funds for the implementation of the on the third generation National Action Plan.  The Government committed to partner with UN Women and other development partners to empower Women in Uganda as they still face challenges even though they play critical role in peace building. These areas of collaboration will include conflict mitigation in communities. At the donor roundtable breakfast in Kampala, the government through the Commissioner, Gender and Women Affairs of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development stated that the collaboration will be done through the National Action Plan III on Women Peace and Security in the context of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 noting that the Ministry needs sh90.5 billion to implement the plan.

Further details: https://www.newvision.co.ug/news/1530084/government-empower-women-mitigate-conflicts

Donors Urge Ugandan Govt to Tackle Violence Ahead of Polls

In a meeting between the Gender Commissioner Ms Angella Nakafero and partners, Dr Maxime Houinato the UN Women Country Representative, highlighted that the issues facing Uganda needs to be addressed before the 2021 general elections.  The Head of the Austrian Embassy Development Cooperation, Dr Roswitha Kremser, stated that although Uganda has a legal framework that supports the effective implementation of the WPS Agenda, women and children remain the most vulnerable during conflict and violence. She further stated that though Uganda has adopted the National Action Plans I and II, women still face inequalities urging stakeholder to work together towards peace building. 

Further details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202010220750.html

4,300 Teenage Pregnancies Reported in 4 Months In Uganda

The Ministry of Gender in Uganda has registered an unprecedented number of teenage pregnancy due to the lockdown. The Minister stated that the government continues to condemn any act of sexual abuse and defilement of young girls stating that parents monitor their children below the ages of 18. The Minister further revealed that a mobile platform called Safe- Pal has been lunched to enable young girls report any cases of sexual abuse.

Further details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202010260408.html

Women hit by humanitarian crisis, violence in Sahel

A report by Care International noted that the impact of gender-based violence against women in the Shel has been under documented. The report stated that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has pushed 6 million people into extreme poverty. CARE has called on donors and government in the region to urgently increase funding to address the crisis in the region invest adequate resources in ensuring that gender-based violence is prioritised in their response. The report also indicated that women and girls are experiencing a sharp increase in various forms of violence. 

Further details: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/-women-hit-by-humanitarian-crisis-violence-in-sahel-/2012132

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