Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 28th September to 2nd October 2020

Cyberfeminism and the digital harassment

A new study carried out in  Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal and South Africa countries shows women disproportionately face online harassment. While recognizing that globally, women experience harassment disproportionality, the study notes that this is exacerbated in online spaces. Women experience cases of non-consensual sharing, doxing and all forms of harassment online.

Further details: https://advox.globalvoices.org/2020/09/30/toward-a-cyberfeminist-future-a-new-study-centers-african-women-as-protagonists-online/

Women must stay sober to avoid being killed

The narrative that women are part of the causes of Gender-Based Violence is very much active, particularly in policy spaces. In South Africa, a councillor has suggested that death and abuse of women are caused by indiscriminate alcohol consumption on the part of the victims. This statement has caused a significant uproar as the statement by the council concealed the role men play in harmful narratives around gender-based violence.

Further details: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/who-ifp-councillor-comments-gbv-what-said-offensive/

Protesters demand justice over unprosecuted rapes and murders

A woman led protest broke out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to the lack of unprosecuted war crimes against women such as rape committed in the easter part of the country. Women came out en-mass in 4 major cities in the country demanding justice from the government. Protesting women were beaten and dehumanized by members of the security forces. The women stated the fact that for a country emerging out of conflict for peace to be a reality, there is a need for justice in the country.

Further details: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/02/drc-protestors-demand-justice-over-unprosecuted-rapes-and-murders

Analysis of Sahel region conflict finds violence rooted in inequality.

The Catholic Relief Services have released a study in the Sahel region concluding that the growing cause of violence in this region is because of economic inequalities. The study further notes that the conflict has further worsened economic inequalities, particularly with women in the region, leading to a vast humanitarian crisis. The study called for raising the status of women as peacebuilders.

Further Details: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/analysis-of-sahel-region-conflict-finds-violence-rooted-in-inequality-85708

Sexual Abuse by Aid Workers

A report detailing sexual exploitation of over 50 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by aid workers during the Ebola Crisis has been released.  The women accused aid workers of sexual abuse between 2018 to 2020. Their stories were corroborated by drivers and staff of local NGOs in the country. Though there has been zero tolerance and crackdowns on such abuses, reports of such atrocities continue to surface. The report further listed the names of the staff and organisations implicated.

Further Details: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/2020/09/29/exclusive-more-50-women-accuse-aid-workers-sex-abuse-congo-ebola-crisis

Internal Displacement Crisis in Burkina Faso

The displacement crisis currently going on in Burkina Faso is often described as one of the fastest-growing as the violence between the Islamic Extremist and Local Defence Militia is escalating. Internal Displacement amplifies pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities that women are exposed to. Women in Africa on average are economically, legally, politically and socially less empowered than men with internally displaced women twice as disadvantaged.

Further details: https://theowp.org/fastest-growing-internal-displacement-crisis-in-burkina-faso/

Female Prime Minister appointed in Togo

The Republic of Togo just appointed its first female Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé. This is a milestone for the country, and it sends the right signals to girls and women. It also demonstrates the commitment of the government and people to broadening the opportunities for women and girls to be empowered and participate in the economic and political sphere. The appointment of the first female Prime Minister is a step towards achieving gender parity and Togo has just taken that step.

Further Details: https://theowp.org/togo-appoints-first-female-prime-minister/

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