Weekly Report of WPS on the Continent for 15th to 19th February 2021

Women Underrepresentation in Politics in Cote d’Ivoire

In 2019, Cote d’ Ivoire parliament passed a law of 30% quota systems for women in parliamentary elections, yet no political party has met this 30% threshold. It has been reported that women only hold 11% of the lower chamber seats of the national assembly in the country. World Bank statistics have shown that Cote d’ Ivoire is behind some of its neighbours with Senegal at 43%, Togo 19% and Ghana 13%.

Further details: https://www.theafricareport.com/65880/cote-divoire-women-underrepresented-in-parliament-despite-2019-law/

South Sudanese women’s group making history by bringing warring ethnic tribes together

Women have always been known to be the bedrock of peace in homes and communities. The women group of South Sudan, known as the Bendigo group also provide a model for community led action. These women from different warring groups come together irrespective of their ethnic groups and tribes to learn from each other and mutually create and share peaceful elements in their collective culture.

Further details: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/bendigo-white-nile-african-women-group-cultural-bonds/13145250

Ethnic Conflict Rocks South Sudan

Reports have emerged from the United Nations Human Rights Commission of ongoing conflicts in South Sudan between the allied Dinka and Nuer militias, Murle pastoralist militias in central and southern Jonglei State, and the Pibor area. This outbreak of conflict does not reflect the progress made since the peace agreement of February 2020. The scale of violence exceeds the previous violence in 2013 and 2019.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2021/02/20/un-report-details-ethnic-violence-in-south-sudan/

Electoral Violence in Niger

Several deaths of the Niger Electoral Commission staff have been recorded as they were reports of explosives stuck to the vehicle they travelled in. According to news sources, armed groups vandalized pooling stations and stole vehicles belonging to opposition parties in other regions. The Government of Niger claimed that terrorist groups in the state carried out these attacks. 

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2021/02/22/niger-elections-trigger-violence-fatal-explosion/

Conflict in Chad during the Sahel Summit

The conflict between farmer and cattle herders in Chad escalated this week, claiming more lives amid the regional security meeting of the G5 nations held in Chad. About 35 people were reportedly killed including soldiers deployed to keep the peace in the conflict areas.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2021/02/18/on-heels-of-sahel-summit-another-35-die-in-chad/

Norwegian Government calls on Ethiopian Government to protect Health Care Centres

It has been reported that humanitarian aid facilities such as schools and health centres set up in the refugee camps in the Tigray region affected by the ongoing conflict are being destroyed. The NRC has called on the Ethiopian Government to address this issue as it is crucial that all parties to a conflict must respect international humanitarian law. These complaints have been previously made by other human rights and humanitarian aid NGO’s working in the region.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2021/02/10/norwegian-government-calls-on-ethiopia-to-protect-ngos/

History Has Been Made

History has been made as one of the world’s leading intergovernmental organization has proudly chosen African Women to lead the organization. The World Trade Organization elected Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to lead its institution to February 2025. This is an important achievement towards having more women taking up critical leadership spaces both in Africa and around the world.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2021/02/15/nigerian-named-new-head-of-world-trade-organization/

Scores of Rape Cases reported in Tigray Region

Witnesses, medical and aid workers in the Tigray region have spoken of many widespread rape cases in the aftermath of conflict in the region. The Government of Ethiopia has confirmed these allegations. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission states that half of the rape cases occurred in the region’s Mekelle capital in the last two months.

Further details: https://gulfnews.com/world/africa/ethiopia-confirms-widespread-rape-of-women-in-conflict-hit-north-1.77149232

Meanwhile, Belgian Human Rights campaigner, Assita Kanko, has called on the Ethiopian Government to grant access to the Tigray region. She stated that the area is on the brink of famine, and it seems the Ethiopian Government is deliberately withholding food to starve the population. Some women in the region have reported that government forces have forced them to have sex in exchange for essential commodities. Also, the United Nations has called the attention of the international community to the rape cases going on in the Tigray region.

Further details: https://www.theafricareport.com/65501/pressure-grows-on-abiy-as-ethiopia-admits-rape-widespread-in-north/

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