In Africa, the fight of feminists against violence against women

In Africa, the fight of feminists against violence against women

“Nearly one in three women (30%) worldwide experience physical and/or sexual violence”, warns WHO as the 23rd International Day Against Violence Against Women is celebrated. The figure rises to 36% for the African continent alone. Rape, early marriages, clandestine abortions, mutilations: these forms of violence, already aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, are still exploding at the convergence of climatic upheavals, armed conflicts and economic instability in the region.

More than a symbol

Founder of the NGO Synergy of Women for Victims of Sexual Violence, Justine Masika Bihamba has long supported women victims of war-related sexual violence in the province of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For her, the Day of November 25 is not just a symbol: “It’s time to take stock and an opportunity to send messages. In the DRC, survivors of sexual violence finally dare to break the silence and testify, after so many years of work to promote rights, but the support needs are enormous. »

Under the impetus of the United Nations, international donors have invested in the fight against violence against women, which has gradually become part of the political agenda of African states. Civil society organizations have supported the implementation of prevention campaigns, toll-free numbers, care and support programmes. However, almost all African countries do not currently have the legal arsenal necessary to repress gender-based violence.

Change the system

For Dieynaba N’Diom, a Mauritanian feminist activist and member of the West African Young Feminist Network, “We are taking advantage of this World Day to challenge our governments”. The young activist is part of this new generation of African feminists, very present on social networks, which is aimed above all at young people.

“We are betting on raising awareness, we are receiving an increasing number of requests from women who need help, this is proof that our mobilization has an impact, she points out. But how to support women when, in my country, they can end up in prison by filing a complaint for rape? »

Clear, “nothing will really change until we have the rule of law”, insists Justine Masika Bihamba. For her, the judicial system needs outside intervention to reform itself, why not via a “transitional justice” involving foreign judges.

“Congolese law provides for five to twenty years in prison for the perpetrators of rape, but many of them see their sentences reduced or simply canceled, so great is the corruption, she denounces. In addition, funds have been released in recent years to compensate the victims, but they have not yet received anything! »

In Rwanda too, appearing before a judge is a matter of bravery. Legal support is essential. Esther Mujawayo, survivor of the Rwandan genocide and founder of the Avega association, is convinced: “We must better prepare the victims to testify, but also work more with justice: during the hearings of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, the survivors sometimes found themselves face to face with their rapists. It takes strength, you have to hold on, in the face of this form of violence! »

Activists in the permanent threat

In constant exchange via social networks, the Network of Young Feminists of West Africa is united in its demands. The Day on November 25 will be followed by a sixteen-day global campaign of activism against gender-based violence, until December 10, the date of International Human Rights Day. This year, the watchword is #Uni-es!

On the ground, being an activist remains a struggle. In North Kivu, Justine Masika Bihamba is the target of M23 rebel fighters, right now, a few kilometers from Goma where she lives. “To be an activist is to put yourself in danger, underlines Dieynaba N’Diom, regularly threatened in her country. In Mauritania, feminism is assimilated to a form of terrorism by certain religious currents which do not want women to be emancipated. »

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top
Breonna Taylor Justice Department charges 4 Louisville police officers Brazil report 1st MONKEYPOX Death out side Afriqa Nichelle Nichols 28-Dec-1932 to 30-July-2022 Top 5 Best Largest Software Companies in the World 2022 Top 5 Best Plaaces visit Brazil