Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio is fighting to end the culture of “indifference” and impunity surrounding rape and sexual violence by declaring it a national emergency. This will provide support to the First Lady’s “Hands off our girls” protection project.
For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, Nana Akosua Hanson argues that the problem of sexual harassment in schools is rooted in patriarchy and that there is an urgent need for a complete overhaul of how we educate our children on matters of sex and relationships.
Prevailing patriarchal and cultural norms in some societies prevent women victims of sexual crimes from talking out by shaming them.
Today November 25 marks the start of the #16DaysofActivism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The 2018 theme is Orange the World: #HearMeToo.
Prolific Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga has expressed her hope of starting a #MeToo campaign in Zimbabwe to highlight the abuse and discrimination suffered by women, as the viral movement has yet to make waves in her country and many other African countries.
The South African charity Action Breaks Silence is working with schools to educate girls in self-defence and mental strength while encouraging boys to be empathetic and emotionally expressive. So far, more than 12,000 girls and 1,365 boys in 150 schools countrywide have been through the programme.
The prize recognises that violence against women has become a weapon of war.
Leaving no-one behind should mean focusing on both the abused and the abusers. This is the only way in which the 16 days of activism can be inclusive enough and ensure change for today’s and all future generations.