A BBC documentary titled ‘Sex for Grades’ has exposed the extent of systematic sexual abuse against female students in West African universities. Although cases have been reported they are almost always dismissed due to lack of evidence causing an endemic that has left students vulnerable and unprotected.
The occurrences of sexual harassment against women on public transport, and ride hailing apps is of grave concern. A service called ChaufHer that is by women, for women hopes to provide a safer environment for women, and children as they go about their everyday lives.
Anger and tears were in evidence as students and staff from the University of Cape Town (UCT) were joined by members of the public outside Parliament on Wednesday morning, 4 September, to call for an end to sexual and gender-based violence.
Sexual harassment in the informal sector is pervasive, widespread, and alarming. Although the lack of regulation within the sector is a blessing of sorts for small scale traders and artisans, it leaves the women vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment. Something that women in Kampala’s largest markets are fighting to change.
Human Rights Watch calls for decriminalisation. Many of the sex workers described cases of rape, corruption and harassment by police officers.
The Nigerian Church is one of the most oppressive institution in the country. Its victims are mostly women and the poor. These past few weeks, the #MeToo movement knocked on the doors of the Church and the response has not been so favourable. Nigerian women still have a huge fight on their hands as they mark small victories, punctuated by huge steps backwards.
A video showing a recently sworn-in Nigerian Senator assaulting a nursing mother has gone viral.
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.
The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad should strengthen efforts against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.