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Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 7th to 11th December 2020

Conflict and COVID 19 has Increased Human Trafficking in Mali 

The conflict and the existing pandemic have left children exploited and abused by the armed group in Mali. The pandemic has worsened social, economic conditions, leading to an upsurge of children trafficking in Mali. The conflict and the pandemic have also caused an increase in child marriage at a very early age because families can’t cope.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/conflict-and-covid-trigger-upsurge-mali-child-trafficking

ICC calls for Investigation in War Crimes committed by Boko Haram

The conflict in North-East Nigeria has claimed the lives of over 30,000 people in the region. Following a decade long investigation into the violence, the International Criminal Court has concluded that the court has a criterion for opening an investigation into war crimes against the terrorist group. The court also said the Nigerian government needed to be investigated for it’s for the crimes they had committed.

Further Details: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55277712

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia-and-australia/icc-prosecutor-seeks-full-investigation-into-boko-haram-extremists-nigerian-forces-1.9366145

Eritrean Refugees may be caught in the Ethiopian conflict

UNHCR has revealed disturbing reports of an overwhelming number of Eritrean refugees been killed, kidnapped and forcibly returned to Eritrea by the Tigray forces. Aid agencies such as Danish Refugee Council assisting the Eritrean refugees have been killed while trying to protect refugees. Also, the Tigray region has restricted access to Eritrea which has made it difficult to protect the refugees.

Further Details https://www.gulftoday.ae/opinion/2020/12/12/un-fears-for-eritreans-caught-in-ethiopian-conflict

https://www.voanews.com/africa/ethiopia-says-forces-fired-un-team-embattled-tigray-region

Kenyan Court Orders Compensations for Rape Victims from 13 Years Ago

The government of Kenya has been ordered by one of its high Court to compensate four victims of sexual Abuse perpetuated by security agents of the state during a post-election violence 13 years ago. The government was sued by eight women all victims of sexual abuse on behalf of other women that has been raped during the post-election violence, for neglect.

Further Details: https://apnews.com/article/international-news-kenya-violence-elections-dfb960a5e851e4ac923963641002b73b

The lives of Women Human Rights Defenders at Risk in Libya

The lives and safety of Women Human Rights Defenders are under threat in Libya as there has been increased violence against women rights defenders, death threats and even some are killed in the process. Reports have surfaced that they do face increased threats, criminalization and abduction and enforced disappearance from government agents.

Further Details: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/11/together-we-must-protect-and-support-whrds-middle-east-and-north-africa

The Rights of Women and Girls are Precarious in North Africa

Ambiguous laws and policies gaps are perpetuating lifelong discrimination against women and girls in North Africa. A report titled the Protection of Young Women and Girls in the Middle East and North Africa, has found that despite progress in the region, the challenges that face women is dangerous and guaranteeing equality for women before the law is nowhere in sight. Though constitutions give room for equality of all citizens, legal loopholes and exoneration of perpetuators of sexual and gender-based violence is hindering women and adolescent girls from enjoying their rights.

Further Details:  https://en.ammonnews.net/article/45141

Malawi President impose strict measures against perpetuators of GBV

Violence against women have been a serious pandemic but the pandemic has exacerbated the issues around GBV. Statistics from GBV in African countries are alarming. In Malawi, the President has called for stricter laws against perpetuators of GBV as the figures of victims are alarming. He announced that the ministry of Justice, Gender and his administration will amend the relevant legislation including the criminal procedures and evidence code to fast-track stiffer mandatory penalties for perpetuators.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/malawi-president-announces-strict-measures-against-perpetrators-gender-based-violence

Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 30th November to 4th December 2020

Over 110 people killed by Boko Haram

Suspected Boko Haram fighters have ruthlessly murdered some farmers in Koshebe village, Borno State, Nigeria. The victims of these heinous attacks were farmers from Sokoto state who migrated to Borno state searching for jobs. It’s been reported that the terrorist kidnapped several women, and the community is calling for the intervention of the government to end these brutal killing sand kidnapping of women as sex slaves. 

Further Details:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/29/nigeria-attack-boko-haram-farm-workers-killed

South Africa Builds Shelter for GBV Survivors

The Minister of Social Development has unveiled a shelter for GBV survivors in Free State, South Africa. This shelter aims to help survivors get the adequate support they need and help them rebuild their lives. This Centre also serves to protect women from their abusers, and the LGBTQI community from Abuse. This opening was done as an activity in commemoration of the 16 days of Activism.

Further Details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202012010893.html

The Effect of COVID 19 on Women

A report from UN Women and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs on the Sustainable Development Goals projected that 34 million women and girls in Sub -Saharan Africa could live in abject poverty in the next decade due to the effects of COVID 19. The report also stated that by 2030, Sub-Saharan Africa would be home to 71 per cent of women and girls living in extreme poverty globally.

Further Details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202012010543.html

Ethiopian Refugee Children at Risk of Trafficking in Sudan

Some aid organizations have raised alarm over the safety of unaccompanied Ethiopian refugee minors coming into Sudan as Sudan is known as a human trafficking ring hub. These aid organizations stated that  some specific communities engage in this trade across the border between Ethiopia and Sudan.

According to these organizations, over 139 unaccompanied children have been seen coming into Sudan, especially girls. Aid organizations have raised alarm over the risk that these unaccompanied minors, especially girls are vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.

Further Detail: https://allafrica.com/stories/202012040107.html

Is Climate Crisis increasing HIV risks for women?

Reports have shown that 80% of girls are at risk of HIV infections, and adolescent girls die from AIDS-related complications every day. Most women are forced to make difficult decisions every day. Most importantly, when natural disasters stick, there is a real threat to food insecurity. The need to secure basic needs such as food arises, often involving sex in exchange for these basic needs.

Further Details: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/hiv-risks-for-women/98878/

Post-Election Violence In Cote d’ Ivoire

Human Right Watch has reported the killings of over 50 people in violence related to the currently concluded election in Cote d’ Ivoire. There were confrontations between opposition and government officials during the elections in the capital and in eight other towns which resulted in a brutal street clash fought with machetes, clubs and hunting rifles.

Further Details: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/02/cote-divoire-post-election-violence-repression

Weekly Highlight of WPS on te African Continent from 16th to 20th November 2020

Fears of regional conflict in Horn of Africa after rocket attacks on Eritrea

The conflict in Northern Ethiopia is gradually turning into a chaotic one as multiple rocket were fired into Asmara the capital of Eritrea by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front.  This has caused a widespread power cut in Eritrea. TPLF claimed responsibility for the incident with Asmara airport being the target for the attack as it is being used by the Ethiopian Forces. TPLF has accused Eritrea of sending troops into Tigray region and has vowed to fight Eritrea with whatever means possible.  The Ethiopian Prime Minister has launched a military operation in the region, and this has caused an outpouring of refugee into Sudan. Two weeks of intense fighting by both parties has destabilized the wider Horn of Africa. This conflict has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and at least 30,000 refugees have fled into neighbouring Sudan and reports of widespread atrocities since the air strikes was ordered by the prime minister of Ethiopia.   

Further Details: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/15/leader-of-ethiopias-tigray-region-claims-responsibility-for-eritrea-strike 

Further Details: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/16/africa/ethiopia-seized-town-tigray-embroils-eritrea-intl/index.html

Morocco troops launch operation in Western Sahara border zone

The shaken ceasefire peace deal between Western Sahara and Morocco has been broken as Morocco launched an operation against Western Sahara into the Mauritanian boarder as it claims this was as a result of provocations by the Polisario Front of Western Sahara. Morocco military forces traded gunfire on Sunday with members of an independent movement in Western Sahara Region. Fighting has snapped the UN brokered truce agreement that has claimed lives in the area for nearly 30 years.

Further Details: https://www.wsj.com/articles/morocco-forces-clash-with-western-sahara-fighters-risking-wider-war-11605450129

Boko Haram terrorists take down helicopter

Boko Haram terrorist targeted a helicopter in north-eastern Nigeria and brought down the helicopter. This led to the death of 5 people including women and children in the Bama region. 5 people were reportedly killed in north-eastern Nigeria on Wednesday when Boko Haram terrorists targeted a helicopter. The deaths included women and children in the Bama region in Bornu State Nigeria. 

Further details: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-terrorists-down-helicopter-kill-5/2047409

Nigerian troops kill 3 boko haram terrorists, rescue women, children in Northeast

The Nigeria Troops of operation fireball have killed 3 Boko Haram and rescued women and children that were kidnapped by Boko Haram Insurgent group. This happened in Bornu State Maiduguri where troops of Operation Fireball where they were performing a patrol and engaged in a combat with Boko Haram terrorist and killed three Boko Haram/ISWAP.

Further Details: https://dailypost.ng/2020/11/19/boko-haram-troops-kill-3-terrorists-rescue-women-children-in-northeast/

Military Intercepts Ransom Payment to Boko Haram Terrorists

The Nigerian military reported that they had intercepted some Boko Haram terrorist collecting ransom from families of kidnaped victims. In a swift reaction, the troops engaged the Boko Haram insurgents which forced them to abort the mission. A shoot out occurred between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military which left Boko Haram Terrorist injured and some dead. Women and children in the captive of the insurgents were rescued.

Further details: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/11/20/military-intercepts-ransom-payment-to-boko-haram-terrorists/

Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 9th to 13th November 2020

Scores Killed in Mai Kadra in Ethiopia

Amnesty International reported the massacre of a large number of civilians who appear to be laborers and were not in any way part of the ongoing military insurgency currently going on. Bodies were reported to be found on Monday in Mai Kadra in the Southwestern part of Ethiopia. The persons responsible for the killings are yet to be confirmed. The bodies included women and men.  

Further Detail: https://www.voanews.com/africa/amnesty-international-scores-killed-tigray

At Least 74 Die in Shipwreck off Libyan Coast

A boat transporting over 120 migrants including women and children has capsized off the coast of Libya.  The International Organization for Migration has reported that 47 bodies comprising of women, men and children was found at the Libyan Cost. IOM has reported that over 900 migrants have drowned this year on the Mediterranean sea. Since the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi Libya has been a hub for unsafe migration and an unsafe port for return of migrants.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/un-least-74-die-shipwreck-libyan-coast

Thousands Flee to Sudan After Clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

It’s been reported that 7000 Ethiopian refugees have fled into Sudan and are being temporarily sheltered in transit centres located near the Sudanese border of Ludgi and Hamdayet. UNHCR and local authorities are screening and registering people and providing water and meals for women, men and children that have been affected by the conflict. Emergency relief have been set up in the region and UNHCR is working with the Sudan government and partners to respond to the amount of Ethiopian refugees coming into Sudan. 

Further Detail: https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudan-focus/thousands-flee-sudan-after-clashes-ethiopias-tigray-region

Disputes Threaten Somali National Elections Time Frame

International Crisis Group has reported that there is a risk the presidential election in Somalia might not meet the planned timeline of February 2021. Disagreements amongst parties as to approach and key officials is threatening efforts to meet the planned time.   The government is currently calling for term extension  as they are currently facing resistance from opposition groups noting that this disagreement can affect the electoral process which can escalate into a conflict.

Further Details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/disputes-threaten-somali-national-elections-time-frame

Militant Islamists ‘behead more than 50’ in Mozambique

A separatist group in Mozambique has carried out an attack with over 50 people reportedly beheaded. These villagers were trying to flee the attack when they were caught and taken to the football pitch and beheaded by the separatist group and several women were abducted by the group. There were reports that the group fired shot, set homes ablaze and raided the village. The villagers are shocked and are calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict as this attack is the worse, they have seen so far.

Further Details:   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-africa-54877202

Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 2nd to 6th November 2020

Boko Haram Kills 11, Abducts Nine Women in Borno

Another Boko Haram attack has been reported in Takulashi Village in Chibok Local government area of Borno state. Nine women have been reported to be abducted and eleven men killed by the terrorist sect. Media sources claim that the insurgent opened fire on the villagers. Villagers reported that there was no military or police presence and the vigilantes were unarmed and left to the mercy of the insurgents.

Further Details:  https://allafrica.com/stories/202011030502.html

Access to electricity necessary to empowering women

Access to electricity is a powerful engine to women’s empowerment as women are twice more self-employed and become wage earning workers outside their homes. This assertion was made by Adaku Ufere, Deputy Chief of Party Africa of Power Africa’s West Africa Energy Program during a virtual discussion on linkages between GBV and energy noting that   35% of women around the world have experienced some form of violence. Furthermore, the discussion presented evidence demonstrating electrified houses report significantly lower acceptance of GBV as this increases the access of women to information and their different worldview on what is considered acceptable. The discussion on the importance of electric to women to preventing GBV was not explored in Nigeria as well as in Kenya where cases of GBV have increased significantly as a result of the pandemic.

Further Details: https://www.esi-africa.com/event-news/gbv-how-access-to-electricity-is-empowering-women/

Cape Town mass shooting possibly linked to Boko Haram gang

A mass shooting occurred in the Gugulethu Cape Flats in South Africa by unknown gunmen leaving three women, four men dead and two other victims injured. The shooting is said to be linked to Boko Haram with reports that the gang has been attempting to extort money from citizens in the area. Residents also confirmed that there has been a recent surge in mass shootings and gang activities in townships across the Western Cape such as in Khayelitcha, Joe Slovo and Phillipi and their victims have been mostly women. The head of the communities have insisted on collaborations between the citizens and the South African police to fight the scourge of crimes in their communities.

Further Details: https://www.capetownetc.com/news/fatal-gugulethu-shooting-possibly-linked-to-boko-haram-gang/

Zambian Peacekeeper Wins 2020 UN Woman Police Officer of the Year Award

The United Nations Department of Peace Operations has announced that the Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of the Zambian police currently serving in the UN Mission in South Sudan is this years’ United Nations Police Officer of the year. This Award recognised her role in establishing the Stand Up for Rights of Women and Girls initiative that has helped reduce and prevent sexual and gender-based violence crimes in South Sudan. She also created a network of male local police officers to help engage with other men to disseminate information and promote the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls.

Further Details: https://thestreetjournal.org/2020/11/africa-zambian-peacekeeper-wins-2020-un-woman-police-officer-of-the-year-award/

Only Women Involvement in Conflict Resolutions Will Bring Peace in the Gambia

The President of Women for Peace in Casamanace in the Gambia emphasised the integration of the needs and priorities of women in recovery and relief interventions as this will help women flourish and contribute to lasting peace. She spoke in a two-day training for women in parliament and other women actors on UNSCR1325 organised by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies. She further emphasised the importance of Resolution 1325 in mobilizing strategic actions in peace building processes by promoting participation of women in conflict prevention and protection and against all forms of gender-based violence. She also

Further Details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202011050924.html

ACCORD highlights the urgency of increasing women’s participation in mediation 20 years after UNSCR 1325

In a virtual event organized by 11 civil society organization across Africa on the 20 anniversary of UNSCR1325 and hosted by Accord, the virtual meeting focused on the increasing urgency for women participation in mediation processes a women suffer more in time of conflict and evaluate the progress and challenges since the adoption of the ground-breaking resolution. Participants in the event included Human Science Research Council; African Institute of South Africa; Women International Peace Centre; Femmes Africa Solidarite; South Africa Women in Dialogue; West Africa Network for Peacebuilding; African Women in Dialogue; African Leadership Centre; Institute for Security Studies; Training for Peace; Accord and the South African Department of Science and Innovation.

Further Details: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/accord-highlights-urgency-increasing-women-s-participation-mediation-20-years-after

Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 26th to 30th October 2020

Boko Haram ‘kills 12’ in raid near Nigeria’s Chibok

There has been reports of Boko Haram terrorist groups attacks which has left 12 people dead. The sect abducted three women and four children. Increasing Boko Haram attacks have become regular in recent weeks as  the sect has continued to destabilize communities in Borno State in Nigeira. This abduction and killing occurred in the town of Chibok where mass kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls occurred in 2014.

Further details: https://www.macaubusiness.com/boko-haram-kills-12-in-raid-near-nigerias-chibok/

West African governments must resource women for peace, security

The Head of United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas  while chairing a virtual meeting on the 20th Anniversary of the UNSCR 1325 at Koffi Annan International Peace `keeping Training Centre in Accra has called for governments in the sub-region should channel resources into training local women in contributing to peace. The Envoy notes that women’s role in security and stability remains extremely low. In his speech he called the full participation of women in formal peace process a level playing ground as conflict continue to have devastating effect on women.

Further Details: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/West-African-governments-must-resource-women-for-peace-security-Ibn-Chambas-1095745

Ten years after a post-election conflict, a new poll stirs violence in Côte d’Ivoire

The third term presidential bid of Cote d’Ivoire president has caused tension in the state and this has left at least 16 dead and several non-supporters of the incumbent president killed in clashes with security forces in recent weeks. There are fears that the situation will deteriorate further and take an ethnic dimension pitting the Northern communities against the Southern, Eastern and Western groups. Political analysts have claimed that the recent inter communal violence shows that long standing ethnic and social divisions in Cote d Ivoire have not been adequately addressed.

Further Detail: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2020/10/28/cote-d-ivoire-election-conflict-africa

Africa needs greater inclusion of women in peace and security processes

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the UNSCR1325 the head of African Peer Review Mechanism, Prof Eddy Maloka and the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, Ms Cristina Duarte have called on greater inclusion of women in peace and security processes in Africa. Both institutions advocated for the full implementation of UNSCR1325 and its domestication in local, national and regional levels will enhance development aspirations on the continent. Both speakers noted the fact that the pandemic has scaled back the gains made as women and girls  have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Further Details: https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/africa-needs-greater-inclusion-of-women-in-peace-and-security-processes/

Cameroon school attack puts spotlight on neglected conflict

The Government of Cameroon has blamed the killing of the Kumba schoolgirls on separatist militants. Other massacres allegedly carried out by the Government in Ngarbuh in Northwest Cameroon in February have been called out on social media by citizens. Human rights groups have accused the Government of Cameroon and separatist militant in the southwest provinces of killing civilians. Citizens have called out the African Union and other international bodies for not prioritising the conflict in Cameroon nor speaking up against it.  

Further Details: https://www.dw.com/en/cameroon-school-attack-puts-spotlight-on-neglected-conflict/a-55402395

Weekly Heighlight of WPS on the African Continent from 19th to 23rd October 2020

Six Mother Francisca International Academy students die inside school attack for Southwest Cameroon

Gunmen attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Fiango Kumba Meme division Southwest Cameroon killing six students and injuring 13 others. According to eyewitness, gunmen suspected to be separatist fighters opened fire on the school. The armed men arrived on motor bikes in civilian clothing on the 24th of October. The children died because of gunshot and machete attacks.

Further details: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/24/five-children-killed-in-attack-on-cameroonian-school-officials

https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-54622166

President Paul Biya has condemned the killings that occurred in Mother Francisca International in Kumba, Southwest Cameroon and instructed that appropriate measures be taken to ensure that the perpetuators are apprehended by the Defence and Security Forces in other to ensure justice.

Central African Republic: some warlords still walk free

Amnesty International many perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses in the Central African Republic have not been brought to justice even though the country has carried out several investigations. In a report published during the week, Amnesty International found that the Special Criminal Court inaugurated by the country could not achieve the desired progress as a result of deficiencies in the countries national justice system such as weakness in addressing the vast scale of human rights violations. The Special Criminal Court is expected to sit on violations including killings and sexual violence throughout the decade of conflict by various armed groups and individuals.

Further details: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/10/central-african-republic-many-people-hungry-for-trials/

Only 0.6% of Continent’s Indigenous Women Are Educated

A study conducted globally by the International Indigenous Women Forum, a global network for indigenous women, has shown that only 0.6 percent of 18.5 million indigenous women in Africa have some form of advanced education and nearly 97% of these women work in the informal sector. The study sampled indigenous women from 11 countries in Africa. This report was pegged on the sustainable development made under the Beijing Declaration 25 years ago.

Further details:  https://allafrica.com/stories/202010220101.html

We want justice for these girls’: the Kenyan helpline for victims of gender violence

While Kenya has made progress eradicating Female Genital Mutilation, the COVID 19 pandemic seems to have led some families to revive this practise. A phone helpline by the UN for victims of gender-based violence has recorded a rise in calls with regards to Female Genital Mutilation since the beginning of the pandemic. This practise has been restored due to the closure of schools and no means for the girls to report the crimes as their absence will not be noticed in school.

Further details: https://www.cnbcafrica.com/africa-press-office/2020/10/17/we-want-justice-for-these-girls-the-kenyan-helpline-for-victims-of-gender-violence/

We are on the brink of a hunger pandemic

The World Food Program hosted its 4th Annual Global report on food crisis involving at least 16 partners. The report noted that almost 80% of all malnourished children live in countries affected by conflict. Additionally, the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurities in families and the number of hungry people could increase to 270 million. Regional conflict in Africa has continued to drive acute food insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin and Central Sahel. Also, weather events have affected food productions in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. In East Africa, armed conflict has led large number of people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and economic crisis has impacted countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan in Africa.

Further details: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/10/633343/we-are-brink-hunger-pandemic

Cameroon closes schools as Boko Haram suicide bombings increase

More than 62 schools have been closed in the Cameroon’s Northern Border with Nigeria due to continuous fear of Boko Haram attacks on children and teaching staff. The Military has displaced children to safer locations as the recent attacks have made schools unsafe for learning. Thirty-four thousand students have been registered as IDP’s.  The Cameroon Military has been reporting at least three Boko Haram Attacks every week since January with most of the attacks being suicide bombers mainly women and children.

Further Details: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/cameroon-closes-schools-as-boko-haram-suicide-bombings-increase-348324/

Covid-19 and conflict forced over 12 million children from school across Africa’s Central Sahel region

According to a figure collated by Norwegian Refugee Council, 12 million children have been out of school as 40,000 schools have been closed for 4 months in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger due to COVID 19 and 776,000 children were prevented from attending school the entire year due to insecurities. In Burkina Faso, overcrowded schools made space for displaced children who fled violence. Students in conflict affected Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger still cannot attend schools. The report also stated that 40 attacks was experienced in Burkina Faso and this has been recorded as the highest rate of attack in recent times in schools.

Further details: https://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/covid-19-and-conflict-forced-over-12-million-children-school-across-africa-s

Government of Uganda hosts Donor Roundtable on National Action Plan III

The Government of Uganda has hosted a donor roundtable to raise funds for the implementation of the on the third generation National Action Plan.  The Government committed to partner with UN Women and other development partners to empower Women in Uganda as they still face challenges even though they play critical role in peace building. These areas of collaboration will include conflict mitigation in communities. At the donor roundtable breakfast in Kampala, the government through the Commissioner, Gender and Women Affairs of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development stated that the collaboration will be done through the National Action Plan III on Women Peace and Security in the context of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 noting that the Ministry needs sh90.5 billion to implement the plan.

Further details: https://www.newvision.co.ug/news/1530084/government-empower-women-mitigate-conflicts

Donors Urge Ugandan Govt to Tackle Violence Ahead of Polls

In a meeting between the Gender Commissioner Ms Angella Nakafero and partners, Dr Maxime Houinato the UN Women Country Representative, highlighted that the issues facing Uganda needs to be addressed before the 2021 general elections.  The Head of the Austrian Embassy Development Cooperation, Dr Roswitha Kremser, stated that although Uganda has a legal framework that supports the effective implementation of the WPS Agenda, women and children remain the most vulnerable during conflict and violence. She further stated that though Uganda has adopted the National Action Plans I and II, women still face inequalities urging stakeholder to work together towards peace building. 

Further details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202010220750.html

4,300 Teenage Pregnancies Reported in 4 Months In Uganda

The Ministry of Gender in Uganda has registered an unprecedented number of teenage pregnancy due to the lockdown. The Minister stated that the government continues to condemn any act of sexual abuse and defilement of young girls stating that parents monitor their children below the ages of 18. The Minister further revealed that a mobile platform called Safe- Pal has been lunched to enable young girls report any cases of sexual abuse.

Further details: https://allafrica.com/stories/202010260408.html

Women hit by humanitarian crisis, violence in Sahel

A report by Care International noted that the impact of gender-based violence against women in the Shel has been under documented. The report stated that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has pushed 6 million people into extreme poverty. CARE has called on donors and government in the region to urgently increase funding to address the crisis in the region invest adequate resources in ensuring that gender-based violence is prioritised in their response. The report also indicated that women and girls are experiencing a sharp increase in various forms of violence. 

Further details: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/-women-hit-by-humanitarian-crisis-violence-in-sahel-/2012132

Weekly Highlight fof WPS on teh African Continent from 12th to 16th October 2020

New Report Finds 73% of Refugee and Displaced Women Reported an Increase in Domestic Violence Due to COVID-19

A new report published by the International Rescue Organization studied patterned from detailed accounts of violence against refugee and displaced women across 15 African countries during this COVID 19 pandemic. The interviews for the report was spread across 3 different regions in Africa where 850 refugee and displaced women were interviewed. The report noted that GBV in the pandemic outnumbered previously reported cases in camps. The report stated 73% of women reported and increase in domestic violence and 51% reported sexual violence and 32% reported a growth in early and forced marriage.

Further details: https://www.rescue.org/press-release/new-report-finds-73-refugee-and-displaced-women-reported-increase-domestic-violence

Boko Haram raids in Cameroon’s Far North region

New Boko Haram raids were reported in the course of the week. Notable, it was  reported that Boko Haram terrorist group raided Oudal village of Mayo Moskota subdivision of the North Cameroon in the dead of the night. The raid left three men killed and abduction of men and women from the village was reported. The villagers have embarked on a search and rescue mission in the region. Reports have shown that in the last two weeks, the village has been a target of Boko Haram attacks leaving many civilians injured.

Further details: https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/10/16/3-killed-5-kidnapped-in-boko-haram-raids-in-cameroons-far-north-region/

Twelve migrants dead, others missing off the coast of Djibouti: IOM

The bodies of 50 Ethiopian migrants including women have been found off the coast of Obock a small port town on the Gulf of Aden. The bodies have been recovered and buried by IOM staff on Friday. About 34 migrants that survived are being treated for minor injuries and shock are being cared for by IOM Migrant Centre in Obock.

Further details: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1075642

Civil society fears spike in GBV cases if government cuts Covid-19 relief funds

The former public prosecutor Thuli Madonsela has joined Civil Society Organization to raise concerns about moves by the government to cut COVID-19 relief funding. The CSOs have expressed concerns of increase in gender-based violence if the relief funds are cut as women and girls will be greatly affected. CSOs are pleading with government to continue providing the R350 social relief of distress grant as well as the R585 monthly grant to caregivers.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/civil-society-fears-spike-in-gbv-cases-if-government-cuts-covid-19-relief-funds-2f18a349-59b5-4681-af93-13cec20b620b

Domestic workers suffer abuse, sexual harassment by employers: study

A study commissioned by the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance has shown a spike in increase of domestic violence of domestic workers. The assertion came from analysis of date from a hotline initiated by the International Labour Organization to report abuse focused on domestic workers. This hotline was initiated after a study alleging that domestic workers in Southern Africa had experienced sexual harassment at the hands of their employers particularly during the pandemic. This report focused on the Western Cape in South Africa.

Further details: https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2020-10-12-domestic-workers-suffer-abuse-sexual-harassment-by-employers-study/

Namibian anti-femicide protesters met with teargas

During the week, the Namibian Police attacked peaceful protesters against gender-based violence in Namibia  with teargas and rubber bullets.. Dozens of protesters were also arrested in Windhoek during the nationwide demonstration. Almost 400 marching in the city to shut it down were beaten and arrested by the police. Women have experienced violence and police brutality in Namibia as over 200 gender-based violence cases are reported monthly with the protesters requesting the president to declare a state of emergency and enforce special training for police dealing with violence and femicide.

Further details: https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2368953/namibian-anti-femicide-protesters-met-with-teargas/

Namibia drops GBV protest charges against gender activists

The Namibian prosecutor general Martha Imalwa has declined request to prosecute gender activists arrested for protesting gender- based violence. The group of activists were scheduled to appear in the Windhoek Magistrate Court following their arrest but were later freed. The activists were arrested and charged for allegedly contravening the public gathering act where gathering of more than 50 people is classified as public disorder.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/namibia-drops-gbv-protest-charges-against-gender-activists–0a202c98-9868-522b-b6f4-68ba8e42d898

Coronavirus Pandemic Worsens Hunger, Malnutrition in Parts of Africa

Hunger and Malunutrition has worsened significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to a survey done from June to August of 2400 people in 10 different countries by the International Committee of the Red Cross economic and security analysts for Africa. The survey showed that the pandemic has caused job losses and curtailed people’s ability to farm or access markets. Since the start of the pandemic 94% of respondent reported a hike in food process and 82% said they had lost income or revenue and only 7% had only enough savings to cope with the prolonged crisis

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/coronavirus-pandemic-worsens-hunger-malnutrition-parts-africa

Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from 5th to the 9th October 2020

UN working ‘relentlessly’ to advance women, peace, and security agenda

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in a virtual discussion on Women Peace and Security reminded participants of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 which underscored the link between gender inequality and fragility between women ‘s security and international security. He called the resolution the foundation of global peace. Since the landmark resolution, the United Nations have worked tirelessly to advance the Women Peace and Security Agenda.

Further details: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1074972

Gunmen kidnap 20 villagers in central Mali.

On the 7th of October, CGTN reported that gunmen seized 20 people in central Mali. Local security forces reported that some of the captives were later released with 9 of them remaining in captive. One causality was reported during the kidnapping and mostly women and children. In recent times, central Mali has been known as the epicentre to routine terrorist attacks.

Further details: https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/10/07/gunmen-kidnap-20-villagers-in-central-mali/

No budget to fund the establishment of GBV council

In South Africa, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane stated that despite commitment, there was no budget to fund the establishment of the national council of gender-based violence and no timeframe on the legislation of the national strategic plan to combat gender-based violence and femicide. It has been seven months since the adoption of the NSP, and the minister’s department is yet to secure the budget and additional resources required to secure implementation especially since 5million Rand was allocated to the establishment of NCGBVF.

Further details: https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/general/2367465/no-budget-to-fund-establishment-of-gbv-council-nkoana-mashabane-tells-parliament/

Virtual hackathon for solutions to GBV

With the increased rate of gender-based violence since the pandemic, more digital solutions are sought to find a solution to the shadow pandemic. Zimkhita Buwa director of Silicon Cape said a hackathon will hold to bring together software developers, IT professionals, academics, and Civil Society Organizations and GBV experts to find a solution to the situation.

The virtual hackathon is scheduled to take place October 3 and 4 and followed by a Bootcamp from the 5th of October to 9 comprising lunchtime talks where experts will explore ways of bringing solutions to life.

Further details: https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/virtual-hackathon-for-solutions-to-gbv-1f0d6aed-2fab-4938-b2f4-f215179c4185

Anti-Gender Based Violence Protests in Namibia

A group of about 300 Namibians protested the surge in SGBV crimes in the country as women are fed up with the rise in the violence committed against women. The women of Namibia handed over a petition with 24 demands to the government, including that a state of emergency should be declared immediately. Frustration and emotions reached boiling point and sparked a demonstration by the discovery of what could be Shannon Wasserfall’s remains by the police at Walvis Bay on Tuesday. Wasserfall had been missing since April.

Further details: https://www.namibian.com.na/95476/read/Enough

World Food Program awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The World Food Program (WFP) won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to fight hunger and improving the prospects for peace in global conflict zones and prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. As a UN agency, WFP has remained at the forefront of providing humanitarian assistance to victims of crisis globally.

Further details: https://africatimes.com/2020/10/09/world-food-program-awarded-nobel-peace-prize/

More than 50,000 Flee New Armed Attacks in Eastern DR Congo

Thousands of Congolese are forced to flee the recent surge in violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 5.5 million people reported being internally displaced fled because of the armed conflict in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. The latest surge is over 50,000 internally displace and is said to be the largest in Africa. The Allied Democratic Forces has displaced a huge population of women and children many.

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/more-50000-flee-new-armed-attacks-eastern-dr-congo

Growing Fears Human Rights Violations Could Undermine CAR Elections

An independent expert warns growing human rights violations by armed groups in the Central African Republic and this risk undermining the 27th of December election of the country’s president and National Assembly. Yao Agbetse’s report documents an extensive and growing litany of violations that affect every segment of the Central African Republic. Agbetse said armed groups, who have signed a peace agreement to end the country’s long-running civil war, are responsible for the overwhelming number of human rights violations.

Agbetse said sexual violence, including rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage linked to the ongoing conflict, is a major concern. He said all parties to the conflict continue to recruit girls and boys as child soldiers and to brutalize them in horrific ways.

Further details: https://www.voanews.com/africa/growing-fears-human-rights-violations-could-undermine-car-elections

ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Mali

The regional West African bloc has lifted sanctions introduced after the overthrow of president of Mali, as a supportive measure following the past coup in the country. Though there is stress on placing civilians in government, four out of 25 posts in Ndaw’s cabinet went to military officials, including defence minister portfolio, taken up by fellow coup leader Colonel Sadio Camara. Colonel Modibo Kone was appointed security and civil protection portfolio, and Colonel Ismael Wague becomes national reconciliation minister.

Further Details: https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20201007-regional-body-ecowas-lifts-sanctions-on-mali

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/