The South African local government elections and the COVID-19 pandemicPosted: 20 September, 2021 Filed under: Tariro Sekeramayi | Tags: 2021, African Charter, African Court, Constitution of South Africa, COVID-19, democracy, Dikgang Moseneke, elections, electoral process, fairness, free and fair election, IEC, Independent Electoral Commission, Moseneke Report, municipal elections, pandemic, registration, South Africa, South African Local Government Elections, transparency, voting 1 Comment
Author: Tariro Sekeramayi
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
South Africa’s local government elections, to elect the municipal tier of government, are constitutionally mandated through section 159 of the Constitution of South Africa to take place every five years. These elections were scheduled to take place towards the end of 2021 and have been the subject of great deliberation in the nation. Conducting elections during a pandemic has been the subject of much debate on the continent and worldwide, with certain countries choosing to continue with elections amid the pandemic and others choosing to postpone their elections amid concerns of the risks involved. Nations on the continent that have held elections during the pandemic include Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. Given the extent of the risks of holding elections during the pandemic and mixed calls on whether to postpone or continue with elections in the nation, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa ordered an inquiry commission to determine the nation’s capacity to hold free, fair elections during the initially scheduled period in October.
Towards eradicating female genital mutilation in NigeriaPosted: 3 September, 2021 Filed under: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn | Tags: abuse, abuse of women, Africa, child marriage, clitoris, cultural relativism, domestic violence, federal law, female genital mutilation, fgm, FGM/C, fistula, GBV, gender-based violence, Harmful practices, harmful traditional practices, human rights, indigenous areas, international call, maternal mortality, Nigeria, protection, psychological violence, sexual violence, socioeconomic violence, traditional circumcisers, Type II, vagina, violence, women's rights Leave a comment
Author: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn
Human Rights Lawyer and Gender equality advocate
Nigeria is home to over 180 million people, 49.4% of whom are female. Along with the rest of the population, the Nigerian female population will experience dramatic increases in size by 2050. As far as violence against women is concerned, federal law addresses sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, harmful traditional practices, and socio-economic violence. The law also cites spousal battery, forceful ejection from the home, forced financial dependence or economic abuse, harmful widowhood practices, female genital mutilation/cutting (“FGM/C”), other harmful traditional practices, substance attacks (such as acid attacks), political violence, and violence by state actors (especially government security forces) as offenses.
A 2019 survey on domestic violence found that 47% of respondents had suffered from domestic violence or knew someone who had; 82% of respondents indicated that violence against women was prevalent in the country. Police often refused to intervene in domestic disputes or blamed the victim for provoking the abuse. In rural areas, courts, and police were reluctant to intervene to protect women who formally accused their husbands of abuse if the level of alleged abuse did not exceed local customary norms.