Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings not just an act of terrorismPosted: 19 May, 2014 Filed under: Karen Stefiszyn | Tags: #bringbackourgirls, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Bok Haram, criminal law, gender-based violence, kidnapping, militant, Nigeria, Northern Nigeria, patriarchal society, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, school girls, terrorism, UNICEF Leave a comment
Author: Karen Stefiszyn
Programme Manager: Gender Unit, Centre for Human Rights
The kidnapping by Boko Haram of over 200 school girls in Northern Nigeria is an act of gender based violence for which not only Boko Haram is responsible, but also the Nigerian government. Indeed the militant group has carried out atrocities against boys and men that are equally deplorable, however, in this instance it is not by chance that Boko Haram kidnapped girls. They were targeted because they are girls.
The leader of Boko Haram said in a video shortly after the kidnapping that he would sell the girls in the market. His statement is reflective of an exceptional disdain for girls, which did not exist in isolation, but within a patriarchal society where harmful stereotypes perpetuate girls’ inferiority and enable violence against women to be an accepted norm. Amnesty International has reported that up to two thirds of Nigerian women may have experienced violence in the home by an intimate partner. While domestic violence differs in nature from the kidnapping of over 200 school girls, the common thread is the context within which the acts occur; in a society which does not accord women equal value and provides the structural conditions whereby a girl or woman can be abused in the home or kidnapped and threatened to be sold in the market.
Does the new Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill fill the gaps?Posted: 20 November, 2012 Filed under: Maya Perez Aronsson | Tags: bisexual, Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), corrective rape, disability, gay, gender-based violence, intersexed, lesbian, LGBTI, sexual orientation, transgender, United Nations 1 Comment
Author: Maya Perez Aronsson
Intern, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
South Africa has some of the most progressive legislation on gender equality in the world yet there is a lack of de facto equality in this country. A new Bill has been put forth to further promote women empowerment and gender equality – will this be the solution?
In September 2012 the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities presented the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (the Equality Bill). The purpose of the new Bill is to establish a legislative framework for the empowerment of women and to provide an obligation to adopt and implement gender mainstreaming. The Bill includes detailed provisions regarding these issues such as encouraging the recognition of the economic value of the roles of women in various sectors of life, and the achievement of at least 50 % representation and participation of women in decision-making structures in all entities.