Adolescent girls and young women have a right to know: Accessing information on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the wake of COVID-19Posted: 22 October, 2020 Filed under: Kerigo Odada | Tags: accessing information, adolescent girls, COVID-19, experience, exploitation, human rights abuses, information, pandemic, sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual violence, skills, SRHR, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions 2 Comments
Author: Kerigo Odada
Human Rights Lawyer; LLM (Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Africa) student, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
For many adolescent girls and young women around the world, adolescence marks not only the commencement of puberty, but also a time where statistically, the risk of facing human rights abuses such as sexual violence, exploitation, and other adverse outcomes of sex increases. However, despite this high predisposition to abuse, adolescent girls and young women still face multiple barriers in accessing information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Discriminatory cultural values, laws, and policies that are driven by the stigma attached to sexuality have made it challenging for members of this social group to enjoy full access to much needed SRHR information.
As of April 2020, about 1.725 billion students worldwide were forced out of learning institutions due to COVID-19. Although the closure of schools and other lockdown measures were strategic in controlling the spread of COVID-19, this situation unfortunately meant that many adolescent girls and young women were now confined in homes where they were, and still are, at a heightened risk of prolonged sexual abuse, exploitation and negative outcomes of sex.
#IAmToufah makes the message clear: We are not going to wish the rape crisis awayPosted: 25 July, 2019 Filed under: Satang Nabaneh | Tags: #IAmToufah, #Jammeh2Justice, #TimeIsUp, culture of rape, Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow, gender-based violence, human rights abuses, President Jammeh, rape, sexual crimes, sexual violence, The Gambia, women's rights, Women’s Act 2010 Leave a comment
Author: Satang Nabaneh
Project Officer, Women Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In dealing with past human rights abuses and upholding standards of respect for human rights, The Gambia’s transition from an abusive regime to democracy must also entail justice for victims of gender-based violence. Consequently, the most illustrative example of addressing sexual violence being part of the democratisation of society happened last month when 23-year-old former beauty queen, Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow accused former President Jammeh of rape.
Toufah detailed her story from the starting point of winning the state-sponsored beauty pageant in 2014 when she was 18 years old. Over the next few months, Jammeh lavished her with cash gifts and other favors including installation of running water in her family house. She was offered a position as a “protocol girl,” to work at the State House, which she declined. She also turned down his marriage proposal. During a pre-Ramadan Quran recital at State House, Jammeh locked her in a room and told her: “There’s no woman that I want that I cannot have.” She said that he then hit and taunted her, injected her with a liquid, and raped her. Days later, she fled to neighboring Senegal.
Of Tanzania’s cybercrimes law and the threat to freedom of expression and informationPosted: 25 May, 2015 Filed under: Daniel Marari | Tags: African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, bloggers, criminal, Cybercrimes Bill, cyberlaw, democracy, democratic society, digital communication, electronic communications, European Court of Human Rights, European Union, freedom of expression, freedom of expression and information, human rights, human rights abuses, human rights defenders, information, international treaties, Jakaya Kikwete, journalists, privacy, right to privacy, Tanzania, Tanzanian Constitution, Universal Declaration for Human Rights 4 Comments
Author: Daniel Marari
LLM, International Human Rights Law, Lund University, Sweden
On May 8th, 2015 a press release revealed that the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, has signed the controversial Cybercrimes Bill which seeks to criminalize acts related to computer systems and information and communication technologies and to provide for a system of investigation, collection and use of electronic evidence. The said law has serious implications for constitutional and international human rights, particularly freedom of expression and information online and the right to privacy. The most controversial provisions relate to criminalization of sharing of information, extensive police powers of search and seizure, surveillance without judicial authorization as well numerous vaguely defined offences.
It is important to note that that freedom of expression is one of the fundamental aspects of human life. As human beings, we need freedom to develop and share thoughts or ideas about things that happen and influence the way we live. Freedom of opinion, expression and information encourages free debate and plurality of ideas which is important for development of any society. More importantly, these rights are internationally recognised human rights. They are engrained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (art.19), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (art.19) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1981 (art.9), all of which have been ratified by Tanzania.