African women have been subjected to a lot of cruel treatment in the name of being submissive and respectful to their spouses. The problem has trickled down to our young girls in the account of them being defenseless. Manipulating them into abusive acts sexually and even enduring physical torture. Mostly the perpetrators are men. In fact, most African men believe that battering your wife is a form of exercising authority. In doing so, they fail to understand that a woman is fragile and should instead be protected. Amid the pandemic, women from different countries in Africa have aired their concerns to the extent of demonstrating their rights like in Nigeria. Here are five remedies that can help realize justice for violence against women in Africa.
5 Practical Steps towards eliminating violence against women in Africa
#1. Raise awareness of harmful traditional practices
It is quite saddening that Female genital mutilation is prevalent in some African countries like Kenya. Statistics from the World Health Organization reveal that more than 200 million living girls and women have gone through the cut. All of whom come from 30 African nations. Egypt and the race of condemning this practice as it produces serious consequences on girls. The scenario is even worse for women in Guinea Bissau, who 93% are subjected to FGM. The risks associated with this act range from problems in urinating, development of cysts to have complications during childbirth. The World Health Organization has stated that FGM has no significant beneficial health to women. Allowing women to know the dangers they are exposing their young girls and themselves too will go a long way in salvaging them.
#2. Engage respected community elders in the fight against violence
It all goes back to our leadership system. The rules and regulations formulated are the ones that affect the African woman. If the leaders were made aware of the injustices and domestic violence upon women, then legislative measures will be put in place to counter the issue. Formulating laws that protect against domestic violence and ensuring that they are fully implemented is key. In fact, most of these African nations where women are oppressed lack an efficient implementation strategy for the laws set. That is why there are women activists all over the streets chanting for justice to be delivered. Community leaders play a major role in aiding the implementation of these rules, following the level of respect accorded to them by community members.
#3. Empower women and girls to speak out about their challenges
The only way to get to know the violence against women and girls in a community is by letting someone know. Apparently, that is not the case for some, if not most, of the African women. Due to the fear instilled in them by their oppressors, they cannot explain their prejudices. Hence it even becomes hard for available organizations and the government to intervene. For this reason, young girls being forced into traditional practices like FGM and even early marriages should be encouraged to open up. They should be made aware of the protections available to them against these practices. The same goes for women who are experiencing domestic violence from their spouses. Assuring them that it is okay to report their husbands and are entitled to a happy life is called for.
#4. Mobilize boys as wells as men to be agents of change
It is an essential strategy as it addresses the perpetrators in place. Of whom a bigger percentage is the male gender. And it all starts with the young generation. Imparting knowledge against the use of violence from an early age goes a long way in fostering a peaceable community. Men should also be given an insight into the importance of peace. They should also be enlightened on pursuing other means other than violence to settle disputes. Nonetheless, with these actions in place, the root cause of all means of violence against women will be addressed. It is a sure bet for ending violence against women.
#5. Campaigning for the female gender to attend education.
Education enlightens individuals in ways that they may not know. A level of assertiveness and confidence is realized, as portrayed in the current generation of educated girls. If the same were also offered to the girls in the marginalized and rural areas, then violence would be a thing of the past. Women and girls in the rural areas have been accustomed to the traditions set for them and denied the right to education. They are made to work at home and even subjugated to early marriages. Through education, women, as well as girls, get empowered at a young age. As a result, a battalion of young girls is empowered to rescue their colleagues. Thus they can give back to the community.