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City of Banjul
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Stop violence against women!

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It’s sad that most of the abuses women face especially sexual harassment and other forms of physical and psychological abuse are clearly not projected and shown for what they are but instead the media and other communication agencies continue to play the male dominance and biases that have permeated the narrative since the advent of the technological medium. However, even in the midst of these various obstacles the many women leaders and activists around the world continue to fight and inspire change. We salute them.

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It’s eight days away from the International Day Against Violence Against Women and the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence. The theme of this year is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” and this theme comes at a much better time. The women caught in conflict zones are the hardest hit. Ranging from beheading, forced imprisonment to rape, the women of war torn countries are faced with the most brutal forms of oppression and they continue to cry out for their rights, which in those countries usually fall on deaf ears and for the most part activist who speak for them are also ignored.


Last week, a report emerged that some 200 women were the victims of a mass raping by a Sudanese army garrison. Though the report was vehemently denied by the state authorities and declared false, it only throws light on the plight of those women who are caught in the zone and shows that it can actually happen, which makes it the all sadder. The institutionalisation of abuse in countries that are in war and conflict situations is one of the most hazardous realities of the war itself and long after the war is gone, many women are found who are utterly devastated and traumatised by the aftermath of what they went through.


There is need for continuous effort on the part of all those who are in public positions to guarantee the protection of our womenfolk. Activism will get the world as far as the politicians and policy makers are willing to take the next step in the actualisation of policies that are put in place already; for there are already abundant human rights and civil rights instruments that guarantee the rights of women out there that only need the backing and commitment of those in positions of power to change the entire narrative for the better.


Militarism and gender based violence are intrinsically bounded in a very disturbing marriage. The statistics always shows the most harrowing figures when it comes to the abuse of women by military forces whether in the war torn zones to places that are relatively unstable. The abuse of power and might put the vulnerable at the mercy of guns, boots and bayonets and in most cases they are seldom overlooked or protected. In the face of it all, it seems the world continue to superficially overlook the imperatives and focus more or less on the effects which are bound to reoccur without the curbing and blockage of the means and causation. 


World peace will only be a pipe dream when women are caught in this victimisation and vicious cycle of abuse simply because they are weak and cannot readily stand for their rights and defend it. We might register progress in science and technology, make giant strides in various fields of academia but as long as the woman is caught in these menaces and is not protected the way she should be, then we have failed woefully and all our achievements amount to nothing. The promise and fullness of freedom for each and every human being is the claim of the postmodern man and he desires this but it won’t be seen as truthful until it enters the world of reality by liberating those who are in bondage and are in that state simply because they are powerless and vulnerable in the face of the powers that be.


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