Africa

This report deals with law reform processes in legislating FGM. It gives background information on the types of laws in some African countries, including those without specific laws against FGM. 

This project was implemented by Human Angle, an organisation that has been working in Nigeria to protect the right of widows to inherit their deceased husbands’ estate, without being dispossessed by their in-laws. Human Angle uses the following ways to achieve this aim:

BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights hosted the Sexuality Workshop held for African Partners from December 12-16, 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria. A total of 18 partners including one logistics person were in attendance. The overall workshop objective was to consolidate the projects executed by African Partners under the MDG 3 grant awarded to Women Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE), discuss ways forward and build synergies across different countries implementing the project. The following planned outcomes were achieved from the project:

Salmmah addresses women issues specially violence against women. Salmmah is leading an on-going campaign on the "Rape Law Reform" that aims to reform article 149 in the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Act on rape, and participaes in the "Dress Code" campaign focusing on article 152 "indecent acts" in the 1991 Criminal Act, that gives the perpetrator (police officer) all the right to judge the victim women/girl according to his own manners and beliefs and in all cases in an inhumane way.

BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights (Nigeria) in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communication (South Africa) - with support from Women’s Living Under Muslim Laws - convened a Capacity Building Training for the Women Reclaiming & Redefining Cultures (WRRC) working group members on Strategic E-Campaigning from June 7th – 9th 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria. Nineteen women from Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, London, Niger, Canada and Sudan participated in the training. 

The “Stop Violent Punishments Against Women” campaign project of BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights in Nigeria began in 2009 with a training workshop designed to sensitise journalists and other media professionals on issues of culturally-justified violence against women (CVAW).  BAOBAB promoted the message that VAW cannot be justified by culture (such as discriminatory treatment of widows) or Islam (for example where in the religious legal systems of some states lethal punishments such as stoning for the crime of adultery still exist).

In 2010-2011, Salmmah Women’s Resource Center in Sudan followed up on their previous year’s project under WRRC on sexual harassment, which had aimed to raise awareness, collect baseline data, inform policy makers of the underlying contributing factors, and suggest examples of measures to adopt for effective remedy.

Why are women circumcised? These operations are medically unnecessary, agonisingly painful and extremely dangerous. Some girls die from shock and loss of blood. Others develop psychiatric problems from the trauma. Many have chronic infections lasting a lifetime and there are numerous troubles with childbirth, intercourse and menstruation.

Most of the estimated 70 million circumcised women and girls live in certain parts of Africa and the Middle East. There the practice thrives for a variety of social reasons.
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