Par Olivia Tchamba, Human Rights Program Officer
«Mon père m’a donné en mariage à l’âge de 12 ans, ma mère ne voulait pas mais elle n’a pas droit à la parole. Ma première grossesse a failli me coûter la vie, j’avais à peine 13 ans (…) ». C’est en pleurs que B.N., une jeune dame à Saraya dans la région de Kédougou au Sénégal partage ce récit de vie.
Cette grande souffrance qu’elle exprime ainsi, trouve écho dans le témoignage d’une autre victime à Banfora au Burkina Faso, qui dit: «A la suite du décès de mon mari, sa famille a voulu que je sois la femme d’un de ses frères, mais comme j’ai refusé, elle a saisi tous les biens de mon mari me laissant ainsi seule avec les enfants sans aucune ressources». Deux inconnus certes, mais des réalités de vie assez similaires. Les violences faites aux femmes et aux filles sont un fléau. A l’échelle mondiale les statistiques sont assez parlantes. Selon le rapport des Nations Unies, Les femmes dans le monde 2015 : des chiffres et des idées, 35 % des femmes, soit une sur trois, subissent des violences au cours de leur vie. En Afrique, la violence physique à l'égard des femmes est particulièrement élevée. Près de la moitié des pays ayant contribué à ce rapport ont signalé une prévalence supérieure à 40%. Dans le cadre d’un projet visant à contribuer à la prévention et l’élimination des violences basées sur le genre dans 3 pays cibles, notamment, le Sénégal, le Mali et le Burkina Faso, la Fondation TrustAfrica a commandité des études exploratoires dans lesdits pays. Ces recherches ont permis de mettre en exergue les formes de violences faites aux femmes mais également leur ampleur ainsi que les causes qui les soustendent. Elles contribueront également à orienter les investissements, les activités de plaidoyer et d’autres interventions de TrustAfrica dans cet espace.
In September 2019, Heads of State and Government gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This marked the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.
The mantra “leave no one behind” has been embraced by the development community and embedded in global development efforts. The importance of tackling inequalities and fighting for the inclusion and participation of marginalized people is therefore obvious. However, it must be recognized that numerous voices are still not heard in the global development processes. A particularly loud one is that of people facing discrimination based on work and descent.
Discrimination based on work and descent (DWD) is estimated to affect over 260 million people worldwide, in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. This form of discrimination which is prohibited under international human rights law is referred to by the UN as structural and hierarchical systemic discrimination. Descent based discrimination fundamentally undermines the dignity of the persons concerned; it fuels violations of the right to education and employment, undermines access to justice and all too often, catalyses sexual violence and other crimes targeted at women and girls. Although reports such as that of the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, presented during the Human Rights Council’s 31st Session in March 2016, limits its understanding of DWD to Caste and other analogous forms of discrimination, there are communities that have not necessarily been identified under the DWD framework that fit in the definition.
By Momodou Jaiteh, Journalist, The Gambia
A regional youth forum on governance, human rights and peace recently wounded up in Banjul, Gambian capital.
The forum which revolved around the theme “Engaging Young African Leaders in the Implementation of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas, Accelerating Positive Social Transformations for a Democratic, Prosperous, Inclusive and Peaceful Africa,” was co-organized by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Origination (UNESCO), Trust Africa and other partners.
UNESCO and its partners acknowledged that young women and men held creativity and potential to drive, change things for themselves, their own societies and the world.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Dembo Kambi, the Chairman of Gambia’s National Youth Council said African youths could no longer continue to be liabilities for their societies. He stressed that young folks in Africa could no longer continue to live in abject poverty, hopelessness and other problems in this day and age, saying: “We want to take part in the leadership and development process of the continent so that we can live the Africa we want.”
- Your Excellency Dr Isatou Touray, VP of the Republic of The Gambia
- Honorable Ministers
- Dr Dimitri Sanga, Director of Unesco
- Ms Fatou Jagne Senghor, Regional Director of Article 19
- Dr Marema Toure, Chief of Section SHS, UNESCO/BREDA
- The presidents of AYC, GNYC and PAYNCoP (pan African youth network for a culture of peace)
- Ms Hanna Forster, Director of ACDHRS
- Colleagues of UTG
- The artists present here (Killa Ace, Master Soumi, Djeinaba…)
- Distinguished Participants
- Media reps
- Youth of Africa
I feel greatly honored to stand here today to present greetings from the organisations that partnered with Unesco in the organization of this Forum: CODESRIA, Article 19, UNHR, UNOCHA, FAS...
Engaging young African leaders in the implementation of the 2030 and 2063 agendas, Accelerating positive social transformations for a democratic, prosperous, inclusive and peaceful Africa
Dakar on October 21, 2019- UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West-Africa Sahel, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Trust-Africa, CODESRIA, ARTICLE 19, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the NGO women Africa solidarity through its Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (FASPAC), the Gambian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-Gambie) are co-organizing with the Pan-African Youth Organizations (PAYNCOP – AYC – AAPI), the third African regional youth forum scheduled to take place in Banjul (Forum-Banjul+3), in close collaboration with the Gambian authorities.
This prestigious African youth consultation, which is in line with the organizers' efforts to promote respect for political commitment, democracy, governance, human rights and guaranteed freedoms; social cohesion, conflict prevention, peace and security, will bring together young leaders from all over Africa from 28 to 30 October 2019 in Banjul to discuss the role of African youth in peace building and conflict resolution.
International Rural Women’s Day 2019
By Bethule Nyamambi and Nompilo Simanje
It is no longer a secret that women are the pivotal actors in agricultural activities, particularly in providing the productive labor force and knowledge that will contribute to building climate resilience in communities. Women are therefore the curators of knowledge on sustainable food systems, seasonality and nutrition. The 2019 theme for the International Rural Women’s Day could not be more relevant, with its focus on fostering climate resilience targeting the most affected - rural women and girls in Africa. The unpredictable effects of climate change, which ultimately will reduce crop yield, disrupt food availability and access and increase inequality and poverty if not addressed, requires the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach to ensure rural women enjoy full rights and access to technology, skills and inclusive policies to address the evolving effects of climate change.