UN Launches Campaign Against Domestic Violence in Africa
The United Nations Fund for Women launched its campaign against gender-based violence in Africa today, which is also Pan-African Women's Day.
Although reports of domestic violence are on the rise in Africa, it has yet to be recognized as a serious crime, according to women's and human rights organizations. Despite laws against assault, men in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya are permitted to "correct" their wives with physical punishment under the "required limits" of the law, according to "Women of the World: Laws and Policies That Affect Their Reproductive Lives," a report published by the Center for Reproductive Policy and the International Federation of Female Lawyers. "Beating a wife is a normal thing among the Maasai people and if a husband doesn't do it occasionally, he gets ridiculed by his friends," said a Maasai woman.
The campaign aims to increase public and media awareness about the problem, as well as to encourage women to report cases of abuse and to facilitate legal reforms. The United Nations Development Program is educating police about domestic violence.
One problem the UN may face is that those who assist victims of domestic violence are often criticized by church and community leaders for breaking up marriages.
Media Resources: Feminists Against Violence - July 29, 1998
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .