Africa’s Ongoing Struggle to End Violence Against Women

Men and women face many different challenges in day to day life, but women alone are hindered by the rampant sexual abuse problems in Africa today. While women are making strides in education and employment equality, they cannot seem to escape the effect that this abuse has on their well-being. Over half of women in many Sub-Saharan African countries face physical, domestic, and sexual abuse in their daily lives. Whether it is related to female genital mutilation or domestic abuse, women face problems that men largely avoid in these categories. Only by actively making a change both in the societies in which they live and in their cultures as a whole can these women be freed of this constant abuse.

A man holds a sign supporting the end of sexual abuse in Africa.

The ending of the torturous and barbaric practice known now as Female Genital Mutilation or FGM is a constant battle for activists in many parts of Africa. Not only does this practice have constant effects on the well-being of women, it is a clear view of the inequalities that they suffer in their society. FGM is more than just demeaning to women as equals, it is also a large part of health concerns for them. It can leave permanent scarring, which can lead to inability to bear children, along with infection and disease. Only recently has this been determined to be a violation of their rights and although there is public outcry against it, it is still an issue in many areas. Additionally, many women are abused both sexually and physically by their husbands and other men in their societies. These issues are a large part of women’s problems with equality in Africa and leads to them still being considered lesser than men by these cultures. Only through educating the affected societies of the dangers and facts can women hope to receive equal treatment.

Fortunately, many governments and activists groups have shown great strides in ending these struggles for women. By enacting new laws punishing those involved, the governments of these African countries are beginning to curb both domestic violence and help those who have been affected by it. Activists groups have been both educating and training locals on how to get involved and make a difference with action. Because of this social reform, women are able to reach out for aid from those that can help. They are realizing that they are the victims and deserve better treatment. By helping these innocent women that they aren’t in the wrong by defying these acts, they have helped them reach closer to both ending violence towards women and equalizing gender inequality.


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