En Afrique, un sexisme « épidémique et dévastateur » au sein des Parlements


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Members of the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, June 1, 2021.

“Male counselors spend their time making jokes and developing progress. They come back to it all the time. “A friend grabbed me by the chest. “Men in the party tried to force the woman to have sex with them in order to compete. ” Evidence from a great sympathetic sympathy by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the African Parliamentary Union (UPA) and published Tuesday 23 November are negative.

The study, unpublished in Africa, exposes sexual harassment “Plague and destructive” within the legislatures of this country. Thus, 40 percent of women counselors say they have been sexually assaulted while working with a man or a candidate of the opposition party. And 23% of those beaten, like Kenyan MP Fatuma Gedi, were beaten twice in Parliament in 2019.

Meetings are seen as a safe place for women, a lot of beatings happen there. But for elected African officials, violence can also take place on the streets, at rallies. The report indicates that they are the target of “Youths ruled by political opponents or terrorist groups”. The second person, who did not want to be named, like 223 other women interviewed in the study, said: “They tried to rob me. Guns were fired at my car during the election. There was one death, but trying to steal did not work.”

Forced kissing, slapping buttocks

In 2016, a global survey revealed violence against women in all states. But African women remain at high risk of sexual violence in political institutions. As a result, 39% of elected women on the continent are said to have been abused, as opposed to 25% in Europe. These differences, reports report by political instability as well “Ethics, culture and religion”. They also find that being in a minority group, not getting married or having a disability increases a woman’s risk.

Another interesting factor is the high level of violence in parliament – kissing, buttocks, or bruising of the breasts or thighs unnecessarily – reported by 6% of elected officials and 5% of parliamentary officials. “It’s very common to be pushed around and around the ass. Some delegates tell us: “Women, you need to be touched before your heart dies.. The authorities know about this but do nothing ”, testifies to the member mentioned in the report.

In the face of this abuse, women’s voices are struggling to come out. Reports remain baseless – only 7% of respondents who had been sexually assaulted warned the leadership of their parliament. Omerta motivated by fear of “Lack of loyalty to the party, injury or harassment or non-compliance by parliamentary officials”. “When we openly protest, we die politically,” he said. a brief description of the counselors.

Such poisonous behavior, along with cyberbullying and bullying, helps keep women out of politics. Because according to this study, further beatings, beatings or insults, violence against men and women are also reflected in the reduction of political expression. “Men often make noise, talk loudly or walk out of the room when I talk to my girlfriend or me. This gives the impression that you have been pulled back in the hemicycle and in public life,” he said. witnessed a member. A friend of mine spoke about me: Look how loving he is, I’m talking about fighting poverty and building roads! “, another rebel.

Oral abuse in conflicts

The growing number of men in parliament makes people feel that they have no punishment and no violence against women. As a result, in Senegal, where consolidation in the National Assembly has been the norm since 2010, the apparent uprising against women seems to be on the decline, according to Adji Mergane Kanouté, vice president of the main parliamentary caucus. Participating in politics since 2008, they are seen as a result of the femininity of the hemicycle.

However, the MP sees the persistence of verbal abuse in major disputes: “It is demeaning to us as mothers, and it undermines the self-esteem of others. “ As a result 72% of those surveyed confirmed that they were affected by the protests.

In an effort to protect women, to prevent political upheaval and harassment of girls who want to become women, the study calls for the establishment of laws on the issue of violence against women in politics. Because at present, in Africa, only Tunisia recognizes, in its own laws, political violence against women and imposes severe penalties on the perpetrators.


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