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Gender Based Violence is Increasing in Africa

According to the UN, while overall homicide numbers around the globe are falling, the number of female homicides is not. In fact, in Africa its going up.

In the New York Times article by Abdi Latif Dahir, Shaken by Grisly Killings of Women, Activists in Africa Demand Change, he details recent examples of SGBV around the continent:

Kenyans were shocked when 31 women were killed in January after they were beaten, strangled or beheaded, activists and police said. In Somalia, a pregnant woman died this month after her husband allegedly set her on fire. In the West African nation of Cameroon, a powerful businessman was arrested in January on accusations, which he has denied, of brutalizing dozens of women.

The upsurge in killings is part of a broader pattern that got worse during economic hard times and pandemic lockdowns, human rights activists say. An estimated 20,000 gender-related killings of women were recorded in Africa in 2022, the highest rate in the world, according to the U.N. Experts believe the true figures are likely higher.

In 2022, nearly 89,000 women and girls were killed intentionally- the highest yearly number recorded in two decades. Of all the women and girls intentionally killed last year, some 55 percent were killed by intimate partners or other family members (48,800 victims), showing that home is not a safe place for many women and girls. Although these numbers are alarmingly high, the true scale of femicide is clearly much higher.

The risks of gender-based violence and femicide are only rising as our world is engulfed in conflict, humanitarian emergencies, environmental and economic crises and displacement. Global action is needed to stop the violence from occurring in the first place. We need strong political support, across regions and at the highest level, to drive stronger investment in prevention.

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