Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, July 30, 1998 Published at 22:58 GMT 23:58 UK

World: Africa

African women march against violence

African women face violence as part of their daily lives

A new campaign has been launched in Africa to try to address the problem of violence against women and girls. East Africa correspondent Cathy Jenkins reports on the launch, which took place in Nairobi:

[ image: East Africa correspondent Kathy Jenkins]
East Africa correspondent Kathy Jenkins
The campaign has been organised by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, supported by human-rights and women's groups.

In a message, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, said it was time that governments and organisations moved from words to action.

Women's groups marched through Nairobi's city centre to the sound of a wind band to signal the opening of the year-long campaign.

One of the aims of the campaign is to raise public awareness, and the march was a way of doing it.

At the launch, held in the National Theatre, a packed auditorium heard government officials pledge their support and promise action.

This was welcomed by women's representatives, who nevertheless said that the pressure for change would still have to come from them.

There was spontaneous applause for speakers who said that the police had to be sensitized so that women felt able to go forward and report violence, and that the courts had to show that it was worthwhile pursuing a case.

The campaign has been launched on Pan-African Women's Day, and it is to go on across the continent for a year.

It wants to begin to change attitudes as well as influence government policies - a difficult task in countries where violence against women is often accepted and endured because of tradition.

The organiser of one women's group which helps battered women in Nairobi described how until now it had been a struggle to explain to women, as well as men, why wife-beating was wrong.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

31 Jul 98|Health
Worldwide move to stamp out violence against women

Internet Links


UN - Status of Women

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief