Survivors Use Social Media to Report Sexual Harassment
Cameroon is being swept by a recently reinvigorated #MeToo movement after more than a thousand testimonies of sexual harassment, assault, and other abuses were reported on social media. This resurgence came after a whistleblower anonymously shared a report that a popular businessman, Hervé Bopda, had been accused of sexual harassment. This led to the influx of similar allegations of abuse by Bopda, with many reporting gruesome details of abduction, beatings, and threats. Lawyers are now assisting victims in their pursuit of justice. “It is really a #MeToo moment as it is bringing to light a culture of powerful men preying on young people who are vulnerable because of their poverty and lack of social support,” said Kah Walla, a prominent Cameroonian rights activist and politician.
Women Fight for Fair Run in Indonesian Elections
Indonesian elections will take place next week, with women hoping that they will finally achieve greater female representation in office. Indonesia has a mandated nationwide quota system that stipulates women must make up 30 percent of candidates in every electoral district at all three levels of parliament. However, this has failed to translate into women securing a commensurate number of legislative seats. Patriarchal attitudes are still widespread across Indonesia, and political campaigns can be costly. In addition, women candidates are often treated less seriously than their male counterparts. “During one of my campaigns, a male district head told the people there that I was just a supplementary candidate. That I was in the contest just to help my party to meet the representation quota,” said legislative candidate Lingga Permesti.
Millions Still At Risk of Female Genital Mutilation
This week saw the observance of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is aimed at building awareness of this practice and helping bring it to an end. This year’s theme, designated by UNFPA and UNICEF, was “Her Voice. Her Future. Investing in Survivor-Led Movements to End Female Genital Mutilation.” Over 200 million women and girls have undergone FGM, and in this year alone, nearly 4.4 million girls are at risk. “Survivors have first-hand knowledge of the challenges they face, and the tools needed to eliminate the practice. It is crucial that we invest in survivor-led movements, especially at the grassroots level, by dedicating resources that will advance their efforts,” acknowledged the joint statement by UNFPA and UNICEF.