Connect with us

Metro

Jail fear prevents women in Mauritania from filing rape complaints

Published

on

Human rights activists are calling for a change to Mauritanian law so that women and girls who have been raped will not be prosecuted for sexual relations outside marriage.

Rape survivors are reluctant to file complaints in the west African country in case they are then charged, according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Adultery is known as “zina” and, in theory, is punishable by flogging, jail terms, or death by stoning if the offender is married or divorced. Mauritania does not as a rule carry out corporal punishments, so flogging and death by stoning can transmute into being imprisoned indefinitely.

One case cited by HRW involved a 15-year-old girl who was imprisoned after being repeatedly gang-raped by four men who held her captive for two weeks, because one of the men – whom she knew – said he would marry her.

In another case, a prosecutor was reported as asking a rape survivor: “If you didn’t consent, why didn’t you tell your parents?” When the survivor said she knew the man who raped her, the prosecutor said: “All the things you are saying are lies, you did this willingly.”

Government statistics are not freely available, so it is impossible to know how many people are in jail for zina, but girls as well as adults are thought to have been imprisoned for the “offence”.

“Women and girls should not run the risk of jail or further stigma for reporting sexual abuse,” said HRW’s Sarah Leah Whitson. “To combat sexual violence, Mauritania should require law enforcement and public health systems to stop treating victims as suspects, support them in seeking justice and recovery, and prosecute the perpetrators.”

Read also: Trial of spy who ‘offered sex for job’ puts strain on US- Russia ties

HRW called for the government to decriminalise and stop prosecuting and detaining people for zina, as well as to pass a law defining rape and criminalising all other forms of sexual violence.

The Mauritanian government responded at length to the report, saying that most incidents of sexual assault and domestic violence were against minors or adolescents. “Perpetrators are often individuals close to the victims or family members who exploit the innocence and immaturity of the above mentioned people to sexually abuse them,” the government statement said.

Life is not easy for many Mauritanian women and girls. The prevalence of female genital mutilation is 67%, some ethnic groups see domestic violence as a sign that a husband loves his wife, and many girls are sent away to “fat camps” in the desert to be force-fed, so that they put on large amounts of weight and fit Mauritanian notions of beauty.

Metro

Despite hardship in Nigeria, Tinubu insists on harsh economic reforms

Published

on

Despite the hues and cries of agony by Nigerians over the excruciating high cost of living and economic challenges occasioned by the policies of the present administration, President Bola Tinubu says his administration remains steadfast in implementing his economic reforms that he believes will facilitate business growth and create investment opportunities that support Nigeria’s growing population.

The Nigerian President, who made the pledge on Thursday when he recieved a delegation from the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) led by Florizelle Liser, its President and Chief Executive Officer, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, further expressed his administration’s
unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s economic growth and stability, emphasizing that he was not relenting until his vision for Nigeria was achieved.

Tinubu emphasized that though he is not oblivious of the fact that a large percentage of Nigerians are currently going through unbearable conditions, his bold reforms will, in the long run, come good and Nigerians will be better off.

While addressing the delegation, the President said he would not relent until his vision for Nigeria was achieved.

”I am happy that the Council is interested in various segments of Nigeria’s economy. We are right in the middle of a challenging stage of our reforms. We have headwinds, no doubt, but we are not going back,” he said.

”We are challenged, and we believe we will overcome the challenges. I have a can-do attitude that must be translated into a must-do attitude. We have a good team, and we must remain focused to get the goal accomplished,” he reiterated.

President Tinubu also reaffirmed his commitment to creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, emphasizing that his administration’s focus on investing in key sectors, such as agriculture, solid minerals, energy, health, physical infrastructure, trade promotion, financial services, digital enterprise, and the creative economy is underpinned by the need to ensure the welfare and prosperity of citizens.

”We are going to do more on security and investing in education, as we believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty. We welcome partners like CCA, and we will strengthen our partnership to achieve our goals,” he added.

Continue Reading

Metro

Zambia: Opposition FDD calls for creation of agric bank

Published

on

Zambian opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), has called on the government to re-establish an agricultural bank in the country.

The party’s Information and Publicity Secretary, Caeser Liteta, who made the call in a statement on Wednesday, said it was important that government to set up an agricultural bank to provide financing for farmers to invest in irrigation facilities as a result of the drought being experienced in the country.

Liteta added that government should take stock of affected small scale farmers through the extension officers under the Ministry of Agriculture and ensure that a true reflection of affected small scale farmers was captured and prioritised as beneficiaries of farming inputs during the 2024 – 2025 farming season

“The UPND government must consider re-establishing a farmers’ bank similar to the defunct Lima Bank Limited to provide financing need to invest in irrigation facilities,” Liteta said.

He noted that the effects of climate change had become visible and more pronounced and it was high time President Hakainde Hichilema and his Cabinet considered re-establishing the farmers’ bank to help mitigate effects of climate change in the agricultural sector.

“The current Super El Nino being experienced in the country has devastating effects on the rainfall pattern and going by media reports, we may only have a few days of rainfall in the next five weeks, but sustained rainfall is finished for the 2023 – 2024 farming season, especially for farmers in Lusaka, Central, Eastern and Southern Provinces,” Liteta said.

Liteta stated that the FDD as a party, had taken effects of climate change seriously and, as a policy matter, had developed the soon to be adopted Environmental Strategic Plan that was centred on Agriculture, health and water and sanitation respectively.

“Through the programmes, our party hopes to mitigate effects of climate change in areas of agriculture, associated diseases and challenges in depleting sources of clean water both, rivers and boreholes.”

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

VenturesNow44 mins ago

Nigeria’s FDI in manufacturing rises by $644m in 2023

According to data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), foreign investments into the industrial sector increased by $644 million...

Metro2 hours ago

Despite hardship in Nigeria, Tinubu insists on harsh economic reforms

Despite the hues and cries of agony by Nigerians over the excruciating high cost of living and economic challenges occasioned...

Sports15 hours ago

Nigeria’s D’Tigers withdraws from 2025 AfroBasket qualifiers due to lack of funds

Nigeria’s senior male basketball national team, D’Tigers, have withdrawn from the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers dunking off in Tunisia on...

Tech15 hours ago

Ethiopia’s Awash Bank partners Mastercard to launch international prepaid cards

Ethiopia’s leading private financial institution, Awash Bank S.C, has partnered with global payments company, Mastercard, to launch the Awash international...

Metro21 hours ago

Zambia: Opposition FDD calls for creation of agric bank

Zambian opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), has called on the government to re-establish an agricultural bank...

Metro1 day ago

Hardship: Nigerian govt to resume direct cash transfers to 12m citizens

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, has revealed that the federal government will resume...

Musings From Abroad1 day ago

US keen on expanding bilateral trade with Nigeria

According to the US Consulate in Nigeria, it is looking for ways to guarantee prosperity for Nigeria by increasing bilateral...

Strictly Personal1 day ago

Nigeria’s Currency Crisis: Time to deploy Amotekun, By Chinedu Chidi

I have thought long and hard about just the right solution to the downward spiral of the Naira, and confidently...

Sports2 days ago

Kelvin Kiptum: Autopsy reveals late Marathon record holder died from head injuries

An autopsy carried out by the Kenyan government has revealed that late world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, died from...

Tech2 days ago

M-PESA partners IFC to increase financial inclusion for farmers in Mozambique

Mobile money transfer and payment service provider, M-Pesa, has entered into a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aimed...

Trending