A report of Africa’s CSW62 consultations held in Addis Ababa in February 2018, states that rural communities particularly women in Africa are under-resourced in addition to the fact that women and girls living in rural areas face different realities and challenges across the continent.
Most of these challenges are directly linked to gender inequality and structural barriers, including women’s unequal access to power and resources which disadvantages and discriminates against women and girls living in rural areas.
In November 2019, the Soroptimist Club of Lomé Aurore (Togo) launched a campaign on the theme: sexual violence against girls in urban and wider rural areas/awareness of the phenomenon of sexually exploited girls who are forced to exchange sex (often unprotected) for money or other goods.
The club organized a discussion and dialogue session on this theme which counted a very large number of participants. The Minister of Social Action for the Promotion of Women and Literacy accepted the invitation of the Soroptimists to raise awareness among the target population and the local media followed this meeting closely.
The target population:
- primary and junior high school girls
- girls working on the border corridor
- adult learners of the evening course
- teachers and professors
The objective of the Club:
- increase participants’ knowledge of the importance of educating young girls in rural and urban areas
- encourage young girls to break the silence
- encourage men to actively engage in the struggle
- to solicit the ministry in charge of the resolution of this violence and the measures taken
- Highlight the legal remedies against these practices
Addressing the complex development challenge of gender-based violence requires significant learning and knowledge sharing through partnerships and long-term programs. The Soroptimists of Lomé Aurore are committed to working with partners and key actors to prevent and address VAWG in these kind of projects.