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Domestic violence against women

Oct 27, 2011, 1:02 PM

Many women in Africa including in The Gambia are in one way or the other subjected to one or more forms of domestic violence.

Domestic violence against women affects them either physically, psychologically and socially.

In fact, according to some experts, it is the single major cause of injury to women on the African continent.

Many of the physical injuries sustained by women seem to cause them medical difficulties as women grow older.

Hypertension, arthritis and heart disease have been identified by battered women as directly caused or aggravated by domestic violence suffered early in their adult lives.

It is an undisputable fact that domestic violence denies victims their fundamental right to maintain control over their own lives.

For some women who are victims of domestic violence, they feel not safe even in their homes, and live in fear and isolation.

We are very much concerned about the matter, and hereby call for redress by tackling the issue.

Women are subjected to all kinds of domestic violence, and we need to be reminded that they are human beings with rights, just like those who victimize them.

Men and women should always see each other as partners, and not see one another as superior and inferior beings.

Men should not take advantage of the weakness of women and perpetuate violence against them.

The law of the land provides protection for both men and women, and those behaving badly towards women should always think of the existence of laws such as the Women’s Act.

We once more call for an end to domestic violence against women in all its forms.

The protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa was ratified by the required fifteen member-states, and came into force on 26 November 2005.

It places an obligation on state-parties to take measures to address not only violence against women, but also other aspects of women’s rights: in public or private life, in peacetime and during periods of war or conflict.

It also explicitly includes marital rape and other forms of forced or unwanted sex.