Is Rape on the Rise? Or Is It Women’s Activism?

I’ve lived in NIgeria long enough to be abe to say that the attitudes and behavior on sex, women and rape have been consistent over the past 30 years. What I think is that there is increased reporting and increased outrage from a growing middle class fueled by increased women’s activism.

That’s considerable progress. The efforts of the past 10+ years have not been in vain. The Nigerian women’s movement has had an impact. There is still so much more to be done but we can look back with a sense of accomplishment as we plan a new strategy.

I read that traditionally in some communities the penalty for rape was to compensate the father of the victim or marry her to her rapist.  A lot of research has done by Project Alert and CIRRDOC into the corelates of various forms of violence against women.

Women are beginnig to speak up and speak out, and the media is picking up their stories. Like this one from Enugu about a group of women that said enough is enough to male impunity. The ABSU Rape Walks in Lagos, Abuja and Abia last week were successful despite disruptions. They certainly rattled the police.

Now we need to make the law work for them.  How we do it is the next big challange.


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