>>BY MWANAMGENI SAID>>
The Solidarity for African Women Rights (SOAWR) has called upon African heads of state and policymakers to address challenges faced by women and girls in Africa.
Speaking in Mombasa, Help Age International regional representative for Africa Carol Agengo said there is need to change cultural and social norms to curb violence against women and girls.
According to Agengo, when it comes to conflict, women are hardly considered in the planning before, during, and after conflict therefore measures to address such cases do not cater to the specific needs of women such as security, which exposes them to increased violence and rape.
“Communities and government do not take into account the gender dynamics in situations of conflicts,” said Agengo.
On the other hand, the Africa office director for Equality Now Faiza Mohammed said most African countries lack implementation despite having moral laws at the regional level.
However, she urged the government to commit to resources to ensure African girls and women are safe from violence.
“The statistics are very high. It is pointless to talk about numbers because we are still where we are. Not much change is happening,” said Faiza.
“According to statistics,98% of women in Somalia have gone through Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)while South Africa is hailed as the ‘rape capital’,” she added.