Governments must protect women victims of violence during the coronavirus pandemic

Maty Mbaye club ARTICLE19 Yeumbeul Nord

ARTICLE 19 West Africa called today on governments to do more to protect women from the most pervasive breach of human rights: violence against women.

Women continue to experience different forms of violence, including psychological, sexual and physical, which can even lead to death. A study by the United Nations Development Programme has shown that almost 90% of people are biased against women. 

This year, in some countries violence against women has significantly increased with the coronavirus pandemic.

Fatou Jagne Senghore, Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 Senegal/West Africa, said:

 “The figures on GBV are alarming. Women continue to suffer verbal, physical, sexual and psychological violence. It is sad that on 10 December 2020, which marks the end of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, it still is necessary to urge governments that they must act and create adequate spaces for women and girls to get protection and speak out. ”

 This Human Rights Day we want to remind the governments that they must fulfil the commitments they have made to protect the rights of women and girls as state parties to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).”

 Women must know their rights to claim them. Survivors of violence against women must get appropriate remedies, which include among others, access to medical care and justice.

 “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

 Through the thematic chosen by the United Nations this year, the young people in the ARTICLE 19 clubs in Senegal express themselves and reiterate the call to end violence against women.

 On the occasion of the end of the 16 days of activism, ARTICLE 19 interviewed Mrs Diago Diagne Ndiaye, the Regional President of the Ecowas Women’s Peace and Security Network (Repsfeco). She said:

 “Let’s stop violence against women, girls and boys, we have a duty to denounce all forms of violence, assaults on women, girls and children. Violence impedes women, hinders their economic, mental and psychological development.Condemning these forms of violence is a civic duty. To achieve this, we must implement a concerted action to better address these issues and work together in synergy around the priorities identified by the United Nations: funding for our projects and programs, intervention through very concrete actions, prevention through awareness-raising and a capacity building program for all stakeholders, but also conducting research to collect reliable data to better support our advocacy”.


  • Created in 1991 by activists from the first International Women’s Leadership Institute, the 16 Days of Activism is a yearly campaign from 25 November 2020 to 10 December, which aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.


  • Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December, and marks the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human and Peoples’ Rights (UDHR).

 For more information, please reach out to:

Eliane NYOBE, Senior Program Assistant, ARTICLE 19 West Africa:  

Tel: +221 77 553 13 87 or +221 33 869 03 22