Burkina Faso: Violence against women

by Terre des hommes | Terre des hommes (Tdh) - Switzerland
Thursday, 30 January 2014 08:00 GMT

@Tdh/Rocco Romandelli

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Burkina Faso: Violence against women

A representative of Terre des hommes (Tdh) in Burkina Faso states that violence against women, “…a global pandemic transcending all ethnic, racial, socio-economic and religious divides…” is still a serious matter in the 21st century. Tdh, which is particularly well known in Burkina Faso, returns to its historic commitment to this part of Africa for the 20th instance of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The difficult situation in Mali (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/mali) has seen many people leave their country in search of a better life. The neighbouring country of Burkina Faso (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/burkina-faso) has built several refugee camps such as those in Goudebo, Sag Nioniogo and Bobo Dioulasso. In their journey as refugees, women and young girls from Mali are particularly at risk. The dangers they face include sexual abuse, forced marriages, (physical and psychological) violence and discrimination in access to services. By taking part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign, Tdh in Burkina Faso aims to educate and raise awareness of the problems surrounding violence against women.

Tdh is committed to refugees and local communities

The 16 Days of Activism campaign was launched by the UN In 1991 and was recently implemented in the Sag-Nioniogo refugee camp, a dozen kilometres from the capital, Burkinabe.

In Burkina Faso since 1987 and with its experience in the field, the foundation assists refugees and asylum seekers whilst leaving the door open to host communities. To make the population aware of the violence experienced by these women and young girls, Tdh, with the support of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), has organised a number of activities: conferences, radio shows, games, songs, role plays etc. Using short stories, such as that of a young girl forced into marriage and unable to continue her education, the theatre forum has allowed actors to play out and discuss scenes of everyday life and find solutions to its problems. Adama Sawadogo, an activity organiser with Tdh in Burkina Faso, states that “Our aim is to put an end to these offences in family life.”

Protecting children remains a priority

The main purpose of Tdh, that of protecting children, has been enhanced by this campaign. Various themes have been discussed throughout these 16 days, such as: parental responsibility in education, children’s rights and making young people aware of contraception. Tdh is currently undertaking a project in Burkina Faso regarding violence against children, a subject we shall revisit another time.

Every year, Terre des hommes offers sustainable solutions and a better future for over two million children and their relatives. Learn more about our projects in Burkina Faso (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/burkina-faso)