Home Foreign Amnesty International condemns Burkina Faso male chauvinistic culture

Amnesty International condemns Burkina Faso male chauvinistic culture


Ouagadougou – Amnesty International has described Burkina Faso culture as a male chauvinistic culture which always insisted on deciding in the place of the woman.

The group which condemned the attitude in a report on Wednesday in Ouagadougou, said women in the country didn’t have the control over their own bodies.

It also noted that that Burkina Faso’s marriage laws were failing girls who were forced into early marriage by their families and threatened, abused and beaten by their partners for seeking contraception.

The rights group said even though forced marriage is illegal in Burkina Faso, the law applied only to state-registered marriages.

It noted that instead it should have applied to the religious and traditional ceremonies which accounted for most of Burkina Faso’s forced and early marriages.

Amnesty said the law also stated that a girl must be aged 17 or above to marry, yet half of girls aged 15 to 17 in the northern Sahel region are married.

The rights group complained that the current legislation in Burkina Faso had critical gaps, leaving many women and girls unprotected and unsupported.

Gaetan Mooto, West Africa Researcher at Amnesty, said Burkina Faso had the sixth highest rate of early marriage in Africa, with one in 10 girls married by the age of 15 and more than half married by 18.

“Families often marry off girls to improve family alliances and social status, or in return for goods, money and services,” Mooto said.

He said investigation revealed that some areas of Burkina Faso also had the practice of ‘Pog-lenga’ or ‘bonus woman’, where a bride brings her niece to the husband’s family as an extra girl to be married.

Motoo quoted a 15-year-old Celine one of 379 women and girls interviewed by the human rights group, as saying, “I did not want to marry the man (her aunt’s husband).

My aunt told me `’if you flee, we will destroy you”. Reuters/NAN)

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