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Gabon Records Over 2,000 SGBV-Related Emergency Calls In 9 Months

More than 2,000 emergency calls related to women in gender-based violence situations were recorded in nine months in Gabon.

More than 2,000 emergency calls related to women in gender-based violence situations were recorded in nine months in Gabon since April 30, 2021 when the emergency line became operational.

According to Prisca Nlend Koho, Gabonese Minister of Social Affairs and Women’s Rights, out of the more than 2,000 calls made to the number, 85 involved physical violence which victims were taken charge of in partner university hospital centres, while 320 calls were received by social workers of the listening unit for orientation and mediation.

The minister made these revelations on Thursday, Feb. 10,  during the presentation of the seventh periodic report related to the application of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the typology of violence identified by both the centre for calls and the listening unit related to sexual, physical, psychological, verbal, administrative, and economic violence as well as problems linked to the maltreatment of widows and orphans.

“Directly contacting the listening unit of the Ministry of Social Affairs by victims also results in diverse support envisaged by the law,” the Minister said.

“Among this support, there exists judicial clinics, which have as objective, to assist women who are victims of violence in the procedure of depositing and following up complaints and also a unit dedicated to the follow-up of girls and women who have been subjected to violence; another unit is destined for the follow-up of widows and orphans.”

Koho revealed that in the pursuit of support to victims of violence, a refuge for women victims and their children is being created and would be operational within the next few months.

“The idea here is to offer to women a solution of urgent accommodation and to accompany them to adequate structures where they would be taken care of and also towards their self autonomy,” the minister said.

Besides the telephone number which can be contacted free of charge and in confidence, an internet platform for information, www.gabon-egalite.com, supported by social networks has also been launched.

These would be used in informing and sensitising women on equality between women and men and on physical, sexual or moral violence.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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