Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
Thoraya
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Bangladesh
Colombia
Ghana
Kenya
Mauritania
Mexico
Morocco
Romania
Sierra Leone
Turkey

Laying the groundwork
Starting off right
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects



MAURITANIA
Tackling domestic violence from many angles


Prior to 2003, survivors of rape in Mauritania were thrown in jail while the perpetrators went free. Correcting that gross injusticeand getting society to recognize the problem of rape at allbegan with the grass-roots efforts of four Mauritanian midwives, who could no longer ignore the stories they were hearing from their clients. With UNFPA support, the first statistics on sexual violence in Mauritania were collected, and a centre was established to respond to the multiple needs of survivors. Breaking the taboos surrounding the discussion of rape was the first step in addressing the problem. Local imams lent their support to the effort, convincing government officials, judges, the police and members of the community that protecting women and easing the suffering of those who are most vulnerable was a religious obligation.

 



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