ROAJELF GUINEA: INFORMING, RAISING AWARENESS, AND MOBILIZING AGAINST THE INCREASE IN CHILD RAPE

With the alarming increase in sexual violence against women and girls, Réseau Ouest Africain des Jeunes Femmes Leaders de Guinée (ROAJELF Guinée) has set up the “Multi-actor media campaign on the rape of minors” project. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the severity of the issue and encourage authorities to take protective measures for women and girls. Thanks to support from the Feminists in Action project, ROAJELF Guinea has carried out targeted actions to inform, raise awareness and mobilize communities against child rape. 

RAISING AWARENESS WITH KEY MESSAGES

The project was implemented across six districts in Conakry (Ratoma, Matoto, Matam, Dixinn, Kaloum, and Kassa) through an intensive four-month awareness campaign in markets and schools. The goal was to educate and make the public, especially women and young people, aware of the reality of rape and their crucial role in prevention efforts, including reporting incidents to the authorities. Strong messages like “Child rape is a punishable crime, let’s dare to report it” were created to fuel discussions. These messages led to many testimonies, highlighting the critical need to break the taboo surrounding child rape. Ensuring confidentiality and anonymity to prevent victim blaming within families and communities was identified as essential.

In addition to these efforts, the project team participated in interactive shows on national radio and TV to inform about the legal framework and penalties for child rape. This strategy was strengthened by broadcasting radio and TV spots.

ADVOCATING FOR ENHANCED PREVENTION AND PROTECTION MEASURES

A crucial part of the project was advocacy with political decision-makers, involving the Office for the Promotion of Gender, Childhood, and Morals (OPROGEM), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Pre-University Education and Literacy. This advocacy was vital to make the voices of women and girls heard, highlighting their concerns. It emphasized the need to improve prevention of child rape, ensure appropriate care for victims, and strengthen protective measures. Two concrete commitments emerged: the Ministry of Health pledged to explore the possibility of providing free healthcare for survivors, and the Ministry of Pre-University Education and Literacy committed to considering the integration of modules on gender-based and sexual violence into the training curricula and educational programs.

This article was written by Equipop teams.