Governments in Africa Join the Fight Against Sextortion

According to InDepthNews, Governments in Africa have joined activists in the fight against sextortion.

Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) created gender desks, where sextortion victims can file their cases with female officers, in an effort to deter sexual harassment against women. The goal of these desks is to “seek justice for the victims of sextortion, with a view to ending sexual harassment in the male-dominated system.” The PCCB also launched a hot line for people to report sexual assault.

Section 25 of Tanzania’s 2007 anti-corruption law states: “Anybody being in the position of power or authority, who in the exercise of his authority, demands or imposes sexual favours, or any other favours on any person as a condition for giving employment, a promotion, a right, a privilege, or any other preferential treatment, commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.” However, according to activists, Tanzania’s anti-sextortion law does not deter perpetrators because it is too weak.

Tanzania is not the only African government fighting for social justice. Several other governments have joined activists in the creation of public friendly units. Rwanda already had gender desks in 2005 with UN Women’s support.

“Sextortion, which undermines self-confidence, is hard to prove since it takes place secretly and the evidence is elusive. While anecdotal evidence shows the prevalence of the problem, the authorities have not previously recorded data due to stigma and shame.”

For more information, read InDepthNews article here.