Women’s Access to Justice in Africa

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Rape remains one of the most underreported crimes globally and in Africa, factors such as the stigmatization of rape survivors and a lack of trust in the criminal justice system, discourage women from reporting rape to the police. Global Leaders Fellow, Dr. Peace A. Medie, therefore, seeks to understand how survivors can overcome the socioeconomic barriers to reporting and how criminal justice systems in Africa can better serve women.

With funding from the Social Science Research Council – African Peacebuilding Network, Peace is studying the factors that encourage and discourage women from reporting rape in Côte d’Ivoire. She has found that a woman is more likely to report her victimization to the police if she has a relative or friend who believes her account and encourages her to report. She discussed her findings in the Mary Kinglsey Zochonis lecture, which she delivered at SOAS in October 2015. Dr. Medie will be speaking at the University of Cambridge in February and the International Studies Association’s annual convention in March. Visit her website for more on her work.