Mapping Africa Transformations


In conflict-affected areas, gender inequalities are exacerbated. Women and girls experience different forms of violence in addition to structural discrimination against their political representation and economic and social empowerment. They are deliberately targeted by Islamist organisations and militias and are victims of government forces during counter-insurgency operations. Within communities, they are also exposed to violence related to the sharing of water, land, and other resources.

MAPTA-Gender analyses data on violence involving women in West Africa over the past 20 years. This data is drawn from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) and is critical to providing a better understanding of the nature and severity of violence against women and girls. While the full magnitude remains unknown, this dataset is an important step to informing more gender-focused responses to conflict.

Women can be perpetrators of violence through the recruitment of new members, the promotion of violent organisations’ objectives or through suicide bombings. Between 2011-21, women were involved in more than 20% of suicide attacks in the Lake Chad basin region and up to 37% in Chad. This phenomenon has sharply decreased since mid-2010.


Suicide attacks carried out by gender

The number and intensity of suicide attacks carried out by women peaked in 2015, at the height of Boko Haram military campaign and subsequently decreased as Boko Haram lost its grip on northern Nigeria.

Technical note: For more detailed information on the methodology and data, please refer to the Publication Femmes et conflicts and its methodology section.

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