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.
Nigeria accounts for 87% of violence against women in the region. In northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram has its roots, women are subject to systematic attacks and abductions. They are recruited as labourers, including for sexual purposes, or as informants and combatants. In Burkina Faso and Mali, women are subjected to assault and rape by armed groups. They are also subjected to deteriorating living conditions in rural areas as well as forced migration.