Tuesday , August 16 2022

Cherie Blair claims that African women's first sexual experience is rape; | Politics



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Cherie Blair has been criticized for “misusing” African women and reinforcing stereotypes by telling schoolchildren during conversation that “African women's first sexual experience” is rape ”.

The barrister and women's rights campaigner gave a talk about women and leadership at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in London, with around 100 people present when she commented.

The Leadership Lecture, as it was called, was held on 20 March. In an email about it, the school said: “We are delighted that this conversation has been very popular.”

One member of the audience, Caitlin, said she didn't want to give her surname, she was surprised by the comment: “No one seemed to feel that I was in a position of authority and should be responsible for saying things like that without any evidence to support them. ”

Caitlin sent an email to the Cherie Blair Foundation – a charity which aims to empower women in developing and developing economies through entrepreneurship – who responded to say they thought Blair's comment had “to the women he had; u meet directly in the first years of the Institute's work rather than a specific piece of research. ”

The e-mail from the organization said: “As I am sure you know, forms of exploitation – including sexual violence – are a huge barrier to gender equality and affect women's ability to learn skills, grow businesses and can t preventing their general empowerment. ”

The Labor MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Chi Onwurah, who is chair of the all-party parliamentary group for Africa, said: “Ms Blair should enable African women to speak for themselves rather than use their voice and experience.” T

Onwurah said that Blair, the former prime minister Tony's wife, should pay the prices of the visas to a diverse group of African women coming to the UK and speak for themselves to help “undo the insults”. and the injury that her words had caused.

He added: “Violence against women is a huge problem in many African countries – as it is here – but characterizing African women's sexual experience as it has rooted in sexual violence undermines many hard work to go to & # 39 To address this issue while playing and stereotyping sexually aggressive African men and passive women. ”

Judy Gitau Nkuranga, Africa's regional coordinator at Equality Now, said: “Between 15 and 49 years, 43% of women have said they have experienced gender-based violence, including sexual violence or abuse. It's not all or a majority but a great number… It's not a unique phenomenon to Africa but it's common and we have to recognize that. ”

Blair said: “My comments answered a question about African African women – not African women – losing their education for a variety of reasons including early pregnancy. In that context, I said that rape experience was their first experience of sex for the vast majority of young women – often aged 12 – 13 – 14 years.

“There are studies that support this, including a WHO report in 2002 that comes to the conclusion: 'There is an increasing number of studies, especially from Sub-Saharan Africa, in show that women's first sexual experience is often unnecessary and enforced. In one case a management study of 544 teenage girls reported that when asked about the consequences of refusing sex, 77.9% of the study's cases and 72.1% of the controls said they were afraid to be beaten if they were refuses to have sex.

“It was not my intention to offend or undermine anyone with my comments, and I would welcome more recent statistics which showed that these findings were out of date. But the sad fact is that too many African young women continue to experience sexual assault, conception and consequently fall out of education. I think it is important to shed light on this, as the role of education is essential to empower women and the importance of investing in young people cannot be overstated. ”

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