Mozambique: Women discuss violence and torture in the country’s prisons.
Hermínio José - Maputo, Mozambique and Vatican News English Africa Service.
The two-day training event took place recently in the Mozambican capital, Maputo.
The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (also known as the Bangkok Rules) were adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2010 and fill a long-standing lack of standards providing for the specific characteristics and needs of women offenders and prisoners.
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
The training in Mozambique is part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. It is an annual international campaign that starts on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Quitéria Guirrengane, Executive Secretary of the “Observatório das Mulheres”, the current action is urgent for the Mozambican society, as there is a spiral of violence and torture of women in prisons.
The exploitation of women prisoners
A Mozambican anti-corruption organisation revealed, in June 2021, that wardens at Mozambique’s largest women’s prison were forcing inmates into prostitution and punishing those who refused. The report published by the Centre for Public Integrity said guards at the Ndlavela Women’s Prison in Maputo were forcing female inmates to have sex with clients for cash which the wardens pocketed for themselves. Edson Cortez told local news media that the sexual exploitation had been going for more than a decade.
Preventing violence and torture of women
Leading the training exercise, Guirrengane said the training action aims to empower trainers of prison guards, police and civil society with skills and tools to prevent, respond, monitor and resolve situations related to the torture of women, especially women prisoners.