Women in Mauritania

In Mauritania, the cases of violence against women have increased during the last years, according to different independent organizations.

En Portada tells, through different female voices, the problems of gender violence in this Islamic Republic. 

During the last years, the cases of violence against women have increased in Mauritania, one of the 25 countries with the highest levels of gender inequality and the last country to abolish slavery in the world.  In this unequal and patriarchal society that discriminates by gender and the color of the skin, women in Mauritania are fighting to make their way.

Brave activists, like Aminettou Mint El Mohktar or Zeinabou Taleb Moussa, have devoted their life to fight against all kinds of violence against women in their country, from sexual violence to female genital mutilation or any kind of modern slavery.

In this Islamic Republic, the legislation comes from the Sharia, what means that, for instance blasphemy receives death penalty or that adultery is punishable by law.  Many women, victims of sexual violence are accused of “zina” or adultery, when they go to report to the police.  The civil society and the Government are trying to promote a specific gender law, but they face the unwillingness of the Parliament, dominated by tribal chiefs and religious movements.  Nevertheless, in order to fight against this pandemic, some steps have been taken, pushed mostly by activist women, who from different fields, are becoming a real driving force for a social change.

Fort the very first time, this country has an integral unity to help any victim of any kind of gender violence in a public hospital.  This project has been created by the Spanish NGO “Medicos del Mundo” in collaboration with local associations and the Mauritian Government.  This unity, integrated in the maternity of Nuakchot, receives an average of 43 victims per month, and they offer free medical and psychological care, in a country where the access to healthcare is not universal.

En Portada has also witnessed a real case of gender violence in a minor, checking how it works the Minors Brigade, specialized in these kind of cases.




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