10 December 2016

Africa: Stand Up for Someone's Rights Today

Dar es Salaam — December 10 every year the world observes Human rights day and this year's theme is standup for someone's rights today. This message is very relevant now than ever to the people living in the United States of America especially women bearing in mind what happened during the just ended presidential election.

The elections witnessed lots of unprecedented issues that left many people wondering how a politically, socially and economically advanced country can disrespect women's rights.

The US 2016 general election campaign which saw Donald Trump from the Republican party elected to become the 45th president, was full of xenophobic, racism, and discrimination. Many times during nationally televised presidential debates, Trump indicated how disrespectful he was towards women including the first ever presidential candidate from the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton. In one incident he referred to Ms. Clinton as a "nasty Woman".

Trump's behaviour of attacking women, mocking their looks and sexualizing them made Megan Kelly, a journalist from an American news channel, Fox News, to ask him during one of the debates why he was not respecting women and if he is in a war with women. "When it comes to women, you have called women you don't like 'fat pigs', 'dogs', slobs', and disgusting animals...Your twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's look. You once told a contestant on celebrity apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her in her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man who we should elect?"

After that debate Megan was also not spared by Trump. Trump tweeted several times claiming Megan is not a good presenter.

During the campaign a tape recorded when Trump was 59 years old, was released showing how disrespectful he was to women and how he would force them into having sex even if they would not want to. He said he would grab them by their private parts even when they were showing resistance.

The effects of Trump's campaign, which disrespects women, have started to show negative impact on women after election. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that there were over 200 cases of threats and harassment in several parts of the US towards African Americans, immigrants, Muslims and the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender community, LGBT since the elections.

Most of the victims where women, and in one case from Michigan University, a Muslim student was attacked by men who wanted her to take off her Hijab or else they would set her on fire.

The US election has proved that regardless of a country's level of development, women's rights can be violated.

As we celebrate Human Rights Day this year, let us remember and support victimised women around the world including those in the US.

We need to stand up for someone's rights today and help them whenever necessary.

It is high time women amplify their voices whenever incidents of human right infringement occur.


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