'School closures factor in rape of Ethiopian girls during Covid-19 lockdown'
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Cape Town – The Women and Children Affairs Bureau in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, says more than 100 girls have been raped since the outbreak of Covid-19, which authorities attribute to school closures.
Head of the Women and Children Affairs Bureau, Almaz Abraham, says 101 girls have been raped in the past two months since the schools have closed, adding that this has played a major role in the increase of sexual violence in the East African country, the BBC has said, quoting a report from Walta TV.
Abraham says that sexual crimes only come to light once the victims show signs of pregnancy.
“The problem is that, unlike when schools were open, the attacks are not being exposed until the girls get pregnant. Maybe there would be chances of stopping it from reaching that stage if the girls were going to school," Abraham said.
"Men who used to practise different habits outside their homes are now doing them to their children when they stay at home,” she says.
Al Jazeera reports that there has been no hard lockdown to enforce staying indoors in Ethiopia. The measures put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 were the closure of schools, prohibition of public gatherings and those who are able to work from home are permitted to do so.