Women withhold from sex for a week in Togo in a bid to unseat president
The extent of the suffering the people of Togo are faced with have led the Leader of Lets Save Togo, Isabelle Ameganvi, to call for a sex strike in order to bring about change and see their leader, President Faure Gnassingbe, stand down.
Currently, Togo is led by Faure Gnassingbe who is part of the family that have led Togo with an iron fist since 1963. It is believed that after his father’s death in 2005, the electoral process was fraudulent and Gnassingbe’s rival Jean- Pierre Fabre should have won the poll. Such rumours and protests were supressed by massacres.
For one week the women of Togo have been asked to withhold sex from their husbands. Ameganvi believes that encouraging women to refrain from having sex will motivate Togo’s men to challenge the regime. She has said: “We have many means to oblige men to understand what women want in Togo.”
Strikes of a similar nature have previously been very successful. In 2003, Leymah Gbowee brought together a multi-faith group of women to carry out a sex strike in Liberia. Their actions were so powerful that it helped bring an end to Civil War. Their President, Charles Taylor, was forced out of the country and instead, Africa’s first female head of state Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected.
Already the strike in Togo has brought some criticism. Even some Togolese women who are hoping to follow out the protest are finding the strike problematic; one woman spoke to the BBC: "I do agree that we women have to observe this sex strike but I know my husband will not let me complete it. He may agree at first, but as far as I know him, he will change overnight".
Some have even gone as far as to criticise Ameganvi, noting that she is not married herself and does not live with a man at home. Therefore they believe it is unfair for her to ask of such a protest.
Nevertheless, such action means that women of Togo can freely vote against a dictatorship in the privacy of their own homes. And so far, the strike has brought media attention from all over the world, bringing about awareness as the women of Togo fight for democracy.
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