West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English Also available in: French

Political violence targeting women in West Africa

Women around the world are facing unprecedented levels of targeted political violence. This is also true in West Africa. Women can be targeted in a myriad of ways, by an array of types of perpetrators, during and outside of periods of conflict and contentious crises. The result though is consistent: such targeted violence has worrying implications for women’s political participation as well as their involvement in the public sphere. Political violence targeting women (PVTW) in West Africa has become increasingly common, with this trend increasing even more dramatically in recent years. The threat and risks, however, have not been uniform: different types of violence and different primary perpetrators dominate the gendered violence landscape across countries. Using data from ACLED, this paper tracks how women are targeted, and who is targeting women. Only by understanding how threats and risks that women face differ across countries can strategies be created to protect women.


Keywords: violence against women, political violence, West Africa, women, Sahel, security
JEL: F51: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions; D74: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions; N47: Economic History / Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation / Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Africa; Oceania; J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
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