Togolese women will abstain from sex for a week from Monday.
Togo is a small African country with 6 million people ruled by the same family for more than four decades. Gnassingbe Eyadema ruled Togo for 38 years. Following his death in 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbe became the President. He was re-elected in 2010.
On Saturday, Lomé, the capital of Togo, saw a rally, that protested against the recent electoral reforms. The demonstrators believe it makes a lot easier for President Gnassingbe’s party to win re-election in the parliamentary polls set for October. The opposition coalition of nine civil-society groups and seven opposition parties and movements under the umbrella “Let’s Save Togo” organized this demonstration.
The women’s wing of the coalition urged the Togolese women to abstain from sex for a week from Monday. Isabelle Ameganvi, leader of the women’s wing of the coalition, declared that sex can certainly become a “weapon of the battle” to bring about political change.
By staging the sex strike, this opposition group expects to put pressure on Togo’s men to take action against President Faure Gnassingbe, and end the system allowing him unlimited presidential terms.
Many women seemed pleased with the call for a sex strike. However, some men, including heads of opposition parties and human rights groups in the anti-Gnassingbe coalition, did not believe it would be a success. Mixed reactions prevail among the Togolese women folk. Some women in Lomé welcomed the sex strike as a political tool.
Some women were skeptical about Isabelle Ameganvi’s call.
“It is easy for her to say because she is not married herself. She does not live with a man at home,” said Ekoue Blame, a Togolese journalist. “Does she think women who live with their husbands will be able to observe that? By the way, who controls what couples do behind closed doors?”
“It’s a good thing for us women to observe this sex strike as long as our children are in jail now. I believe that by observing this, we will get them released,” Abla Tamekloe told the Associated Press. “For me, it’s like fasting, and unless you fast, you will not get what you want from God.”
When asked if her husband would agree, Tamekloe said: “It is easy for me to observe it. I am used to it, but I am not sure my husband will accept, but I have to explain to him.”
Another Togolese woman said she supported the sex strike, but not sure whether she could bear it for a whole week.
“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,” Judith Agbetoglo said. “So I don’t believe I can do the one-week sex strike. Otherwise, I will have serious issues with him. He likes that too much.”
“One-week sex strike is too much,” said Fabre of the National Alliance for Change, who suggested a shorter period, amid laughter from the crowd at the demonstration. “Let’s go for only two days.”.
- Sex strike a possible political weapon in Togo (cbsnews.com)
- Togolese women call for sex strike to put pressure on the president | World news | guardian.co.uk (2012indyinfo.com)