It looks like some women in Togo are taking the power of the V seriously. Apparently, the female wing of Let’s Save Togo, a civil rights group, asked women in Togo to abstain from sex with their husbands and partners in an effort to compel them to demand President Faure Gnassingbe step down.
President Gnassingbe took over in 2005 after the death of his father, but his family has ruled Togo for decades. He was reelected in 2010, but many are unhappy with his leadership.
The strike was announced over the weekend at an anti-government rally, and some female activists say that using sex “as a weapon” for change will cause uninvolved men to engage in the political process.
The female wing of a civil rights group is urging women in Togo to stage a week-long sex strike to demand the resignation of the country’s president. Women are being asked to withhold sex from their husbands or partners from Monday, said Isabelle Ameganvi, leader of the women’s wing of Let’s Save Togo. She said the strike will put pressure on Togo’s men to take action against President Faure Gnassingbe.
Ameganvi, a lawyer, said her group is following the example of Liberia’s women, who used a sex strike in 2003 to campaign for peace. “We have many means to oblige men to understand what women want in Togo,” she said.
The strike was announced on Saturday at a rally of several thousand people in the capital city, Lome. The demonstration was organised by a coalition that is protesting against recent electoral reforms which, they say, will make it easier for Gnassingbe to win re-election in October.
This isn’t the first time women have withheld sex for political reasons. In 2003, women in Liberia used a sex strike to champion peace in their nation, and earlier this year sex workers in Spain threatened a strike to until bankers began granting loans to business owners.
While it’s unclear if the Togolese sex strike can pressure the president to step down or institute the reforms her people demand, it is clear women in the country are poised to use every method to advance their cause.
*Photo via Erick Kaglan/AP