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Women Of Togo Are On A Sex Strike

08/29/2012

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Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe. [Zhang Ning/Xinhua Press/Corbis]
The women of the African nation of Togo are fed up with President Faure Gnassingbe. So they've done something to strike fear in the hearts of their countrymen: they've gone on a nationwide sex strike. Strike leader Isabelle Ameganvi hopes that by refusing to have sex with their husbands this week, women will help mobilize men against Gnassingbe.

“If men refuse to hear our cries we will hold other demos that will be more powerful than a sex strike,” said Ameganvi. She and other women have planned the strike ahead of Gnassingbe's October bid for reelection. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005.

“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,” said one of the strikers, Abla Tamekloe. “For me, it’s like fasting, and unless you fast, you will not get what you want from God.”

The strikers looked to the women of Liberia for support and inspiration; in 2003 the women there staged a sex strike in support of peace. But some women are critical of Ameganvi and her plan, noting that it's much easier for Ameganvi to call for a strike because she's single.

“Does she think women who live with their husband will be able to observe [the strike]?" said Togolese jounalist Ekoue Blame. "By the way, who controls what couples do behind closed doors?”

Would you ever go on a sex strike to get what you want?

[Washington Post]

--Julie Gerstein

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