Madagascar: the tough conflict in opposition to

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When an authorized person abuses their power to achieve a sexual counterpart, this is called sexual corruption. The Transparency International Initiative Madagascar has undertaken to combat this scourge, which is rooted in the country’s universities but is now facing a whole series of blockages.

From our correspondent in Antananarivo,

“He was a very smart person; he never acted in front of a witness and he did not make direct progress to me. He kept telling me stories, anecdotes, “that a girl has done very well because she has slept with her teacher”, says Tsiky *. This young woman with a disadvantaged background and today the 29-year-old suffered repeated harassment between 2012 and 2014 from one of her teachers at the private university in Majunga.

An excellent student, however, her grades did fall in the subjects taught by this teacher who expected sexual services from her. “I asked him why I got such bad grades and he said ‘it’s because you did not take my advice.’ At one point, I almost gave in, because my studies were for me the only way out of my social environment. But then I was like “if I’m pregnant, what should I do?” So I said no until the end. But I did not lodge a complaint, for that is his word against my word. “

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Information that never deceives

As a result, Tsiky narrowly misses the major and, five years later, still struggles with her worries, the aftermath of sexual corruption, which she refused to submit to. “Even today I am afraid of him, I am afraid of his grip. Especially for my professional career, because it’s everything for me and my whole family, ”she says.

It is impossible to know the extent of the plague because the statistics do not yet exist. But for Liantsoa Rakotoarivelo, project manager for the fight against sexual corruption within the Transparency International Initiative Madagascar, there is information that does not mislead: “After our study, the students say that it is a practice. So who says practical, says something ordinary. “

Convince victims to file a complaint

The effort in this fight is to convince the victims to file a complaint. But unlike another form of corruption, for example economic, sexual corruption, in addition to being taboo in Malagasy society, remains intangible, and the collection of tangible evidence can be very difficult.

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The project led by Liantsoa Rakotoarivelo therefore aims, among other things, to better equip the victims to help them lodge a complaint. “We are going to hit hard on communication, that is, we will try to explain, to inform people about what sexual corruption is. And then make a bad buzz, that is, point the finger at the companies where practices exist. But also name the teachers who are corrupt when we have gathered all the concrete evidence. Last thing: to try to equip the students with hidden cameras, because the best way to prove the existence of this corruption is flagrant delicto with videos, voice recordings or photos, ”explains Liantsoa Rakotoarivelo.

But the NGO is now encountering reluctance with donors who are still reluctant to fund projects that they say “touch on a form of corruption that is so sensitive”.

Last December, a Malagasy investigation network, Malina, threw a paving stone into the pond by revealing the persistent existence of this form of corruption within the country’s universities. Across the island, the network has collected testimonies of “intercourse against the assurance of going to the next level of study”, “about a night with the student towards an internship that will start her career.”, Or “a fellatio against the program’s free books . “

* The first name has been changed

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