Cherie Blair under fire for telling children 'most African women's first sexual experience is rape'

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“Ms Blair should enable African women to speak for themselves instead of usurping their voice and their experience,” she added.

“Violence against women is a huge problem in many African countries – as it is here – but to characterise African women’s sexual experience as rooted in rape undermines the hard work of many to tackle this issue whilst playing to and indeed stoking stereotypes of sexually aggressive African men and passive women.”

Statistics released by Equality Now, which aims to advance the rights of women and girls across the world, show that in Africa, between the ages of 15 and 49, 43 per cent of women have reported having experienced gender-based violence, including sexual violence or abuse.

The Telegraph has requested a comment from Mrs Blair.

The Guardian reported that she said in a statement that her comments “were in answer to a question about adolescent African girls – not African women – missing out on their education for a variety of reasons including early pregnancy”.

She added that it was not her “intent to offend or undermine anyone” with her comments.



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