Central African Republic: Ban on disrespectful songs about women

5 December 2005
The government of the Central African Republic has ordered radio and television stations to stop broadcasting songs which encourage men to dump their wives, saying such music is a hindrance to the country’s development, reports Reuters“It’s out of the question that music of misogynist character should be allowed to ride roughshod over questions of equality and the respect of the Central African woman. The Central African woman is a key part of the country’s development,” said Interim Communications Minister Fidele Ngoundgika, according to Reuters.

The BBC’s Joseph Benamse in Bangui says the minister has been condemned by many for acting beyond his authority. However, he says, most people feel it will help reinforce women’s rights in the country, where they are still subjected to abuses, violence and ill-treatment.

Polygamy is legal in the Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, with men allowed to marry up to four wives. Women only gained the right to vote in 1986 and female genital mutilation, although outlawed, is common in rural areas.


BBC News – 5 December 2005: 
Anti-women songs banned in CAR


Decree on music
On 6 December 2005 the government of the Central African Republic made a decree against musicians’ freedom to determine the tone of their messages. There is now a ban on radio and television stations’ on the broadcasting of songs that are said to “harm development in the country”.

On 12 December 2005, the organisation ARTICLE 19 called on the prime minister of the Central African Republic to respect the musicians’ freedom of expression.


ARTICLE 19 – 12 December 2005: 
‘ARTICLE 19 calls on prime minister to respect freedom of expression’

Copy of the original letter (in pdf format)
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