There has been an exponential rise in reported cases of rape in Nigeria during the COVID-19 lockdown. On the 12th of June 2020, the governors of Nigeria's 36 states declared a state of emergency on rape following a spate of sexual violence. Despite the widespread outcry over the rising cases of rape in Nigeria, there seems to be no end to the crime. This study examines the factors that have led to the increase in rape in Nigeria and recommends how the crime can be addressed. This study is purely qualitative. Analysis of the responses demonstrated that despite the submissions that the current scourge in rape is caused by economic insecurities and mental instability of perpetrators, the government had not shown any serious commitment towards ending the menace. The result indicates that the laws on rape are inadequate, law enforcement agencies have failed to address women's plight and that the Nigerian laws on rape are not punitive enough to deter the perpetrators to the extent that women now rape women and men rape men. The essay concludes with a series of policy recommendations addressing the multifaceted problems of sex crimes in the middle of COVID-19.
This paper aims to shed light on whether people can escape poverty without relying on external loans and accumulating group savings. It investigates the impact of NGO-supported micro-savings groups on poverty and looks at how participants alleviated their poverty. A random sampling survey was conducted with 104 households in rural Sri Lanka. The survey revealed that member households participated in saving groups for a relatively short time, an average of 3.2 years. However, the number of surveyed households using high-interest moneylenders after joining saving groups dropped from 46.2% to zero. In short, the data revealed that participating households had reduced their poverty, as defined in this study, and perceived that they had reduced their poverty. Participation in saving groups also decreased reliance on borrowing from financial institutions. Notably, members no longer relied on informal borrowing methods after joining saving groups, regardless of prior highinterest loan use history. There is a growing interest in savings in microfinance, but there is an assumption that many savings products require external financing. However, this study suggested that external financing was not necessarily essential for poverty reduction. Factor analysis results revealed that participants gained several other personal benefits along two axes: increased independence and greater potential to continue current activities; and acquisition of skills unrelated to poverty alleviation. In general, increased autonomy proved a particularly meaningful consequence of participating in saving groups; accordingly, saving groups contribute to the human right to live with dignity, which is important for human security.