Congo Watch: In honour of International Women's Day, please take a stand for crimes against humanity

Monday, March 07, 2005

In honour of International Women's Day, please take a stand for crimes against humanity

This March 8, International Women's Day, people around the world must take action on behalf of the thousands of women suffering from continued violence in places such as Darfur and DRC.

The following is an excerpt from a report at the Sudan Tribune, by Natalie Spicyn and Cathy Sweetser, Yale Daily News, March 5, 2005. [Note: when reading this, please bear in mind that rapists in Sudan, just before committing rape, have used razor blades to cut the clitoris and vaginas of their victims for easier penetration].

" ...The women fortunate enough to escape sexual violence during the destruction of their homes and military attack on their village face a tremendous risk of becoming victims even after fleeing to an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. In the camps, women and girls have the responsibility of regularly venturing out to gather firewood for cooking, as men are likely to be killed for setting foot outside the camps. As nearby wood becomes depleted and the women wander further from the campground, militias that lurk just outside the camp often seize the opportunity to sexually assault them. The victims of rape in Darfur range from the very young (a 6-year-old has been a reported victim) to the elderly. There is no safety and security for females of any age in IDP camps.

In Sudanese society, many married women who are raped find themselves abandoned by their husbands and ostracized by their communities. Unmarried survivors of rape are considered soiled and unmarriageable. Some Darfurians maintain the belief that women cannot become pregnant through unwanted intercourse, which makes life even harder for many rape victims. The deep stigma of rape prevents many women from seeking appropriate medical attention. Physical injuries resulting from sexual abuse often include damage to the reproductive system, as well as fistula, a tearing of the wall between the vagina and bladder which causes incontinence. Such women, unable to bear children or unable to hold their urine, are likewise often shunned by their communities. Fistula can be repaired by surgery if the woman has access to and freedom to seek out proper medical attention -- which is unlikely. The dearth of adequate medical facilities and taboo against seeking medical attention mean that most rape victims will never be checked or treated for infection or the spread of HIV. ..."
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Note, the next post here below features a report by Reuters today titled "Tens of thousands raped in East Congo" that highlights the plight of Congolese rape victims aged between 4 months and 80.

Men do not seem to be listening or helping enough. Perhaps the most effective way to get the message across real quick to the men of this world that they must protect women and children from such horrific violence, is for females to silently protest by withholding love and sex from their male partners. Heh. Listen up guys, I'm serious. In the olden days there were eunuchs you know ...

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