Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'Children are killed, women are raped and the world closes its eyes'

Some time ago, I wrote about the United Nations Security Council passing a resolution that classified rape as a weapon of war. Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about rape and sexual violence in the Congo -- a place the U.N. describes as the "rape capital of the world" and that others call "the most dangerous place to be a woman."

Most sources estimate that hundreds of thousands of women have been raped in the eastern Congo in the past decade. Hundreds of thousands. And it's happening to men, too. Hundreds of cases of men being raped have been reported. If ever there were an example of rape as a weapon, this has to be it. (Around six million people have died in the conflict since 1996. Six million people.)

Clinton's proposal -- $17 million to help "prevent and respond to" sexual violence -- might help and is definitely a good step. To be sure, her trip and her words have shined yet another light on this outrage. But it seems like more will need to be done to stop something so systemic. Clinton said
"This problem is too big for one country to solve alone," and I believe she's right.

More reading:
  • CNN International: "Girl, 9, details rape in Congo to photographer"
  • Feministing: "What is Clinton actually proposing to do in the Congo?" (also talks about Clinton's "outburst" and has video of the interview in which it happened)
  • Ms. Magazine (from 2005): "Not women anymore ..."
  • AFP has a video about combating rape in the Congo
Also check out Women for Women's work in the Congo. (You can donate to them.)

1 comment:

Razor said...

Just for a reference, 6 million is the amount of people who died in the Holocaust.

It blows my mind that after all their other excuses, war apologists claimed we were in Iraq to liberate its people. If that were truly the case, why does this nation continue to ignore the horrific acts going on in the Congo?

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