Burundian Women Convene, Denounce War Crimes Against Women
More than 50 Burundian women delegates convened in the four-day All-Party Women's Conference to discuss ways of promoting peace in their country and securing women's rights.
The gathering, sponsored by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Mwalimu Nyere Foundation, will tackle issues such as establishing women's constitutional rights, implementing a quota system to place more women at the highest levels of decision-making, and prosecuting soldiers accused of rape and other gender-based war crimes.
According to a report released on July 19th by the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch, both Burundi's army and rebels have a gruesome record of raping and inflicting sexual violence in camps where over 350,000 civilians reside. UNIFEM officials estimate that 65 to 85 percent of Burundian refugees are women and children.