Incidence of Rape in Democratic Republic of Congo Soaring
The number of rapes reported in Sud-Kivu, an eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in the last three months was more than half the total number of incidents reported there last year. The attacks are primarily by the Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu rebel group, reported IRIN. There are 463 reported incidents over the three month time period.
Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in May that "there is terrible violence currently in Sud-Kivu, especially in the region of Kakeli" and that they are also "seeing an extremely grave trend with rapes used as a weapon of war," reported Agence France Press.
In May, a three-year-old child reportedly died from related injuries after being raped by a rebel fighter in Sud-Kivu. Combatants also reportedly raped three of the child's sisters, who range in age from 12 to 17, reported Reuters.
Since the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo began in 1998, tens of thousands of women and girls have been raped in sexual violence widely viewed to be a war tactic. Thousands of Congolese women marched in Kinshasa late last year to protest rape as a weapon of war.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 1/13/09; Reuters 6/5/09; Agence France Presse 5/20/09; IRIN 6/3/09
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
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7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
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said Spillar. . . .