Sudanese women refugees living in eastern Chad face a constant threat of rape and other violence against women. According to an Amnesty International report released today, it is impossible to know the exact number of Sudanese women who have been raped and attacked outside refugee camps by bandits, military, or organized groups or who have been targeted within the camps by family, aide workers, and others in positions of authority. Most women are silent about the attacks because "it is not uncommon for married women who have been raped to be shunned or abandoned by their husbands [and because] women who have been raped very often find it difficult to marry."
Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Africa Program, said in a press release, "The rape that countless women and girls experienced in Darfur continues to haunt them in eastern Chad...Many people know that women who venture outside refugee camps in eastern Chad to collect firewood and water face harassment and rape. What people don't realize is that there is little safety inside the camps for these same women. They face the risk of rape and other violence at the hands of family members, other refugees, and staff of humanitarian organizations whose task it is to provide them with assistance and support."
More than 142,000 women and girls have fled the Darfur region of Sudan in the past six years and are refugees in eastern Chad. Twelve Sudanese refugee camps exist along the Chad/Darfur border.
Media Resources: Amnesty International Press Release 9/30/09; No Place for Us Here Report 9/30/09
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .