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
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .