For the first time, a United Nations tribunal has declared that rape is a "genocidal" crime and that sexual violence is not only limited to physical acts.
In the trial of former Rwandan village mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu, accused of presiding over the rape, murder, torture, and genocide of 2,000 minority Tutsis, one witness described the gang-rape of three Tutsi women, who were later bludgeoned to death and thrown into a shallow grave.
U.N. judges ruled that Akayesu was criminally responsible for committing sexual violence against Tutsi women because he witnessed the attacks and encouraged militiamen and police to rape and kill them.
Judge Laity Kama of Senegal stated that acts of sexual violence "constitute genocide, the same as any other act."
Women's rights group's believe that the ruling will set a precedent and make it easier to prosecute cases of war-time rape.
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .