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.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .