Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-24-10

Gang-Rape Used as Weapon of War in Congo

Rwandan and Congolese rebels reportedly gang-raped between 150 and 200 women and young boys during a raid of eastern villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this month, humanitarian aids in the region say.

Rebels allegedly entered the town of Ruvungi on July 30 and proceeded to pillage the town and systematically rape its occupants for several days. "Most women were raped by two to six men at a time, in front of their children and their families," Will F. Cragin, coordinator for the International Medical Corps' program in the Ruvungi region, told the New York Times. During the attack, rebels blocked a road that connects the town to UN peacekeeping troops who are stationed 18 miles away, which prevented villagers from seeking help, Bloomberg reports.

While international and local health workers have treated 179 women with rape related trauma since the attack, the number of victims could be much higher as many terrified villagers remain in hiding.

Earlier this month the United Nations condemned mass rape as a weapon of war. Margot Wallstrom, the UN's Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, told reporters that using rape as a tool of war is no more acceptable nor inevitable than committing mass murder.

At least 8,300 rapes were reported in the Congo last year, according to the Associated Press. It is believed that many more rapes go unreported. While insurgents are thought to be responsible for most of the attacks, soldiers in the national army have also been implicated in sexual abuse, according to United Press International.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton visited eastern Congo in 2009 to denounce rape as a weapon of war. Clinton said, "I will be pressing very hard for not just assistance to help those who are being abused and mistreated, in particular the women who are turned into weapons of war through the rape they experience, but also looking for ways to try to end this conflict." War has ravaged eastern Congo since 1998.

Media Resources: New York Times 8/23/10; Bloomberg 8/23/10; Feminist Newswire 8/13/10, 8/10/09; Associated Press 8/23/10; United Press International 8/24/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

5/22/2015 Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement - The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups. . . .
 
5/22/2015 New York Politicians, Advocates, and Activists Have Come Together to Protect Nail Salon Workers - Following a report by the New York Times on the exploitation of nail salon workers almost two weeks ago, New York state and city officials have partnered with advocates and volunteers to bring comprehensive educational programs and labor reforms to the 5,000 licensed salons in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered emergency measures last week in the wake of the report - including posting workers' rights information in salons in different languages, shutting down unlicensed salons, implementing new safety requirements, and creating an educational campaign aimed at employees and managers - has introduced a legislative package aimed at building upon those reforms and leading the way for long-term protection for nail salon workers. . . .
 
5/20/2015 New York Attorney General Moves to Expand Access to Contraceptives - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015 last week to enhance the availability of contraception for New Yorkers. The bill codifies the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in New York state law while strengthening and expanding many of its provisions. . . .