A study published in the American Journal of Public Health revealed that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, women are raped at a rate 26 times higher than the rate of 16,000 rapes yearly reported by the United Nations (UN). The national study, conducted by Amber Peterman of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Tia Palermo of Stony Brook University and Caryn Bredenkamp of the World Bank, found that approximately 400,000 women were raped between 2006 and 2007. This amounts to roughly 48 women raped per hour.
Margot Wallstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, clarified that the UN figures are conservative because the Security Council is only permitted to report cases of rape verified by the organization. Lisa Shannon, founder of Run for Congo Women and A Thousand Sisters, told The Daily Beast, "I was overwhelmed but I wasn't shocked. We've known for a long time that the numbers coming out of Congo were vastly underreported."
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been named the "rape capital of the world" by the United Nations. The United Nations has condemned the lack of civilian protection provided by Congolese police, military, and UN stabilization forces in the area. Since the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo began in 1998, millions of women have been raped.
Media Resources: ABC 5/12/11; Associated Press 5/11/11; The Daily Beast 5/11/11; Jezebel 5/11/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/18/10
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. . . .