In the past two months, the number of rape cases has increased dramatically in camps in the Somali town of Galkayo as a result of decreased security, a "culture of impunity," and a rise in the number of attacks on internally displaced people (IDPs). Silje Heitmann, a gender-based violence specialist for Somalia at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), stated, "Attacks on women have gone up dramatically in the last two months and the severity of the attacks has become worse."
Hawo Yusef Ahmed, who works at the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) also noted the growing rate of rape: "In my estimation rape cases have gone up twice what they were in 2010. Last year, you would hear of a rape case maybe once every two weeks. Now you hear of rape cases every three to four days."
A women's rights activist told IRIN that many of those who have experienced rape are living in inadequate shelters in the camps and armed gangs are threatening women in the town. Women's groups, in coordination with town elders, religious officials, and security personnel, have started a campaign to address the growing rate of rape in the town.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .