UNICEF: Violence and Sexual Exploitation Continue in Sudan
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that rape is still being used as a weapon to terrorize women and girls, their families, and their communities in Darfur, Sudan. According to Pamela Shifman, the UNICEF advisor on violence and sexual exploitation, every woman and girl that she met while in the Darfur camps said that they had been sexually assaulted themselves, or knew of someone who had been attacked, reports UN News Service.
Shifman wrote in her diary posted on UNICEF’s website that the women and girls she spoke to while in the camps in Darfur stated that they need security because they are not safe. According to Shifman, “So many women told the same story: they are terrified to leave to get firewood…soldiers prey on women and girls along the path to collect firewood. And the cruel part is the women and the girls have no choice but to take that dangerous path for their survival.”
Up to as many as 1.5 million people have been internally displaced and another 500,000 have fled to Chad since Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, started attacking villages last year. According to Reuters, the United Nations estimates that as many as 70,000 people have died from malnutrition and disease over the last seven months alone.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .