Thousands of Girls Forced to Fight With Armed Groups
A new report shows that current efforts to release children from armed groups often overlook the fact that over 120,000 girls have been abducted and forced to fight with armed groups around the world. According to the Save the Children report “Forgotten Casualties of War: Girls in Armed Conflict,” girls as young as eight years old are being forced to be sex slaves or so-called “wives” of commanders.
The report shows that approximately 300,000 children are involved in armed conflict around the world today, and up to 40 percent of them are girls. In addition to being sexually violated by armed groups, girls are forced to take an active part in fighting. They also take on other duties such as cleaning and providing medical care.
Save the Children finds that the international community’s efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate (DDR) armed groups are failing because of discrimination against girls. DDR programs often ignore the problems girls specifically face, such as being ostracized by their families because they are often seen by their families as being promiscuous and dirty. In addition, only a very small percentage of girls participate in the formal DDR processes. In Sierra Leone, Save the Children found that only 4.2 percent of girls in armed groups went through the formal DDR process.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .