Sofia Djama does not consider herself a feminist. It's not because she doesn't believe in equal rights for women – as a 33-year-old female director in Algeria, she is already a trailblazer. It's more that, as she puts it: "The rights of women in Algeria are such that you can't be feminist in the traditional sense. There are things you can't even discuss or negotiate."
When rape is used as a weapon of war in places like Congo or Bosnia, thousands of women and girls can become pregnant, but a piece of 39-year-old U.S. legislation means that few if any aid groups are allowed to provide or even discuss abortion services with them.
There's a 38 year-old Congolese woman named Josephine who has probably never heard of U.S. Representative and Senatorial candidate Todd Akin. But, if she had, Josephine would know all too well how wrong Akin was when he said that a woman's body can "shut the whole thing down" and prevent a pregnancy if she experiences a "legitimate rape." When Josephine was 29, she, like many of the estimated 1.8 million other women and girls who were raped during the Congo's series of conflicts, became pregnant. Akin's comments will never affect Josephine, so she has little reason to care. But she cares very much about the U.S. legislative efforts to restrict abortion access, because that decades-long campaign, of which Akin is only an example, has changed her life permanently.
One week after its foundation, women’s rights organization Zhiyan [Life] Group organized a demonstration against honor killing in the Kurdistan Region.The demonstrators condemned the killing of Nigar Rahim, a Kurdish girl in the Garmiyan region, who was raped by one of her brothers and later killed by another.The spokesperson for Zhiyan called on all the civil organizations in Kurdistan to join her group in its campaign.
She ran for her life. Her husband had raped her again that night, this time more violently than ever in their 15-year marriage. He forced himself on her repeatedly, he choked her and threatened to kill her.
When she fled in the early hours of March 23, 2008 — down the stairwell, through the courtyard, into the street and up to a taxi — he caught up before the driver could pull away. She ran on, finally reaching a police station.
It is a country that can seem inured to violence from sheer familiarity. But this was a crime so shocking that even South Africa has begun to search its soul.
A disabled 17-year-old girl, said to have the mental capacity of a five-year-old, was allegedly gang-raped by seven men and boys in an assault that came to light only when a mobile phone video of the brutal attack went viral online.
Women Under Siege, a Women’s Media Center project that documents rape and other forms of sexual violence as a weapon of war, launched acrowd-sourced initiative today to map instances of rape in Syria.
As the project gathered reports, director Lauren Wolfe said, it found something striking. “Generally women are shunned when they are raped in war. They sometimes are not allowed to go home, and whole families can be dishonored,” she said. “But what’s really interesting is that we have a report that an imam called for Syrian women who were raped to be honored, for people to embrace them. He said they’re raped and so they are heroes.”
It is time the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina enacted its 2010 commitment to ensure justice, truth and reparation for hundreds of survivors of wartime sexual violence, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today.
"Nearly two decades after the end of the war, hundreds of women continue to live with the effects of rape and other forms of torture, without proper access to the medical, psychological and financial assistance they need to rebuild their shattered lives. Meanwhile, most of the perpetrators go unpunished," said Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the release of an Afghan woman imprisoned for adultery after a relative raped her. The move comes after Afghan judicial authorities met to consider the case and proposed a pardon for her on Thursday. CNN is identifying her only as Gulnaz to protect her identity.
Women’s groups such as Women in Black have long led the way in challenging the mindsets and structures of patriarchal power and militarism, but men must recognise that they have the primary responsibility to make the changes, says Rebecca Johnson