In the month before Afghanistan’s presidential elections on April 5, three deadly attacks occurred against journalists who became targets of terror. I was once a war reporter. Now I write about war from a distance.
Femicide and violence against women have reached epic proportions in Mexico and Central America, making the reality very near impossible to ignore. Women Under Siege, an innovative new initiative to document and protect the stories of sexual violence survivors, launches today.
Although the civil war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, women in the country are still facing another deadly front—sexual and gender-based violence. Sexual and gender based violence has continued unflinchingly into the post-war years. Glasgow, head of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said, “We saw rape and sexual violence used as a tool during the war, and now it is morphing into this culture’s society as something that is understood and even accepted.”
The conflict in Kyrgyzstan is spiraling out of control. Ethnic Uzbeks are fleeing their homes in Kyrgyzstan for safety while their houses are being burned. As in most conflicts around the world, this devastation is often felt by women who, while displaced, lack access to lifesaving reproductive health services. Further violence means that a country, which is already experiencing a dramatic increase in maternal mortality increase will face deterioration in quality reproductive health services.
The Daily Beast’s first Women in the World Summit played stuck to lowest-common denominator issues, and avoided the “scary” and “controversial” (read: political) realities of women’s lives.
This International Women’s Day remember the women in Rwanda and the DR of Congo – survivors of war and the sexual violence that so often accompanies war.
Eighteen years ago, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped and made into a slave, bearing two children after being raped by her captor. Americans are outraged, and rightly so. Her story is horrifying. While this Lake Tahoe headline hit particularly close to home, most of us are perhaps unaware that kidnappings and sexual slavery occur every day in war torn areas.
In our determination to wipe out terrorist cells in Afghanistan, can we please make sure we do not destroy the lives of the Afghani women?
31 people have died from swine flu-multiply that
by 17,290 and you come close to the 536,000 pregnant women who die every year
from largely preventable causes.
It is not surprising that the countries with the
highest maternal mortality are war-torn.
Perhaps best said by a woman in Eastern Congo,
"We are victims of war. We don’t take up
arms, but we, the women suffer the most."
Iraq is a disaster and every day more details surface to show us just how completely we, as a country, destroyed millions of lives.