Take Action: Stop the War Against Women in the DRC

Amnesty International is pressuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with the UN to put pressure on the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to end sexual violence and the recruitment and use of child soldiers. As an email alert notes, these are deeply entwined issues:

Rape is used in the conflict as a calculated strategy to destabilize opposition groups as well as promote fear and submission. It is not unusual for mothers and daughters to be raped in front of their families and villages. Human rights activists working to end violence against women often face grave threats of violence themselves.

Justine Masika Bihamba is one such activist. Because of her work to end violence against women, she and her family have been targeted.

Justine described the current situation in Congo as a war against women. “When two sides fight, the one punishes the other by raping women,” she said.

Putting an end to the rampant sexual violence and the use of child soldiers is essential to ensuring peace in the region.

This video is heartbreaking:

During her confirmation hearings, Clinton herself said of violence against women:

I view these issues as central to our foreign policy, not as adjunct or auxiliary or in any way lesser than all of the other issues that we have to confront.

Click here to sign a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, asking her to work for peace for women and civilians in the DRC.

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4 Comments

  1. Thomas
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Lewis, the former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, gave a speech about rape as a strategy of war in the DRC. The text is good, but the audio (which Zuzu linked, when she was still at Shakesville, here, is just jaw-droppingly amazing.

  2. borrow_tunnel
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Somehow, I think Hillary Clinton has it covered. I don’t think she needs any letters written to her, especially if she has said it’s central to policy. Now in the unlikely case she doesn’t do anything, then…

  3. mikeymikemike
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    This is the worst human rights disaster in the world now. Women, children and men have been brutalized in a war that will scar this country for decades. Rape as terrorism is just part of the horrors that the victims of this war have suffered. The US pays no attention to it, whether Democrat or Republican. The media ignores it. Human Right groups pay it only occasional attention. 5 million dead and the war continues.

  4. cindi azuogu
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    I actually am the president of my high school’s Young Feminist Coalition. I created and hosted a Letter to the President Letter Writing Campaign to raise awareness about the violence in DRC against women and girls

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