The War on Women

I recently came across a list of the Ten Worst Countries to be a Woman. It was a grim list of places where women have little opportunity or where they are actively discriminated against. The second worst country for women to live was the Democratic Republic of Congo. When I think about the different ways women’s bodies become sites for social and political control, it is imposible to escape the topic of sexual violence. It is a really horrible topic, but sexual violence against women is the most brutal and oldest form of attack against women’s bodies and psyches.

A few months ago, I wrote an essay on the impact of war on women’s health and bodies. It was around the time when the UN Security Council was passing a resolution to end sexual violence as a tactic of war. When it comes to war, women and children bear the brunt of civilian casualties in all the recent conflicts in the DRC, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, northern Uganda parts of the former Russian Federation among others. Women and girls are subject to sexual torture, sexual slavery, military rape, mutilation and other extremely violent acts. Military rape is actually a tactic of war, it is used to brutalize and humiliate civilians and weaken the communities. It has even been used for ethnic cleansing by impregnating women. There are those who die a “clean death” from sexual violence, but for the women who survive, it is often a “living death” filled with life-long psychological trauma as well as social and cultural stigma, not to mention the morbidity from infections such as HIV and poor reproductive health outcomes. All in all, it is beyond devastating.

Of all the many wars that are going on around the world right now, thousands of women (and girls) become targets simply because they are women. Here is a video from Women for Women International on the situation in DRC and the organization’s initiative for rehabilitating victims of sexual violence and stigma. This is one topic that seems so huge and hopeless, but it is one that definitely needs great attention and real intervention.

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~ by misswretched on September 23, 2008.

15 Responses to “The War on Women”

  1. Powerful stuff! I am at a lost of words because we lose site of these aspects of sexual violence when we have a discussion about it. It seems what we hear the most surrounds domestic violence but seeing it through the military is just as important if not more! Thanks for bringing to lite such an important topic.

  2. tell to Iranian women they should now this and why they are not happy?

  3. gut’s dude …..you have really raised an essential news. I hope your blog gives awareness to people and or some or other way help those helpless women. But you don’t worry because God will give justice to everybody.

  4. I have just wathc a docu about these women and what their lives are daily.And it made me cry.Just yestrday I was complaining to my husband about my dull life and that I don’t have anything to do,but watching that documentary it made me realized just how lucky I am just to have what I’ve got.I live in a country where there are polital war but nothing,nothing like this.It is an outrage that nothing has been done to help these women and children.

  5. It’s too bad that us North American’s don’t hear about this stuff more. You never hear about mass rapes or the other sufferings of women in the news. It’s a damn shame. I think everyone should know about what goes on. Maybe something more would be done about it. Makes me sick to my stomach.

  6. This is most unfortunate in Africa. when will it end, why do others stand by and lokk?

  7. No matter how advanced and civalized we as human beings like to perceive ourselves to be, we are and always will be the most savage of all species. Like another poster said, “God will give justice to everybody.”

  8. wow these women r so beautiful i wish we could protect them!!!

  9. What can I say? What can I do? I cannot stand by and watch this happen. I will find a way to help them. It is my duty as a woman as well as my duty to humanity. I pray their pain will be relieved through the love of the compassionate people of our world. I am aware now and will never stop trying to help until peace comes to them.

  10. very sad to see all this misery

  11. And what are you doing to prevent the sexual mutilation (circumcision) of western men? This procedure removes 70% of the pleasure men receive from sex. This is done against our will and without any public outrage.

  12. When I was in The Vagina Monologues, I read the part about the African mutilations, and it was sickening. Women count for so little in that part of the world, and sadly, women working to try to change it don’t get much more credit than the victims. Wouldn’t it be nice if men stood up for women, in solidarity as humans? Thank you for this post.

  13. How can you even compare a circumcision to what these women and children go through!!! You are part of the sick problem where men are more concerned with their needs. You are worried about loosing some of the pleasure you feel you would have had if you had not been circumsized, imagine some one raping you analy and cutting parts of your body for their own pleasure and leaving you to die or live. They don’t care. And for you to even compare your loss of sexual pleasure to anything that these children go through makes you a very sick and selfish MAN!! May you never need mercy and if you do, may you never find it.

  14. why? why is it always worman that have to pay the price?

  15. This happens because people(western or eastern) want to continue to lives in vanity. These people are being terrorized by their governments because they are on something someone wants. This is the same for the middle east and south america.
    Everyone pays for it. In the developed world we pay with our sanity and souls as we have given both up. And in the countries which we take from they pay with their lives.
    And the most horrible thing isn’t that we can’t stop this it’s that most people know about all of these things but turn on the TV or escape to some bull shit full service RV lot and rip apart the wilderness with 4x4s.
    Sadly because Humanity is part of nature, we will act accordingly over the next few decades until we have all blown ourselves up. We are animals, this is what animals would do to each other and i hope people realize soon, that it’s a matter of choice not biology that we do these things, considering we can question our own actions unlike our chimp cousins.
    Be Human and Choose Love.

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