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CFP: “International Efforts to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones”

The Body of the Nation:

International Efforts to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones

Edited by Tonia St.Germain, J.D. and Susan Dewey, Ph.D.

President Obama has vowed to put women’s issues at the core of American foreign policy. His decision to institute an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is unprecedented and reflects the elevated importance of global women’s issues to the State Department. Secretary of State Clinton has drawn attention to women at nearly every stop in her travels, most recently on a visit to eastern Congo to speak out against mass rape. Clearly Obama’s Administration recognizes the urgency of this crisis surrounding the use of rape as a tool in armed conflict in Africa and worldwide.

Feminists in the academy have an opportunity to help shape the questions leaders will answer as they formulate policy to address:

(1) sexual violence as a weapon of war;

(2) sex trafficking as a by- product of war;

(3) services to help victims of these atrocities.

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A Glove To Save a Mother's Life

By Joyce Mulama

KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 12 (IPS) - The need for gloves for health workers assisting with childbirth may be obvious, but in Yala Sub-District Hospital in western Kenya, obvious does not mean available.

At the government-run health facility, serving about 96,000 people, there has been a shortage of gloves – and health personnel are overwhelmed.

"Are you going to send a mother away to buy gloves at night? We need to attend to her, but we cannot recycle gloves. At the same time we cannot touch blood," said Eric Achira, nursing officer in charge of maternity at the facility.

People accompanying the woman are sent to buy gloves, but they often do not have enough money. Achira has on many occasions been forced to dig into his pocket to buy gloves and stock the maternity ward.

Kitale District Hospital, a higher facility and referral hospital, is nearly 180 km away. And it is also suffering a shortage of basic supplies such as gloves.

"Supply of non-pharmaceuticals is an issue. We lack gloves from time to time, and this can be a challenge when it comes to providing a safe and clean delivery," said Dr Geoffrey Wasembeli, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kitale.

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UNIFEM’s Fund for Gender Equality Announced

After a long wait, UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) has finally announced that it is seeking proposals from NGOs (and also governmental agencies) in developing countries under its newly established “Fund for Gender Equality” which aims to “accelerate progress toward the goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

The Fund will promote new multilateral initiative to achieve gender equality, reduce discrimination, poverty and work towards achieving the objectives of the Beijing Platform Action, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The Fund has been supported by the Government of Spain and it will provide support towards strengthening of “organizations that promote gender equality and women’s rights at the country level.”  Women’s organizations, networks and other mechanisms will be benefited from the Fund as it will work towards building their capacities and skills.

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