violence against women

arvan's picture

Violence against Women and Girls in Haiti: The Enemy Within

Narrated by TV journalist Daljit Dhaliwal, this 21st Century short documentary goes deep into Haiti's makeshift camps to expose acts of violence and sexual assaults that women, especially young girls, have encountered since the country's devastating earthquake in January left 1.5 million homeless.

While measures are being taken by, for instance, the Haitian National Police, UN police and UNIFEM (part of UN Women), to curb such type of violence, this video underscores what has yet to be done to ensure the safety of women and girls as Haiti continues to build itself back from the ground up.


Publisher: 21st Century with support from UNIFEM (part of UN Women);

Date of Release: October 2010

arvan's picture

U.N. Weighs Sanctions Against Perpetrators of DRC Mass Rapes

By Aprille Muscara

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 8, 2010 (IPS) - The U.N. Security Council is considering leveraging sanctions against the perpetrators of the mass rapes that occurred last month in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following a meeting held on the recent violence Tuesday.

"From the U.S. point of view, we will take up the mantle of leadership… in ensuring that the perpetrators of the violence are held accountable, including through our efforts in the sanctions committee – to add them to the list that exists and to ensure that they are sanctioned," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters after the meeting.

Over 500 rapes have now been confirmed in the North and South Kivu provinces since Jul. 30, with scores more unconfirmed and still others certainly unreported, according to the deputy head of the U.N. peacekeeping department, Atul Khare, who briefed the council during the meeting. Khare was dispatched to the DRC after reports of the recent violence in the country surfaced in the media two weeks ago.

Members of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, known by their French acronym FDLR, and the Mai Mai Cheka rebel groups systematically gang raped over 242 women during a four-day raid of 13 villages in the North Kivu province beginning Jul. 30. According to MONUSCO, the U.N.'s peacekeeping force in the DRC, they are believed to have continued their pillaging spree after 75 subsequent rapes were confirmed in neighbouring areas.

And in South Kivu, over 214 rapes of men, women and children as young as seven years old have been confirmed, with reports of the systematic rape of every woman in the village of Kiluma yet to be corroborated, Khare said. Included in this figure are 10 rapes committed by the official Congolese armed forces, known as the FARDC.

arvan's picture

Algeria: Ongoing massacres of women

Call on authorities to ensure protection of women in Hassi Messaoud!

For several WEEKS now, women have been subjected to murderous attacks in the South of Algeria; this has provoked international protests and calls for the intervention of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs. It is crucial that these initial protests are relayed and supported by a large number of organisations across the world. These events remind us of the tragic days of July 2001 which saw hundreds of women, “tortured, stoned, raped and buried alive”, as recalled by the Algerian press. Please also see WLUML Dossier 23-24: Algeria: Ordinary Fascism, Fundamentalism and Femicide.

Ten years later, these crimes go largely unpunished and women, in general, have not been able to rebuild their lives for lack of sustained material and financial support, but also while facing moral and legal challenges. Time has not healed this nightmare, and it has started again. Violence has flared up conducted by gangs of youth that, once again with impunity, are stealing from, beating, and torturing - mostly migrant - women, who work in the industrial and economic sectors of Hassi Messaoud. The majority of them are in hiding because they cannot leave their jobs: they need to provide for themselves and support their families.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Media, Pop Culture and The Continued Support of Violence Against Women

I really don't want to write about Jersey Shore, MTV's new disgraceful and irreverent "reality" show documenting the lives of "Real Italian" girls and boys from Jersey, but a recent clip was emailed to me this week and I cannot stay silent.  Much has been written about this show, and to be true, I have watched 2 commercials and 20 minutes of one episode.  I assure you, this was more than enough to make me gag in horror and disgust.  The show has everything our pop culture obsessed society wants.  True to form MTV delivers: degraded women, dominating men, alcohol and a camera to show every juicy detail.

As an Italian, it disturbs me to no end that a mainstream television show is allowed to portray such a reaffirmation of dehumanizing stereotypes.  But of course, this is the point, is it not?  As an appeal to the subconscious typecasts each person in our society possesses, Jersey Shore draws upon and connects to what many people believe to be true and thus becomes appealing.  Do you think Italian-Americans are loud and rude?  Lazy and stingy?  Materialistic?  Crass, dirty, promiscuous, and dangerous?  Watch Jersey Shore , it will affirm each one of these notions to be true.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Money Not the Answer to Violence Against Women

The UN has announced it will spend $10.5 million to combat violence against women across the globe.

At first glance, this may seem like a lot of money-not only a lot of money but a lot of money for a very worthy cause. This article fromMs. Magazine Online

cites the statistic that roughly 70% of women worldwide experience violence from a partner within their lifetime.

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 6,790,062,216 (July 2009 est.) people in the world. Out of this number, there are 3,377,071,728 women (2009 est.). 

Estimates state that 2,363,950,210 women are abused during their lifetime and now the UN pledges $10,500,000 to fight it, spending roughly $225.13 dollars per woman. The UN has not released any details about how this money will be allocated.

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Presentations of violence and gender in Twilight


Note: While I do not give a full plot summary, some of the analysis may touch on topics that reveal the plot.  Also, I embrace "the author is dead" perspective, since I do not know anything about the author or her motives.  This analysis is strictly an analysis of the novel in question, and is not a criticism of the author, though I do criticize the author's writing, which I consider to be two different things.

I recently finished Stephanie Meyer's vampire romance, Twilight. While it wasn't the most fantastic novel (certainly it took a lot of reading before reaching anything remotely climactic), it wasn't all that horrible. But it wasn't all that good, either. I didn't have high expectations for a romance novel as it was (admittedly I have read few, not having acquired a taste for the genre--yeah, studying literature makes you elitist. I'm no exception). This post will examine gender roles and gender presentations in the novel, as well as other problematic themes. 

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Rape of the Heroine: examining rape as a tool in Sara Douglass' fantasy novels

SPOILER ALERT: This post will examine parallels in Sara Douglass' various fantasy series, including The Wayfarer Redemption, The Troy Game, and DarkGlass Mountain. Though I do not give a plot summary of any of them, I discuss events in the novels that can be considered spoilers. I will try to maintain "the author is dead" examination since I know nothing of Douglass' personal convictions; thus I will only discuss the "facts" as presented in the novels--any topics I challenge or take issue with will not reflect an opinion on the author.

I've been a fan of Douglass' work for some time now, having read all six books of Wayfarer, the first three of Troy, and two of DarkGlass (note that the third has not been released yet).

What all of these series have in common is rape and violence against women. It makes me uncomfortable each time I pick up a novel because each one in the series involves rape and violence. Granted, the novels describe epic battles, and fantastic wars against such enemies as demons, wraiths, and even beings with no real "life," as in the pyramid in DarkGlass, or the labyrinth in Troy. These enemies commit horrific atrocities against the characters (of course, because they're enemies), but we also have characters on the same side hurting one another.

Think of how Axis beat Azhure when he thought she might betray him, nearly killing her. Think how Axis used Faraday for his own gains, which ultimately cost her her life.

Think of how Brutus raped Cornelia, an act that made her his wife.

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Only pretty women should be murdered in a jealous rage, apparently

I'm continually astounded by how easily we judge women's bodies, and I'm even more astounded that women judge other women. This is a terrible cycle in which we've all engaged in, at least once in our lives. Women's bodies are continually put on display, mostly for the heterosexual male gaze, but women see these images too. They're everywhere. We've gotten to the point where men don't even need to police women's bodies anymore, because we do it ourselves.

I overheard a conversation earlier today in the break room at work. One woman was reading an article from People about the murder of Jasmine Fiore. What she said caused me to stop reading my book and listen in: "You know, she wasn't even that pretty."

So...only "pretty" women get to be obsessed over, murdered in a jealous rage, dismembered, and discarded in a dumpster? A woman's life was taken, and we're discussing her looks? Why even say she's not that pretty? Is this to imply she wasn't worth the effort of murdering? That Jenkins could have found someone "hotter" to kill?

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Drowning in rape culture: victim-blaming and women's bodies as sexual objects

I have written previously about the atrocities committed by George Sodini, and as difficult a subject as this is to address, I thought I'd delve back into it, given the comments I'm still receiving from the first post.

A cursory glance through George Sodini's online diary is nothing less than disturbing. The support of Sodini's actions by other men is frightening.

First off, the victim-blaming is just...astounding. Sodini knew none of the women he murdered, and somehow we're to believe that if a woman does not give men the sex they apparently deserve, any woman can be justifiably killed as retribution.

What this effectively does is remove any semblance of autonomy from women. We have to consistently state that "no means no"; we have the same conversations over and over regarding consent, and what is and is not rape. And just when we think we've gotten somewhere, something like this happens and we're reminded of how little the world thinks of us and our bodies.

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