Archives for August 2011

Congo Women: Women of War, Women of Courage


Are the women you know free to work, pursue an education and contribute to society? Do they dare to laugh, sing and dream out loud? Sadly, many women from war-ravaged nations, including the Congo, believe these simple freedoms are unattainable–valuable treasures beyond their reach.

Congo – The Reality on the Ground

Congo ranks among the top 3 most dangerous countries in the world for women. More than 5.4 million people have died as a result of mass murder, famine, and disease brought on by the Congo’s devastating conflict. According to A Thousand Sisters, Eastern Congo is often called “The worst place on earth to be a woman,” as concluded by a panel of gender experts assembled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Sexual violence is pandemic.

“Deep in the bush, what better way is there to keep everyone subdued, than to rape every man’s mother, sister or wife?” –-Dr. Mvuama

Dr. Mvuama treats victims of war and says armed groups raid and loot villages, raping women, children and sometimes babies or men to control the people though terror, according to a VOA News report.

From the mouths of terrorist rebels: “I raped, killed and stole from people,” said one; and, “I killed and raped. I loved being drunk and raping women. I have even killed children,” said another in a chilling statement devoid of any conscience. For the full story, visit Africa Stories. The Journal of Public Health report and UNICEF also collaborate the staggering reports, estimating more than one thousand woman and girls are being raped every day—a rate equivalent to 48 rapes every hour. Many women and girls are also sexually mutilated, infected with AIDS and/or are impregnated by rebel soldiers.

“It is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in modern conflict.” –Maj. Gen Patrick Cammaert, Ex-force Commander for Eastern DRC

Congo – A Higher Truth

When the evils of this world seek to suck the life out of every good, honorable and living thing, we must not cower in defeat or shame. They want us to believe it is impossible, that our fate is sealed–as if to declare victory as they dance on our graves. But as the saying goes, “It’s not over until it’s over”. As long as there is breath, there is life!
Take a stand, raise your voice, hold a sister’s hand and walk together.

“May our prayers never relent until the earth stands at attention and witnesses heaven unleash it’s justice” –April McCallum

Bonds of Love, Bonds for Life

Have you heard the expression, “What you wish you could do for many, do for just one”? It’s about going there together. Here are a few ways you can raise awareness and help create immediate impact for our Congo sisters:

Act & Share:
Run for Congo Women Events – Promote and/or Participate
Write & Blog – Related Article Advocating for Congolese Women
Sponsor a Congolese Sister – Women for Women International
Join Eastern Congo Initiative – Synergy of Women for Sexual Violence Victims
Be a Political Advocate – Use Your Voice for those who don’t yet have one!
In the U.S. Call 202-456-1111 or Send an Email to the White House
View & Share:
Crisis in the Congo, Uncovering the Truth
Congo Story: War, Women and Rape
Who is YOUR Sister?
Read & Share:
Running for Their Lives by Stephanie Riggs, Colorado View Magazine
A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman by Lisa Shannon
No Justice for Women in DRC, Amnesty International
Stronger Women, Stronger Nation – Amplifying the Voices of Women in Eastern Congo, Women for Women International

It takes zero courage to brutalize a woman or child, only cowardice. Those who rise from the ashes against all odds, THEY are the ones worthy of our honor. They are the true heroes, the brave and the strong. They will be loved and learn to love again. And, they will rebuild their lives with our help. We salute you–women of war, women of courage… Women of Destiny!

© By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women

(Photo by David Dennis)

Sources: UNHCR, UNICEF, WfWi, VOA News, ABC News, Amnesty International

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