Source: The Star
Recently the U.N. voted unanimously on a resolution “classifying rape as a weapon of war.” In response to the resolution, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said:
"Violence against women has reached unspeakable and pandemic proportions in societies attempting to recover from conflict….When you adopt resolutions with strong language on sexual and gender-based violence, the UN can respond more forcefully."
And U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said,
"I am proud that today we have responded to that lingering question with a resounding yes. We affirm that sexual violence profoundly affects not only the health and safety of women but the economic and social stability of their nations."These are inspiring words, but what do they really mean as far as what kinds of action will be taken? And how they raise awareness about this issue?
While politicians have been debating these issues, courageous women have been taking action, and their stories are documented in two new/forthcoming films.
Filmmaker Lisa Jackson has produced The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, which details the stories of some of the women and girls who have been brutally raped, kidnapped, tortured and mutilated by soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some 40 women and girls are raped in the DRC each day. Jackson’s documentary recently debuted on HBO and is part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. You can see the trailer on the film’s website, and see an interview with the filmmaker here.
Filmmaker Michaelene Christini Risley is working on a documentary, Tapestries of Hope, about Betty Makoni and her Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe. As the film notes, Zimbabwe is in the midst of political crisis, and one of the favored forms of punishment is rape. Additionally, we discover through the trailer, a popular myth endures that men can rid themselves of AIDS or HIV by raping a child or virgin. Risley’s film has not yet been released (as of June 2008).
~ Marsha, Web Content/Community Manager
Image courtesy of Greatest Silence.