Woman in Dar Es Salaam are saying that the wars all over the world should be stopped, as they violate Human Rights and those who are largely affected are women and girls, rather than men.
This follows the report of several documents concerning how women and girls are much more affected in wars than men. Take for example, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 5.5 million people have been tortured and murdered within since 1998.
Glory Mlacha, a 32 year old who lives in Taabata said “when one looks deeply at what happening in Congo the necessity of ending the war immediately is necessary. Women and girls are the most affected people in this war as their fathers, brothers and children rape and kill them.”
In order to gain access with ease to valuable minerals, militias terrorize local communities. The most effective tactics used are rape and murder. Using rape as a tactic of war is not only physically terrorizing, it is so psychologically damaging that the communities break apart into a form of social chaos, leaving no one to resist or challenge these armed groups.
Armed groups ransack villages for men and boys forcing them to kill their mothers and rape their sisters, so they have no one to return home to. Many of the armed groups are controlled by fear and are occupied by men who have been forced to enlist. This situation hurts women and girls a lot.
This method is recognized by the UN as a strategic tactic, Amnesty International has stated that rape is cheaper and more effective than bullets in Congo. An estimated 400,000 women have been victims of sexual violence during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war.
Mama Paulo, a 29 year old living in Ubungo said “in 21st century, raping is a big threat as there are sexual transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS which have no cure. Health care is not frequently found in wars.”
The United Nations Office on Crimes and Drugs reports that for the period 1998–2000, South Africa was ranked first for rapes per capita. While women’s groups in South Africa estimate that a woman is raped every 26 seconds and South African police estimate that a woman is raped every 36 seconds.
When we look back in Rwanda in the 1996 report, the UN Special Reporter Rene Degni-Segui stated, “Rape was the rule and its absence the exception.” He also noted, “Rape was systematic and was used as a weapon” by the perpetrators of the massacres.
There are only few testimonies for those who have been sufferers of the war. It is obvious that there are a lot of untold stories about other women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
To address this situation the United Nations (UN), Human Right Bodies, The given government , Religious Institutions, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and the citizens should put much effort on finding possible solution to the problems so as to maintain dignity for both gender, and for the innocent victims of war.
Jacqueline is currently upgrading her skills in human rights reporting in Dar es Salaam. Her goal is become an international journalist, focusing on anti-gender violence.