2 Million Raped?-DR-Congo
Independent Films, Women
Almost 2 million women/girls have been raped in the conflicts related to the Democratic Republic of Congo or more than every 1 in 10, according to estimate/study released in the American Journal of Public Health.Margot Wallstrom, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict addresses the issue.
United Nations (UN) Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström said that the new study on sexual violence published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) would help the organization “better understand this phenomenon” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where she added, rape “will always be under-reported” because of the "risk or the fear of stigma or shame.”
The AJPH study released this week said that almost every minute a woman is raped in the DRC. The figure was reported to be 26 times higher than UN estimates. It also reports of a phenomenon of increased social tolerance for sexual violence, due to its prevalence in conflict, and to factors linked with conflict, such as impunity.
Wallström’s office has, however, found that definitional ambiguity is one of a number of factors that explains the difference between various findings.
In an interview with the UN today (12 May), Wallström said there was a “difference in the way we count.” She explained that the UN “has to verify these figures” in order to provide assistance to the victims.
According to her office, official UN figures tend to be conservative, because the organization can only report to the Security Council information on sexual violence that has been verified by the organisation itself.
Ultimately, she added “it is important to move beyond numbers” and look into how we can prevent the rapes.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which has a mission in the country, confirmed that sexual violence is a serious problem in the DRC, and UN and its and international partners have been working together in past years to support the Government in addressing it.
Wallström has travelled to the DRC thrice since her appointment early last year as the Special Representative. Last October, while visiting the Walikale region, she met with the victims of sexual violence who were raped by members of armed groups, many of them in front of their families and neighbours.
She spoke of a young woman who was “taken out of her home the night before she was getting married and had been gang raped.” The victim told her “a dead rat is worth more than a woman who has been raped.”
Following the incident in Walikale where approximately 235 women, 52 girls, 13 men, and 3 boys were raped, earlier this year, the UN reported 50 to 80 cases of sexual violence perpetrated by the Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) in Fizi, South Kivu.
The UN estimates some 11,000 rapes in 2010 but the figure is considered to be much higher.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 3 mins
Country: Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
2 Million Raped?-DR-Congo by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey UNTV
- Susan Sacirbey