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Rape: A Death Sentence for Congo’s Women

October 15, 2010

Cesar Chelala in The Globalist:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is experiencing an almost perpetual state of internal strife and lacks medicines and basic healthcare services, particularly in rural areas. As a result, getting infected by HIV via rape is virtually a death sentence for many women.

Rape happens on a wide scale in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan. In the DRC, where more than three million people have been displaced by war, rape victims are counted in the tens of thousands.

According to some estimates, up to 60% of combatants in the DRC are HIV-infected and can transmit the infection to the women they rape. As Anne-Christine d’Adesky, executive director of Women’s Equity in Access to Care and Treatment stated, “Rape is an engine of HIV infection.”

In Uganda, soldiers from the Lord’s Resistance Army have raped and mutilated women during their struggle to replace the government in the country. Despite the cessation of hostilities, the situation in the country remains grim.

“The horrific violence committed during the many years of conflict in northern Uganda continues to aggravate discrimination against women and girls in the area today,” stated Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty International’s researcher in Kampala. [More]

 

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