Dear UN: Where Are the Women in Your Ebola Prevention Plan?

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The following is an open letter from the Mano River Women’s Peace Network member states to those who attended the UN Security Council’s special meeting on the Ebola crisis. It was originally published on the Social Justice blog and is reprinted here with permission. For only the third time in its history, the UN Security Council has convened an emergency meeting on […]

Rape as a Weapon of War: What Happens to Pregnant Survivors?

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The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is formally over, but women and girls remain targets for violence. Still today, all warring parties in Congo routinely use sexual violence as a weapon of war and a tool of social control. The rebels know that women are the center of the community. They learned […]

Where Women Fill More Than 50 Percent of Government Seats

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We always talk about the fact that in order to really change attitudes and behavior towards women and to correct gender inequity in Congo, there need to be women leaders. It seems like a pretty obvious statement, but as we know, this is far from an obvious truth in many countries around the world (including […]

Fighting Back Against Rape in War

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“Sexual violence.” We hear these two words over and over in Congo. They have become a part of the vernacular—and in many ways are a symptom of a highly traumatized society. In every meeting, sexual violence is mentioned and everywhere we go, we meet girls, women and children who have survived rape and assault. And […]

Rape in Congo is a Men’s Issue, Too

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Here in Congo, so many of our discussions have been about the brutal sexual violence affecting women. We have heard heartbreaking stories of horrific violence and trauma that give you a new appreciation for human cruelty. And we have met so many people who give you hope—who demonstrate unimaginable resilience despite unbelievable trauma. Just today, […]

Corporate Responsibility: It’s Time to Stand Up for the Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

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This week in Abuja, Nigeria, corporations from the U.S. and around the globe will attend the World Economic Forum on Africa. Yes, Nigeria. Where 234 schoolgirls (possibly more, according to some reports) have been kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram and remain missing. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan recently blamed the girls’ parents for his government’s failure to quickly find […]

Have You “Seen” the Kidnapped Girls of Nigeria?

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As many of us now know, more than 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their dorms on April 15 in the northeastern part of Nigeria. The terrorist Islamist group, Boko Haram—possibly tied to Al Qaeda—has been linked to this brazen abduction, as well as to the mass murder of other school children (29 school boys in February). On […]

We All Are the Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

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Nigeria’s radical Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram can be looked at through many lenses.  They are active in the most populous country in Africa.  They are waging terrorist war on Africa’s newly minted largest economy, blowing up bus terminals and killing innocents. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is sitting on the largest oil patch in Africa; […]

Just Imagine How Educated Girls Could Save The World

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Tomorrow is international Human Rights Day, making this a good time to reflect on our most basic human rights: food, clean water, shelter, safety. One of the most transformative human rights is education, which we often take for granted in the U.S., but for many, many girls around the globe it’s just a dream they […]

Kakenya Ntaiya Needs Your Votes!

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Kakenya Ntaiya, like most young girls in her Kenyan village, was forced to undergo female genital mutilation at a young age. Many girls in Africa undergo this gruesome centuries-old practice and are then promptly married off. For most, it means the end of not only their childhood, but their education as well. But 14-year-old Kakenya […]