Stand Up for Congo


Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, raged against his community, international NGOs, the government and Congolese men—all of whom in his view do nothing to prevent the atrocities and devastation still being perpetrated on women in Eastern Congo today. “Why is no one standing up to protect the women and children? Where […]

A True Hero

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The word “hero” is used far too often today. It seems as though we bandy the word around for actions that should be considered normal human behavior. In my travels to Congo with Jewish World Watch, however, I have had the honor to meet several of the real heroes in the world. Some of these […]

Meryl Streep’s New Film Tackles “A Fate Worse Than Death”


In the new documentary Shout Gladi Gladi, narrated by multiple Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, filmmakers Adam Friedman and Iain Kennedy focus their lens on the women of war-torn Sierra Leone and Malawi, who suffer from an affliction many in their communities describe as a fate worse than death: obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula—which occurs during days-long obstructed labor—is a […]

Not Only Voiceless, But Choice-less: The Impregnated Victims of Boko Haram

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The rescue of hundreds of Nigerian women and girls from terrorist group Boko Haram received more press coverage than the human rights of women and girls are generally allocated. But what wasn’t included in that coverage is how the U.S. is actively denying those same women and girls the medical care they desperately need.  Many of those rescued […]

A Survivor of Marriage-By-Abduction Speaks Out


In the Winter 2015 issue of Ms. we introduced readers to an Ethiopian-made film titled Difret, produced in part by Angelina Jolie. The film tells the true story of an Ethiopian girl who, after being victimized in the 1990s by the local discriminatory practice of telefa, or marriage-by-abduction, killed the man who had abducted and raped her. The […]

Sexual Violence Against Congolese Infants Is on the Rise


A version of this article previously appeared on the Panzi Foundation website. When I first began working to combat mass atrocities in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I was a recovering academic. I had left a PhD program at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies with an MA, all-but-dissertation, driven by […]

Victory for Girls (and Boys): Malawi Outlaws Child Marriage


The African nation of Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, has voted to outlaw the practice of child marriage. Legislators have approved—and President Peter Mutharika is expected to sign—a bill raising the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18. Currently, nearly 1 in 8 Malawi girls are wed by age 15, and half […]

Victory for Public Health in Nigeria


Nigeria is the most populous and one of the wealthiest nations in Africa. Yet reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) is a leading health challenge in the country. While various programs exist at the national and local levels, our RMNCH health statistics have not changed substantially over the last decade. Indeed, they remain devastating: […]

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


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?


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 […]