The testimonies of these 13 women from different parts of Colombia strikingly reveal how the country’s ongoing armed conflict has affected the bodies, spirits and lives of its women and girls. It is an effort to make the conditions these women cope with visible, reflecting their faces, their words and the places where they currently live, and showing the fear and pain that Colombia’s ongoing armed conflict has made them endure. In these pages, 13 indigenous, urban, peasant, artisan and Afro-descendant women weave a tapestry of women’s history in times of bitter confrontations.
Tags: arts, , , ,
In a moment of true classiness, on January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police made a public statement that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” (1). Addressing students and staff at a campus ‘safety’ information session at Osgoode Hall at York University, where members from York security and two male officers from Toronto police 31 Division handed out safety tips to community members, one of the two officers suggested that avoiding dressing “like a slut” would lower the likelihood that a woman would be raped. In the following days Toronto police spokesperson Constable Wendy Drummond confirmed the incident, and said it has been brought to the attention of senior officials and is under investigation.
Tags: rape, , , ,
“What good is it to teach these women how to read and write French or use a computer? These are women who are used to carrying heavy loads into town. What good will this education you speak of, do for them?” – a statement by a Congolese lawyer to the author.
In countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where only a few years ago entire communities were massacred and to this day, brutally violent rapes still occur, women have not only borne the brunt of war, but have been widely excluded from the process of reclaiming their own communities for peace. While the issue of conflict-rape is highly sensationalized and NGO representatives and politicians make flimsy commitments to address it, the realities facing women in post-war settings remains largely unchanged. There is a disparity between what is touted by reporting organizations and heralded in the Western media and the reality on the ground. It is clear that the activities and promises of international bodies and personalities have both failed to put an end to these atrocities, and to effectively engage women in the peace-building process.