Rape And Abuse of African Women? Not In Michelle Obama's "Brand"


From Eve Ensler’s piece in The Guardian:

…….despite the ongoing horrific atrocities that have taken the lives of more than 6 million people and left more than 500,000 women and girls raped and tortured, the international power elite appear to be doing nothing. They have essentially written off the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] and its people, even after continued visits and promises.The day is late. It is almost 13 years into this war. The Obama administration, as in most situations these days, refuses to take a real stand. Several months ago I visited the White House to meet a high official to engage the first lady in our efforts to end sexual violence in Congo, believing that her solidarity would galvanise attention and action. I was told, essentially, that femicide was not her “brand”. Mrs Obama, I was told, was focusing on childhood obesity.

It surprised me that a woman with her capabilities lacked ambidextrous skills (or was it simply interest and will that was absent?). Then we have Secretary Clinton, who at least after much pressure visited the DRC almost a year ago, and made promises that actually meant a huge deal to the people. They were excited that the US government might finally prioritise building the political will in the Great Lakes region to end the war there. But, of course, they are still waiting. And then there is the UN. The anaemic and glacial pace and the death-like bureaucracy continue to allow and, in the case of Monuc and the security council, even help facilitate a deathly regional war.

From Amy Goodman’s interview:

AMY GOODMAN: Who did you speak to at the White House?

EVE ENSLER: I don’t want—well, I spoke to Valerie Jarrett, actually. And I was hoping that she would really enlist Michelle Obama in our struggle. And I was hoping that this administration would be enlisted in this struggle. It just seems to me, where women are being raped, where these kind of atrocities are occurring, it is the worst violence in the world towards women right now. And when you allow that kind of violence to proliferate, when you, in the collective unconscious of the world, say it’s OK to rape 500,000 women—8,000 women have already been raped this year. That’s reported rapes. Most women live in the bush, and they can’t report those rapes. When you as a government, when you as a world, when you as an international body, license those kind of rapes, you will see the spread of that everywhere in the world. We saw it in the Kenyan riots. We saw it in the stadium in—was it—no Ghana, in Guinea, where—we’re just seeing this proliferation now as rape as a tool.

Sad. Disgraceful.

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