Hot news:
Welsh golf resort locked down for NATO summit Island airport bid fails as London aims to stay on top Lawyers want Boston bombing trial delayed to Sept 2015 Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts Bezos names new publisher at Washington Post Chris Brown pleads guilty in DC assault case Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine Dethroned Myanmar beauty queen seeks apology before returning crown Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on Kazakhstan's right to exit Customs Union Kazakhstan ready for various geopolitical risks: Nazarbayev Kazakh researcher develops super large-capacity battery Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister suggests carpooling to save on petrol Nazarbayev University unveils technological park Japan space agency unveils asteroid hunting probe Video of Kazakhstanis in Syria is a manipulation: political expert Kazakhstan MP responds to Vladimir Putin's statement on lack of statehood in Kazakhstan Connoisseurs? Seven out of 10 French 'know little about wine' With rebels at the door, Ukrainian children start school Paris building explosion toll rises to eight Philippine airport bomb plotters planned anti-China attacks: govt Sharks off the menu and on the tourist trail in Palau Kazakhstan’s President commissions Parliament to prevent possible adverse challenges to national economy and security Kazakhstan’s President: Government won’t be cutting down on social obligations Brazil incumbent goes on offensive in presidential debate Mexico investigates huge fish kill in lagoon Second poll shows jump in support for Scottish independence Draghi 'supports' France's call to boost European demand Gabon education minister resigns over exam row Kiev warns of 'great war' with Russia as its forces retreat New National Park to be created in Kazakhstan Kazakhstani model in Armani advertising campaign 16 Kazakhstanis join militants of Islamic State of Iraq Caspian states agree on aquatic bioresources management Additional gas to be imported from Russia: KazMunaiGas Onimderi Ilya Ilyin beats personal clean and jerk record Golovkin nice gentlemen but brings no money: Freddie Roach Heineken says selling Mexican packaging business for $1.2 bn Car bomb found at Philippines' main airport: authorities Search for survivors after six die in Paris building explosion Apparent Hollywood hack attack nabs stars' nude pix China announces national 'Martyrs' Day': report Googling yourself hurts, says Miley Cyrus Obama to spell out message to Putin on former Soviet land Google tests using drones to deliver goods Kenyan commandos on frontline of poaching war Regional powers to hold Lesotho crisis meeting New test fast-tracks diagnosis for malaria Pakistan military leaders to meet after deadly clashes Kazakhstan explores Chinese EXPO-2010 experience Gene clues to glaucoma risk Tales of war, genocide darken Venice film fest Brain tumour boy in 'stable condition' as parents face court Japan porn queens raise thousands of dollars from 'Boob Aid' Iceland issues red alert after new eruption near volcano 14 detained trying to prevent Faroe Island dolphin hunt Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' of eastern Ukraine Thai PM stacks cabinet with soldiers Kazakhstani model awarded at Miss Bikini CIS 2014 Putin and Poroshenko agree to solve Ukrainian crisis peacefully Kazakh expedition to China and Kyrgyzstan comes to end Kazakh expedition leaves China for Kyrgyzstan Only 20% of infants with heart diseases get help in Kazakhstan Emir Baigazin's Wounded Angel wins Work in Progress at Sarajevo Film Festival ArbatFest-2014: From public art to visual library Kazakhstan offers Singapore to mutually abolish visa regime Talgar mudslide damages run into millions Zarina Diyas in 3rd round of US Open Kazakhstan celebrates Constitution Day Kazakh tour companies losing market to Russian firms Chinese water parks with shocking number of people Silk Road explorers from Kazakhstan: Minarets of Xinjiang India's Modi arrives in Japan for visit Time running out for 'kidnapped' brain tumour boy taken to France Ghana says poverty cut by half since 1992 Pussy Riot say no place for Putin at G20 IMF approves $1.4 billion aid payment for Ukraine Astana experiences shortage of high school and pre-school teachers 20 miners rescued, five still missing in Nicaragua collapse US steps up sanctions on Iran over nuclear program Kazakhstan wins 8 medals at Youth Olympic Games in China Democrats keep Obama at distance ahead of mid-term elections A pact with the devil: bankruptcy, greed from Florida to Venice Besieged UN peacekeepers in Syria ready to use 'deadly force' Turkey unveils new cabinet of Erdogan allies Angelina Jolie calls for new bid to end Syria war Russia closes 12 McDonald's branches, inspects 100 Joan Rivers 'serious' in New York hospital US singer Green pleads no contest to ecstasy charge Facebook tuning mobile search at social network Huge rival protests held in Yemen capital 'Ice Bucket Challenge' passes $100 mn mark NATO warns Russia over 'blatant violations' in Ukraine conflict Star-studded comedy 'She's Funny That Way' charms Venice President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Kazakhstan and its future Kazakhstan will soon feel the rising cost of living: expert Yurt may be recognized as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan's cultural heritage: UNESCO Kazakhstan Minister of Culture calls gay smooch ad 'ugly' and 'nonhuman' Man blocks entrance to mayor's office in protest against gasoline deficit in Kazakhstan Fuel deficit creates kilometer-long queues in Kazakhstan Kazakhstan toughens punishment for corruption Will Ward be first to defeat Golovkin? UN chief 'gravely concerned' by Ukraine crisis Wingsuit daredevils risking their lives on film Twitter to set up shop in social-media-mad Indonesia Tesco issues new profit warning, slashes dividend Gunmen kill six worshippers at Pakistan shrine Precision in mid-air as rope jumpers soar on Greek isle Volcano erupts in PNG, spewing ash and rock: officials 75 Philippine UN peacekeepers defy Syria rebels Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7m Chinese a year Australian PM to visit India for potential uranium deal Support for Scottish independence growing: poll Google tests using drones to deliver goods Harry Belafonte to receive honorary humanitarian Oscar Cyber attacks on US businesses, banks mounting Jewish community 'forced out' of Guatemalan village 'Brangelina' marry in secret French wedding Merkel, Obama warn Russia of 'consequences' over Ukraine Eyes on Apple for 'next big thing' on Sept. 9 Erdogan sworn in as Turkey president, opposition storms out Ice Bucket Challenge Fails and Best Fails Mudflow threat in Almaty remains: scientist 'Smart' city guru arrives in Astana Green Belt around Astana to be extended Oil-producing Kazakhstan depends on Russia for gasoline. No way out? Ballet dancer of Bordeaux National Opera to perform in Astana Kazakhstan makes first brain tumor surgery German jobless rate unchanged in August: data Cameron urges Scotland to stay as business leaders clash over independence Iraqi Kurdish student uses holiday to fight jihadists Thai court drops murder charge against ex-PM Abhisit Reports of paratrooper deaths need checking: Putin spokesman South Korea's Samsung and LG unveil new smartwatches MH370 may have turned south 'earlier' than thought Worms, flies and humans: how we are related 'Swagger' Kazakh-style Millions lose Internet access in US Aid convoys trundle into Gaza as ceasefire holds Apple to unveil 'iWatch' on September 9: report Next round of talks on Ukraine crisis to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan Surprise-package Silva shakes up Brazil vote Kia to open $1 billion car assembly plant in Mexico A mother's appeal as fears mount for Syria hostages Ukraine fighter triggers protest for reinforcements in besieged town Ebola zone countries isolated as airlines stop flights Russian food sanctions spur price rises: data Ethnic Kazakhs life in Shanghai Nazarbayev wants to boost Ulytau tourist potential Russian political party slams ad depicting Russian poet kissing Kazakh composer Kazakhstan is ready to render humanitarian aid to Ukraine: Nazarbayev Galileo satellites not on right orbit: Arianespace Paris relives the joy of liberation, 70 years on US dominates Chinese world university rankings Jasmine and smoke: the allure of Greek summer cinemas Thousands mark Moon death anniversary in S. Korea India stray dogs to be part of security squad‎ Russia okays $150 mn to subsidise World Cup venues Tennis: Kazakhstani Zarina Diyas gets in WTA Top-100 Facebook wants to beam the Internet from the sky

Nobel peace prize, but Liberia women still stalked by rape

Friday, 25.11.2011, 13:05
Comments (0)
Nobel peace prize, but Liberia women still stalked by rape
Liberian women. ©Reuters
As a young girl Garmar Murphy was forced into a child soldier's life, serving as a sexual plaything for Liberian rebels between battles -- a tragic norm in the country's savage conflict, AFP reports.

She was 13 years old, and rape was not criminalised by law.

A decade later, her country boasts Africa's first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who recently won a Nobel Peace Prize with Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee for their struggle to boost women's rights and safety.

But if women have taken some steps forward in the eight years since a peace accord ended Liberia's civil war, they haven't left behind the threat of rape.

Rape became endemic as a weapon of fear during the 14-year-long conflict and is still rampant, going unpunished more often than not.

Murphy, now 23, her eyes downcast, tells of the day she went to fetch water when her village was attacked and everyone fled or was killed, leaving her at the mercy of invading rebels.

"I was a kid ... I lost my parents, I never had any choice at all. All I need to do is to satisfy their desire. If I didn't join there, they gonna kill me," she tells AFP .

"If you blessed, the general see you and love you, you only be for that general alone. If you not lucky ... it means you will be for all the soldiers."

A mention of her country's joint Nobel win brightens Murphy's face with a bold grin.

"Liberian women, we are moving forward. It encouraged me that we women shouldn't sit down, you can still make it."

Murphy is now a peer counsellor at THINK, a women's organisation that runs a safehouse for victims of rape and domestic violence.

Victims are also enrolled in a rehabilitation programme to learn a trade and life skills.

THINK founder Rosana Schaack says that while the spotlight on Liberia's women has boosted spirits, it has not changed the harsh realities of a society in which rape and gender violence remain commonplace.

"Looking at where we came from, we can say we have reached one milestone, but we have ten more to go. The perception from outside that all is well, that Liberia is a shining star, that all of the women are experiencing their rights. It is far from that ..."

Sirleaf has overseen the enactment of harsh new rape laws, the creation of a dedicated rape court, and a women's police unit launched in 2009.

Women now are increasingly likely to come forward to report rape and seek treatment, which experts say may be one of the reasons it appears as if the number of cases is increasing.

"Now rape is a big crime, you go in jail, so the men are afraid. At that time the men were in power, they rape you at anytime, they just hold you in the bush, do what they want to do," says Murphy.

-- Rapists target children, babies --

Statistics are hard to come by, but THINK's safehouse alone saw 728 rape cases last year, including 690 children between the ages of 13 and 17 -- pointing to disturbingly high levels of child rape.

"A few weeks ago we had a four-month-old baby that was violently raped. Now that baby will not be able to identify a perpetrator. If we had forensics we would have DNA evidence on this person," says Schaack.

A lack of forensic analysis is one of many daunting challenges faced by Criminal Court E, the special rape court, whose chief prosecutor Felicia Coleman has to overcome an exhausting list of barriers to convict rape offenders.

"We have very little to go with, most of our cases are based on circumstantial evidence," she says.

When the court started its work in February 2009, it was handed 150 cases on the spot. Some of the accused had been awaiting trial in jail for up to three years, records were non-existent and witnesses had long disappeared, meaning that many suspects went free.

With five criminal courts and only one grand jury to indict all suspects, and more people being arrested and jailed every day, "it seemed like we were hardly doing anything," says Coleman.

Since the rape court was set up, only 18 cases have been tried, and 10 people convicted.

"It may be few but when you think about all the challenges ..," says Coleman, her voice trailing off.

Convincing women to press charges is a major battle and those who do often change their minds. Stigmatisation is high and most perpetrators are acquaintances of their victims, meaning there is a lot of pressure not to pursue the case.

"A lot of women prefer using the informal justice system, the traditional method of getting justice, the formal justice system doesn't meet all of their needs," said Coleman.

The traditional method can involve mediation by community elders or village chiefs.

Pursuing a case in court "has a lot of financial implications on the family. They will have to leave a whole week to be able to come to court on a daily basis, that time they are away from work they are losing income."

The crumbling seaside capital of Monrovia, where red-mud potholed roads and bright greenery fill the spaces between faded buildings, is worlds away from Oslo, where Sirleaf and Gbowee will collect their Nobel awards on December 10.

"I think the giving of the prize will give us the motivation to keep pressing on, sometimes you get so discouraged ... but for us as women we are looking into the deepest part of our resolve and bringing it out," says Schaack.
Views: 31    Comments: 0
preloader
Add a comment
preloader

2014
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
September
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

News
Archive

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Feature stories

Поделиться:
Nobel peace prize, but Liberia women still stalked by rape
http://en.tengrinews.kz/userdata/news_en/2011/news_5821/thumb_b/photo_10840.jpg
http://en.tengrinews.kz/crime/Nobel-peace-prize-but-Liberia-women-still-stalked-by-rape--5821/