Skip to main content

48 women raped every hour in Congo, study finds

The African nation of Congo has been called the worst place on earth to be a woman.

A new study released shows that it's even worse than previously thought: 1,152 women are raped every day, a rate equal to 48 per hour.

That rate is 26 times more than the previous estimate of 16,000 rapes reported in one year by the United Nations.

Michelle Hindin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health who specialises in gender-based violence, said the rate could be even higher.

The source of the data, she noted, is a survey that was conducted through face-to-face interviews, and people are not always forthcoming about the violence they have suffered when talking to strangers.

"The numbers are astounding," she said.

Congo, a nation of 70 million people that is equal in size to Western Europe, has been plagued by decades of war. Its vast forests are rife with militias that have systematically used rape to destroy communities.

The analysis, which will be published in the American Journal of Public Health in June, shows that more than 400,000 women had been raped in Congo during a 12-month period between 2006 and 2007.

On average 29 Congolese women out of every 1,000 had been raped nationwide. That means that even in the parts of Congo that are not affected by the war, a woman is 58 times more likely to be raped than a woman in the United States, where the annual rate is 0.5 per 1,000 women.

Previous estimates of the number of rapes were derived from police and health centre reports in the nation's troubled east where the conflict is concentrated. The authors of the study used figures from a government health survey and pooled data from across the country.

The highest frequency of rape was found in North Kivu, the province most affected by the conflict, where 67 women per 1,000 had been raped at least once.

"The message is important and clear: Rape in (Congo) has metastasised amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time," said Michael VanRooyen, the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Facebook Tests a New Feature To Let Users Enjoy Events Togather"

Facebook is testing a new feature to let users share events that they are interesting in attending to, on their "Stories" so that they can coordinate with friends and enjoy events together.

According to a TechCrunch report, the test will involve a new option to "Share to Your Story" that appears when you visit an event's page on Facebook.

"If shared, friends will see a tappable sticker within your Story that includes the event details and lets friends respond that they're also 'interested' right from the Story itself," the report added.

Friends also can tap on the sticker in the Story to visit the event page.

"There's also a link to the event page built in and a way to start a group chat on Messenger with friends who responded," said The Verge.

The test is currently rolling out to users in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

To use the new test feature, go to the Events page, click "Share" below the date and time of the eve…

Sudan Restricts Social Media Access to Counter Protest Movement

Since last year Internet freedom in Sudan declined due to a crippling economic crisis that made access to ICTs prohibitively expensive for everyday users. The government also exerted increasing control over the online sphere by arresting online journalists and activists and introducing new restrictive laws and also blocking access to social media used to organise nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis.


Sudan has been rocked by near-daily demonstrations in the past over two weeks.

In a Northeast African country where the state controls traditional media, the internet has become an important information battleground. Of Sudan’s 40 million people, about 13 million use the internet and more than 28 million own mobile phones.

According to local media, about 13 million of Sudan’s 40 million people use the internet.
Hashtags in Arabic such as “Sudan’s_cities_revolt” have been widely circulated from Sudan and abroad. Hashtags in English such as #SudanRevolts have…

Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11, Says a Report

The number of hate crimes reported in the United States jumped by 17% last year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist hijackings on 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

A total of 7,175 hate crime incidents were reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016, said the UCR Program's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, Xinhua reported.

It's the third year in a row the FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes. The number of hate crimes in 2016 rose about five percent from 2015.

The 2017 incidents encompass 8,437 total offences, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges.

According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent).

The victims represented a cross section of society, with African-Americans and Jews the most frequently targeted victims. Of 34…