Membership & Advocacy Coordinator
Phone: 202-546-3950 x 102
Recent Blog Posts
I decided I will start off this gushy, loving article on Mother's Day with a depressing statistic (sorry): around the world, every two minutes a woman dies from preventable causes related to pregnancy. The real kicker? These deaths are 100% preventable.
There are several factors that play into this astonishing statistic. In some parts of the world, maternal health simply is not a priority. In Save the Children's mother index, you can see which countries are the best and worst places to be a mother. Can you guess how the United States ranks? The US came in 30th. 30th place. Wow.
The report explains that several factors are at play when it comes to a mother's health, including economic status, education level, and women's political status (to name a few). The Democratic Republic of Congo came in last place - the worst place to be a mother. Cultural practices play a role as well. For example, women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) are twice as likely to die during childbirth and are more likely to give birth to a stillborn child than other women.
After the initial relief of the guilty verdict of the Steubenville rape case, I was horrified to see postings, tweets, and even newscasters giving sympathy to the accused convicted rapists. Complete victim-blaming rants along the lines of "Be responsible for your actions ladies before your drunken decisions ruin innocent lives," were scattered throughout the internet. As if the unconscious girl provoked the attack. As if she had any say in what was done to her. Now the brave survivor is receiving death threats.
These reactions make it no wonder that only 46% of rapes are even reported because of the fear and public shaming the victims receive. The Steubenville Case is only one out of 3% of cases that result in a conviction. One in 3%. It seems the impossible has happened --- justice for a rape survivor. Yet the backlash and rape-sympathizers that we have seen throughout the case and after the delinquent verdict, points to a huge problem our society has with women and girls.
Next week, from March 18th to 28th, negotiators should finalize text for the Arms Trade Treaty to set uniform standards for international arms sales that will bring foreign governments up to U.S. export standards. This international treaty is years in the making-the lack of accountability for the global sale and trade of arms is appalling. War lords, terrorists, and those who commit haneous human rights violations benefit from the current system -- it is simply too easy for these people to obtain weapons. Worldwide, one person dies every minute of armed violence. That's 500,000 people a year. But don't let the statistics sway you. Here are some personal stories of women who have experienced violence at the hands of those with illegal arms.1
Marren Akatsa-Bukachi: "One man with a gun can rape a whole village"
Marren Akatsa-Bukachi is the Executive Director of the Eastern African sub Regional Support Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI). They work with women survivors of violence.
"Men and women are affected differently by arms.
"In Africa, guns are used to rape women, disempower them. Women are also affected when their husbands die or become incapacitated by small arms as they become head of the household.