International Human Rights Day
No Human Rights without Women’s Rights
Don’t forget the women of Darfur
As the world celebrates an important milestone in our history – International Human Rights Day – the women of Darfur continue to endure unspeakable suffering. Rape has been used as a weapon of war for over twelve years, and today it is more prevalent than ever. Therefore, Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) would like to take this opportunity to remind you about the ongoing tragic situation and demand your support in speaking up for women in Darfur.
We would like to share with you the following tragic story of a 14 year old girl who was raped in a camp in Darfur as a one example and call on you to join our campaign in calling on president Obama to issue a statement to condemn the ongoing sexual violence in Darfur.
As reported by Radio Dabanga: “A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped in Tawila locality, North Darfur, today.”
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of the victim reported that four militiamen riding camels ambushed the girl as she collected straw in the area of Kedareik, five kilometres east of Tabit.
“They raped her alternately for three hours, from 10 am until 1 pm.,” she said.
The victim was taken to a clinic in the Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur.
“She is still bleeding. As a result of the shock she is not able to eat nor talk,” the relative added.
Regrettably, this is not an isolated incident; it’s the daily life of the Darfur people who have been targeted for years. On this day we wish to remind you of the following facts:
The genocide in Darfur that began 12 years ago continues to ravage the region today.
– Sudanese government-sponsored forces continue to savagely murder civilians.
– Over 4 million people have been affected by the crises, with over 3 million having been displaced from their homes. 2.7 million Darfuris remain in internally displaced camps within Darfur, most in critical conditions.
– As of today, these camps lack any humanitarian assistance and the peacekeeping missions are failing to protect the vulnerable. Nearly 1 million Darfuris are refugees in neighboring countries with 377,000 in Chad alone.
– The world may think that the crisis has come to a close, but it hasn’t. Over 460,000 Darfuris were displaced in 2013 alone, over 500,000 have been displaced in 2014, and over 200,000 are newly displaced in the first quarter of 2015.
– Rape has been used as a weapon of war; women and young girls remain the main targets. You may have heard about the shocking incident that took place on October 30, 2014 in which over 221 girls and women were raped in one village, most of whom are elementary school girls.
Since the world no longer pays attention to Darfur, the government of Sudan has successfully isolated Darfur from the outside world and from the rest of Sudan. To make matters worse, the genocide in Darfur and the suffering of its population is now barely covered by mainstream media. This recent shift in attention has decreased international concern regarding the situation, ultimately reducing the sense of urgency regarding possible interventions.
DAWG is extremely committed to bringing attention to the situation in Darfur at a time when the international community has turned a blind eye and shifted its focus to other parts of the world. DWAG strives to educate the public and empower ordinary citizens to speak out, demand action, and hold their leaders accountable. DWAG’s priority is to bring attention to the forgotten plight of the people of Darfur. It also strives to provide the support needed by the civil society in the historically marginalize areas like South Kordofan and the Blue Nile region in order to jointly and properly address the issue of genocide and to bring lasting peace in Sudan.
That is why on this important Day, DWAG wants to remind you that “Genocide” is the world’s worst crime for which the international community has repeated the slogan: “Never Again.” Sadly, it is a reality prevailing in Darfur today. The situation does not only affect the communities in the region, but also poses a serious threat to the world’s peace and security at large.
While you celebrate the progress made in advancing human rights since its declaration, you must also remember that there are many more people who are still struggling for very basic human rights and whose lives are constantly at risk.
Your role in helping end this horror is of particular importance. What we are asking for doesn’t require a lot of effort! You can do what you can from where you are by taking only one of the following steps:
What the ordinary citizen can do to help
It takes only one of the following steps to be an upstander
– Speak up! Silence kills more people
– Write a letter to your government representative asking them to include Darfur in their agenda
– Join DWAG’s supporters and sign up for our email updates
– Keep the world’s attention on Al Bashir’s crimes and demand accountability
– Provide moral and material support to the affected communities to restore hope and help their people develop survival means: DONATE TO HELP US PROTECT women by providing them a safe space to learn skills and earn incomes to help themselves and their families. HELP US EMPOWER survivors to take a stand and to speak out Donate
Join our ongoing No Human Rights without Women Rights campaign through December 15th. In the upcoming days we will continue to feature our heroes and survivors who have played an outstanding role in advancing women rights. Stay tuned!