PHR's Rachel Muthoga reports from the “Climb up – Speak Out” walk to mark International Women’s Day 2012. The walk, which is part of the UN Campaign to stop gender based violence, brings together survivors of gender based violence and their supporters from all over Kenya.
Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, PHR reaffirms our commitment to comprehensive justice for survivors of sexual violence and support for those working on the front lines to help them. Through our Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, we strive to improve women’s health, ensure greater access to justice for women, and give women an increased voice.
So often, stories of sexual violence leave one left with a debilitating sense of hopelessness and despair at the extent of the problem and the wide-ranging and enduring effects on survivors and their communities. For this year’s 16 Days Campaign, PHR is pleased to relay the hope, strength, and power that we’ve witnessed while traveling in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where mass rape in conflict situations has been so extreme.
Dr. Emily Rogena teaches forensic pathology at the University of Nairobi School of Medicine. Her soft voice and sweet smile belie a hard-nosed scientist who has worked for years to develop better systems to deal with sexual abuse, torture, and violence.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate the political, economic, and social achievements of women around the world. To recognize this historic day, PHR is highlighting the enormous challenges we face in addressing mass rape in armed conflicts.