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.
In the newspapers, we read wrenching stories about suffering in faraway places such as Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, and Myanmar; through this work, these stories have become real to me.
A 29-year-old mother of three from the Republic of Congo who was arrested, detained, accused of anti-government activities because of her ethnicity, tortured and raped repeatedly by military officers for more than a year before escaping and finding her way to the US to seek asylum.
Last week, over 80 health professional students from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and the United States gathered together in Kampala for the first East African Health and Human Rights Student Leadership Institute, sponsored by PHR and our local partner, the Action Group for Health, Human Rights, and HIV/AIDS (AGHA). This three-day event was the culmination of months of planning by student leaders, as well as PHR and AGHA staff.