This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
September twenty-eighth, security forces attacked unarmed pro-democracy
demonstrators in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Protesters were shot, beaten
and stabbed. Human rights groups and witnesses say at least one hundred
fifty-seven people were killed, a number disputed by the military government. But
in addition to the killings, human rights groups say a similar number of female
protesters were raped.
Sexual violence against women and girls has been
widespread in Africa. But rape has been used as a weapon of war in the Balkans,
Burma and Sri Lanka. The World Health Organization says one in three women around
the world will experience some form of violence in their lifetime.
NTAMITONDE (TRANSLATED): "I feel pain
in my heart. I cannot go back because of
what they did to me. Three people raped
me in front of my son."
in the Democratic Republic of Congo attacked this woman, took her clothes and
burned her house. In August, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised
more than seventeen million dollars to fight sexual violence in the D.R.C.
human rights groups say the United States must do more to help protect women
and girls in developing countries. They want Congress to pass a
measure called the International Violence Against Women Act. It would finance a
five-year program to pay for health care and other services for victims. It
would also provide training for local police in preventing violence against
legislation was first proposed in two thousand seven by Joe Biden, then a
senator, now the vice president. A group of lawmakers say they plan to propose it
week, actress and United Nations goodwill ambassador Nicole Kidman spoke at a
hearing in Congress.
NICOLE KIDMAN: "Violence against women is not
prosecuted because it is not a top government and urgent social priority. We
can change this."
On September thirtieth, the United Nations Security
Council approved a third resolution against sexual violence in armed conflicts.
Secretary Clinton chaired the meeting, held on the last day of the United
States' month-long presidency of the council. She said the new resolution aims
to give the United Nations and its members new tools to prevent violence and punish
other things, it calls on the secretary-general to appoint a special
representative to lead efforts to end sexual violence. The council also
promised to consider information about such violence when establishing or
renewing targeted sanctions in armed conflicts.
last month, the United Nations agreed to combine four agencies and offices into
a single, stronger agency to work on women's issues. They will be combined
under the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM. Widney Brown, senior director
for policy at the human rights group Amnesty International, praised the move.
WIDNEY BROWN: "We have a central place in the U.N.
where we can hopefully have the sort of political power and financial clout to
actually have a real impact on women's lives in all the countries where the
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special
English, available on the Web with transcripts and podcasts at
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.