The second event I attend was The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. This film left me speechless and wanting to help in any way I could. The film talked about how every day in Congo several women are raped by the UN Peace Keepers and the Cogneli army which is there to protect them. The first women who agreed to be interviewed was Marie Juhnge and she said that her husband would tell their kids that she wanted to be raped and then he left her to raise all their kids on her own.
Some statements and quotes from the film.* DFC is stealing millions of stuff that’s for/in cell phones and laptop’s in Congo along with gold
*Over 200,000 women have been raped
· *Soldiers extorting money from villagers their supposed to protect
· *UN Peace Keepers have exchanged milk and eggs for having sex with girls as young as 10 years old
· * 10 of thousands of women are survivors
· *Many stay at Panza hospital for a year to recover from being raped- women don’t have to pay, hospital overwhelmed, if there lucky they will make it here after being raped
· * Rapes infected up to 30% with HIV
· *One women was dripping urine because of fistula
· *Plan on making a hospital for women of sexual violence
· *Women walked for months through woods to get to the shelter
· *One women had the back of her rectum burned out after being raped by 7 men
· *Soldiers in the Cogneli army feel in power and like they need to rape women. Some even have wife’s and are not ashamed or feel bad for raping these innocent women
· *100 women have been kidnapped and used as sex slaves
· *An 11 year old was raped and now has a child, even a 4 year old was raped by a man in her village
· *When they see a camera kids think it’s a gun and it traumatizes them
· *Soldiers ordered to rape thinking it will help them in the battle
This devastated me because these women of all ages are helpless and after been raped there by them because they are too ashamed to go back to their families. Sitting watching it was so powerful and at times I couldn’t stand watching it because I knew that things weren’t going to get better for them.
Articles in class that this film relates to are Oppression by: Frye and Privilege, Power, and Difference by: Johnson. How this relates to Oppression is because the men in the army who are supposed to be protecting the women are oppressing them and bringing them down by raping them. After they are raped they are by themselves with nowhere to go and no one to turn too and the guys don’t care what problems rape has caused for them.
How it relates to Privilege, Power, and Difference is because the men are holding all the power above the women by being able to rape them. As a result women in Congo are afraid to go into the woods because that’s where they are hiding out looking and waiting for their next victim.
This is a feminist issue because women are been pushed down and oppressed by men. We need a way to lift them back up and fight back so that things can change in Congo and women can stop dying and living their life’s in fear of someday being raped. That’s why I think it’s great that on Nancy’s blog she has a link to a petition you can sign and if enough signatures that they need are collected the President will be address and then thinks will start to change for women over there. Another person who is involved with trying to change things in Congo for women is the student here at RIC who is in charge of putting on the Vagina Monologues last year and this year.