UN Gender Focus: sexual violence against women and bringing hope to Afghan women

29 October 2015

Culture of “denial and silence” around sexual violence must be broken

The “culture of denial and silence” around sexual violence against women in conflict must be broken according to a leading UN expert. Zainab Bangura, the UN’s Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, was the keynote speaker at a recent gathering in New York. The event was billed as an opportunity for Ms Bangura to speak personally about her role as a champion for those people who have experienced sexual violence. Veronica Reeves has more.

Connie Duckworth, CEO of Arzu Studio Hope. Photo: UNDP

Bringing hope and prosperity to Afghan women

Rural women in Afghanistan’s Bamyan province are using a traditional craft to weave a brighter future for their families. They’re making rugs for which they receive a decent income. The money the women make is helping to lift their families out of poverty… and in the meantime attitudes about women’s value to the community are also changing. That’s according to Connie Duckworth, a former investment banker and the founder and current CEO of Arzu Studio Hope. Arzu sells the women’s rugs and provides them with access to literacy programmes and health care services. Dianne Penn sat down with Ms Duckworth to learn more about the project.

Villagers fleeing their homes in Sake, DRC. UN File Photo/Sylvain Liechti

Work of doctor who helped treat rape victims focus of new film

The work of a gynaecologist who treats victims of rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is taking centre stage in a new film which has just been released. “The Man Who Mends Women”, tells the story of Dr Denis Mukwege.  The doctor set up a clinic in eastern DRC to treat female rape victims in 1999. It is estimated he’s treated some 30,000 women, some of whom had been subjected to horrific sexual violence. The film was shown at UN Headquarters. After the viewing, Joseph Msami spoke with Jeannine Mabunda Lioko, the DRC’s Presidential Advisor on Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment.

Presenter: Daniel Dickinson

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10’00"

Audio Duration:


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