Notes to broadcasters on women farmers affected by sexual violence:

    | March 2, 2009

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    According to V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, “Women in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are targets for violence. Physical and economic insecurity still characterize the lives of women and girls. The threat of and the use of violence are constant. The current climate of impunity allows the many forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, to flourish.”

    V-Day also reports that, “In the province of South Kivu alone, local health centers report that an average of 40 women are raped daily. Sexual violence in DRC is vastly underreported due to insecurity in or inaccessibility to many areas and the physical or material inability of some victims to travel. Further, survivors may fear reprisals by perpetrators if they were to come forward.”

    Here are some interesting web resources on women and gender-based violence:
    – A report by IRIN news “Our Bodies ? Their Battle Ground: Gender-based Violence in Conflict Zones” http://www.irinnews.org/InDepthMain.aspx?InDepthId=20&ReportId=62825

    – A report by Human Rights Watch – The war within the war: sexual violence against women and girls in Eastern Congo: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2002/drc/

    – A report by Women’s e-news: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/3766/context/archive

    If you wish to explore the subject of women, conflict and food security in your area, here are some questions that may help you start:

    -If your broadcast area is experiencing an ongoing violent conflict, what are women, including women farmers, doing to cope?
    – If your broadcast area has recovered from a conflict in recent years (or decades), what strategies did women farmers and women farmers’ associations use to re-build agricultural production and distribution systems?
    -What methods do communities in your broadcast area use to resolve disputes? Can you find an example of a community that resolved an important dispute?

    You may wish to refer to scripts from Farm Radio’s package 67, June 2003, for more information on how communities can work together to re-establish food security following a conflict.