Thursday, May 12, 2011


Dakar, Senegal ( ) - The African nation of Congo has been called the worst place on earth to be a woman. A new study released Wednesday shows that it’s even worse than previously thought: 1,152 women are raped every day, a rate equal to 48 per hour.  That rate is 26 times more than the previous estimate of 16,000 rapes reported in one year by the United Nations.  Congo, a nation of 70 million people that is equal in size to Western Europe, has been plagued by decades of war. Its vast forests are rife with militias that have systematically used rape to destroy communities.  On average 29 Congolese women out of every 1,000 had been raped nationwide.  “The number of reported violations are just the tip of the iceberg of actual incidents,” said Margot Wallstrom, the U.N. special representative for sexual violence in conflict.

The highest frequency of rape was found in North Kivu, the province most affected by the conflict, where 67 women per 1,000 had been raped at least once.  “The message is important and clear: Rape in (Congo) has metastasized amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time,” said Michael VanRooyen, the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.  
Even in the parts of Congo that are not affected by the war, a woman is 58 times more likely to be raped than a woman in the United States, where the annual rate is 0.5 per 1,000 women.

Congo has endured decades of conflict, characterized by the use of brutal sexual violence against civilians, with mass rapes still regular in this country of a population of around 60 million.  Michelle Hindin, specialized professor in gender-based violence - says that more than 400,000 women had been raped in Congo during the a 12-month period between 2006 and 2007.  To satisfy their unlimited appetite for lust and sense enjoyment some people performed terrible cruel acts towards others, without thinking that they are actually harming to themselves because those are their own sisters and brothers. 

Caught in a trap of many needs, the soul in a gross material body suffers.  To drive away these sufferings, he acts in many ways.  To drive away hunger and thirst, he struggles to get food and drink.  So these things may come easily, he labours to collect money.  To drive away the cold, he collects clothing.  To stop the thirst for sense pleasures he becomes married and performs many other activities also. ... Tossed about by the six waves - lust, anger, greed, bewilderment, pride and envy - he engages in fighting, argument, violence to others, tormenting others, robbing others’ wealth, cruelty, senseless pride, and a host of other evil deeds.  So he can live independently, he builds his own house and performs other deeds.  In this way the soul in Maya’s prison struggles day and night to attain pleasure and stop distress.

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
Jaiva-dharma (The Universal Religion)
“Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana”
“The Individual Souls Swallowed by Maya”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library -

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