On Behalf of Women and Girls in Eastern Chad: A Call for Action

Refugees in Mile refugee camp, eastern Chad

Refugees in Mile refugee camp, eastern Chad. (c) Amnesty International

Yesterday, Reuters began reporting that the government of Chad has formally requested that the mandate for the peacekeeping mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) not be renewed when it comes to an end in March. But the peacekeeping mission, known by its French acronym MINURCAT, provides much needed security for refugees and humanitarian aid workers in eastern Chad and northeastern CAR, regions which suffer from rampant insecurity and violence.

In September 2009, Amnesty International released a report on violence against refugee women in Eastern Chad. The report found that women and girls face high levels of rape and harassment on a daily basis both inside and outside the refugee camps. These findings are similar to those of other organizations, such as Physicians for Human Rights.

I remember one woman asking me if there was anywhere she could go and feel safe. I didn’t know what to answer because I don’t think there is an answer – Aid worker in Eastern Chad, in an interview with Amnesty International

In these camps, the burden of finding food and other necessities for survival falls on the shoulders of women. They must regularly leave the relative security of the camps to fetch water, travel to village markets, tend vegetable plots, and gather wood for the fire and straw for the livestock. Once outside the camps, the risk of rape, sexual assault and harassment becomes even higher. Perpetrators of the violence are rarely brought to justice and Amnesty found that even when those responsible could be identified, Chadian authorities did not follow-up with the cases. Many women who have been raped are shunned or left by their husbands, and young girls who are victims find it difficult to marry.

While MINURCAT and the DIS, a Chadian police force supported by the UN, do their best to protect women in and around the camps, there still remains much to be done to ensure that the culture of impunity in eastern Chad comes to an end and to stop violence against women and girls in the region. Both MINURCAT and the Chadian government have important roles to play to make sure women and girls are protected.

These women fled Darfur, hoping that the international community and Chadian authorities would offer them some measure of safety and protection. That protection has proved to be elusive and they remain under attack – Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Program

Take action now on behalf of these women and girls. Help us call on the Chadian government to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to protect women and girls in eastern Chad.

Rebecca Friedrichs contributed to this blog post.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

8 thoughts on “On Behalf of Women and Girls in Eastern Chad: A Call for Action

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  2. Oh, God of my Tears! Why is it that the powerful women of this world – the wives of billionaires, the corporate CEOs, queens and heads of State – have never joined their voices or put their hands in their pockets to stop the atrocites committed against us by hordes of men that have descended to the realm of beasts?
    In my native country, Colombia, convicted rapists pay their sentence at home and only reincidents are punished with a few months in jail. Paramilitaries that support the Government force girls to walk around naked and, after gang-raping them, disfigure their faces with acid. Raped bodies are exposed on the front page of newspapers and their fate is celebrated by journalists who write like hogs. But abortion, even after rape, is punished with 5 years in jail…
    In Saudi Arabia, a lovely young girl was sentenced to 200 lashes after being brutally gang-raped by eight men for the "crime" of riding in a car with a man that was not her husband; only the King could save her from going to jail.
    In Pakistan, the elderly of the tribe still order the gang-rape of women and girls as young as 13 for the "crimes" or their male relatives, like an 11 year-old walking around with a 12 year-old girl of a superior chaste.
    In Central African countries at war, the lips, ears, nose and nipples of women are cut after their rape, sometimes by 20 Muslim militians.
    In Europe, five million women were burnt at the stake and, in Muslim Northern and Central Africa, ablation is still enforced.
    Oh, God of my Tears! The hate crimes that men continue to comit in the name of Jesus, the essence of compassion, and on orders of a book written by a Prophet 2.000 years ago!
    Because long ago I used to be a famous beauty, because I am an opposition journalist, and because I'm now an exiled author, I, too, am raped on the Internet on a daily basis: Google Books and the drug cartels have set a price on every part of my female body and YouTube demands my sexual punishment and murder. Now the pain of every woman – in Central and South Africa, in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Muslim societies ruled by the Sharia, in my own bleeding country – has become the pain of my bleeding daughters.
    Why don't the rich women, those great accomplices and slaves of power, turn their eyes and pockets to the raped, the mutilated, the jailed, the marked?
    Today, it's us; tomorrow, it could be your daughter.
    Oh, God of our Tears! Why, throughout the ages, have you forced us to carry the children of beasts?
    Virginia Vallejo-Garcia, Colombian author.

  3. Oh, God of my Tears! Why is it that the powerful women of this world – the wives of billionaires, the corporate CEOs, queens and heads of State – have never joined their voices or put their hands in their pockets to stop the atrocites committed against us by hordes of men that have descended to the realm of beasts?
    In my native country, Colombia, convicted rapists pay their sentence at home and only reincidents are punished with a few months in jail. Paramilitaries that support the Government force girls to walk around naked and, after gang-raping them, disfigure their faces with acid. Raped bodies are exposed on the front page of newspapers and their fate is celebrated by journalists who write like hogs. But abortion, even after rape, is punished with 5 years in jail…
    In Saudi Arabia, a lovely young girl was sentenced to 200 lashes after being brutally gang-raped by eight men for the “crime” of riding in a car with a man that was not her husband; only the King could save her from going to jail.
    In Pakistan, the elderly of the tribe still order the gang-rape of women and girls as young as 13 for the “crimes” or their male relatives, like an 11 year-old walking around with a 12 year-old girl of a superior chaste.
    In Central African countries at war, the lips, ears, nose and nipples of women are cut after their rape, sometimes by 20 Muslim militians.
    In Europe, five million women were burnt at the stake and, in Muslim Northern and Central Africa, ablation is still enforced.
    Oh, God of my Tears! The hate crimes that men continue to comit in the name of Jesus, the essence of compassion, and on orders of a book written by a Prophet 2.000 years ago!
    Because long ago I used to be a famous beauty, because I am an opposition journalist, and because I’m now an exiled author, I, too, am raped on the Internet on a daily basis: Google Books and the drug cartels have set a price on every part of my female body and YouTube demands my sexual punishment and murder. Now the pain of every woman – in Central and South Africa, in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Muslim societies ruled by the Sharia, in my own bleeding country – has become the pain of my bleeding daughters.
    Why don’t the rich women, those great accomplices and slaves of power, turn their eyes and pockets to the raped, the mutilated, the jailed, the marked?
    Today, it’s us; tomorrow, it could be your daughter.
    Oh, God of our Tears! Why, throughout the ages, have you forced us to carry the children of beasts?
    Virginia Vallejo-Garcia, Colombian author.

  4. @John Parton – Thanks for your comment. You're right – any kind of rape is awful and a violation of human rights. But this blog entry is intended to focus on women's human rights in Eastern Chad.

  5. @John Parton – Thanks for your comment. You’re right – any kind of rape is awful and a violation of human rights. But this blog entry is intended to focus on women’s human rights in Eastern Chad.

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