Minority women deliberately targeted for rape and other violence – new global report
Minority Rights Group International
6 July 2011
(…) Women from minority and indigenous communities are targeted for rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and killings specifically because of their ethnic, religious or indigenous identity, Minority Rights Group International says in its 2011 annual report launched today.
In the flagship annual publication, State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011, MRG documents cases from across the world showing how women from minority and indigenous communities often face disproportionately higher levels of violence and are targeted for attack in situations of conflict and in times of peace. (…)
(…) The report cites cases from situations of armed conflicts, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan and Burma, where women from minority and indigenous communities have suffered systematic sexual and other violence specifically because of their ethnic, religious, tribal or indigenous identity.
During the inter-communal conflict in Kyrgyzstan, in June 2010, ethnic Uzbeks reported widespread rape and sexual violence. In Iraq, Christian and other religious minority women have been forced to wear a head-scarf to protect themselves from violent attack, the report says. In Somalia, Bantu and other minority women suffer rape, including by police officers, in an environment of almost total impunity for the perpetrators. In North and South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bambuti Pygmy women have experienced an epidemic of rape and extreme sexual violence throughout the long-running conflict.
In many of these countries rape has been used as a tool of war against women from minority communities. (…)
(…) Minority and indigenous women are in particularly vulnerable positions because they often come from poor socio-economic backgrounds and live in remote areas. They have little access to justice and in many cases face discrimination from the police and the judicial system because of their minority status and because of their gender. (…)
(…) Like other women, minority and indigenous women also face violence from within their own community or their own families. Poverty, low literacy and social and economic marginalisation are some of the factors that contribute to the incidence of domestic violence within minority and indigenous communities. In Canada and Australia, according to the report, the limited available data show high levels of violence against women within indigenous groups, but there are indications that complaints from such women are treated less seriously by the authorities.
The report makes a strong case that, despite the levels of violence faced by minority and indigenous women, many of them are fighting for their rights to be recognised, and demanding justice. (…)
See full press release.
See full report.