Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CARE: Action Required NOW!

Denouncing public rapes of women in Guinea, the humanitarian agency CARE on Friday demanded immediate world action to end sexual violence against women, including the appointment of a top UN official to lead the fight.

"What happened in Guinea is an outrage -- and a stark reminder of a larger epidemic of violence against women and girls around the world," CARE chief executive Helene Gayle said in a statement.

Women were brutally raped by soldiers during a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators which, according to the United Nations, left more than 150 people dead in the west African country late last month.

"We must take action now to put an end to this abuse and humiliation," Gayle said. On September 30, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1888 that renewed a demand "for the complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence with immediate effect" and urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special representative to spearhead the fight.

In a letter sent to Ban Friday, Gayle urged immediate implementation of steps outlined in Resolution 1888.

"While Security Council Resolution 1888 is a step forward in the fight to end rape as a weapon of war and conflict, the time for talk is over," added the head of CARE, a leading humanitarian and anti-poverty organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

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