Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zimbabwe: Women face up to Mugabe

From Associated Press:
President Barack Obama praised representatives of a women's organization whose members have been beaten by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's police force and face court trials for challenging Zimbabwe's government. He said their grassroots efforts could improve the African country.

Honoring activists Jenni Williams and Magondonga Mahlangu, Obama said they empowered women of Zimbabwe to speak out on the desperate hunger, crumbling health and education systems, and domestic violence and rape in Zimbabwe. Obama said the women worked despite government repression and free speech restrictions.

"They often don't get far before being confronted by President Mugabe's riot police," Obama said in bestowing on them the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. "They have been gassed, abducted, threatened with guns and badly beaten — forced to count out loud as each blow was administered."

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