Monday, March 8, 2010

Women wear Black on Day of Celebration

Rape has been used as a weapon of war in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On February 11, 2010 eight women were attacked, tortured, and raped by soldiers near the town of Mwenga in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Five of the eight women were murdered and three escaped. The three escaped women and their families were taken by women from the National Council of Churches to Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu Province. This hospital specializes in treatment of rape victims.

A group of Protestant women in Bukavu has decided to wear black today on International Women's Day, as a prayer of mourning and a call to peace, in response to this grievous act of violence. Suzanne Lind, a Mennonite Central Committee worker in the DRC, said that March 8 is usually a day of celebration for women in DRC in which they wear bright and festive clothing to celebrate International Women's Day. Dressing in black instead of brightly colored clothing on this day is designed to raise awareness and invite prayer for victims of abuse that continue against women in this volatile area.

Be informed. Care. Intercede. Advocate. We are the presence of Christ.

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