Jim Kouri
October 3, 2011
Clinton's Africa vision is out of focus, say critics
By Jim Kouri

On Monday, October 3, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with 40 women entrepreneurs from 36 African nations participating in the 2011 African Women's Entrepreneurship Program, at the U.S. Department of State.

The African Women's Entrepreneurship Program is a people-to-people exchange that connects women and enhances their ability to be key economic drivers in communities and countries worldwide.

While feminists such as Clinton will applaud such a program, many wonder when these same individuals will address the rampant violence and sexual assault against women and girls in many African nations.

"This meeting with Hillary is a photo-op for progressives to feel good about themselves. Entrepreneurship? African women find themselves blessed if they're not murdered or raped," said political strategist Mike Baker.

"From a law enforcement perspective, the African continent is a vast prison camp for females who are treated far worse than cattle and animal livestock. The penalty for poaching Ivory is far tougher than the penalty for raping a teenager," said former New York police officer Edie Santiago.

Several other police officers, many of whom investigate sex crimes, believe Clinton would be performing more of a service if she worked to stop the violence in Africa and stop the politically-correct attitudes prevalent in the U.S. State Department.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence affects millions of women in Africa. In a study on women's health and domestic violence, the WHO found that 50 per cent of women in Tanzania and 71 per cent of women in Ethiopia's rural areas reported beatings or other forms of violence by husbands or other intimate partners.

In South Africa, reports Amnesty International, about one woman is killed by her husband or boyfriend every six hours. In Kenya, the attorney general's office reported that domestic violence accounted for 47 per cent of all homicides.

In Africa, violence against women goes beyond beatings. It includes forced marriage, dowry-related violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, intimidation at work and in educational institutions, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced sterilization, trafficking and forced prostitution.

Such practices cause trauma, injuries and death. Female genital cutting, for example, is a common cultural practice in parts of Africa. Yet it can cause "bleeding and infection, urinary incontinence, difficulties with childbirth and even death," reports the World Health Organization. The organization estimates that 130 million girls have undergone the procedure globally and 2 million are at risk each year, despite international agreements banning the practice.

In other African countries, women are experiencing a living hell. For example:

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, a camp is known as "Diamond Base," which includes a collection of military tents as well as a prisoner camp enclosed in an outdoor razor wire. It is about a mile from Mbada mine from where the 27-nation bloc wants to partially lift the ban.

"They beat us 40 whips in the morning, 40 in the afternoon and 40 in the evening," said the man, who could not use one of his arms and legs properly. "They used logs to beat me here, under my feet, as I lay on the ground. They also used stones to beat my ankles," one victim told the BBC.

He added that most of the women are being raped and then released soon afterwards.

South African

Across South Africa a rising tide of rape and violence is being used to suppress lesbian women. The South Africans actually have a politically-correct name for it: Corrective Rape.

In addition, if someone is arrested for raping a heterosexual woman, all he must do is allege that his rape victim is a lesbian.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, statistics show that a South African woman has a higher chance of being raped than learning how to read.

Congo

War, ethnic conflict and the greed of neighboring countries have turned the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo into an utterly lawless nation where the strong and well-armed prey upon the weak and defenseless, especially women, children and the elderly.

Whether they be soldiers or rebels, women are viewed as sexual objects to be used between battles.

More than 1100 women are raped every day in Congo, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health on concluded in May, 2011.

Uganda

There is great concern about the absence of laws to address the high incidence of violence against women in Uganda. In the absence of a domestic violence law, the police and courts rely on laws that cover assault and homicide. The committee strongly recommended the speedy enactment of two bills that have languished in parliament for a decade: the Domestic Relations Bill, which is intended to consolidate laws on marriage and divorce, and the Sexual Offenses Bill.

But political leaders described the bills as "not urgent."

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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