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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Today is International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. There are activities going on around the world. To find out about events in the various countries, you can click here:

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. While there are many large-scale initiatives, a rich and diverse fabric of local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. International Women's Day

One of the events Honorata Kizende will be speaking out on the plight of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

Kizende, 55, is a spokeswoman for Women for Women International, a 16-year-old group that helps rebuild the lives of women victimized by violent conflict in countries such as Kosovo, Iraq and Colombia. The group was founded by Zainab Salbi.

"My image of the Congolese women is that of a scream," Salbi said. "But there is no sound coming from the scream because the world is not hearing it."

That's because the victims are women, she said.

"We are numb," she said. "If I said hundreds and thousands of men were being raped in the Congo, the world would be outraged."Kizende, whose story was translated for a Women for Women publication, said she was first attacked in 2001. She was the director of a technical institute for girls when she was abducted by soldiers. The soldiers not only raped her but also forced her to carry water and ammunition. "I did not belong to one person; I was for the use of everyone and anyone who needed me," she was quoted as saying.Salbi said rape is often used by men to send a message to the men they are fighting: "I am stronger than you. I am taking away your woman, your honor and your manhood."Kizende, however, said finding others who listened was more liberating than telling her story. "It is one thing to have been through what I have been through, but to have no one acknowledge it enhances the pain threefold," she said."To suffer in silence is the greatest suffering." CNN.com

Don't be silent!