Stories: Rape

  • Mauritania’s Veterans in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

    NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA – Behind a bright turquoise gate, the El Wafa Center opens into a sandy courtyard. A group of women sit in the shade of an aluminum awning, escaping the blazing midday sun, while children play in the sand. Zeinebou Mint Taleb Moussa moves around the grounds, as the women and young children run up to shake her hand....

  • “Justice is Afraid of the Priest’s Robe”: Rape and Power in Nicaragua

    In a central Nicaraguan town in 2014, not far from the birthplace of revolutionary hero Augusto Sandino, Lucia, 15, had been suffering from stomach pains. After several days of discomfort, her mother walked her to a nearby health clinic, where a doctor informed them that Lucia was pregnant. Lucia’s mother was shocked. Nicaragua has one of the highest rates of...

  • Rio street band drums up support for Carnival without harassment

    She didn't have a musical bone in her body, but that didn't stop Renata Rodrigues from starting a samba street band in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. When the 40-year old saw a viral Facebook post showing a man with a sign reading, "I don't deserve women who get around," she ironized the message by founding...

  • Make Women Matter

    She would never tell her family. They could never know. I was amazed that the young woman was brave enough to tell her story at all. With a teary smile she explained that she was telling us because she was just so happy that her life was not over as feared. She was just so relieved to have found...

  • “Every Woman Has Basic Human Rights”

    Earlier this year I chaired a panel with Joan Smith, Baroness Helena Kennedyand the novelist Kishwar Desai. We were discussing male sexual violence in India, following the worldwide protests about the rape, torture and murder of a young woman in Delhi. The event, at The Nehru Centre in London, was held to launch Desai's latest novel...

  • Pills and Power: Why Access to Contraception Isn’t Enough

    Winnie was 13 and had been through the “Healthy Choices” programme supported by the U.S.-based Centre for Disease Control satellite that is based in Kisumu County, Kenya. The programme covered the usual health and lifestyle issues with a strong emphasis on teaching girls in their final year of primary school how to resist pressure to have sex,...