Ending Violence Against Women
Lumo reveals that the agonies of present-day Africa are deeply etched in the bodies of women. Lumo Sinai was just over 20 when marauding soldiers attacked her in eastern Congo. A fistula, a medical condition common among victims of violent rape, rendered Lumo incontinent and threatens her ability to bear children. Rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family, she awaits reconstructive surgery.
What steps can you take to end violence against women, and affect U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the ongoing violence in the Congo?
Find ways to support rape crisis services or other programs that work to end violence against women in your community. To get involved, visit the website of NOW, the National Organization for Women.
Find ways to support organizations that provide medical and support services in the Congo, such as HEAL Africa, the hospital featured in the film.
Investigate U.S. policy on aid to the Congo and on conflict in the region. Talk with legislators to let them know what you want the United States to do. The U.S. Embassy in Belgium has a helpful primer on current U.S. policy in Africa.
Convene a town hall meeting to address U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the ongoing violence in the Congo and/or other African nations. Americans for Informed Democracy is an organization that provides information on how to address these issues.
Organize a V-Day event. V-Day is a worldwide campaign to end violence against women. Playwright Eve Ensler promotes V-Day through readings of The Vagina Monologues in hundreds of cities around the world. In 2008, V-Day will focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For more information, visit www.vday.org.