Binaifer Nowrojee is with the Human Rights Watch Rwanda Genocide Commemmoration Program.
Throughout the world, sexual violence is routinely directed against females during situations of armed conflict. This violence may take gender-specific forms, like sexual mutilation, forced pregnancy, rape or sexual slavery. Being female is a risk factor; women and girls are often targeted for sexual abuse on the basis of their gender, irrespective of their age, ethnicity or political affiliation.
During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to sexual violence on a massive scale, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe, by other civilians, and by soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR), including the Presidential Guard. Administrative, military and political leaders at the national and local levels, as well as heads of militia, directed or encouraged both the killings and sexual violence to further their political goal: the destruction of the Tutsi as a group. They therefore bear responsibility for these abuses.
Ms. Nowrojee is the author of the Human Rights Watch report, “Shattered Lives.” She will speak about the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from the genocide rape victim's point of view and how it has impacted them. You can read the full report, “Shattered Lives" online at http://hrw.org/reports/1996/Rwanda.htm.
Recognizing that 10 years have passed since the Rwanda genocide, Human Rights Watch is organizing a commemoration program this year featuring speakers who will lecture on campuses across the country.
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
1102 Perloff Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Sponsor(s): Globalization Research Center - Africa, Human Rights Watch