AP World History- 2B
9 March 2014
Most people have not heard of the severe conditions that exist for women of the Congo. This would be understandable considering their inability to spread the word; however the treatment of the women is the least bit reasonable. Women in the Congo are raped and abused daily, and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a common occurrence. Many have tried to help the efforts in Congo, however most helpful tactics have failed. Congolese women are suffering every day for their countries misfortune and there needs to be more awareness of their conditions. The treatment of the women in Congo can be compared to similar past conditions of women. For example, women of the Athenian culture were commonly domesticated and uneducated. This is a common feature for most women in the Congo. Women were also seen completely inferior to men and owned by their fathers and husbands. In the Congo, all women are subjective to their husbands and are legally beneath them. The Athenian women compared to the Spartan women held much contrast. Spartan women were able to attain some sort of education and held more importance in society. Today, many countries, not all, but many, have many more rights than those of the Congolese women. In fact, some of the rights even rightfully due to Congolese women are ignored. In today’s Congolese society, an unbelievable amount of sexual abuse and sex trafficking exists. Women are raped daily and diseases like HIV/AIDS are common but rarely helped. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor states that “violence against women was a problem and rarely was punished. Discrimination against women was widespread and common” (n.pag.). These acts of violence were rarely penalized. In fact, for even “those who survive, support is often unavailable” (n. pag. Thomas). Women find no relief from their current states. It is not just mistreatment from the government, but other civilians of the male gender. Men would prefer their wives to be domesticated and not include themselves in any political activities. Many preventative actions have taken place in order to create some sort of peace and respect for Congolese women. The WILPF section was created in order to spread the word of the living conditions of the women. In fact, many “programs have been created to demobilize armed groups [that were harming the Congolese women], including exchanging arms for $100, then $50… The programs were not successful, however, because nobody knew what happened to the arms that were turned in” (n.pag. Bureau). This preventative action has failed, along with others. Congolese people with private newspapers tried to publicize their issues, however “the Government continued to restrict freedom of speech and of the press by harassing, arresting, detaining, and torturing newspaper editors and journalists and seizing individual issues of publications, as well as by increasing its restrictions on private radio broadcasting” (n.pag. Bureau). Also, the women in the Congo, as well as most citizens, have no connection to media or internet, and the only communication they have exists in their villages and within their immediate family. Organizations have tried aiding women of the Congo with little success. The recent war in the Congo has affected the women greatly, as well as all other citizens.