Sunday, November 28, 2010

Frightful Fistula

I remember reading in a book by Louis de Bernières on the First World War; that in war one learns that there is no end to the things that can be shoved up a woman. Then yesterday I read an article about Fistula problems.

The militias in the Congo find conflict with other armed combatants too dangerous and so it is far easier to assault civilians. The simplest way to terrorise any population being, to rape brutally.

So if not penetration by militia men then by their guns, knives, bayonets or sticks sometimes even by firing into the vaginas of their victims. These foreign objects often break into their bladders and cause fistulas or a hole in the tissues as a result of which urine and faeces constantly trickle down their legs.

These women have very little or no hope of survival or care due to the difficult nature of the problem and the scarcity of any type of health care in most war torn areas. So often they lie there and just wait for death. They are incontinent, paralysed and often abandoned because of the constant smell.

Although it took the UN until 2008 to recognise that it was more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict and that rape was a war crime, the reality plays out in the Congo –among other areas- daily and the UN’s ‘great’ discovery without funding for fistula hospitals and more emphasis and provision of health care and equipped hospitals in war zones sadly changes NOTHING.


Azra S. said...

I watched a program on this issue once, a couple of years ago. It's devastating! Animals have more common sense then most men.

Just heard on the radio this morning that more than a third of SA men have admitted to raping a woman... what a sick state of affairs - especially since the numbers don't vary all that much between the races. Sometimes I wonder why women weren't born with vaginal guillotines that respond in times of distress.

A.X. of the Midwest said...

This post brought out some serious triggers for me. But I'm glad to be reminded of it yet again how privileged I am to live as a woman in my part of the world (even as flawed with inequality as it is). I have only sheer luck to thank for that. Unfortunately those little girls and women who have suffered such brutalities and more don't have that luxury that they so rightly deserve.

You know it's a bad state of affairs when women in patriarchal societies feel "lucky" to be born where they were.

desert demons said...

Hey Azra - thanx for the visit - the sad part about the issue is that often women often assist in the perpetuation of these cycles as oppose to getting out there and demanding treatment or teaching their daughters differently. Also it is always easier for us sitting in the 'first world' to call others we perceive as lesser developed barbaric.

Hey A.X thanx for stopping by , It is so important that we find ways to go into those societies that does not rock the boat in a way that says we are better than you but rather to assist in development from the inside in a way that suits those communities.

desert demons said...

As for the internal guillotines, Azra please google - rapex and I'd like to know what you think of the product!

Azra S. said...

DD - I'm wondering why they haven't been giving out Rapex's like they give out condoms :P Great stuff lol!

Sid said...

I'm not sure what to say to this. It's horrifying and I can't help but think, "There but for the grace of God go I."