not only voiceless, but choice-less: the impregnanted victims of boko haram

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#bringbackourgirlsThe rescue of hundreds of Nigerian women and girls from terrorist group Boko Haram received more press coverage than the human rights of women and girls are generally allocated. But what wasn’t included in that coverage is how the U.S. is actively denying those same women and girls the medical care they desperately need. 

Many of those rescued were raped and forcibly impregnated while being held captive. This is becoming an all too common tactic of war, employed by Boko Haram and other groups such as the so-called Islamic State. The governor of Borno State in Nigeria, where Boko Haram is most active, told reporters, “The sect leaders make a very conscious effort to impregnate the women…Some of them, I was told, even pray before mating, offering supplications for God to make the products of what they are doing become children that will inherit their ideology.”

In Iraq and Syria, one humanitarian aid worker described the Islamic State’s strategy of systematic rape and forced pregnancy as having the goal of breaking “their spirits so they would become compliant mothers to children of the Islamic caliphate.” Continue reading…

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nigerian army ‘rescues 200 girls and 93 women’ in strike against boko haram

Women and girls are still captives and prizes of war. When will this end?

Nigeria’s military has claimed to have rescued 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but an army official said they were not those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.

“Troops have this afternoon captured & destroyed three camps of terrorists inside the Sambisa forest & rescued 200 girls & 93 women,” defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a text message on Tuesday, referring to the area in north-east Borno state where the Islamists have bases.

Olukolade gave no indication as to how long it would take for the hostages to be identified, although an army spokesman said they were not from Chibok.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, also in Borno, on 14 April last year. Fifty seven girls escaped within hours of the attack but 219 remained in captivity. Read more…