War Rape

Eve Ensler Haunted by Congo Violence

Playwright Eve Ensler has been struggling with cancer, but what keeps her lying awake in her hospital bed is not her bodily pain, but knowledge of the extreme violence—including rape as a weapon of war—that is ravaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a column for The Guardian, Ensler is enlisting women around the world to help fund a rape treatment center in the Congo as well as encouraging governments to take action against the shockingly violent rebels. The playwright has helped found a campaign called Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women and Girls of DRC to educate and train activists in the country, and she’s helped put on performances of her Vagina Monologues, including one in the Congolese parliament. President Obama, the first lady, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all delayed action, Ensler says. “The atrocities committed against the people of Congo are not arbitrary, like my cancer,” she writes. “They are systematic, strategic, and intentional. At the root is a madly greedy world economy, desperate for more minerals robbed from the indigenous Congolese.” Give them our attention, Ensler urges.