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al-fateh
04-22-2006, 09:08 PM
Plight of Acehnese Women Refugees in New Film


Women tsunami survivors have taken the full brunt of rights violations since the tidal waves disaster.


CAIRO, April 22, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) – A documentary on the plight of the Acehnese women who survived the tsunami disaster in December 2004 was screened Friday, April 21, in Indonesian, highlighting the deplorable living conditions in refugee camps they are housed in and the resulting mental and physical torments they often face.

The film -- Kartini-Kartini Kita (Our Heroines) -- is produced by the National Commission for Violence Against Women, which has just released a research conducted in 59 refugee facilities in Aceh from October 2005 to February, documenting many cases of human rights violations against women, Indonesia's The Jakarta Post newspaper reported Saturday, April 22.

The movie features a young woman telling her story of being raped three times, impregnated and later beaten by her family.

A 50-year-old widow with 10 children also speaks of being barely able to make ends meet to feed her family.

The documentary also tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who was pushed into prostitution by her sister so as to feed her family.

The commission says in its research that women tsunami survivors in Aceh have taken the full brunt of rights violations in the province, taking different forms ranging from discrimination, forced eviction to sexual assaults.

At least 200,000 people were killed and two million driven homeless when giant walls of water, unleashed by a 9.3 magnitude undersea earthquake -- the world's biggest quake in 40 years -- hit south Asian countries on December 26, 2004.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, was the worst hit, with around 168,000 dead or missing.

Attention

The commission called for paying more attention to the plight of the tsunami women survivors.

"The process is in a critical condition because it doesn't use a human-rights approach. Governments should pay attention to this," it said in a statement published by the Post.

"The social welfare ministry does not have any solutions to deal with this problem," it added.

The commission is planning to submit a report about the status of the tsunami women survivors to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

A report by the international aid group Oxfam said last year that Acehnese women bore the brunt of the killer tsunami with a fourfold death toll and sexual abuse in relief camps.

The government also estimated that 35,000 children have been made homeless, orphaned or separated from their parents in hard-hit Aceh province, where Muslims make up 98 percent of the population.
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