2nd Session, 41st Parliament,

Volume 149, Issue 64

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Ms. Fiona Lloyd-Davies, an award-winning filmmaker and photo journalist, and Ms. Diana Sarosi who is a Manager, Policy and Advocacy of Nobel Women’s Initiative. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Jaffer.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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Ms. Diana Sarosi, Ms. Fiona Lloyd-Davies, and Senator Mobina Jaffer

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise to congratulate Foreign Secretary William Hague of the United Kingdom for organizing the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is the first step in a long journey towards ending sexual violence.

I also want to thank the British High Commission, Commissioner Drake and the Nobel Women’s Initiative for arranging events here in Ottawa highlighting the work of the summit.

Filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies has produced Seeds of Hope, a powerful documentary based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has been working in areas of conflict such as Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1992.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 48 women are brutally raped every hour. Seeds of Hope portrays the terrible atrocities committed by the militia and the Congolese army against women and girls.

A woman named Masika Katsuva was living peacefully as a businesswoman when the militia attacked her home and took away the only life she knew. They killed her husband and raped Masika and her two young daughters. Her daughters both conceived children as a result of these rapes.

After experiencing this heinous act, Masika vowed to make a difference. She went from village to village, counselling and helping women who were raped by creating a centre for them. As the rape crisis grew, so did her centre and she was also able to help orphans and other young children.

Just as the centre was starting to give women hope, it was attacked by the Congolese army. Masika and the women of her centre experienced the same trauma, but this time at the hands of an army they trusted. Even after having her trust shattered, Masika found the inner strength to continue her work and has now helped over 6,000 women and children.

Seeds of Hope conveys unimaginable pain, but also the hope and strength of the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It further portrays a British filmmaker, Fiona, reaching out to portray the pain of her Congolese sister, Masika.

Honourable senators, these women live on top of a mineral we all benefit from. Congo is one of the few places where coltan, the mineral used in all our BlackBerrys and iPhones, is mined. These women are kicked off their land to make room for mines and to provide us with iPhones and BlackBerrys.

I urge senators to use your smartphones and BlackBerrys to email the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take action. We all need to urge our government to stop the brutality towards the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Forty-eight women are raped every hour so we can use a BlackBerry.

 

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