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Public Statements

In Solidarity With The Farchana Manifesto

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CAPUANO. Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the courageous women of Darfur, refugees in the Farchana Camp in Chad, who issued their Farchana Manifesto one year ago this month. I honor also the efforts of Physicians for Human Rights who have worked to treat and comfort survivors of the Darfur genocide and support them in their struggles for human rights and personal dignity. No advocate, however, could speak more powerfully of their plight than the women themselves. The Manifesto has been translated into English and French from the hand-written Arabic original, posted in the Farchana Camp on June 10, 2008.

We, the women of Farchana Camp, have many concerns and problems with the lack of freedom and having the opportunity to speak about freedom.

We can assign these problems to a number of items, including the following:

1. Lack of opportunity for freedom of speech, and no one to listen to what women say.

2. Lack of freedom to go to work or engage in life's activities. If a woman is working in some occupations, responsibility is left to the woman alone in all cases, such as: illness, home activities, and responsibility for

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the children. While the man does what he wants with money, the responsibility is left to the woman.

3. Lack of women's equality. One man, if he has the notion, can have one wife or two or more wives.

4. Lack of freedom for women even with their own private property; for example: money, gold, household pots and pans, and livestock.

5. Women are not allowed to make contact with people outside the community. For example: visiting neighbors, family, and friends. And women are not allowed [illegible] to travel far, and if he allows her, he does not give her money, and he tells her, ``This trip is of your own accord.''

6. Lack of acceptance of higher education and universities to enable women to get ahead.

7. Failure to encourage girls in the schools and leaving the responsibility to the mothers.

8. Failure of fathers to take responsibility for girls. If something happens, the mother is blamed, and they make her hear harsh words from the family, and sometimes divorce even takes place.

9. Outside chores, such as: [illegible], provisions, construction, and feeding livestock--that is, all physical demands--are the responsibility of the woman.

10. Failure to show confidence in women, such as leaving the house without the man's knowledge and he tells her, ``You went out to commit adultery.''

11. Failure to value the life of the woman. They only value her in bed. They like a lot of births, but they do not like raising sons and children.

12. Early marriage for girls and compulsory marriage without consent.

13. In the case of meetings, women do not have the freedom to speak at organizations; only men's statements are heard.

14. Women do not know how to submit their complaints--the place and the organization that is concerned about them.

Thank you. We hope to achieve freedom for women in the whole world.


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