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One Night, One Voice Video Review

Darfur is a region within Sudan, Africa. In 2003, rebel groups began to demanding changes within the region causing the Sudanese government to institute a policy of violence designed to bring the rebels to their knees. The Save Darfur organization created a film to inform outsiders to the atrocities by the government troops known as the Janjaweed, specifically the rape of Darfuri women. The population of Darfur is almost exclusively Muslim, whose culture is rich in traditions and taboos.

The ultimate punishment wielded by the Janjaweed on the people of Darfur is the wide use of rape on women and girls to bring shame, not only to the woman involved, but also to her family and tribe. The social stigma of rape can emotionally cripple the people more than other, more obvious crimes. Chastity is highly esteemed and, traditionally, women have held a place of honor within the culture.

Since 2003, approximately 4,000 villages have been burned by the Janjaweed, causing most tribes to live in refugee camps within Darfur. Currently, approximately 2. 5 million people are living in the camps and most have been victims of violence. An estimated 400,000 people have perished in the violence and there has been little progress to change this on-going genocide. The women must forage for wood and water, leaving them vulnerable to gang rapes and beatings.

Many are so ashamed; they will not even share their story with their husband. These rapes are committed without fear of reprisal from the government, who use the social beliefs of these people to create disharmony and submissive behavior. One story shared in the video stated that the Janjaweed raped forty young girls and their teachers at a school and nothing could be done to stop them. This video depicts the deep-seated cultural issues that prevent drastic change in Darfur.

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