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Another Kind Of Bridge Day: Solidarity For Women Around The World

March 3, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.V. - Call it another kind of bridge day. People will gather at noon on Tuesday, March 8, on Charleston's Southside Bridge to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. They also will be supporting women victims of war.

Organizer Barrie Kaufman says the West Virginia "Join Me On The Bridge" event is one of many such gatherings held around the world, which for three years have aimed at supporting women caught in fighting.

"It's a gesture of solidarity. We can stand on this bridge and really support these women."

Last year, there were 119 events held around the world, involving about 20,000 people. This year, she says, events are planned at hundreds of sites, including about 40 in the U.S.

Three years ago women trapped in the war near the border of eastern Congo and Rwanda held the first event of this kind, Kaufman says.

"On a bridge between Congo and Rwanda, women gathered to say that they did not want to have the women raped in their villages and tortured. And that they wanted to have peace in their community."

An estimated 100,000 women have been raped as part of the war in the Congo.

With people world-wide standing up for these women's rights, Kaufman says it's worth remembering the rights women in other countries DON'T have.

"They can't own land; rape is being used as a weapon of war - different countries aren't fighting each other, they just go into the villages and rape the women, and that's how the village is destroyed; they are sold into slavery in many countries. I mean, they have no rights."

More information is available by searching online for "Join Me On The Bridge" and at A Facebook page is also online.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV