"Women in Warzones" Makes Its Marywood Debut

Published on Mon, September 12, 2011

When talking with Sr. Margaret Gannon, professor of social science, her passion for social justice is evident in every spoken word. She sits comfortably, and it’s late in the afternoon. She is discussing Women in Warzones—a film that tells personal stories of women in areas of conflict, in this case, the Congo.

“I don’t know that we had a topic like this,” Gannon said, as she described the film. “There are a number of people who are concerned about peace, concerned about non-violence. I think that it is a topic people get upset about, and they want to do something about it.”

Women in Warzones: Sexual Violence in the Congo will be shown on Thursday, September 15, at 7 P.M. in the multimedia room, Learning Resource Center 160.

Scott Blanding, a recent graduate of Temple University, who produced and directed the film, will be coming to campus. Blanding will discuss the film, creating a unique opportunity for students to interact with the filmmaker. Women in War Zones is Blanding’s first feature documentary, and it won “Best Short Documentary” at the 2009 Philadelphia Film Festival.

Gannon says systematic rape has been used as a weapon of war for centuries, calling it “historic.”

“There is systematic rape that has nothing to do with sexual desire,” she explains. “It has to do with the desire to wipe out a community. It happened in Bosnia, for instance.”

Sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Committee, Women in Warzones is one event in a 3-part series titled, “Crisis in Africa.” The next film presentation, which will be shown on October 3, will regard genocide in Darfur. Gannon believes the “Crisis in Africa” series will provide students the opportunity to become more aware of global events.

“I think that I would like them to be well-informed,” she said. “I think that I would like them to become sensitive of violence in any setting.”

For more information about Women in Warzones: Violence in the Congo, please visit www.womeninwarzones.org.