Between 1932 and 1945, Japan forced women from Korea, China and other occupied countries to become military prostitutes. On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops began a six-week-long massacre that essentially destroyed the Chinese city of Nanking. Along the way, Japanese troops raped between 20,000 and 80,000 Chinese women. The mass rapes horrified the world, and Emperor Hirohito was concerned with its impact on Japan’s image. As legal historian Carmen M. Agibay notes, he ordered the military to expand its so-called “comfort stations,” or military brothels, in an effort to prevent further atrocities, reduce sexually transmitted diseases and ensure a steady and isolated group of prostitutes to satisfy Japanese soldiers’ sexual appetites. Once they were at the brothels, the women were forced to have sex with their captors under brutal, inhumane conditions. Though each woman’s experience was different, their testimonies share many similarities: repeated rapes that increased before battles, agonizing physical pain, pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and bleak conditions. By then,between 20,000 and 410,000 women had been enslaved in at least 125 brothels. In 1993, the UN’s Global Tribunal on Violations of Women’s Human Rights estimated that at the end of World War II, 90 percent of the “comfort women” had died. Credit: HISTORY
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.