Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?


Violence against women is an intrinsic aspect of the culture of war. As stated by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, women are not just victims of war – they must play an essential part in building peace. Here are a few excerpts from an article she published in the New York Times and which is now available on the website of The Elders.

“In war zones, rape is a weapon. We cannot claim to be serious about stopping war crimes if we do nothing to prevent and punish these heinous acts – and if women are not part of the solution every step of the way. . . . women – and men, too – are at risk of sexual abuse wherever gunfire rattles and militias roam. Like other forms of violence, sexual violence shatters people, families, and livelihoods. It leaves behind a legacy of trauma, making it more likely that the next generation will continue fighting, killing, and allow sexual violence to fester.

A history of modern warfare reveals sexual abuse at almost every turn: according to the United Nations, up to 250,000 Rwandan women were sexually assaulted in three months of genocide in 1994. In Yugoslavia, 60,000 women were abused between 1992 and 1995. Sierra Leone and Liberia jointly witnessed up to a hundred thousand cases over the course of a decade in the 1990s. . . .

Mindsets are evolving. The United Nations Security Council has passed several resolutions recognising the need to include women in peace processes. We need to push the agenda further at every opportunity. . .

The greater aspiration is that societies in conflict will know that war crimes will not go unpunished and that transitional justice can be made available to deal with these abuses swiftly. The stigma will shift from the victims to the criminals. If rape is no longer deemed a warrior’s accepted privilege, we will be one step closer to peace.”

CPNN has carried many articles on progress being made to stop violence against women, especially related to the culture of war. Articles since 2015 are listed below.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marked around the world

Latin America: What are other countries doing to combat femicide?

Dominican Republic, San Francisco de Macorís: Men’s march to combat violence against women

Ecuador: International Conference on Gender Violence

USA: The ‘Me Too’ Campaign Was Created By A Black Woman 10 Years Ago

Making Waves: Local radio transforming perceptions of gender-based violence in Africa

Creating a new normal, students across Bangladesh say no more sexual harassment

Brazil: Government of Espirito Santo launches movement to stop violence against women

Feminist icons join bid to upend Congo’s rape capital reputation

Mexico: Authorities agree on actions to prevent violence against women

Gravatá, Pernambuco, Brazil: Combating violence against women now in the classroom

Eliminating sexual violence in conflict through the International Criminal Court

Mozambique: Taking steps on the long road to ending violence against women

UN Women: 16 days of activism against gender violence

Mexico: Need to promote a culture of peace, to end violence against women: CEAMEG

México: Necesario promover una cultura de paz, para terminar con violencia contra las mujeres: CEAMEG

Enough is enough: Oxfam seeks to end violence against women and girls once and for all

Guatemala: 28 years of struggle for the life, dignity and rights of women survivors of genocide

India: Buddhist nuns bike Himalayas to oppose human trafficking

Hundreds of Thousands Join Saudi Women-Led Campaign to End Male Guardianship in the Kingdom

Amnesty International: 10 ways we’ve defended women’s rights in the past year

PORTRAIT: Dr. Denis Mukwege, the man who repairs women in eastern DRC

“A Girl in the River-The Price Of Forgiveness”: A Pakistani Film shedding light on the Taboo of our society

Battered women support services commemorates Prevention of Violence Against Women Week

For discussion and articles prior to 2015, click here

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