Violence is an inescapable and terrible manifestation of war and militarism with the worst of the violence being atrocities against civilians being committed in the name of intimidating the enemy to win the war. From the social acceptance of rape as part of war in ancient Greece to the Chinese and Korean comfort women of World War II. From the mass rapes of Bosnia Herzegovina and the Congo, to the forced virginity checks of female protestors in Egypt, women and girls have borne the brunt of many of these crimes against humanity.
In the face of this long-entrenched practice of using violence against women as an intimidation strategy and a sign of military might, we need to follow the lead of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, Leymah Gbowee who led the women of Liberia to Monrovia’s town hall to demand of then-President Charles Taylor: “We the women of Liberia will no more allow ourselves to be raped, abused, misused, maimed and killed,” she shouted. “Our children and grandchildren will not be used as killing machines and sex slaves!”
Many will say that it is impossible to achieve world peace but that does not mean we should stop trying on the account of it being possibly futile. More than ever, this is the demand we must collectively make of those who would wage war for power, domination and money. Continue reading