Twelve years ago, The UN Security Council enacted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution is designed to put a global spotlight on the role of women in armed conflict, calling for recognition that women are as much a part of international peace as other genders. It also highlighted the disproportionate impact of war and armed conflict on women.
Still today, millions of women around the world continue to be impacted by and bear a brunt of armed conflicts and wars. Women continue to be targeted for sexual violence and other interpersonal violence. As families are often separated during conflicts and wars, women are then particularly vulnerable to interpersonal violence and rape. Concurrent with violence is lack of access to food, water, healthcare, and shelter.
Sexual Violence is a war crime, and while progress has moved forward incrementally, much progress is yet to be made. International humanitarian law as enforced through the Geneva Conventions provides for the protection of women in wartime, including armed conflicts. However, while States have ratified the Geneva Conventions, not all governments ensure that the law is implemented or enforced. Violators may not equally face punishment, if any punishment is made. Continue reading