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New campaign launched to stop rape and gender violence in conflict

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Jem McCarron
WVoN co-editor

The first ever global initiative to stop rape and gender violence in conflict was launched earlier this week.

Spearheaded by the Nobel Women’s Initiative,  over 400 organisations from around the world have come together to tackle the problem of gender violence in war torn areas.

The International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict says that rape is increasingly being used as a “strategic weapon to destroy people, communities, and entire nations” and requires bold political leadership if it is ever to end.

The organisers aim to raise awareness, support survivors and put pressure on judicial systems at a local, national and international level to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted for their crimes.

The campaign launch follows on from a meeting last year between 130 women from 30 countries, including Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire “to brainstorm and devise new strategies to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.”

Their  report is well worth a read and forms the basis for much of the focus of the new campaign to stop the use of rape as a weapon in conflict situations.

“Violence starts in the mind so we have to start by changing the minds of men and women all over the world. Men, so that they may not think of women as ready victims. And women also, so that they may not think of themselves as helpless victims”, said Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Laureate and honorary member of the group.

Take the pledge to support the campaign and find out about the week of action here.

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