(featured image; csmonitor.com/Alastair Grant/AP)
From Tuesday 10 to 12 June, representatives and delegates from around 150 nations will converge in London for the first ever Global Summit to end sexual Violence in Conflict.
The summit co hosted by UK foreign Secretary William Hague and Hollywood and UN envoy, Actress Angelina Jolie will also feature a cross-section of events including an exclusive screening of Jolie’s film ‘In the Land Of Blood And Honey’ at London’s Excel Centre.
There will also be exhibitions of products manufactured by women who have experienced violence in conflict as well as art exhibitions that will allow visitors to the summit to feel and understand what victims have been through and the impact of sexual violence in conflict.
The Kidnapping of over 250 girls from their secondary school in Chibok is expectedly to be discussed as well as various atrocities committed against women around the world.
The foreign secretary has said that the summit will aim for the first time to put in place measures to document and investigate such crimes so that perpetrators will not go unpunished in future.
The use of Rape as a weapon in war is well documented. According to an Economist report, Roger Meece, the head of the United Nations in Congo, told the UN Security Council that 15,000 women had been raped throughout the country in 2009.
Another report by the Noble women’s initiative also states that “Africa has witnessed the world’s highest number of conﬂicts over the last three decades and has been hardest hit by conﬂict-related sexual violence. Sexual violence has been extensively used as a strategy of war in places like Rwanda, Darfur and the DRC. Women and girls of all ages have been the target of sexual violence, with even infants and elderly women being raped. Child combatants are often forced
to become perpetrators of sexual violence, entrenching aggressive behaviour and psychological trauma.”
In 2006, The UN officially named raped as weapon in war.
Alice Allan, head of advocacy at CARE international told Reuters that although violence against women ‘was not new’, social media was helping to bring the issue to the forefront of global debate and policies.
“These cases have been horrific but hopefully it will lead to greater action this week and public commitments from governments to which they will be held accountable,” she said.