Governments Fail to Protect Women from Violence During War

A leading human rights group has issued a global call to action to challenge violence against women and the failure of governments to prevent it. According to Amnesty International, women and girls bear the brunt of war while governments have failed to protect them.

Amnesty International released a report today, “Lives Blown Apart,” which examines conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, Chechnya, Sudan and Columbia, citing that women are not only victims of the violence that comes with war, but are often victims of a deliberate military campaign that has targeted women, such as in ethnic cleansing campaigns. Irene Khan, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, said, “Women and girls are not just killed, they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated É Disparaging a woman’s sexuality and destroying her physical integrity have become a means by which to terrorize, demean and defeat entire communities, as well as to punish, intimidate and humiliate women,” reports Amnesty International. Amnesty is calling for governments to publicly support the International Criminal Court (ICC), to publicly condemn violence against women and girls in any circumstances, and to ensure that women play a major role in designing and implementing all peace-building activities.

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BBC News 12/8/04; LA Times 12/8/04; Amnesty International Press Release 12/8/04

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