An international network of women’s activists from the United States and East Asian countries aim to expose U.S. military’s involvement in multiple cases of rape and sexual abuse towards women and children. The pre-summit meeting, which prepared proposals that will be submitted at the upcoming Group of Eight summit in July, drew 40 delegates from South Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the U.S., as well as 40 Okinawan activists.
Suzuyo Takazato heads the Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, an international organization which was founded after three U.S. servicemen gang-raped an Okinawan schoolgirl in 1995. Takazato stated, “Cases of sexual violence against women (perpetrated by U.S. military personnel) have been brushed aside as being just personal tragedies – which has forced the victims to remain silent.” More international pressure is necessary to urge governments to end sexual violence caused by military personnel on or near military bases. The soon to be established International Criminal Court would serve as an indicator of governments’ commitment to ending the cycle of violence targeting women and girls during conflict situations.