Around the world, women and girls are victims of countless acts of violence. In a great many of these instances, the violence is not random — women and girls are victims because they are female. The range of gender-based acts of violence in conflict is devastating, occurring, quite literally, from womb to tomb. Among other abuses, violence against women includes: rape, sexual mutilation, purposeful infection with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), forced impregnation, forced abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual harassment, trafficking, forced prostitution, dowry-related violence, domestic violence, battering, and marital rape. Violence against women and girls occurs in every segment of society — regardless of class, ethnicity, culture, country or whether the country is at peace or war.
Women’s bodies, deliberately infected with HIV/AIDS or carrying a child conceived in rape, have been used as means to undermine, disgrace and threaten the perceived enemy. In Rwanda , at least 250,000 — perhaps as many as 500,000 — women were raped during the 1994 genocide. more… Women often face violence in wartime due to the nexus between their gender and their other identities. In Bosnia , Muslim women were targeted for rape as part of the “ethnic cleansing” campaign to form a ethnically pure Greater Serbia. Over 20,000 women are thought to have been raped during the war. more…
During the series of women's conferences and other UN conferences between 1975 and 1995, the international community came to acknowledge the range — and frequency — of gender-based violence, and redefined how these acts of violence are dealt with in international policies. The most comprehensive international policy statements about gender-based violence are the Declaration against Violence against Women adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993, the Platform for Action from the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. These documents define gender-based violence as a violation of women's human rights, as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and a form of discrimination that prevents women from participating fully in society and fulfilling their potential as human beings.
"Wartime sexual violence has been one of history's greatest silences. On June 19, 2007 unanimously-adopted Security Council Resolution 1820 ends - once and for all - the debate on whether systematic sexual violence belongs on the Council agenda. In the words of United States Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, who chaired the debate, "today we respond to that lingering question with a resounding yes". For the full text of the resolution, please click here.
Fonte: Women War Peace