Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Monday, 6 July 2020

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The Shadow Pandemic

Source: This Day / Pauline Tallen, Peter Hawkins and Comfort Lamptey

Violence against women and girls in Nigeria is a pandemic-sized problem. Millions live in fear of being abused, assaulted or raped. Frontline heroes like the doctors, lawyers, social workers and counsellors who deal with the daily casualties of this crisis describe the heartbreak of handling cases of women and girls who have been abused or raped. These protectors of women and children’s rights persevere in their efforts, even though they know most cases will not be reported, receive support and get justice. And the cases we know about are only the small tip of a colossal iceberg.

So many women and girls suffer in silence and shame because they are worried about their family’s reaction and social stigma. Like a woman in Sokoto, who was assaulted by her husband whilst in purdah and denied access to critical support; or a woman in Lagos who was raped and impregnated by her neighbor and forced to leave her home for fear of stigmatization. Countless women and girls who are either ostracized or in community seclusion and at risk of violence still need to be reached.

But we are finally seeing a slow shift in attitudes. Across Nigeria, women and girls are standing up, reporting their cases, and demanding local solutions to the problems of violence, including rape and sexual exploitation.

Read more here.

The Murad Code of Conduct is to Transform Documenting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Source: Forbes / Ewelina U. Ochab

In June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Nadia’s Initiative, and Institute for International Criminal Investigations launched the Murad Code. The Code is a global consultative initiative aimed at building and supporting a community of better practice for addressing conflict-related sexual violence.

The Murad Code is named after Nadia Murad, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Nadia Murad. Nadia Murad is herself a survivor of sexual violence used by Daesh as a weapon of war. She has since escaped enslavement in Iraq and has become a powerful advocate for the Yazidi community. She has worked tirelessly to highlight the issue of religious persecution and sexual violence used as a weapon of war. Nadia Murad is a powerful witness and an example of how a survivor of such atrocities can be empowered through advocacy. Imagine if her story had never been heard.

Read the full article here.

UN Military Servicewomen from Moldova Foster Peace and Security in Africa

Source: UN Women

Four military servicewomen told about their experiences as military peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The discussion took place through a video conference entitled “Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding: The Prospects of Military Servicewomen as Peacekeepers”, organized with the support of UN Women Moldova.

Read their stories here.

Policy Brief: A Feminist Foreign Policy Response to COVID-19

Source: Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

The German Foreign Ministry commissioned Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) to conduct a series of consultations with the governments of Sweden, Canada, France, and Mexico on how they’re approaching their response to COVID. We collated their responses in a series of best “feminist” state practices.

Read the policy brief here.

Restoring Dignity to Victims of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by UN Personnel

Source: UN News

Projects supported by a UN trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, are helping victims to regain their dignity, learn new skills, and improve their livelihoods. Details of the projects, and the ways which they are having a positive effect on the lives of victims and children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse, are contained within the trust fund’s latest annual report, which was released on Monday.

Read the full article here.

Read the report here.