The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict held its first launch event on Sunday, May 6 in Cartagena, Colombia.
Organized by Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas and Red Nacional de Mujeres, the event brought more than three generations of women together at the Ciudad de Mujeres (City of Women).
The League of Displaced Women and their founder, Patricia Guerrero, have advocated at the grassroots level in Colombia for local women and displaced communities. Their work has brought them under threat from paramiliatry units and many of the women and their families involved with the League have been raped or murdered because of their community action.
"It is time to end the shameful silence regarding how rape is used as a weapon of war in Colombia. Rape is routinely committed by legal and illegal perpetartors. It is time to end the impunity," said Guerrero.
Colombia has been engaged in a low-intensity civil war for decades. Narco-trafficking has fuelled already high levels of conflict and added to already high levels of insecurity for communities thorugh the country. Gender violence by guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, and the state security forces is rampant, with most going perpetrators going unpunished for rape. Learn more about rape and gender violence in Colombia's conflict.
The following groups took part in celebrating the launch of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict in Cartagena on Sunday:
Plataforma de Organizaciones de los Montes de María (The Women's Platform of organizations from the Montes de Maria)
Mujeres de mi tierra (Women of my land)
Movimiento Social de Mujeres de Cartagena (Social movement of women from Cartagena)
Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres seccional Bolívar (Peaceful Path of Women Bolivar section)
Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas (Observatory for Gender Democracy and Human Rights)
Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz IMP (Colombian Peace Women's Initiative)
National Network of Women (Red Nacional de Mujeres)
Campaña Saquen Mi Cuerpo de la Guerra
Watch this video to learn more about Ciudad de Mujeres and gender violence in Colombia: