Women are taking a stand against sexual violence in Burma - read more below from the Burma Campaign UK.
110 High Profile Women Stand With the Women of Burma to End Rape and Sexual Violence
On International Women’s Day, 110 high profile women, including Dame Judi Dench, Annie Lennox, Jo Brand, Gillian Anderson, Imelda Staunton, Julie Walters and Zoë Wanamaker, are standing with the women of Burma to end rape and sexual violence. In the pledge, the high profile women, who also include activists and politicians, have vowed to support:
- An investigation into rape and sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic women and girls.
- An end to impunity for rape and other forms of sexual violence in Burma.
- Support for victims.
- The inclusion of women at every political level in Burma including the peace negotiations between the Burmese government and the ethnic armed political groups.
- Burma’s Rape Law to be in line with international human rights standards to outlaw rape in marriage.
The Burmese army has used rape and sexual violence against women for decades as part of their warfare against ethnic minority groups in the country. This has been done with impunity and denial. Cases of women and girls being raped by soldiers from the government’s forces include the rape of a 12 year old girl in front of her mother, and of a disabled woman. Many of the victims were gang-raped, and many killed afterwards. This is in breach of international law, and constitutes a war crime. Reports of rape have increased in recent years. UN reports have described rape and sexual violence as “widespread and systematic”.
Courageous Indigenous Mayan women are demanding justice for sexual slavery during Guatemala's civil war. This week, Nobel peace laureates Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchú Tum are in Guatemala City, joined with activists in solidarity with the survivors speaking out against the Guatemalan military in the landmark Sepur Zarco trial. For more information, read the press release by the Nobel Women's Initiative, Campaign member, below.
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence is thrilled to launch Taking the Lead: Sexual Violence Survivors Forging Hope in Colombia, a mini-documentary produced by Campaign members Nobel Women’s Initiative and MADRE and now available online!
Meet powerful Colombian sexual violence survivors and women human rights defenders breaking the silence around sexual violence in Colombia’s decades-long conflict. These survivors and defenders are mobilizing peace movements, demanding justice and using media, innovative therapy and community building to create a future where women’s bodies are not used as battlefields. Together, they are forging hope in Colombia.
Women activists from countries of the former Yugoslavia—including activists from Campaign Steering Committee member, Women's Network Croatia—held a Women’s Court from May 7 – 10. Survivors of violence and sexual violence spoke out about their experiences. The women also advocated for judicial reform to protect survivors and strengthened feminist networks in the region. The tribunal focused on war crimes committed against women during violent conflict in the region in the 1990s. Survivors also spoke out about violence they have experienced in the years following the wars.
Key findings and recommendations from our Women of Congo Speak Out delegation in 2014 have been compiled into a briefing document. View it online here, or download a PDF below.