DAY 3 // NOVEMBER 27, 2012
Gender based violence
NOVEMBER 28, 2012
Conflict Related Sexual Violence
- It is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in modern conflict.
— Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert, 2008.
What is conflict related sexual violence?

One of the worst atrocities committed against civilians in armed conflicts is rape and other forms of sexual violence. The violence perpetrated against women and girls in armed conflicts includes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and human trafficking.

In many conflict situations, rape is systematically used to persecute and humiliate civilians, and as such used as a weapon of war to achieve military or political objectives. It may for example be committed with the intention of contributing to the destruction of a particular ethnic or social group. When used intentionally and systematically as a part of military strategy it constitutes a war crime, crime against humanity or an act of genocide, and based on the principle of Responsibility to Protect the international community should act to stop it. Even after conflict has ended, the impacts of sexual violence persist, including unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, psychological and physical trauma and stigmatization. Widespread sexual violence itself may continue or even increase in the aftermath of conflict, as a consequence of insecurity and impunity.

What are the consequences of conflict related sexual violence?
  • - Individually: Shame and stigmatization, identity loss, demoralization and undermining of the survivor, physical harm, trauma, separation from the family
  • - The group: Damage the integrity of the family, identity loss, subordinated position of the group
  • - The society: feeling of helplessness/powerlessness of individuals and groups, loss of economic development, continuing of violence, dividing ethnic, religious and regional groups
What about in Kosovo?

Between 1998 and 1999, women and girls were amongst the most vulnerable civilians in Kosovo. The actual number of women raped during the armed conflict may never be established while the estimates ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 as reported by women’s groups, public institutions, NATO, UNIFEM (now UN Women), Human Rights Watch and others. Rape and other forms of sexual violence were used in parallel to other forms of violence committed against civilians. Rapes were also committed to extort money from families and force them to leave their homes. Sometimes women and girls were even taken away from their families and forced into sexual servitude. In general, women and girls were raped by combatants during the armed conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia where rape and other forms of sexual violence was used as a strategy to obtain military and political objectives.

In Kosovo, very few people have spoken openly about this kind of violence because of the stigma that surrounds it. Often, survivors feel ashamed and afraid, and some women were even accused of adultery or being the ones inciting the violence. This lack of understanding in the society and insensitivity causes additional trauma to the survivors who finally gather the courage to talk about what happened to them. It is important to stress that rape is an attack upon human dignity and integrity, and therefore a violation of human rights, constituting a criminal offence rather than dishonor for the survivor.

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DAY 5 // NOVEMBER 29, 2012
Transitional Justice
DAY 6 // NOVEMBER 30, 2012
Human Trafficking
DAY 7 // DECEMBER 1, 2012
Women’s Economic Security