We are ending ten long years of war. Wars not won but thousands of people dead. Now we are putting ourselves into Syria to protect the citizens and the Western world. Peace isn’t being spoken about at all. Yet, there are many of us who know that peace is the only way for us to go.
As sides line up and stories begin to flow out of the war torn countries, we will find that not only will there be deaths and emotional scarring but there will be a huge amount of using women to shame their families and themselves. The countries in Africa and the Middle East are finding that their women and children are in particular danger due to all the wars around the world.
Raping women and girls has become an important aspect to war. It is part of the plans for winning wars. The Democratic Republic of Congo is known as the “rape capital of the world.” Women and children are enslaved and gang raped. If they conceive, they are killed. Why rape women and children? If women can escape, their husbands and families don’t want them. They are dirty and full of shame.
Women and girls raped in war are far more likely to die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. Young women who are impregnated during war do not receive prenatal care. They are owned, after all. The death rate increases by five times for these young women. It would have been kinder if we could have provided abortions for those that wish them. These babies represent the horrors of their rapes and /or gang rape. All monies going to war-torn countries from America cannot be used to provide a compassionate abortion for these women who have suffered the worst thing that can happen to a women.
So, US aid is prohibited from being used for abortions and they can’t even be discussed. Today’s wars continue to use sexual violence as a tool to win battles and even wars. It is part of genocide. To contaminate the gene pool of a country has a devastating effect on its citizens.
Currently in Syria, reports have found that armed men, often many at a time, kidnap, rape, torture and kill women and girls. One of the primary reasons for human displacement during this conflict has been fear of rape. The Global Summit held in London this past summer, rape as a tactic of war was discussed.
Because we do not provide abortions for rape victims, we are re-victimizing these poor women and children. The United Nations and the Security Council have urged countries to take steps to help these women. Because the US forbids any of its monies from being used for abortions in these cases, America is in violation of the Geneva Conventions policy to comply with the human rights of women and children.
President Bush’s administration specifically forbade funding for rape survivors and child slaves. The Obama administration can take steps to address this injustice but hasn’t so far. The administration has yet to abolish Bush’s unfair restriction.
When applied to women and girls raped in war, the abortion ban not only denies them their rights to all necessary care under the Geneva Convention, it also interferes with the way the aid is distributed by countries that do allow abortion.
For young girls, their bodies are not developed enough to give birth. Young girls who do manage to give birth and live, face long-term economic and psychological trauma. Again, we are re-victimizing these human beings.
Save the Children’s “Unspeakable Crimes Against Children: Sexual Violence in Conflict” report says that these children are being condemned to a lifetime of extreme poverty, illiteracy, increased vulnerability to risky or exploitative economic practices as children and then as adults. Poverty will spread across generations.
Female bodies must not be used as a background in war.
We are all one family and we are all the same species
Victims of rape during war.