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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Issues Being Discussed At Sexual Violence Global Summit

As the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict takes place in London this week, opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding sexual violence.

The Guardian: Teaching young men to break the cycle of sexual violence
Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Project

“…As representatives from more than 140 countries prepare to gather in London this week for the global summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, hosted by William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Care has launched a petition to #ChallengeAttitudes — calling for a focus on education at the summit. … According to the World Health Organization, attitudes that accept violence and gender inequality increase the likelihood of both intimate partner and sexual violence. This underlines the importance of education in tackling these problems, not just for conflict-affected areas but also more widely…” (6/9).

Huffington Post: Sexual Violence, Security and the Role Gender Equality Has to Play in Tackling Rape
Tewodros Melease, director-general of International Planned Parenthood Foundation

“…[S]exual and reproductive health services in conflict settings are often overlooked and remain under resourced. There is no single solution to tackling sexual violence in conflict. What is undeniable is that survivors must have their voices heard and a survivor-centered approach should be integrated into peace and security efforts. … This year governments are discussing the future of development goals — sexual violence in conflict will be part of these global discussions. Tackling the inequality which makes women and girls vulnerable must also be at its heart” (6/11).

Huffington Post: Empowering Women, Ending Violence
Catherine Russell, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, and Sir Peter Westmacott, British ambassador to the United States

“…To those who say that sexual violence is inevitable in war, we simply point out that previous generations said the same about slavery, a crime that governments from around the world now come together to fight. This generation can do the same for the crime of sexual violence in conflict. The ultimate task for our generation is to make women and men equal partners in building peace, security, and prosperity. This is a question not just of individual rights but also of international security. After all, history shows that a society can only reach its potential when women are allowed to reach theirs” (6/11).

The Lancet: Responding to sexual violence in conflict
Claudia García-Moreno of the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research

“…Efforts to end impunity, as promoted by the U.K. Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, are important. These efforts, however, must be complemented by investments in national systems and programs to address the social and economic drivers of conflict-related sexual violence. … [C]ritical national systems need to be rebuilt and a workforce needs to be trained and supported to provide effective, sustainable responses. Donor countries have a part to play in supporting the development of national systems, and to ensure sustainable access to health, justice, and social support…” (6/10).

New York Times: The Scourge of Sexual Violence: In Egypt, the Abuse of Women Rises
“The failure of the Egyptian government, now led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to respond aggressively to sexual assaults has justifiably outraged rape victims and women’s rights advocates. … Egypt is just one of many countries where sexual violence is becoming more publicized. Britain is holding a meeting in London this week attended by more than 100 countries to address the increasing prevalence of sexual violence in conflict zones. The four-day summit meeting is expected to adopt the first international protocol on how to document and investigate such crimes. The world simply cannot sit silent while women are systematically subjected to brutal sexual abuse” (6/11).