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Today marks the beginning of the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s Conference on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict. This three-day conference gathers over 100 women—including Nobel Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire—to discuss how to end sexual violence in conflict. According to this article on the conference’s approach,
The laureates want to end the culture of impunity around sexual violence; they want better protection in place for women and children; they want more medical and legal services for survivors and improved systems to track incidents.
They define the issue broadly, to include regions still in turmoil even after the fighting is over, or where the rule of law has broken down, leaving women vulnerable — in Haiti after the earthquake, for example, or in refugee camps. The group also defines sexual violence broadly, to include any forced sexual activity, including trafficking, and notes that men and boys are also sometimes targeted.
Many of these issues were discussed at NCRW’s 2010 Annual Conference, Strategic Imperatives for Ending Violence Against Women. The Plan of Action we released based on this conference includes many resources, action steps, and recommended research, policy, advocacy, and funding priorities promoted throughout the gathering.
If you’d like to follow the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s Conference live, Jaclyn Friedman—Executive Director of Women, Action, & the Media and editor of Yes Means Yes—is liveblogging several of the sessions over at Feministe. This morning, she liveblogged the panel Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict: Prevention & Protection with Joanna Kerr, Action Aid International, South Africa; Joanne Sandler, UN Women; Charlotte Isaksson, Armed Forces, Sweden; and Binalakshmi Nepram, Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network, India.
Later, Friedman will be liveblogging panels on Justice & Accountability and Addressing Women’s Needs and Rights on the Frontlines. We encourage you to visit Feminste and follow along!