If you had told me twenty or even ten years ago that there would be Global Summit on combating sexual violence against women, attended by the majority of the world’s countries, as well numerous individuals and organisations, I would not have believed you.
For ever, it has seemed, sexual violence against (mainly) women and girls has been seen as simply inevitable. Especially in time of war. “War, rape and pillage” just went together.
But just as in the 20th century, when genocide gave huge impetus to the formation and strengthening of international institutions, including of course the UN, the International Criminal Court and international humanitarian law, now there is increasing recognition that sexual violence must be covered by those same protections. Rape, so often invisible, was recognised as a weapon of war in Rwanda 1998, and explicitly so by the UN in 2008.
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