Thursday, 13 January 2011

Economist: War's overlooked victims

Violence against women - Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world

The Economist today has a wide-ranging article examining how rape is frequently used as a weapon of war in conflicts around the world.

There's nothing completely new in this, of course - rape has been a feature of war for millennia. Several current conflicts, however, have made rape seemingly routine, perhaps supporting Mary Kaldor's characterisation of "new wars" that are primarily civil in nature and are frequently based on identity (ethnic nationalism or religious radicalism). A further feature of these wars, usually occurring against a back drop of state fragmentation and failure, is the change in legal status of combatants and a new level of atrocities as war is waged ‘among the people’. An important aspect in this is the involvement and the effect on both women and children.

Uncomfortable reading, but worth doing nonetheless. Read the whole thing.

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