The smartest way to end sexualized violence in war

The smartest way to end sexualized violence in war

Janet Benshoof, president and founder of the Global Justice Center, offers another perspective on the use of rape as a “tactic” of war: putting the focus on states and stigmatizing their actions or inactions before other states. Time and again, she says, stigmatization has been shown to deter the use of rape, or other tactics, in war. Rape is a breach of the Geneva Conventions, at left. Photo by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Read More »

No more jasmine: A Syrian-American reflects on Aleppo

No more jasmine: A Syrian-American reflects on Aleppo

Before the uprising against Assad started more than three years ago in Syria, Aleppo was truly the city that never slept. In the mornings, you could smell the sweet scent of jasmine, mixed with the aroma of Turkish coffee. But the city’s landscape has drastically changed. In the media, Aleppo has been dubbed “the world’s most dangerous city”—and for good reason. Photo by Freedom House. Read More »

Do we really need Angelina Jolie?

Do we really need Angelina Jolie?

As Angelina Jolie and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, everyone keeps asking if we need Jolie. Is she useful to the cause? Is a celebrity loaning her status and name to the issue of rape in war ultimately good or bad? Lauren Wolfe has the answer. Photo by Andrew Parsons. Read More »

Stigma remains in place as sexualized violence rises in CAR

Stigma remains in place as sexualized violence rises in CAR

The threat of sexualized violence is the No. 1 fear for women and girls in the Central African Republic. But some of the survivors are too afraid to speak out about their abuse. In many countries, the cultural stigma against victims of sexualized violence is such that they are disowned by their husbands or ostracized from their communities after rape. The CAR is no exception. Photo by Getty Images. Read More »

Giving women a fair fight in the US military

Giving women a fair fight in the US military

By — July 18, 2014
It’s unfathomable to think that in 2014 half the global population will be prevented from a full range of occupations because of their gender. This kind of prejudice is broadly seen as a throwback to a distant and unenlightened era—which is why the findings of a recent study of the best U.S. colleges was surprising to many. more »
The smartest way to end rape in war

The smartest way to end rape in war

By — July 14, 2014
As a human rights lawyer for more than 40 years, pushing every avenue to advance women’s rights, this month’s Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict hosted by UK Foreign Minister William Hague and Angelina Jolie was a confirming moment of hope. more »
No more music, no more jasmine: A Syrian-American’s reflections on Aleppo

No more music, no more jasmine: A Syrian-American’s reflections on Aleppo

By — June 24, 2014
As a young Syrian-American, visiting Aleppo with my family was the highlight of my year. The sweet scent of jasmine abounded in the gardens, mixed with the aroma of Turkish coffee. At night, cafes were always full of people enjoying the cool breeze. But the city’s landscape has drastically changed: Barrel bombs have destroyed entire districts. Missiles have shattered homes, schools, cars, and lives. My family tells me that the pictures in the news do not do justice to the enormity of the devastation. Aleppo has been dubbed “the world’s most dangerous city.” more »
How to seize the huge opportunity created by the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

How to seize the huge opportunity created by the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

By — June 20, 2014
“What a fabulous suit. She was perfect, perfect,” said a French woman standing behind me on the escalator. We had just emerged from two hours in a giant auditorium on the outskirts of London where we heard politicians, UN officials, and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, billed as the largest gathering ever to focus attention and develop effective solutions to ending rape in war. more »
Siege talks to BBC about the UK summit: ‘Listen to the grassroots organizers’

Siege talks to BBC about the UK summit: ‘Listen to the grassroots organizers’

By — June 18, 2014
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which ended on June 13, has now been met with both criticism and praise throughout the media. Our director, Lauren Wolfe, spoke to the BBC’s Radio Scotland from London, where she was a delegate at the summit. She has a mixed take. more »

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