International women’s rights NGO Karama has welcomed the vision to end sexual violence in conflict launched at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in London this week. Karama brought a delegation of leading women activists from Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen to the four-day summit that was jointly hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague MP and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. The summit is the largest international gathering addressing sexual violence to date.
On the occasion of the global summit, Karama’s founder, Hibaaq Osman, underlined to the international community that such systematic violence is not only an assault on women’s rights, but also a form of torture and genocide.
Ms. Osman, said:
“No one can defend the use of rape as a weapon of war and yet from Syria to the Democratic Republic of Congo, it remains a feature of every conflict. During the summit, we heard from military delegates that in conflict, it is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier. These atrocities cannot go on. Violence against women is a crime against humanity.”
“This summit has been an essential endeavor to engage and focus the minds of the world’s leading activists, politicians, and policymakers on this most appalling of crimes, but it cannot stop here. With the international protocol introduced at the summit, we must ensure ongoing international commitment to ending sexual violence – including support for those seeking refuge from their homes due to conflict and expanded budgets and infrastructures offered to address sexual violence and its causes and consequences. ”