JENNIFER TEEGE Jennifer Teege was born in 1970 to a German mother and a Nigerian father. Placed in a children’s home at four weeks old, she was adopted by a German family when she was 7. In her twenties, she lived and studied in Israel, before returning to Germany and beginning a career in advertising. […]
Ending conflict related sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is of fundamental importance to international peace and security. We can stop SGBV, as rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence are not a mere accident in wartime: they are weapons deliberately used in armed conflicts around the globe to traumatize women and girls and terrorize their communities.
In the context of rising violent extremism, SGBV has seen new dimensions and has become a growing concern in recent years. The scourge of violence spread by extremist groups in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq has led to the highest level of displacement due to conflicts and violence since the Second World War. Having fled immediate violence, women and children remain at high risk while staying in camps or travelling along migration routes.
Enormous individual suffering, impacts on society as a whole and lasting asymmetric, imbalanced power relations between women and men make SGBV one of the most serious impediments to dignity, peace and development.
As acknowledged by the UN Security Council, women need to play an important role in all phases of conflict, from prevention to reconciliation. Thus, empowering local women and strengthening their participation in all stages of conflict resolution will be crucial for sustainable peace and to end violence against women and girls.
In response to the rising levels of SGBV the United Nations will launch a new strategy on the fight against conflict related sexual violence in the MENA region. In order to discuss implementation of this strategy and in support of ongoing processes by the UN, the EU and other regional organizations as well as the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, local woman leaders will come together with policy makers and representatives of international and regional organizations, in order to give prominence to the cause, amplify their voices and further develop the international framework for prevention, response and accountability.