Due to longstanding patriarchies in most countries, women are oftentimes treated as “lesser” human beings than men, resulting in a variety of violations on women’s rights. One of the most significant violations is sexual violence against women. Today we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict – a day that focuses on victims of sexual violence in conflict torn regions and encourages international action towards eradicating these crimes.
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council created a landmark resolution towards combating conflict-driven sexual violence against women by adopting Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. The resolution highlights the importance of including women in conflict and post-conflict situations because it improves negotiations while integrating gender perspectives into the conversation.
Many countries have implemented policy changes since Resolution 1325 came into fruition, further advancing women’s rights in the global consciousness. Just today, South Korea’s foreign ministry announced the country’s dedication to the Action with Women and Peace Initiative – an active plan to uphold the solutions provided in Resolution 1325 to secure a better future for women. South Korea’s dedication to Action with Women and Peace also holds importance because of the country’s traumatic history with sexual slavery or “comfort women” during WWII.
This initiative, however, does demonstrate that a lot of work remains in the sphere of advocating for women’s rights and against sexual violence. Our team at the World Affairs Council urges you to learn more about these global gender-based challenges and their implications on our world.