New resource: Women Under Siege

14 February 2012

‘Women Under Siege’ a project of the Women’s Media Center documents how rape and other forms of sexualised violence have been used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. This website will be a very useful resource as we further develop positions for negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) taking place in July 2012, in our advocacy for measures to prevent gender based violence and sexual violence against women to be included in the ATT.

Spearheaded by Gloria Steinem, ‘Women Under Siege’ builds on the lessons revealed in the anthology Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust by Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel, and also in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Daniella McGuire.

In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us to prevent or helped us to prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions.

The project has two main components:

  • A public education plan to demonstrate that rape is a tool of war (not only a crime of war, but also a strategic tool). This plan includes testimony from and partnership with survivors of modern wars from Bosnia to Darfur.
  • An action plan to push for the creation of legal, diplomatic, and public interventions to ensure the United Nations, international tribunals, and other agencies with power will understand the gender-based threats as a tool of genocide and will design protocols to intervene and halt gender-based genocide.

Women Under Siege

Women Under Siege