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Excellent news!

An historic international agreement that rape during war is a grave breach of the Geneva Convention was announced in London by UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague today!

The Rt Hon William Hague MP

( The Rt Hon William Hague MP First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs / picture from the gov.uk website)

The Standard reports that Hague said:

“Our goal must be a world in which it is inconceivable that thousands of women, children and men can be raped in the course of a conflict, because an international framework of deterrence and accountability makes it impossible,”

 

(I am copy-and pasting here…since all my thoughts on this are in the article!)

“This declaration is a milestone in that effort, and a turning point in our collective history.”  Today’s full agreement includes four major steps towards wiping out a “culture of impunity” shielding the perpetrators of rapes in conflict zones: Declaring it a breach of the Geneva Convention as well as a war crime gives responsibility to G8 nations to seek out and prosecute perpetrators.”

EXACTLY!

Aljazeera yesterday had an op ed on the G8 decision. It’s by Leymah Gbowee and Jody Williams – Women breaking the G8 iron door

 

When looking at regions where rape and other forms of gender violence have been ongoing for years, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, we need to provide comprehensive, long-term strategies to end the violence. This means not only providing greater support and reparations to survivors, but bringing impunity to an end by focusing on the prosecution of those committing these heinous crimes. Equally important, we need to ensure that as conflicts come to an end, women are at the peace table to keep negotiations focused on gender equality and justice reform.  Women’s voices must be heard.

 

 Now all we need is peace and an end to violence. But this is certainly a step in the right direction!
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