International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

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2024 Date19 June 2024
2025 Date19 June 2025

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict in
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The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict serves to raise global awareness about the heinous acts of sexual violence against women, men, and children in conflict situations. This observance seeks to garner support for the plight of victims, while advocating for the eradication of these acts and empowering survivors with access to the necessary services for recovery. A major aspect of this day is the notion that collective action is required to bring about tangible change, and conversations should be initiated to facilitate respect for human rights and dignity, thereby preventing such abuses.

History suggests that, due to South Africa's legacy of inequality and a violent past, it has experienced significant levels of gender-based violence. South Africa has previously had peacekeeping forces involved in conflicts in various parts of Africa, some of whom have faced accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse. This makes it essential that South Africans are educated about, and contribute to, the prevention of sexual violence in conflict on this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

In South Africa, a range of events and engagements typically take place on this Observance, such as workshops, marches, campaigns, and dialogue sessions that raise awareness about the issue and provide solutions for action. Discussions among various stakeholders, including civil society organizations, are facilitated, focusing on sharing better practices and learning from global experiences. The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed annually on June 19th. South Africans are urged to actively participate in this observance, as it calls for collective action to bring an end to the scourge of sexual violence in conflict.

Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict -

Facts about Sexual Violence in Conflict

  • According to the UN, it is estimated that globally, for each rape reported in connection with a conflict, 10 to 20 cases go undocumented.
  • According to the UN, conflict-related sexual violence encompasses rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence perpetrated against women, men, girls, or boys.
  • Women and girls are most at risk, but men and boys also experience sexual violence in conflict situations. The susceptibility of individuals is increased in chaotic and violent environments with a lack of security and law enforcement.
  • During apartheid, sexual violence was often used as a weapon to terrorize and subjugate non-white communities, leaving a legacy of violence that continues today.
  • For many survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations, the abuse they suffer is not a single event but a series of interconnected violations, including forced labor, abduction, forced marriage, and forced pregnancy.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance

  • Explore the UN related site stoprapenow.org. They work with 19 UN entities to end sexual violence in conflict.
  • Explore the UN's youth exhibit on sexual violence in conflict. It features depictions and illustrations that touch on a theme of horror and hope.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about sexual violence in conflict in South Africa. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Strike a Rock (2017). Directed by Aliki Saragas, this documentary focuses on the lives of two women fighting for justice in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre in South Africa.
    2. Rough Aunties (2008). Directed by Kim Longinotto, this documentary follows a group of women in Durban, South Africa, who work tirelessly to help children who have been affected by sexual violence and abuse.
    3. It's a Man's World (2016). Directed by Mahreen Chenia, this documentary looks at the issue of rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the impact on survivors in South Africa.
  • Read a book to learn more about the issue of sexual violence in conflict in South Africa. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Witches, Westerners, and HIV: AIDS and Cultures of Blame in Africa by Alexander Rödlach
    2. Rape and Sexual Violence in South Africa by Nechama Brodie
    3. The Gender of Violence: Sexual Assault against Men in South Africa by Jonathan Terreblanche

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