The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict: An Urgent Need to Put an End to Conflict-related Sexual Violence

The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict: An Urgent Need to Put an End to Conflict-related Sexual Violence

On the occasion of the the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and as Part of the EuroMed Feminist Intiative (EFI), the Palestinian Working Woman Society For Development shares the following statement by EFI while extending solidarity with all women in the region and around the world who encounter sexual violence in communities in conflict.


When a conflict erupts, women become a "war zone" themselves. Sexual violence, assault, torture and slavery increase in the context of armed conflict.

Women across the Euro-Med region are enduring conflict-related abuse and are suffering the consequences. Today, more than ever, the lack of rehabilitation mechanisms and the guilt and shame associated with sexual violence hinder their reintegration into their societies.

Curbing Conflict-related Sexual Violence
The response to violence against women requires a multi-pronged approach and measures promoting gender equality in a wide variety of policy areas: culture, health, social services, laws, and education. Therefore, coordination is required to ensure that all agencies and actors are working towards the same goals.

National action plans for the implementation of UNSCR1325 on women, peace and security are essential tools to curb violence against women, in particular in times of crisis, to improve women’s rights and lives across the region and to contribute to women’s participation in decision making. Moreover, a commitment to the full implementation of the international instruments, including the Istanbul Convention on VAW and lifting the reservations on CEDAW is a basic prerequisite to improve women’s lives across the region.

EuroMed Feminist Initiative works to expose the structures of violence against women in peace and war and to reinforce a feminist vision and analysis of global justice where transnational alliances against militarism and the military are fundamental building blocks, to place human security, which includes violence against women, on the top of the political agendas.

Madad for Women Programme Addresses Immediate Needs
The armed conflict in Syria has forced millions of people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries or become internally displaced. The Madad for Women programme funded by the European Union through the EU’s regional trust fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU ‘Madad’ Fund, and implemented through a consortium led by EuroMed Feminist Initiative is addressing the immediate needs of Syrian refugee women, internally displaced people and women in host communities in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon through the provision of comprehensive and accessible services, such as legal, psychosocial, sexual and reproductive rights, protection, and referral services. The programme strives to bring to policy level the pressing needs of the most vulnerable women and build sustainable policies and strategies on crisis response.

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