Speaking Up: Women Under Siege

Women at Darfur refugee camp in Chad

Women at Darfur refugee camp in Chad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing someone speak their truth, or help the voiceless to speak theirs, is an inspirational experience.  Using this blog to be heard has changed my life and this power only grows each day.  When things feel most difficult in my personal life, I look for ways to support people who are speaking up for positive change – in their own lives or the lives of others.  There is a kind of power in that energy and it is a wonderful reminder of the potential out there when inside yourself you feel so dark.

I want to celebrate examples of ‘speaking up’ that inspire me, starting with this one.

I have been following this organisation on twitter for some time.  To borrow their own words,

Women Under Siege is a journalism project that investigates how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st”

The project has two main components:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The project’s Director, Lauren Wolfe, is quite simply an amazing individual.  She and the Women Under Siege team (of other talented and passionate women) give women in war a platform to be heard.  Their experiences are difficult and intensely confronting.  And that is precisely why we should at the very least bear witness to them.  You can sign up to get updates from the project or perhaps donate to keep this groundbreaking work going.

Find out more here

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