Women and children bear brunt of conflict

October 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21 – This year\’s United Nations report on State of World Population 2010 shows that women and children suffer most in conflict and disaster situations which make them most vulnerable to gender based violence.

Speaking during the launch of the report, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Fidelis Zama Chi asked governments to pay attention to sexual violence especially in countries affected by conflict.

"We are also aware of how the African region is torn by conflict.  Even if the country is not in a state of crisis, it still has a role to play and the role will be… what can we do to help those in this situation?" he said.

He further called on governments to bring justice to victims of sexual violence and protect other women and children from becoming preys of sexual violence.

The report coincided with the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council\’s landmark Resolution 1325 which aims to put a stop to sexual violence against women and girls in conflict.

He further called for active involvement and encouragement of women to participate in peace building initiatives and appealed to countries to come up with action plans to address gender issues associated with conflict and disasters.

University of Nairobi Lecturer Ben Obonyo specifically asked the Kenyan government to act on the Waki and Kriegler reports on sexual violence in relation to the 2008 post-election violence.

He noted that one out of three women victims of the violence were rape victims and asked the government to publish specific reports of women and children raped during the post election violence.

He discredited the government for failing to act on rapists and other people who violated women\’s right.

Mr Obonyo said many women and children were yet to see justice done yet most of them were still abandoned in camps bearing the trauma of rape and bringing up children they conceived from rape.

"The way forward would be to resettle all the internally displaced persons and end impunity.  In our case one of the immediate ways is how to implement recommendations from the Waki and Kriegler reports," he said.

The State of World Population 2010 under the theme \’from conflict and crisis to renewal: generations of change,\’ focuses on issues of women\’s security and reliance in emergencies such as catastrophes, wars and conflicts.

It draws the attention to complex matters of women, peace and security.

Kenya is one of the countries where women and children were greatly violated during the post election violence that left about 1,500 people dead and 350,000 others displaced.

To date, most of them are yet to see justice done to them.


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