Gender violence is a “womens issue” so why should peace movements deal with it?
Gender violence is an issue for everyone. The level of violence against women and girls in peacetime is an important indicator about how just a society really is. Increased violence against women and girls is an early warning sign of escalating conflict. Survivors of gender violence during war, such as the women and girls systematically raped during the conflicts in Rwanda and the Balkans, know that reconciliation is impossible without gender justice. The silence around sexual violence against men and boys during war must also be broken. Peace movements cannot ignore the increased militarization of women, the skills and leadership women and girls bring to peacebuilding, nor how gender expectations encourage men to fight.