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On May 23-25, Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire will lead an unprecedented conference in Canada, to develop strategies for ending rape as a weapon of war.
Over 120 civil society activists, corporate and security sector leaders, military and peacekeeping personnel, and academics will convene to discuss and share ideas at the conference, entitled Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Sexual violence takes place in every region of the world, with the reasons for its use varying from conflict to conflict. It has been used as a tactic to terrorize communities suspected of supporting guerrilla forces, as a way to force population off land, and to punish human rights defenders.
“Waging war on the bodies of women has got to stop,” says Jody Williams. “Like any tactic of war, it can be eliminated. The magnitude of the problem must be matched by our collective effort. Working together, we can finally bring an end to this scourge on women and their communities.”
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Rape of women in DR Congo ‘tops 1000 a day,’ Al Jazeera, 11 May 2011.