[intro] When the modern wars around the globe are waged, women are disproportionately affected.[/intro]
[pullquoteright] There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
This is alarming news.
The respected news site denver.cbslocal.com informs us that with an estimated 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world, we have the power to exterminate humanity many times over.
But it wouldn’t take a full-scale nuclear war to make Earth uninhabitable, reports Live Science.
Even a relatively small regional nuclear war, like a conflict between India and Pakistan, could spark a global environmental catastrophe, says a new study.
“Most people would be surprised to know that even a very small regional nuclear war on the other side of the planet could disrupt global climate for at least a decade and wipe out the ozone layer for a decade,” said lead author Michael Mills, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.
That is looking at the larger picture.
When the well fed and relatively secure in stable societies hear about the many small conflicts that are being furiously waged around the globe, primarily in third world countries, there could be an attitude that reflects the thinking that as long as it’s not happening in the country where I live, I’m not overly concerned.
Many women affected by war don’t have that luxury.
A gatekeeper, www.rescue.org reminds us that for women, the dangers of war go far beyond the violence of combat. In situations of armed conflict, women suffer some of the greatest health and social inequities in the world. They risk human rights violations, suffering and death that can and should be prevented.
A war-gutted health system can be a death sentence for both mother and child in countries where even the peace-time risk of dying from pregnancy is staggeringly high. In wealthy nations, like the United States, death due to childbirth is so rare that when it happens it makes headlines. In poor nations, there’s a common saying: “a woman who is pregnant has one foot in the grave.”
In war zones this risk worsens.
More information is shared by unicef.org. Increasingly, modern warfare is wreaking havoc on the lives of women and girls, and on the health and educational services that are key to family and community survival and development.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “gender-based inequity is usually exacerbated during situations of extreme violence such as armed conflict.” Women and girls in particular experience conflict and displacement in different ways from men because of the gender division of roles and responsibilities. The targeting of women and girls by armed forces further exacerbates the situation.
Since war broke out in the Balkans in 1992, it is estimated that more than 20,000 women and girls have been raped. In Rwanda, between April 1994 and April 1995, more than 15,700 girls and women were raped. Rape can no longer be treated merely as an unfortunate by-product of war and must be punished, the UN report says, adding, “Acts of gender-based violence, particularly rape, committed during armed conflicts constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Unfortunately, war more often discourages girls from attending school because it is unsafe for them to leave home. In Somalia, girls dropped out of school when it became too dangerous to travel to classes. In some cases, this accelerated their early marriage. School attendance is further discouraged when the absence of males means greater workloads for women and girls. This is particularly true when, in the absence of both parents, adolescent girls take over as heads of their households.
As reported in articlemyriad.com, on the most basic level, nine out of ten people who are killed in war are civilians (Hynes 431), and of these deaths, both men and women are equally likely to experience fatal injuries. Beyond this ultimate physical loss, however, which obviously cannot be recovered in any way, women are often forced to perform non-consensual sex acts for the entertainment of soldiers; rape camps and sex trafficking are also increasingly common, though not discussed widely in the media (Hynes 431).
All of these circumstances cause women to lose control over the one object that they possess: their own bodies. Forced sex also results in the increased likelihood of physical illness, both acute and chronic, for which many women cannot seek treatment. These forms of loss and degradation are compounded, however, by the economic hardships for women in war-torn societies, which are typically impoverished even before a war begins (Hynes 431).
[pullquoteleft] If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.
……………………………Marian Wright Edelman
Women are disproportionately affected by war and one of the organizations that continues to carry the torch in preventing future atrocities is The United Nations.
The name “United Nations”, coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.
The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the First World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.”
Fortunately along with the United Nations, other respected organizations are trying to help. Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization. They currently work in over 31 countries creating havens of safety and healing for at-risk women and children. Our purpose and passion is to give voice to the silenced cries of the oppressed, wrap arms of love around them, and whisper messages of purpose and dignity into their brokenness.
Through culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects and programs, WAR, Int’l offers these women and children an opportunity to live life with dignity. Although specifically known for their fight against human trafficking and rehabilitating work with trafficking victims, WAR, Int’l addresses 14 different risk issues facing women and children today.
[alert_yellow] Another group womenforwomen.org Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. They are trying to change the world one woman at a time.
Here is what another dedicated group www.amnesty.org is trying to accomplish to reduce the atrocities.
First they relate, although international organizations such as the United Nations have advanced in their capacity to monitor and report on human rights in conflict situations, few perpetrators of mass abuses against civilians are held accountable.
Amnesty International campaigns for an end to impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
They are campaigning to curb the proliferation of small arms fueling conflict and abuses, including lobbying for the adoption of a global Arms Trade Treaty.
Amnesty International campaigns for international peacekeepers to protect civilians in Darfur and eastern Chad, and has urged its supporters across the world to write to Sudanese MPs, calling on them to take a stand against the atrocities happening in their country.
Amnesty International is also actively campaigning to end the recruitment of child soldiers and to ensure that they are demobilized and reintegrated into society.
They are lobbying the UN for strengthened protection of civilians, including strict adherence to human rights and humanitarian law in peacekeeping efforts.
The site ipolitics.ca summarizes well. Every year, around the world, old conflicts worsen, new ones emerge and, occasionally, some situations improve. Once again, hotspots old and new will present a challenge to the security of people across the globe.
[pullquoteright] If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Our hope at Female Competition International, fciwomenswrestling.com is that by staying dedicated to shedding light on what is happening to women around the world, all of us who truly want to make the world a better place for future generations to inhabit should find ways to support the organizations that are making sacrifices to protect the future and those in the present who cannot protect themselves. Please donate generously to the organization of your choice.
We view women’s wrestling as a global sport and what is happening around the earth; even in the smallest of countries can have a ripple effect that challenges us all wherever we live.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, fciwomenswrestling.com, denver.cbslocal.com, www.un.org/en/aboutun/history, humanexperience.stanford.edu, www.articlemyriad.com, www.womenforwomen.org, www.unicef.org, www.economist.com, www.ipolitics.ca, www.womenforwomen.org, www.rescue.org/forgotten-frontline-effects-war-women, www.unicef.org/graca/women.htm, http://humanexperience.stanford.edu/women_conflict, warinternational.org, www.amnesty.org, thank you Wikimedia commons for photos.