Regional Women Forum

Nairobi April 13 2011 – Whenever there is an unbalance of power, the potential for rape increases. This is true particularly during the chaos of wartime.

If you care to listen, violence against women happens everywhere in the world and it takes many different forms; so today, we bring you deliberations during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) steering committee of the Regional Women Forum (RWF) conference.

Find out what Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development, Dr. Naomi Shaban told the participants

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Regional Women Forum

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Women and girls are always the main targeted victims during civil wars, where justice is never plagiaristic to them and insecurity practicable, which causes fear and devastation.

According to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) steering committee of the Regional Women Forum (RWF), the massive violations of human rights, policies of exclusion and marginalization as well as disparities between men and women are among the basic factors of the deep and multidimensional conflicts that range in the great lake region.

Speaking during the official opening of ICGLR Forum in Nairobi, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development, Dr. Naomi Shaban said the high prevalence of sexual gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region should work together towards putting an end to the culture of impunity and other forms of related crime against women in order to raise their profile as valuable members of the society

Shaban said the Great Lakes Region have contributed to women and girls being the targets for rape and sexual assault, which has become unbearable when it reaches a conflicted situation, and noted it’s important to strengthen sexual gender based violence advocacy capacity across the region while connecting legislative and policy development to the grassroots level.

“This will form a sound foundation through which we can conclusively address the problem of impunity and the use of sexual aggression as a tool of combat,” she said.

Shaban said that natural resources have been the cause of civil strife in our regions, and quoted, “The struggle to control mining and sale of lucrative minerals has led to illegal exploitation of such resource, which has led to conflict and has subjected women to slavery and abuse.”

The minister pointed out that it’s essential to integrate women in effort to break the link between the illegal exploitation of natural resources and gender based violence by empowering women in affected areas through the dissemination of information on strategies to fight illegal exploitation of natural resources.

The ICGLR forum aims at addressing the challenge of limited capacities of actors at all levels in technique of integration of gender dimensions as well as enhancement of women capacities in political participation.

By KNA/Amollo Andego

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