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What It is to Be a Woman

What It is to Be a Woman

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Jun 11, 2014
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12/14/2014

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by Victor Cherubim( June 11, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian)
 “It is not human to be a woman, but that is what we expect in war, to be called a woman. In the hierarchical structure in society, male dominance empowers life. Man is not only perceived as a symbol of patriotism, but conflict is the driver for his power. This is what it means to be a man, to be both patriotic and in conflict. Thus violence breeds man to overpower woman, in every part of the world.” So said Keedi of !", an or#anisation dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of women in $ebanon, at the landmar% #lobal summit to “&nd Sexual 'iolence in (onflict”.This three day event, )*+) -une *),of world men and women leaders was co+hosted by /illiam 0a#ue, !ritish 1orei#n Secretary and 0ollywood star, n#elina -olie, Special &nvoy of the 23 0i#h (ommissioner for 4efu#ees at &xcel (entre, "oc%lands. $ondon.The bac%#round on this summit is to translate the pril *)5 67 “"eclaration on 8reventin# Sexual 'iolence in (onflict”, followed by the launch of the 23 6eneral ssembly "eclaration of (ommitment of September *)5, bac%ed by )9* nations, includin# Sri $an%a, to shatter the culture of sexual violence, increase the support for survivors and start chan#in# the #round situation in most affected countries. /ithin a span of nine months real pro#ress at #rassroots international level is seen, in en#a#in# the public to participate with over ):* events and the
 
attendance of over )** countries.“/e want to encoura#e men to spea% out, “said /illiam 0a#ue, “to a#ree that it is only a wea% or inade;uate man who abuses women. It is not a si#n of stren#th, it is the ultimate wea%ness and shame.”
We wi come a!ter you" #ay# Joie
t the openin#, actress and campai#ner, n#elina -olie said that the conference sends out a clear messa#e, round the world, to those who abuse women, “in answer to the #rievances of #irls %idnapped in 3i#eria, wives stoned in 8a%istan and women raped in many war <ones. =ou see how women are treated and abused. 3o you can>t and we will come after you.”“8oliticians alone with their poor standin# on social media and their narrow processes cannot shift the dial on social chan#e. !ut social chan#e cannot happen without them. $e#islation matters, 6overnments must be involved as well as the people.”She #ave the impression that she will wor% on this, for as lon# as it ta%es. She understood her  power base and was also pra#matic about it. !ut stated she is determined to use it to chan#e #lobal attitudes to #ender issues in war.
$he %ictim# o! war
In the various panel discussions at the summit, the norms of Manhood and 6ender 4elations were examined. The #eneral consensus was to stop violence before it be#ins. (ommunities must underta%e to study the root causes and desi#n strate#ies of prevention. In most cases, chan#in# deeply in#rained #ender norms and attitudes become necessary, particularly in discussions en#a#in# men in preventin# violence a#ainst women.“The world ma%es violent men. 'iolence is a learned behaviour.” The su##estion is that you can beat violence throu#h innovation, collaboration, contribution of resources, s%ills trainin#, networ%in# and influence. The data collected and available is that children, in particular #irls, ma%e up a si#nificant number of survivors of sexual violence in many conflicts. dolescent #irls are most vulnerable due to a combination of their #ender, a#e, reli#ion and discriminatory social norms that affect their lives. This has been demonstrated recently in Syria, where the threat of sexual violence has been a ma?or contributor to displacement as families flee the conflict. 2nfortunately, an additional conse;uence has been, we were informed, an increase in early and forced marria#es and “refu#ee” #irls traffic%in# amon# others.
&en are the bi' my#tery"
ll over the world, men are the bi# mystery. Men commit sexual violence for a variety of reasons or for no apparent reason. "iscriminatory social norms, li%e honour and shame, the restrictions on access to public space as well as public resources, community intent, the  perception of reli#ious beliefs and not reli#ion as such, the fallacy of men bein# the stron#er of

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