Nobel peace prize contender Zainab Bangura fights sexual violence in conflict

Oct 12, 2015 Zainab Bangura, a Sierra Leonean politician and social activist was recently nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. With the increasing use of rape as a weapon of war by warring factions, it is Zainab Hawa Bangura’s job to disarm them.

Since her appointment as the U.N.’s special representative on sexual violence, Bangura has travelled extensively, meeting with victims of sexual violence and crafting her objectives.

During her 2014 visit to a Civilian Protection camp in South Sudan, she said:

“Women are targeted in terms of rape, their homes are destroyed, their children are killed, their husbands are killed. So they as women, who hold the fabric of society, become the victim and that helps to break the community and break the families. So that is why we say in terms of rape when you rape a woman you don’t only rape a woman, you rape a family, you rape a community and you destroy the community,”

Due to the widespread occurrence of sexual violence in conflicting areas, Bangura identified several high priority countries such as Colombia, Bosnia, Central African Republic, DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, South Sudan and Darfur.

According to her, men and boys are raped during detention, as a means of intimidation.

“Many survivors still lack access to the basic services they need to rebuild their lives. The U.N. therefore calls on the countries in question and the international community to ensure that men, women and children who are victims of sexual violence and children born of rape get the assistance they need,”

In recognition of her humanitarian strides, Zainab was selected by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) as one of its top Peace Prize nominees for 2015.

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