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CARE US on International Day of Human Solidarity: Gender-Based Violence Demands Accountability

December 19, 2023On International Day of Human Solidarity, CARE stands with women and girls everywhere and condemns all acts of gender-based violence in the strongest terms, including sexual violence and rape. Gender-based sexual violence during any conflict is a war crime, and the use of rape as a weapon of war or to terrorize women and girls is abhorrent and demands accountability. Further, in keeping with our survivor-centered approach, all allegations of rape and gender-based violence must be promptly and thoroughly investigated.

The world is in the grip of an astonishing 55 conflicts, and it is an indictment on all of us that conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is occurring at record levels. In 2022, the UN verified over 2,450 cases of CRSV, with some of the highest incidences recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Sudan. These number are growing because of conflict in Sudan, Israel, and West Bank and Gaza.

As CARE US has expressed publicly and repeatedly throughout the last weeks – testimonies of rapes, assaults, and abuse of Israeli women and girls on October 7th are horrifying.  Gender based violence continues to be a tool of war in conflicts from the DRC to South Sudan. CARE is committed to ending all forms of GBV and working to support survivors as well as fostering accountability and ending the culture of impunity that surrounds GBV in conflict zones.

Whether Israeli, Congolese, Palestinian or Sudanese, we can’t be silent about the suffering women and girls experience in times of conflict.  Women and children bear an inordinate cost in every conflict – putting an end to gender based violence everywhere is the only path to begin to achieve accountability, healing, or peace.

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