Systematic Use Of Sexual Violence

INTRODUCTION

Political violence in Syria create a significant risk for women, as new forms and violence pathways emerge, and existing violence pattern may intensify and amplified. The paper aims at exploring the systematic use of sexual violence as a tactic for war, increase incident and risk of abuse among the displaced populations in refugee camps in Countries bordering Syria. The paper also seeks to highlights the changing nature of violence and associated risk and life experiences of women across a continuum of violence in Syria and the borders. The theme is to discuss violence against women in Syria conflict environment often stripped of understanding of the changing political economy, how it structured gender relations and risk of abuse and shaping women’s experiences. The paper examines the underexplored dimension of violence against women in political conflicts, by identifying risk environments and lived realities of violence experienced by Syrian women. The article takes the multi-level analysis of women’s experiences of violence, considering the impacts of the political economy of the wider ISIS region as shaping the violence lived realities of violence and women’s responses as well as their access to resources for recovery and resistance.

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Over 27,000 women have been abused sexually at the hand of Bashar al-Assad’s henchmen and Islamic state in the awful discovery of widespread assault and rape. Women and children are fleeing dreaded killers ISIS and raped, sexually harassed in refugee camps controlled by Syrian President Bashar al Assad and in town and cities controlled by jihad groups and anti-government rebels. Survivors who manage to escape from ISIS camp say the women held in its prison in Mosul face two fates: Those who converted to Islam are sold as a bride to Islamic fighters for as low as $25 and ranging to $150. Those who do not turn face daily rape and slow death

Despite none existence of official document regarding the number of Kurdistan female fighters, it believed that 30-40% of combatants in Kurdistan are women. The women have equally depicted as men always holding weapons. Kurdish female fighters are majorly fighting in YPJ camp with the male counterparts battling ISIS jihadists in YPG camps. Many Kurdish fighters are teenagers fighting for their families. The YPJ battalion occupies empty houses abandoned by families fleeing the conflict. They are volunteer force and rely on locals for food and supplies. Over 10, 000 Kurdish refugees, who had fled Turkey in the 1990s when their villages were burnt down by government forces currently lived in Makhmur refugee camp in northern Irag. After the field was attacked in 2014 by ISIS, guerrilla fighters were stationed around the surrounding hills to provide protection. Although women and men are on different camps overnight, they train together and fight shoulder to shoulder keeping guerrilla community close connected and promotes equality. Kurdish women fighters battle for justice by taking on traditionally masculine roles and transforming perceptions. For many, joining the militia has been their first freedom taste.

The population in Arab countries are growing with more than double between 1975 and 2005, but political and economic development in most of the Arab states including Syria could not keep with a staggering increase in the population, as the ruling elites’ incompetence lay the seeds for their demise.

Unemployment: The Arab world has a long history of the struggle for political change, from leftist groups to Islamic radicals. The protest that started in 2011 has led to mass phenomenon due to widespread discontent over low living standard and unemployment, and families are struggling to provides for their children transcend ideological divisions.

Dictatorship: President Assad’s family has been in power since 1974. Assad assent to power in 2000 after the demise of his father. The economic situation could stabilize over time under a competent and credible government. Majority of the population was deeply cynical over the legitimacy of these aging regimes.

Over 30 million Kurds live in Kurdistan, and they form the majority population in Syria. They have been fighting for independence for a century but never achieved nation status for Kurdistan. Kurds have established a semi-autonomous region in Syria, Iran, and Turkey living under central government rule. In Syria, the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party known as People’s Protection Units (YPG) and a female brigade of Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ). The Free Women’s Unit or YJA Star, are the female guerrilla units of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) based in Iraq and Turkey

CONSEQUENCES

Men with actual sexual violence and domestic abuse join ISIS because of its systematic use of rape and slavery as a form of terrorism. Sanctioning and promotion of sexual violence by the extremist group has pivoted means of mobilizing, retaining and attracting as well as rewarding fighters and equally punishing kaffir or disbelievers. Cherished rape theology, sexual exploitation of women alongside trafficking helped fund the caliphate and used to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where dating is prohibited, and sex is a taboo.

Besides forced pregnancies and inseminations along with forced conversion were officially endorsed to help secure the next generation of jihadis, a tactic also replicated by Nigeria’s Boko Haram. A cohort history of sexual violence and domestic abuse suggesting a link between committing a terrorist attack and having a history of physical and sexual violence. For instance, Briton’s Ondogo Ahmed from north London given an eight-year custodial sentence for raping a 16-years-old girl in the UK fled to Syria while out of prison on license in 2013.

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REFLECTION

Syria is one of the living evidence of how conflicts affect civilians more than they do in the military. The Syrian situation has made women and girls extremely vulnerable to the negative impacts of armed conflicts. They are exposed to psychological, physical to sexual violence rendering them victims of marginalization, suffering, and poverty. The threat of a terrorist group, to women and girl, is more significant in the region. It is essential to identify available tools to protect women and girls against sexual violence because they are more pressure than their male compatriot due to lack of political life and natural place.

Syrian households with mostly female sole income providers have less access to aid and resources for some reasons including lack of information and risks associated with women leaving their homes. Moreover, conflicts have given rise to land and property grievances like the spontaneous settlement, and where displaced families have settled in vacated homes. The women limited a bit negotiate solution in the current context deprives them rights to property and security.

The persistent violence in Syria is attracting international concerned. Most of the Syrian refugee's children are not in school. The available evidence indicates that most of the refugee population is traumatized. Women and children who witnessed their relatives killed or experience bombing without psycho-social care in the host countries. Refugees not able to properly work, survival becomes more difficult, and there are experiencing hardship and crime which as a result creates hostility among the local populance. Recently the women have dominated streets of Syria doing business and odd jobs to sustain their families due to the facts that most of their men have been killed or have fled war bed zone.

References

  • Benjamin, M. (2013), Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, London: Verso
  • Kreps, S and Kaag, J (2012), ‘The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Contemporary Conflict: A Legal and Ethical Analysis, Polity 44(2): 260-285
  • Maher, A (2018) . ‘Syria’s era of women’ : War leaves streets empty of men.’ Middle East Eye. Available at:
  • Khuloud, A & Anuj K, (2016). Understanding women’s experience of violence and the political economy of gender in conflict: the case of Syria. An international journal of sexual and reproductive health and rights. (24)47 DOI:
  • Wilcox, L. (2017), ‘Embodying algorithmic war: Gender, race, and the poathuman in drone warfare’ , security Dialogue 48(1):11-28.

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