Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict Contexts: Canadian Efforts and Experiences


Kirk, Jackie, and Suzanne Taylor. 2006. “Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict Contexts: Canadian Efforts and Experiences.” Canadian Woman Studies 25 (1/2): 139–44.

Authors: Jackie Kirk, Suzanne Taylor


Recent years have seen violent conflicts shattering the lives of people around the world, causing death and injury, displacement from their homes, disruption of economic and other activities, and creating fear and insecurity on a large scale. Unlike the wars of previous centuries, conflict is now fought in communities, in the streets, homes, and workplaces of ordinary civilians. Increasingly it is acknowledged that in these contexts, women, girls, boys, and men experience conflict differently. Although more men and boys are killed in conflict, the impacts for women and girls are also brutal, as ethnic hatred, oppression and intolerance are being played out on their bodies. Sexual violence has become part and parcel of the havoc wreaked by fighting forces on women and girls within their own ranks, as well as on women and girls of the “other” side. During the genocide in Rwanda, for example, tens of thousands of women were raped, many of whom were also infected with HIV/AIDS; very few of these women have had any legal redress (Human Rights Watch 2004). Although such conflicts take place far from Canada and in apparently very different contexts, Canada nonetheless has an important role to play in ending violence against girls and women in conflict contexts. Canadian government and civil society are actively engaged in various initiatives and on an international level, Canada is seen as a leader in the field. While this is an important issue for foreign policy, it is also an issue with domestic resonance and significance because of the refugee and immigrant women in Canada who have lived through such experiences. This article considers the role that Canada and Canadians play in reducing the devastating impacts of conflict on women and girls; it describes Canada’s relationship with the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security (and some of the ongoing activities of both government and civil society. The article ends by describing some of the gaps which still exist and some possible ways of addressing these in the future.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2006

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