May 9th, 2012: Press Statement by members of the UN Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders for immediate release to celebrate launch of Nobel Women’s Initiative International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.
As members of the United Nations Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders we pledge our support to the Nobel Women’s Initiative International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. We congratulate the Nobel Women Peace Laureates on their leadership on this issue and join with them and the hundreds of organisations across the world who have joined it to celebrate the launch of the campaign during the week of May 6th – May 13th. The Nobel Women’s Initiative International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict is the first ever global collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organisations, and groups working at the regional and community levels in conflict areas.
The Campaign is led by the women Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative – Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchu Tam, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman – and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organisations. These groups have worked tirelessly on the frontlines to defend women’s rights, amplify voices of rape survivors, and stop rape. They include organisations working at the international, regional, and community levels. As members of the UN Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders, we are honoured to join them in calling for urgent international action to stop all forms of rape, including rape in conflict. The Campaign will demand urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and call for justice for all – including effective prosecution of those responsible. We support the campaign’s broad focus on prevention, protection, and prosecution and believe this signals a comprehensive effort to stop rape in conflict. We need the political will and resources to prevent and protect, while also ensuring that those who are survivors of rape find the justice and support they deserve.
We are glad that the Campaign brings men and women together. Rape is not just a woman’s issue – men also have both a responsibility and a deep personal investment in ensuring that women are able to access their human rights to safety, dignity and respect. Men, after all, are also affected when women they love and care about face the threat or reality of endemic sexual violence. Men, too, are also increasingly victims of sexual violence in conflict. The only way we will achieve our goal is by engaging both men and women and encouraging everyone to speak out forcefully and frequently to demand justice. As members of the UN Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders we call for:
- Powerful and urgent leadership on the local, national, regional and international levels to prevent and stop rape and gender violence in war and conflict situations;
- A dramatic increase in resources for prevention and protection and for psychosocial and physical healing for survivors, their families and communities including concerted efforts to end stigma of survivors;
- Justice for victims, including prosecution of perpetrators at national, regional and international levels, and comprehensive reparation for survivors.
Statement Issued by the following members of the United Nations Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders:
- Juan Carlos Arean, Executive Director, Casa Esperanza, United States of America
- Gary Barker, Executive Director, Instituto Promundo, Brazil
- Ted Bunch, A Call to Men, United States of America
- Andrew Levack, EngenderHealth, United States of America
- Todd Minerson, White Ribbon Campaign, Canada
- Dean Peacock, Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa
- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, South Africa
- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Pakistan.
Take the Pledge: you can join the Campaign online at www.stoprapeinconflict.org by signing a pledge of support. You can also make a “personal pledge” to take an action in your community in support of the Campaign. Everyone is an active member of this Campaign and every action counts – whether it’s committing to blog and raise awareness, volunteering at a local organisation, organising a film screening or simply lending your voice if you are a public figure. Every action and every person counts.