Rape as a weapon of war against women and girls
The world has witnessed conflicts in several forms which has enormously subjected many people in unprecedented levels of suffering. One of the major features of many conflicts around the world is gender based violence which has always been considered as a by-product of war, affecting mainly women and girls. This act is committed to terrorise the population, break-up families and societies. It also carries a “man-to-man message”, showing that the targeted men are not capable of protecting their women. This paper examines how rape has been used in various armed conflicts and the ongoing Boko Haram conflict. The paper notes that rape has profound impact on its victims and highlights some consequences of rape. It recommends that strategies that integrate support to victims should be implemented when addressing issues of rape and end impunity for sexual violence in conflict by supporting the International Criminal Court and other international justice mechanisms.
Keywords: rape, weapon of war, conflicts, women, girls