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Feminism: chat

Gaby Hinsliff (of Cologne infamy) realises rape should be a "war crime"

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EmbarrassingHadrosaurus · 15/04/2022 15:11

Wherever there is conflict, there is chaos and disruption and unguarded moments for women and children, and with depressing predictability some will always seek to exploit that. But it is the predictability that makes it more preventable. The UN has now asked the British government to ban single men from housing female refugees, advice that Michael Gove (the cabinet minister in charge of the refugee matching scheme) should act on and make policy. The more complex emerging challenge, however, is what to do about the horrific scale of systematic sexual violence emerging inside Ukraine itself, as the Russian retreat from occupied towns and villages frees victims to emerge and tell their stories.

But as she puts it, “impunity is the norm” still for a war crime that is less visible than bombed-out cities or mass graves, and often taken less seriously. Training and culture within armed forces worldwide can start to change that, but it’s only when commanding officers actually end up in the dock for overseeing sexual war crimes that the message will really hit home. We can, and must, do better than this.

It's welcome that Hinsliff recognises sexual violence as a war crime. It throws her attitude to the women at the heart of the Cologne NYE attacks into sharp relief.

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