With one in three women around the world affected by gender-based violence – a crime that skyrockets more than 200 per cent in conflict settings – Nobel laureate Nadia Murad brought governments and UN leaders to task on Monday, for failing to provide the resources needed to create meaningful change for traumatized communities.
“We have the ability to provide resources to communities destroyed by violence, Ms. Murad, who also serves as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, said. “We simply lack collective political will to do so.”
Speaking during an online event titled #EndSGBV, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Somalia on the margins of General Assembly general debate, Ms. Murad – jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel peace prize with Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war – took stock of progress over the last year.
“We must critically look at what we did well, where we can be really proud because we have made a true difference”, she said, “but also, be honest and transparent on where we missed opportunities to stop gender-based violence and truly be there for victims.”
She described the launch of the Global Survivors Fund as “a major achievement”, along with the Murad Code, a protocol she launched with the United Kingdom for those collecting information from survivors on conflict-related sexual violence.
In a post-conflict region like Iraq, she said survivors must play an active role in the peacebuilding process. “Survivors know best what they need to heal and recover.” Efforts to engage them at every level of their recovery will empower them.