Around the world, acts of violence are committed against women and girls on a daily basis. In conflict zones, in addition to the dangers threatening all civilians, women and girls face risk of gender-based violence (GBV). Armed actors and combatants may use sexual violence as a tactic of war, employing rape and exploitation as a method to torture, intimidate, degrade, manipulate, or inflict injury. The physical and psychological violence that women and girls in conflict experience include murder, unlawful killings, abductions, sexual slavery, forced marriage, and forced pregnancy.

On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, CIVIC joins the United Nations’ “UNite to End Violence” 16-day activism campaign with other members of civil society, governments, and the UN system.

In keeping with our mission to work with armed actors and civilians in conflict to develop and implement solutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond to civilian harm, we are calling for an end to GBV, including in conflict.

During the next 16 days, we will share insights into how GBV impacts women and girls in conflict zones here on VOICES, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Drawing from “In Her Shoes,” a toolkit designed by the Gender Based Violence Prevention Network, we’ll bring you the story of Kemi, who was forced to flee her village due to violence. Through Kemi’s story, you will confront the difficult choices she was forced to make and gain insight into what life can be like for a young woman living in a conflict zone. Look for the first part of Kemi’s story here on Thursday, November 29.

Throughout the “UNite to End Violence” campaign, join the conversation on Twitter using #16Days and #OrangeTheWorld, where we will share statistics, facts, and stories about the affects of violence on women and girls in conflict.

Image courtesy of UNHCR / S. Rich / April 2013