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Public Meeting ‘Rape as a Weapon of War – Why Ireland Must Act’

One of the most prominent women in the broad Syrian Opposition Rafif Jouejati will speak about the systematic use of rape and sexualised torture in the worsening conflict in her country at a special meeting chaired by the CEO of Dublin’s Rape Crisis Centre Ellen O’Malley Dunlop this evening at 7pm. The meeting: ‘Rape as a Weapon of War – Why Ireland Must Act’ will be held in the National Womens Council, 2/3 Parnell Square East and all are welcome.  The meeting is organised by the Irish Syrian Solidarity Campaign.

Rafif Jouejati, as Spokeswoman for the Local Coordinating Committees in Syria and Director of Free Syria which focuses on womens’ empowerment, is in a unique position to talk about the prevalence of sexualised violence in one of the worst conflicts in the world today, and one in which women and children are paying a terrifyingly high price. Commenting in advance of her address on Wednesday next she said:  “The Assad regime’s tacit approval of its militiamen’s systematic gang rapes and torture indicates that the regime is prepared to completely break down the community, the family, the individual. Rape is so prevalent in Syria that it will take years just to collect evidence, process case files, and bring perpetrators to justice.”

Rafif Jouejati went on: “Syrians must change the social narrative regarding rape. We must understand it is a crime that affects both men and women. We must understand that a double injustice is committed when women are raped, then shamed and socially alienated for defiling a family’s honour. By the same token we must declare honour killings as crimes that must be prosecuted.”

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