Amina Mohammed (C, front), United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, addresses the UN Security Council open debate on preventing sexual violence in conflict at the UN headquarters in New York, April 16, 2018. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday stressed the need to stop sexual violence in conflict. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday stressed the need to stop sexual violence in conflict.
"This year, in Myanmar and many other conflict situations, the widespread threat and use of sexual violence has, once again, been used as a tactic to advance military, economic and ideological objectives. And, once again, it has been a driver of massive forced displacement," Mohammed told the Security Council.
Both genders endure the horrific brutality of sexual violence in conflict. But, overall, women and girls are disproportionately affected, she said.
Gender-based discrimination is the invisible driver of most crimes of sexual violence. And, the lower a woman's status -- in terms of health, wealth and education -- the greater is her vulnerability and exposure to harm, she said.
"Our responsibility must be to bring justice, recognition and reparations to the survivors of these horrendous crimes -- not only justice in the courtrooms, but also social justice and economic empowerment.
"We should recognize and support the resilience of the many survivors who are working as agents of change. And, if we are to prevent these crimes being repeated, we must ensure accountability and deterrence."
Special Representative of the UN secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, said that while significant normative progress has been achieved, there is an urgent need to consolidate it by ensuring accountability.
Otherwise the situation risks a reversal, resulting in wartime rape being once again "normalized" due to the frequency and impunity with which it is committed, she said.
Wartime rape is preventable, and addressing it is the collective responsibility of the international community, said Patten.
The Security Council was holding an open debate on sexual violence in conflict.