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helping hands

Here's how Ireland is tackling violence against females during conflict

The money will be used by the International Rescue Committee to help during times of conflict or natural disaster.

shutterstock_135403295 Violence against women Violence against women

It is approximated that worldwide up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.

UN agencies estimate that more than 60,000 women were raped during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002); more than 40,000 in Liberia (1989-2003); up to 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995); and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998. Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

IRELAND HAS PLEDGED €1million euro to help tackle violence against women and girls during conflicts or natural disasters.

The funding was announced by Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, TD, who pointed out that the UN estimates that at least 200,000 women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been the victim of rape since 1998.

Rape in conflict

“Rape is often used in emergency and conflict situations to terrorise the population, break up families and destroy communities,” said the Minister.

He added: “Almost without exception, there is an increase in gender-based-violence during and after natural and man-made disasters and crises.”

Violence prevents girls and women from reaching their potential and impoverishes individual women, their families and whole societies. The prevention of and response to violence against women and girls is in itself a life-saving action which needs to be an essential part of every humanitarian operation.

The funding is being provided to the International Rescue Committee from Irish Aid’s Emergency and Recovery budget.

Minister Costello attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London last month, which was co-hosted by Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary.

Call for action

Costello described gender-based violence as “the most pervasive – yet least recognised – human right abuse in the world”.

Today, through our partnership with the International Rescue Committee, we are again turning our global commitments into concrete actions to ensure that women and girls can reach their full potential and live a life free from fear.

In November 2013, Ireland committed to progressively increasing funding to the protection of women and girls in emergency and recovery contexts over the coming three years.

In addition, Ireland committed to providing financial resources to ensure that gender, and sexual- and gender-based violence issues are addressed in every humanitarian operation.

Read: TED TALKS: What is the human cost of war?>

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