Urgent Action Demanded at CSW68 for Tigrayan Women Amidst Genocide Impact

In a poignant address to the 68th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), the Solidarity of Tigrayans for Independence and Liberty (STIL), alongside eight other civil society organizations, voiced grave concerns about the ongoing devastating impact of the genocidal war on Tigrayan women.

The press release listed the brutal realities faced by Tigrayan women, who have endured the worst-ever sexual violence as a deliberate tactic of war. These atrocities, documented by numerous human rights organizations, independent media outlets, and the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), persist unabated, being perpetrated by Eritrean and Amhara forces who are still occupying significant portions of Tigray’s territory, estimated at around 40%.

The described atrocities, including the mutilation of women’s genitals, insertion of foreign objects into their bodies, gang rapes by multiple armed combatants, and the intentional spreading of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, inflict not only severe physical trauma but also profound psychological, social, and economic consequences on survivors and their communities.

In response to these egregious violations, the signatory civil society organizations urgently demanded the following from the CSW68.

Urgent Actions: They called upon the commission to specifically address the situation of women in Tigray who have endured and continue to suffer from war-related sexual violence, calling for immediate measures to end these horrific practices.

Protection Measures: They demanded actions to protect Tigrayan women from ongoing and future atrocities, emphasizing the urgency of safeguarding their rights and safety.

Psychological Support and Economic Inclusion: They suggested programs must be implemented to provide psychological support for survivors of war-related sexual violence in Tigray and address issues of stigmatization and economic exclusion they face. Gender-sensitive economic opportunities are essential for their empowerment and recovery.

Accountability and Inclusion: To combat impunity effectively, the civil society coalition demanded that perpetrators of these crimes, including military and political leaders, be held accountable. Furthermore, they called for the inclusion of Tigrayan women’s voices and perspectives in all peacebuilding efforts, recognizing their crucial role in achieving lasting peace and ensuring the safety and well-being of Tigrayan women.

The press release concluded with a fervent plea to prioritize Tigrayan women’s specific needs and ensure their voices are heard in the pursuit of a sustainable solution to the genocidal war.