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Dedicated to all Women who paid the price of war with their bodies and lives, and left their innocent children behind…

Despite the clear laws underlined in the international law, especially the women suffer from every kind of human right violations throughout the world where armed conflicts break out.

If you were a refugee woman, what would you write on International Women’s Day? 

Would you write about Rachel Aliene Corrie, who was an American human rights advocate; peace activist; International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer; a woman who had devoted her whole life to defend human rights, who was killed while she wanted to stop the demolition of the house of a Palestinian family in Rafah, located south of the Gaza Strip?

Or about the Yazidi Kurdish activist Women who was amongst the 6300 kidnapped women and children in Shangal, and had been sexually abused and tortured for 12 months by the members of the terrorist organization ISIL in Mosul?

How about Reyhane Jabbari, who was executed by hanging in 2014 in Iran, after she had been under solitary confinement, secluded and deprived of the right to an attorney because he had killed the man who had tried to rape her?

Maybe about Mihrigul Tursun, who had been detached from her triplets in the Concentration Camp for Uyghur People in East Turkestan, interrogated by Chinese police, and was forced to wear an iron cage onto her head only to be tortured by high-voltage electric current, and later stated that she “begged them to kill her”? 

What about Ahed Tamimi, who had been actively participating in the protests since her childhood and spent 8 months in HaSharon military prison after she had been taken into custody at her home near Ramallah, in West Bank, by the soldiers due to the fact that she had thrown rocks to protest the Israeli occupation in Nabi Salih village in 2015, and rescued her 12-year-old brother, Mohammed Tamimi, who was encircled by the Israeli soldiers?

Or about Rayhan al-Rashidi, who was only one of the women held prisoner in the dungeons of Syria and had stated “I was subjected to violence in prison due to the fact that I had helped the opponents. I was fainting when I was exposed to invectives and denigrated. This interrogation process had been ongoing once every two days. First, we were raped during almost every interrogation, and then beaten until we were unconscious. When I woke up, I always found myself naked on the floor with bruises and the pain caused by them. After I spent a total of 17 days like this, I was released… Right after I was released, I was taken to the emergency room because of the heavy bleeding and underwent three operations because of the infections I had acquired”? 

Why not about Merve Demirel, who was sexually abused by a police officer during a protest demanding the release of the imprisoned lawyers in Turkey? 

And about Derya Okatan, who was taken into custody because she had an interview with Merve Demirel, who was molested by the police?

Femicides? Girls forced into marriage? Female circumcision? Women abused and molested? Women killed by their husbands? Syrian refugee girls marketed in Turkey? Widowed women who are forced to deal with their new identities, become unemployed and unable to find employment while the widowmen resume on with their lives? Unlawfully imprisoned women together with their babies?

Thousands of Bosnian women had been arrested between 1992 and 1995, subjected to physical and psychological torture, and raped by the Serbian soldiers. 

Israel imprisoned more than 10.000 Palestinian women in the last 50 years, and there are still 52 women inside the Israeli prisons as of 2019. 

2100 women in Egypt, and more than 1400 women in Iraq are imprisoned due to the fact that they are spouses of ISIL members.

Chinese government is detaining hundreds of thousands Uyghur women in the so-called education camps. 

No one knows exactly how many women are imprisoned in Syria. “More than 7,000,” estimates Fadel Abdul Ghani, head of a non-governmental organisation that documents human rights violations in the Syrian war.

It has been reported in the panel attended by the nongovernmental organizations titled “Ethnic Genocide of Yazidis and Christians in Iraq” held in Saad Abdullah Palace Conference Centre in Erbil, inside Iraq Kurdistan Regional Government, that 3500 Yazidi women had been trafficked just like general goods by the terrorist organization ISIL, had been offered to different members of ISIL as sex slaves, had been raped and beaten every day, and once they had been pregnant, they had been forced to take medicine for miscarriage.

Rohingya Muslim women and girls, who had gotten pregnant after they had been raped by the soldiers in Myanmar, are trying to miscarry their babies with the medicine they find in the camps they harbor, or they silently give birth to their babies. They are forced to take shelter in Bangladesh while they carry the babies of the Myanmar soldiers who had raped them. United Nations and the international human rights organizations refer to the violence against the Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing” or “genocide”. 

The list is endless and unfortunately is not just limited what I have just written. Write down all of the women and their real lives in order to leave a note in history… It would not fit, and it has not.

Woman was for to love. Once she was loved, she would multiply and augment.

I am sorry. I couldn’t talk about love or peace. I have talked about wars, and unfortunately I have written how women have been used as weapons of war throughout the history on the 8 March International Women’s Day.

Deniz Zengin is a doctoral researcher, journalist and civil rights activist.

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Dr. Deniz Zengin
Dr. Deniz Zengin
Deniz Zengin is a journalist and a doctoral researcher focusing on Human Rights and Refugee and Immigration issues.

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