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Put pressure on the European Union to make it a priority of its foreign policy to end the use of sexual violence against women as a weapon of war in armed conflicts

Stop Violence Against Women – Take Action Now!

GO TO http://www.theirc.org/uk/take-action.html NOW and sign the petition!

The International Rescue Committee and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children need your help.

We need you to send a letter to the presidency of the European Union, demanding that the fight against sexual violence become a top legislative and funding priority.

Thousands of women are beaten or raped every day, forgotten victims of conflicts all across the world. As many as 50,000 women were raped during the war in Bosnia. In West Africa and Northern Uganda thousands of young girls have been forced into sexual slavery and prostitution. Rape is rampant in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is used as a weapon of war, a tactic used to terrorise, destroy and humiliate communities.

Its impact is devastating. Women's health and socioeconomic wellbeing are essential for sustainable development, yet war-torn communities struggle to recover as long as social cohesion is undermined by attacks on women.

This campaign targets the Prime Minister of Portugal, which currently holds the presidency of the EU. The aim is to collect enough signatures to (i) prod the European Commission into action; (ii) show Members of the European Parliament that violence against women matters to their constituents, so that they can put additional pressure on the European Commission through a resolution.

The EU must:

-- Make ending violence against women and girls in conflict zones a priority of its foreign policy and development assistance

-- Provide earmarked funding for international programmes that tackle violence against women

-- Make progress on combating violence against women and girls an indicator of human rights performance when assessing relations with third countries.

Go to http://www.theirc.org/uk/take-action.html now and send a letter to the EU Presidency from there!

Thank you for making a difference!

1. Rape and other forms of sexual violence are war crimes and crimes against humanity

2. Sexual violence in armed conflict is shamelessly ignored or played down by local justice, leaving perpetrators unpunished

3. The EU must turn its commitment to human rights into action and use its power to put an end to sexual violence in armed conflicts

4. With sufficient commitment the European Union can make a real difference in the lives of millions of women and girls around the globe