[Content Note: War; sexual violence; colonialism.]
"Skills training is really important because one of the things that women have talked to me about is that their education is cut short. So they want the opportunity to finish school. If not, they want to train as taxi drivers or hairdressers or tailors. Those are very concrete things that change people's lives. I'd also put money into national justice systems and local customary justice systems. They tend to have a much more effective deterrent impact on communities because they resonate with the local communities in a much more direct way. So long as we continue to control the agenda for 'democratising' or community 'development' or whatever our model of justice is, there is still going to be resentment. There is still not going to be ownership over the outcomes. So if I had a whole bunch of money, I'd give it away."—Annie Bunting, associate professor of law and society at Canada's York University, on the importance of funding and supporting local solutions for women who survive sexual violence as a war strategy.
Bunting, with her research partner, Godeliève Mukasarasi, is conducting a three-year research project on forced marriage and sex enslavement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
I encourage you to read the entire Q&A with Bunting.