The Loud Silence: The plight of refugee male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence

 “At first I even never told the doctor about what happened to me, because it is not easy to talk about it...” – Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence based in Kampala.

Sexual violence against men and boys is not a new phenomenon in many parts of the world, especially in war zones and post-conflict communities but, surprisingly, the vice has continued to receive very little attention and recognition both at policy and program levels. Additionally, the many legal jurisdictions have narrow definitions of sexual violence offenses that recognise female counterparts, but not male victims. 

Proactive approaches required for transformative political participation of refugee women and girls

Historically, there has been limited inclusion of women in leadership and decision making due to the patriarchal nature of society at large. However, women such as Mother Teresa and Marie Curie emerged in humanitarian and scientific spaces. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S when women where considered as potential leaders in the political arena like Rosa Parks-let alone the British matriarchy era. Today, a number of women all over the world have held important positions in office like Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, etc. By 2018, over 70 women had served as presidents or prime ministers all over the world.

Tackling Conflict-related Sexual Violence: How much are we tapping from young people’s creativity?

By Onen David Ongwech (Published 10th July 2017)

I recently found my commitment to tackling conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) reinvigorated when I took an important trip to Bath College’s New Perspectives exhibition on June 20, 2017 to support a magnificent piece of art on display which illuminates the plight of male survivors of CRSV. This trip came ahead of the World Refugee Day, Uganda Solidarity Refugee Summit on Refugees, and UN Day Against Torture.

Integrate Partner-supported Voluntary Safe Male Circumcision into the fight against HIV and AIDS

By Onen David Ongwech, Programme Manager - Gender & Sexuality (Published 23rd May 2016)

Several decades have passed and scientists still continue to seek durable and workable solutions to HIV and AIDS. As the quest for the cure is still in limbo, several approaches have seen light of the day, including the famous ABC (Abstinence, Be Faithful, use Condoms) strategy.

The ABC approach continues to encounter resistance; Condom use is contested among some faith-based sects while Abstinence and Being Faithful are impractical for some people. In the search for alternative feasible and faith friendly options, advocacy for Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) became pertinent.

Activism & Social Transformation; Does Our Behavior Matter?

By Onen David Ongwech, Programme Manager - Gender & Sexuality (Published 21st April 2016)

Sometimes people and cultures are more impacted by what is done than what is said. I personally find it hard to breathe when, for example, I see police officers walk passed people fighting, when a medical doctor drives past a tragic accident scene, when a community leader organizes a meeting that excludes women, when a child protection officer contributes to the marriage of a 15 year old girl, when a law enforcement officer is arrested for selling drugs, or when a person makes a U-turn upon reaching a cul-de-sac but tells no-one heading in the same direction. These are just a few examples of how some professionals in a range of spheres become complacent and even complicit when confronted with issues that should instead bring out the best in them. 

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