WMC’s Women Under Siege is an independent initiative documenting how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Originated by Gloria Steinem, it builds on the lessons revealed in the anthology Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust by Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel, and also in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle McGuire. In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us prevent or prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions.
Please click over to WomenUnderSiegeSyria.crowdmap.com for our live, crowdsourced map of rape in Syria, created in conjunction with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. To read more about the map, click here. WMC’s Women Under Siege project is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. We are not funded by the U.S. or any other government.
Selected media mentions
“A fantastic organization. I urge our viewers to follow you on Twitter because your organization very regularly puts out fascinating reports—depressing—but very interesting to read and stay in touch with.” —Hala Gorani on CNN International, January 10, 2013
“There are so many powerful stories on the Women Under Siege website,” –Xeni Jardin on BoingBoing, “The invisible genocide of women,” February 14, 2012
“With both the silencing and shame of rape victims a global phenomenon, I found this project moving and inspirational. Go and have a look.” —Jane Martinson on The Guardian’s “Women’s Blog,” “Why has it taken 65 years to recognise that rape is a weapon of war?” February 9, 2012
“A site worth watching… .The new site states its mission bluntly; Women Under Siege looks to be a project with an edge. But there is another reason to visit the Web site: its original content.” —C.J. Chivers on the New York Times’ “At War” blog, “What We Are Reading: Women Under Siege,” February 9, 2012
Ms. Magazine, “Future of Feminism: Ending Rape as a Tool of War,” March 2, 2012
The Independent (UK), “Women under siege: The use of rape as a weapon of war in Syria,” June 19, 2012
Reuters, “Rape, assault are weapons of war in Syria – rights group,” July 11, 2012
Time magazine, “Is the Syrian Regime Using Rape as a Tactic of War?” July 12, 2012
CBS News, “Syria forces reportedly using rape, sexual torture in fight against opposition,” July 12, 2012
Corriere della Sera, “Lo stupro come arma di guerra in Siria,” July 12, 2012
Al-Arabiya, “Rape, assault are weapons of war in Syria,” July 11, 2012
The Jerusalem Post, ”Crowd-sourced map highlights rape by Syrian army,” July 14, 2012