Global Justice Center Blog

Response to Proposed United States Strategy on Women, Peace and Security

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— June 13, 2019

[NEW YORK, NY] - This week, the Trump Administration released the United States government’s latest strategy on women, peace and security (“WPS”).  While it contains lofty goals to advance women’s equality and political participation, these objectives are directly undermined by current US policies.

“The Trump Administration’s stated commitment to advancing women’s equality through the WPS strategy is absurd,” says Global Justice Center President Akila Radhakrishnan. “In fact, this administration is actively harming women and girls around the world by expanding the Global Gag Rule, blocking language on access to life-saving healthcare services for war rape victims at the UN Security Council, and impeding international efforts at accountability for gender-based violence through its threats against the International Criminal Court. Until these policies, and others, change, this WPS strategy is not even worth the paper it’s printed on.”

Continue Reading

There’s Nothing “Pro-Life” About Sweeping Abortion Bans

Excerpt of Ms. Magazine op-ed by GJC Communications Manager Liz Olson.  

Alabama’s sweeping abortion ban compares abortion to the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide, as though the termination of a fetus is morally equivalent to the willful annihilation of a people. But it is abortion bans, not the women who seek them, that put lives at risk every day.

Legislation that criminalizes abortion access and provision does not prevent abortions—it just makes them more dangerous. The World Health Organization reports that about 25 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, primarily in regions with heavily restrictive abortion laws. Women who have unsafe abortions face serious and even fatal medical complications like heavy blood loss, infection and damage to internal organs. Unsafe abortions are even a leading cause of maternal mortality: 68,000 women die from them every year around the world.

The deadly impact of restrictive abortion policies is so well documented that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, once declared that total abortion bans “amount to a gender-based arbitrary killing, only suffered by women, as a result of discrimination enshrined in law.” 

Read the Full Op-Ed

Alumna A Relentless Advocate for International Justice, Human Rights

GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan was featured by her alma mater UC Hasting College of the Law.

The Global Justice Center has had tremendous success in recent years ensuring women and girls raped in war have access to abortion services, and UC Hastings Law alumna Akila Radhakrishnan ‘09 is a major reason why.

Radhakrishnan, who now serves as president of the New York-based nonprofit, helped conceptualize the campaign to support the provision of sexual and reproductive rights to female rape victims. She has since led the legal and advocacy efforts for the project, which Radhakrishnan said has effectively advanced a feminist legal understanding of the laws of war.

Since 2010, abortion has been recognized as protected medical care under international humanitarian law by the United Nations Security Council; UN Secretary-General; the European Union Commission and Parliament; and the governments of the UK, Netherlands and France, among others.

“One of the key accomplishments and outcomes of this work has been shifting the norm around how abortion is considered fundamental care for rape victims in war,” Radhakrishnan said. “We are really proud of having helped to usher in that change.”

Read the Full Article 

Webinar on Women in War: Stopping Sexual Violence in Conflict

From May 29, 2019 11:30 until 12:30

Adopted in April 2019, the UN Resolution 2467 calls for a survivor-centered approach to the prevention of sexual violence against women in conflict, and emboldens efforts to strengthen justice and accountability around the issue. But how can we ensure such non-binding resolutions are actually implemented on the ground? What does a viable action plan to stop violence against women in war look like?

Hosted by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, this webinar will bring together experts on the subject to discuss the importance of the resolution and the equally important next steps that need to be taken to guarantee that perpetrators are held accountable, that survivors’ needs are met through a holistic range of practical and sustainable support, and that NGOs, activists and other allies can equip women with the training and networks they need to be active leaders on this issue.

Speakers:

  • Fatou Baldeh, Founder and CEO of Women in Leadership
  • Gunnar Berkemeier, Specialist, UN Peace Operations, Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations
  • Milica Kostic, Program Director, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center
  • Elizabeth Silkes, Executive Director, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

Watch Here