The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict has described the so-called Islamic State as the biggest challenge to her assignment and has ISIS has institutionalized the brutalization of women.
Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura said Friday in Freetown that her office was looking for a rethink of the approach to gender and sexual violence in the Middle East which the region is posing the greatest challenge.
The Sharia Law and the lack of regard for human dignity by insurgent groups make fighting sexual violence against women difficult, she said. She added that ISIS tops the list of her concern.
“ISIS has institutionalized the brutalization of women, they have no respect for law,” Ms Bangura told a cross section of the media in her first press conference with the local press in two years, since her appointment to the top UN post.
The Sierra Leonean UN diplomat is a former government minister who served as Foreign Minister and then Health Minister before her appointment.
She has been in the country over the last few weeks on vacation. She has spent part of her stay giving public talks on her work that has taken her across the world trying to end impunity for sexual violence.
At the conference room of the UNFPA in Freetown, Bangura narrated her engagements with heads of states in Colombia, Bosnia, Syria, Nigeria, among other countries. She said she found dealing with non-state actors the most difficult, among them ISIS, Boko Haram of Nigeria and the Al Qaeda groups.
Despite this Ms Bangura also said her plan is to focus on West Africa where Boko Haram and others are upping their acts.
Adapted from apanews.net/news/