Today is International Women’s Day. And it is a good time to remind ourselves that it is women and children who suffer the most from war.
Whether it be in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been engaged in a US-backed war that has decimated the country and where millions of people are either starving or on the brink of famine, or in Afghanistan, where after 20 years of brutal US occupation and a freeze on assets, people are being forced to sell their kidneys and scrounge the streets for crumbs, it is women who pay the biggest price for militarism.
In war, rape is a common tool of aggression and degradation. Women and children have been subjected to this in Ethiopia as the government carpet bombs the Tigray region to rubble. And it is women who must often carry the burden of protecting their children while trying to flee to safety. If Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, it will be women, children, the elderly and the disabled who will suffer the most.
War is the ultimate form of misogyny. So, on this International Women’s Day we should dismiss the lofty words of political leaders who praise women while they engage in this militaristic aggression and say no to all war.
Kenn Orphan, March 2022
*Photo is of a woman and her children in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Yasoyochi Chiba/AFP