Why Did the US Oppose a UN Resolution on Rape as a Weapon of War?

Warfare is a nasty business. Too often, it’s not just the uniformed troops killing and maiming each other, but the civilians caught in the middle as well. Tragically, women often bear a major brunt of this — in the form of sexual violence.

Though not a new tool employed in war, rape as a weapon is finally getting the international recognition it deserves.

This past week a draft resolution heading for a vote by the United Nations Security Council was created to not merely condemn rape as a weapon but to commit to providing a survivor-first, on-the-ground strategy for helping those affected by this horrible practice. However, the resolution vote almost didn’t happen at all — thanks to opposition from the United States.

Why would the United States threaten to veto such a seemingly straight-forward resolution?

Per the Trump administration, the U.S. would not support any UN resolution that contains any language referring to sexual or reproductive health. The presumption is that this is due to the administration’s increasingly hardline stance against birth control and abortion.

The draft resolution does not explicitly refer to either of those points, however. As UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict Pramila Patten explains:

It will be a huge contradiction that you are talking about a survivor-centered approach and you do not have language on sexual and reproductive healthcare services, which is for me the most critical.

Eventually, however, the UN relented and removed the contested pieces of the resolution, which would have begun a process of building international cooperation to provide such services for sexual violence survivors in war zones.

Though this version of the resolution on rape as a weapon during war eventually passed the UN Security Council with U.S. support, a number of other nations’ representatives expressed disappointment over the move. As the French representative Francois Delattre lamented, this represents “going against 25 years of grains for women’s rights in situations of armed conflict” due to the protests of a single country.

The Trump administration previously announced its intent to forego support for a prior UN resolution which acknowledged wartime use of rape as a weapon.

The Trump administration’s stubborn stance on this resolution was an unfortunately predictable act, for two key reasons. The first comes in the form of President Trump’s consistent disdain for international cooperative bodies such as NATO and the UN. The other, however, comes from an increasing push from Trump to further consolidate his conservative Christian support base.

This second point coincides with Trump shifting into 2020 campaign mode, which arguably began in a significant way with his nomination and eventual confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court last year — a move meant to make the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade that much more realistic.

Trump’s strategy has expanded since then; digging in his heels over this UN resolution is only the most recent example. Additionally, Trump controversially announced his intent to disallow transgender individuals to enlist in the military, as well as his push earlier this year for an initiative to mandate “bible literacy” classes in public schools.

Take Action!

Let’s be clear: Trump and his administration are merely posturing to bring in campaign money — even if it means sacrificing the well-being of thousands of survivors of rape in war zones around the world.

Add your name to this Care2 petition to demand that President Trump put people — not political pandering — first by backing a new resolution including language from the original UN draft resolution!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today! 

 

Photo Credit: Dano/Flickr

66 comments

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin2 days ago

consider who benefits

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Emily J
Emily J4 days ago

This is so disturbing, what kind of person would be against helping rape survivors? Petition signed!

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Joan E
Joan E7 days ago

The US is being badly run by an idiot now.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson11 days ago

Thank you.

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Joan E
Joan E13 days ago

Don't forget, this is Donald Trump, who raped a 13 year old and liked to go into the dressing room of the teen beauty pageant contestants. He is a complete sack of slime.

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Tania N
Tania N13 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N13 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Leo C
Leo C14 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Robert Fitzgerald
Robert F14 days ago

God created "man" in his own image, BOTH of them in the image of god, BOTH male AND female--a dynamic and equal balance within God's creation. Rape, one side against the other in the name of dominance, is an evil evil assault on God himself and against creation. It is an abomination of the highest order and Christian followers of Satan who do not stand up against rape and sexual assault as perhaps the one evil that will call down God's wrath upon us are the worst of the realm of demonic Christian hypocrites and sinners. To maintain this balance God WANTS women to have their own reproductive rights supported. If there is one thing that can bring down on us his wrath it is our continual male attack against the female half of life he created. This creates a deep stress that will eventually burst out in deadly apocalyptic destruction.

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Erika M
Erika M14 days ago

This coming from a man who bragged about grabbing women's crotch'.s Not surprising. The POS is a sociopath.

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