|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MARCH 7, 2005
|CONTACT: Amnesty International
Amnesty International: James Dyson on +44 (0)7795628367 (UK mobile) or + 27 (0)76 142 0060 (S.Africa mobile)
Oxfam: Kate Bishop on mobile +44 7773 785993 (UK mobile) or + 27 11 403 4590 (S.Africa Office Tel.)
IANSA: Joseph Dube + 27 114034590 (S.Africa Office) or +27 83 588 8765 (S.Africa mobile)
New Report from the Stop Violence Against Women Campaign and the Control Arms Campaign: Amnesty International, Oxfam and IANSA
WASHINGTON -- March 7 -- Women are paying an increasingly heavy price for the dangerously unregulated multi-billion-dollar trade in small arms, according to a new report issued today on the eve of International Women's Day.
There are now estimated to be almost 650 million small arms in the world today, mostly in the hands of men, and nearly 60 percent of them in the hands of private individuals. Women and girls suffer directly and indirectly from armed violence:
Delegates from the Control Arms and Stop Violence Against Women campaigns presented the main findings of their report at a news conference today in Johannesburg.
The Impact of Guns on Women's Lives report spells out the circumstances in the home, in communities and during and after conflict where women are most at risk from armed violence. The report also examines a wide range of gun control measures adopted by states around the world usually as a result of the campaigns women are spearheading against gun violence.
"Rape has become a weapon of war. The reality for women and girls is that they are targeted in their homes, their fields, and their schools because of their gender. Without women's active involvement in any peace and reconstruction process there can be no security, no justice and no peace", said Anna MacDonald, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Oxfam Great Britain.
Based on examples of best-practice, the report makes a series of recommendations including:
"There is a clear need to develop sustainable livelihoods which are not based on a culture of violence. This means alternative role models that do not equate masculinity with armed violence and femininity with passivity are needed",said Judy Bassingthwaite, Director of Gun Free South Africa, representing the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).
The Stop Violence Against Women campaign was launched by Amnesty International in March 2004. It aims to secure the adoption of laws, policies and practices that stop discrimination and violence against women.
For more information: please see www.contolarms.org/actforwomen