Montreal, March 8, 2012 – Gérard Latulippe, Rights & Democracy’s President, issued the following statement today:
“International Women’s Day has been celebrated around the world for several years and its relevance is still important especially in countries where armed conflicts prevent people from enjoying their rights. We must keep in mind, that many women today are often the first victims in these conflict situations.
“Once the men have left the home to fight, the women are left alone to care for families and take over the basic responsibilities of their homes. They find themselves in a vulnerable situation, where they face all kinds of physical or psychological violence, including rape, abuse, displacement and forced prostitution.
“Rights & Democracy wishes to acknowledge the courage of women who are forced to face these trials and tribulations, by supporting them through our programmes in countries where conflicts are still taking place, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burma, Afghanistan, and Libya. On this, International Women’s Day, our wish is for women to get involved in conflict resolution and to have their voices increasingly heard in democratic institutions.”