The Tigray crisis has internally displaced about 2.3 million children, totally cutting them off from humanitarian aid, according to the UN. The conflict in Tigray is now in its ninth month. It has also left about 5 million people in need of food and sustenance. More than 350,000 of those people are living in famine conditions, according to a UN-backed estimate. UN rights chief Michell Bachelet has said that she is “deeply disturbed” by reports of continued violations including executions in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Girls and women in the Horn of Africa, from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea have been the first to suffer from violence during conflict in the region for decades. Women and girls of Tigray are now the latest victims of abuse, famine, and weaponized sexual violence. In conflict-hit states, sexual violence is often used as both a deliberate and strategic strategy of war to instill fear and control upon communities already under distress.
African Women Rights Advocates (AWRA) co-founder Reem Abdellatif recently sat down with Tigrayan youth activist Feyre Gezehayn, who is co-founder of Women of Tigray to discuss Feyre’s knowledge of the violence against women and girls in Ethiopia.
Feyre, like many young Tigrayans, is deeply concerned that global inaction will set a dangerous precedent for the use of sexualized violence in conflict zones in vulnerable communities in Africa and around the world. AWRA also agrees that women and girls must be protected in times of conflict and international laws must also be upheld.
Watch below the full episode on AWRA’s ongoing YouTube Series #ReclaimTheNarrative.