UK troops teach women to protect themselves against sexual violence in conflict

As the UK recognises the UN International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, personnel deployed as part of the UN Peacekeeping mission to South Sudan have been delivering empowerment-based self-defence workshops in partnership with the UN Human Rights Division.

These classes aim to coach women living in the Malakal camp on methods to help them identify risks to their personal safety and teach them moves to defend themselves.

In South Sudan, vulnerable groups, such as women, are subjected to various forms of conflict-related sexual violence. Gender-based violence is a major human rights violation in conflict zones, which tends to increase during post-conflict periods and affect communities for many years afterwards.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Sexual violence is now used as a weapon of war and the consequences of it perpetuate conflict. Defence forces must be equipped to help end sexual violence in conflict.

I am proud our Armed Forces can help protect and empower women and other vulnerable groups across the globe. From self-defence workshops to training other militaries on gender rights our personnel bring their professionalism and expertise to help end this terrible practice.