Girl Soldiers and the Struggle Against Violence
February 12, 2009 § Leave a comment
In honor of V-Day, which is a day dedicated to raising awareness of violence against women, I have been thinking a lot about the issues that young women our age face all over the world. One issue that has stood out to me is the stories of the girl soldiers in the Ugandan civil war. Uganda has been entrenched in this extremely destructive civil war for the past 21 years. Women and girls have been greatly affected by the violence. Thousands of children, including 60,000 girls have been abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the militia group that is fighting against the Ugandan government.
The war has been tearing through Northern Uganda for the past 21 years, despite several attempts to cease the fighting. The LRA has operated by abducting children, mainly from the Acholi people. When girls are abducted from their homes, they are usually forced to be the “wives” of older soldiers. The girls are raped, beaten and many of them are murdered by the soldiers. What most people don’t know is that the girl soldiers were sometimes forced to fight in combat, and were often forced to pillage the villages that were being destroyed by the LRA.
The reason why I wanted to address the stories of the thousands of girls and young women that have been abducted is because of this story that I read recently that is very inspiring. The story is about a young woman named Lucy, who is a former child soldier. Lucy’s story is awe-inspiring, and it reminded me that we can’t forget about the violence that women face every day all over the world.