Kudos to Professor Aisling Swaine for the release of a co- authored publication in the International Feminist Journal of Politics. The publication is titled, Monsters, Myths, Selfies and Grand Declarations. It is a conversational piece with Henri Myrttinen on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, also known as the ESVC Summit, which was hosted in London in June 2014.
The summit occurred over the course of four days and several invited experts were at the meetings. The significance of this summit is that was a first. Not only were there experts, but there were also survivors that came to the summit, which was remarkable. In this publication, the question arises as to whether or not this was cause for celebration or if more questions should in fact be asked.”
The publication reports on the ideas and reactions to the summit with Aisling Swaine as an invited delegate and expert in the meetings and Myrttinen as a voice of NGOs in the event.
“I saw the Summit as a significant marker of progress. It was a symbolic embodiment of a slow attitudinal shift on the issue of conflict-related sexual assault. The presence of governments from around the world showed the weight now granted to this issue and the rightful position it has taken in state-level policy, domestic or foreign”, writes Swaine in the publication.
In upcoming August another one of Swaine’s articles, Exploring an Expanded Spectrum of Conflict- Time Violence Against Women, will be published in Human Rights Quarterly. In this she asks the questions: why does it matter whether violence is counted as conflict related? UNSCR resolutions list only strategic violence as a tactic of war, but what about political violence? Or private violence? According to Aisling this creates a hierarchy of harms.
In Monsters, Myths, Selfies and Grand Declarations, Swaine discusses the moving forward from this summit.
“What comes to be seen as “acting” under the Time to Act banner adopted by the Summit will be key. We know that the impacts of sexual violence are great, that they are far-reaching and that they extend beyond the temporal period for which any one conflict can secure the international community’s gaze”