Iraq: women the hidden victims of war

Christians, Yazidis, Shi’ites, non-Muslim places of worship and shrines have all been getting attention as victims of the violence by IS forces in Iraq. The violence is terrible, and the destruction of the Christian Church and God’s people is indescribable. IS has received considerable attention for their brutality, beheadings, executions and capture of soldiers and men in villages that they have taken over. We are being made aware of the threat that IS poses to the Middle East region, and even to the countries that many of us come from.

There are other victims. World media, regional and international governments have all remained virtually silent about the systemic degradation, abuse and humiliation of women. Women are considered an inferior race by the jihadists of IS. They are simply objects for these men’s sexual pleasure who can be discarded or sold off as slaves.

The rape of women has been brutal, humiliating and destructive in ways that a post like this cannot begin to describe. Women have been regularly captured and if not raped, sold off in ‘marriage markets’, the spoils of war for these jihadists. to add to the pain and burden of these women, they are often then subject to honour killings in their own community as a way of dealing with the same of their rape and brutalisation.

We cannot remain silent. We cannot let women once more be the subject of silence and marginalisation. Oh that God would stoop down and lift these women up, that he would shake the heavens and deal with this unspeakable evil. Pray to the Lord of all Creation on behalf of these women, stand in the gap for them. Cry out to God for them.

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