For women in today's civil wars, often war is not over when it is over. Sexual violence has become a method of fighting in modern war, with a devastating impact on women and their communities. Failure to address sexual violence in the peace processes, to treat it as a war crime and prosecute it means that it spills over into peace time. Addressing sexual violence in peace processes is a way of signaling that sexual violence is unacceptable in the post-conflict era.
Yet it has been absent from peace accords for a number of reasons, not least because so few women participate in peace talks. In two path breaking resolutions, the UN Security Council acknowledges the use of sexual violence in conflict as a deliberate tactic of war and a security threat. It calls for the prevention and prosecution of sexual violence in conflict, for reparations and services for victims, and for women to engage in decision-making.