Last week, the Mosaic Institute announced the “90-Day Inter-School Challenge,” a student-led campaign to promote awareness about sexual and gender violence in armed conflict.
The campaign, which will consist of 90 days of social media promotion, discussions, and potential letter writing, is the outcome of the group’s November 15 Women & Armed Conflict event.
The challenge is expected to launch early in 2015, and will include projects that allow students to formulate responses to global issues.
University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University students will lead the campaign.
Rosella Chibambo, associate at the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, explains the significance of the announcement.
“There is a lot of fantastic activism to end sexual violence in conflict being led by youth. Young people are disproportionately affected by sexual violence. Their voices are also routinely excluded from international decision-making on the issue,” says Chibambo.
Chibambo adds that youth voices are essential to conversations involving global issues.
“Young people can call on their government to take global leadership on this issue by dedicating funds to grassroots women-led groups and survivors on the front lines of the struggle to stop rape in conflict,” Chibambo says.
Lorenzo Vargas, senior project officer and executive assistant at the Mosaic Institute, says the campaign is consistent with Mosaic’s “think and do” approach.
The challenge seeks to have countries recognize rape as a weapon of war, and calls on the International Criminal Court to prosecute sexual predators in war.