Excerpt: “ISIL’s Abuse of Women and Girls Must Be Stopped”

Catherine M. Russell
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
The Huffington Post
Washington, DC
September 12, 2014

Sad girl in train window


Beheadings are not the only horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL. Over the past two months, there has been a tragic stream of reports about thousands of women and girls abducted from their families and sold in markets. These violent extremists are attacking their own women and girls.

Reports indicate that ISIL has abducted between 1,500 to 4,000 women and girls, mainly from Iraq’s religious community of Yezidis and other minority groups. Girls as young as 12 or 13 have been forced to marry extremists or sold to the highest bidder — like cattle at an auction. These are young girls, mothers, and sisters facing imminent rape, trafficking, and forced marriage. These are women and girls who pleaded to be killed in airstrikes rather than be brutalized by ISIL.

The stories are heart breaking, and terrifying. One 17-year-old Yezidi girl told an Italian newspaper that she was being kept as a sex slave by ISIL and wished she would be beaten enough to die. A 14-year-old girl was quoted in the Washington Post describing how her brother was killed and she was given to an ISIL leader as a concubine.

Read full article HERE.

Image by Shahbano Khushi at Wikimedia Commons

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