Guns, explosives, and tanks. Shooting, bombing, and killing. These lists of weaponry and military strategies used to defeat the enemy during times of war are fairly easy to devise, but we had never thought of human mistreatment as a military tactic before beginning our IHL Action Campaign. Strategically demeaning the opposing people–often innocent civilians–to weaken and take advantage of them is undoubtedly a cruel way to advance in a war, but we had never considered the effects of this before exploring the topic of gender for our IHL Action Campaign.
By choosing to research “gender”, our team learned that gender and war are often connected in degrading ways. Differences in treatment based on gender, gender roles in times of war, and the effect of war on different genders intrigued us the most, so we are focusing on these aspects throughout our IHL Action Campaign. Through close networking, we plan to present our IHL Action Campaign to a wide group of people in various places around Philadelphia, such as the Girard Academic Music Program, Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, and Chestnut Square.
We combined high school and college students from the brightest institutions in the city to form a unique partnership in which we openly share each other’s ideas to create our IHL Action Campaign, which is in the form of a simulation. Our simulation will incorporate the audience members by giving them specific roles that represent the experiences of different genders during war time. This will allow the audience to learn about gender and International Humanitarian Law in depth. Attending trainings and other meetings at Drexel University prepared our team and educated us about gender, so now it is our turn to educate others on the excruciating reality of gender issues in times of war, which is something we feel people need to notice.
*The purpose of the IHL Action Campaign is for young people to teach their peers about the importance of IHL.
Guest Bloggers: Khushboo Bothra, Queen Lam, Shadman Sakib, Ayami Tasaki