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Presentation by Betsy Kawamura, Founder of “Women4NonViolence in Peace+Conflict Zones”,

with comments from Stein Tønnesson, PRIO.

While military security issues in North Asia have been made increasingly prominent by tensions on The Korean Peninsula, the role of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) has been marked by its exclusion or “silencing” of North East Asian survivors of sexual violence in general, in order to clear the way for negotiations intended to bring about peace and stability in the region.

As a case in point, the plight of North Korean women who form the great majority of refugees fleeing the DPRK is seldom discussed.

Critically, there is a general lack of acknowledgement of chapters of SGBV (sexual gender-based violence) history, such as Japanese 'Pan Pan Women' in the Japan-U.S. military prostitution system in occupied Japan (1945-1952).

Ms. Kawamura will discuss challenges in successfully launching WPS efforts in face of politically 'inconvenient' truths of SGBV in North East Asia that involve countries such as the USA. She will provide suggestions on how the international community, especially the Nordic region, can act as catalysts to augment WPS efforts and associated UNSC Resolutions to be more than 'paper tigers' for North Korea and North East Asia in general.

You can view Ms. Kawamura's recent interview by the NATO Association of Canada by following this link. You can read more about Ms. Kawamura and her work by following this link.

The seminar will be chaired by Henrik Syse and is arranged in collaboration between the Law and Ethics Research Group and Gender Research Group at PRIO.