Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Extremist groups benefit strategically and financially from the subjugation of women, says Nadia Murad Basee Taha, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, who spoke at a recent CFR roundtable meeting.

Extremist groups benefit strategically and financially from the subjugation of women. So says Nadia Murad Basee Taha, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking: “The Islamic State didn’t come to kill the women and girls, but to use us as spoils of war and as objects to be sold.” They generate revenue from sex trafficking, sexual slavery, and extortion through ransom: the United Nations estimates that ransom payments extracted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from the Yazidi community amounted to between $35 million and $45 million in 2014 alone. In fact, as a new Council on Foreign Relations reportoutlines, conflict-related sexual violence has emerged as a core element of both the ideology and operation of extremist groups, including the Islamic State and Boko Haram in Nigeria. These groups use sexual violence not only to generate revenues but also to achieve security objectives by terrorizing populations into compliance, displacing civilians from strategic areas, and entrenching an ideology of suppressing women’s rights to control reproduction and provide labor.

In her new book, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State, Murad shares the harrowing experience of witnessing the Islamic State’s genocide of her Yazidi community, and a vision for how to defeat them and ensure the survival of the Yazidis. Last week, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) had the honor of hosting Murad and Mark Lagon, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, for a discussion on the Islamic State and efforts to counter human trafficking and conflict-related sexual violence.  READ MORE…

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