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A group of women in South Sudan came together and have suggested a sex strike. These women are peace activists and they are asking that all South Sudanese women deny their men sex until peace comes to the country. It sounds amazing and it sounds radical, but when you understand that these people are desperate for peace, then you will also understand that they will use whatever is in their power to use to bring about that peace – including withholding sex from their men.
In a statement they released on Thursday, they said that they were going to
“mobilise all women in South Sudan to deny their husbands conjugal rights until they ensure that peace returns”
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The war in South Sudan has been ongoing for decades. At first it was the Darfur crisis with the Northern part of the country. Then they go their independence and there’s been a deadly civil war since. Thousands of people have been killed and the human rights violations are at an unbelievable scale; almost no place is safe including hospitals and churches. Millions of people have been displaced, some refugees outside their country and others living in their country yet still refugees.
So we can understand that the women are saying ‘enough is enough’ and they know – they’ve seen – that violence does not really solve anything; not in the long run.
This method they’re using is not a new one though as there is a story in Greek mythology about Lysistrata. A story is told of how frustrated with the Polyponnesian war and the refusal of the men to negotiate, she gathered together the women of ancient Greece and asked them to deny their husbands and lovers sex until they negotiated peace.
Apparently, the women of South Sudan have decided to take that road. We are sympathetic as many of them have lost fathers, husbands, brothers and sons in this war and unless the leaders of the two warring factions sit down at the negotiation table, they will probably keep on losing more and more. In every war, women and children are the greatest losers.