Gloria Steinem on the Use of Rape as a Weapon

August 16, 2011

Gloria Steinem is one of America’s leading feminists — she gained national prominence in the 1960s and 70s, at the height of the women’s liberation movement, and since then, has continued to work as a social activist and writer.

Steinem recently moderated a panel discussion in New York to commemorate the launch of a new book, called Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust.

Just days after that event, reports began to emerge from Libya that state security forces there might be using rape as a weapon. And in a dramatic turn of events, a female Libyan lawyer, Iman al-Obeidi, burst into a Tripoli hotel, where foreign journalists were staying. As cameras rolled, the bruised woman began shouting to anyone who would listen that she had been gang raped by Qaddafi soldiers. She was forcibly removed by armed men and taken away in a car.

In this episode of the Women, War & Peace podcast, we talk to Steinem about the root causes of sexual violence against women during conflict, and learn what history has — or hasn’t — taught us about the issue.

Listen to the podcast by clicking below, or find us on iTunes.