Armed conflict, violence and sexual health (Mexico)
Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality, with a positive, secure, satisfactory and respectful approach, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.
In all cultures, women have had limited opportunities to decide on behaviours which affect their life and sexual and personal health, and have frequently been used to end wars, guarantee treaties between countries or property among family groups, or to satisfy their own or enemy soldiers, to the extent of becoming a means of aggression against an enemy by mass rape. The image, which depicts the peace agreement between Hernan Cortés and Xicoténcalt, when the chieftains offer their daughters to the Spaniards, is but the tip of the iceberg of sexual aggressions during armed conflict through the ages, a terrible, repeated and frequently hushed up story.
In 2015 the United Nations recognised 69 confirmed cases of sexual abuse by the organisation’s blue helmets, 22 of which occurred in the Central African Republic.
Photo, Joaquín Oteros