Mark Lyons

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Due to current events today we are seeing an excessive amount of use of child soldiers as the asymmetric warfare continues in the Middle East. American’s are constantly being shown how little boys are recruited into what is seen as a massive terror organization due to how easy it is to manipulate them and the cost effectiveness of giving then second tier weapons. However, within this conflict we are unable to clearly see the atrocities committed against female children being recruited into the war effort. This is mostly caused in response to religious beliefs that women do not belong in the public sphere. Nonetheless, girls have been used within the social structures of warfare, yet it is usually in a different form than the boys, and the struggles of these young girls does not just end when the warfare ends.

“Like young male conscripts, the girls are forced to engage in the most violent, extreme actions – drinking water from human skulls, eating human flesh, beating their former teachers and neighbors to death – with the added violation that the girls are often raped by other fighters or forced to serve as “wives” to commanders” (1). One example of this occurring was with the children being abducted in Uganda and forced into the war effort. Along with fighting they are also made to do an excessive share of the housework within the camps. Yet, the atrocities they are faced with do not stop with the warfare. During the conflicts the girls are often raped by their commanders and sometimes by any of the men who so desired. These girls sometimes become pregnant and have to suffer the penalties of returning to their villages and being blamed and ostracized for “putting themselves” in such a situation. So while the armed conflict has technically ended these children still have to face the consequences for years down the line.