Amy Levin: “[In] the new form of war that’s evolved since the end of the cold war where it isn’t two armies standing and facing each other, women and children really are the most effected by this type of warfare,” said actor Geena Davis in a behind the scenes looks at a new PBS series called “Women, War, and Peace.” Davis is a narrator for the five-part hour-long series that began Oct. 11, along with other big time celebrities such as Matt Damon, Tildan Swinton, and Alfre Woodard.
The hour long documentaries features women all over the world giving personal testimony to their horrifying experiences of rape, torture and death during warfare. The series begins with the documentary, “I Came to Testify” which “chronicles the experience of 16 [Bosnian] Muslim women who not only survived months of systematic rape and torture but eventually testified during the first international trial in which rape was defined as a crime against humanity.” You can watch the episode here, narrated by Matt Damon, who in a supplemental video also shares his thoughts on the question, “why should men care?”
According to Religion News Service, a number of religious organizations are backing the project:
Many religious organizations are supporting the series, by hosting special events and screenings, including United Methodist Women, Anglican Women’s Empowerment, Women of the ECLA, American Jewish World Service, Center for Religious Leadership (at SMU), St. Thomas More Center at Yale, Women in Islam, Interfaith Center of New York, Global Women’s Project of the Church of the Brethren, American Friends Service Committee, Quaker Information Center, Christian Women’s Peace Initiative, and the National Council of Churches. Additionally, many Catholic universities, seminaries and interfaith organizations are also involved.
We might say these are the “silent” liberal religious organizations, the ones that don’t get much media attention. Kudos to them and the project. Shining some much-needed light on these indescribable tragedies and the ambitious fight for peace can only strengthen our awareness of the diversity and emotionally complex experiences of women during warfare. I only hope that awareness turns into action, and that someday we won’t require a metaphorical asterisk* to remind us that women experience war too.
*the title refers to my favorite feminist quote, “feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”