At the end of September, I visited Berlin for the first time, and I was invited to The Pioneer Live! event where the EU Parliament President, Roberta Metsola spoke. It was truly a remarkable night as the event happened in a boat, and we, along with some of the notable MP’s of the Bundestag were all cruising as she delivered her speech. As she humorously said, “this may be the best way for a politician to speak as nobody will leave”.
In seriousness, she strongly spoke about the ongoing inflation that is a byproduct of the Ukraine war. The war fatigue is rising and the EU is starting to forget about the violence that has been continuing in the East. It is of utmost importance for influential EU member states to take a stand and lead.
At the end of her speech, we had a conversation of how war is a trigger for gender-based violence. The cycle of violence starts with hate, and with war comes hate. This is why at the time when war broke out, which was when I was in Brussels, I understood that I need to take my stand as a leader in protecting women and children who are needing support in Ukraine. We are not stopping.
The war must end. We must not negotiate and allow innocent lives to keep getting impacted by a conflict that was never their request. The vulnerable members of the society are always targeted when conflict arises, and when it does, inequalities even grow larger. The long term effects of war is not only on the economic and geopolitical scale, but also, on the psycho-sociological trauma on women and children. Because, after all, whichever side wins, there are always the same victims – women and children.
Crises and war inflict violence. This is why it is valuable for us – public and private institutions to take our place into avoiding such. And although globalization has been a friend to easing tensions, still – how many displaced children have been separated from their families in the name of power and territorial claims? How many politicians have been battling against accepting refugees in the name of immigration? In my previous trips, I have met numerous refugees who were doctors, nurses, professors in their home countries, and as they were left with no choice but to flee for democracy and security, they are forced to work from zero. It was not their choice to be a refugee, but someone who is capable of terrorizing an independent state and taking away their homes, made them so.
This is violence! And if we stand by and do nothing, we are tolerating and normalizing war! Have we not learned enough from the previous world wars? Have we become complaisant of the possibilities that could happen when a “charismatic” leader is given centerstage? In our digital world today, anything is possible – the risks are higher! So it doesn’t matter what kind of organization you belong to – there is something you can always do!
Our solidarity and unity must not be shackled! We must be leaders that follows through actions against violence. The time is NOW.