In 1993 it was alleged that many Muslim women in former Yugoslavia lived in fear of being called upon to testify at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. These women had not admitted to being raped, even to their mothers, for if publicly exposed as rape victims, they risked being cast out by their own people. In their culture, as in some others, a woman who has been raped is considered to have brought shame upon her family. In this case the Muslim code of honour invites and perpetuates abuse. The men effectively become accomplices in attacks upon their loved ones because being victimized is confused with being shamed.
Whilst it is possible to blame victims unfairly, the desire to avoid victims blaming at all costs can be counterproductive insofar as it leads to a backward rather than a forward looking posture. Potential victims need to be encouraged to shift out of the condition that leads to victimization.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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