AWARD-WINNING actress, playwright and UN women goodwill ambassador Danai Gurira says she wants to shine a light on Africans to fight impunity and amplify voices of those who are never seen or heard.

Gurira made the remarks recently during the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on preventing conflict-related sexual violence where she urged the council and member States to acknowledge women and survivors all over the world.

“Shockingly, sexual violence in conflict zones against women and children is being committed all over the world. This issue has become vast and widespread, from Colombia to Ukraine, Israel, occupied Palestinian territories, Haiti and closer to home for me as a Zimbabwean, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Central Republic of Africa and Sudan, this issue has become prevalent for more countries, not fewer,” she said.

Gurira urged the UN Security Council and member States to acknowledge women, survivors and to specifically shine a light on people of Africa in particular, to fight impunity.

“Nothing is more dangerous than crimes that are not acknowledged, unseen and allowed to persist. My hope is to amplify voices of those who are never seen or heard, to acknowledge their suffering, make sure they are not forgotten and to hold those who allow this to continue responsible.” Gurira said.

The actress said she was exposed to issues of sexual violence when she, as a playwright, sought to create a narrative that would amplify the voices of women and girls caught in the crosshairs of war, where she was seeking their unheard voices and it became her broadway play Eclipsed. With the help of a friend at the United Nations who at the time worked in the Children and Armed Conflict department, she visited Liberia and spent time with women who had experienced atrocity wishing to be heard and participate in the change process and to heal from all that had been taken from them.

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Gurira is best known for starring in films such as the Black Panther as General Okoye, her role in the series The Walking Dead, Continuum, Eclipsed and Familiar, among others. She is also the founder of Love Our Girls, an awareness-building campaign focusing on the plight of women and girls around the globe and the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which gives access and opportunity to the African drama artists.