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Sexual Slavery

Formulating Japan's UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the "Comfort Women"

Citation:

Motoyama, Hisako. 2018. “Formulating Japan’s UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the ‘Comfort Women.’” International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (1): 39–53.

Author: Hisako Motoyama

Abstract:

In September 2015, the Japanese government announced its first national action plan (NAP) to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, just ten days after forcefully legislating controversial security bills that would effectively lift the constitutional restrictions on overseas exercise of military force. Why did the conservative administration embrace Resolution 1325 while propelling militarization? This paper examines the formulation process of Japan’s NAP, focusing on gendered struggle over remilitarization and war memory, especially that of the “comfort women,” or Japanese imperial military sexual slavery during World War II. I will examine how post–Cold War remilitarization in Japan was closely intertwined with the struggle over war memory and the gender order of the nation, and how the conservative administration embraced international gender equality norms in an attempt to identify itself as a powerful liberal democracy engaged in maintaining the international security order, and to erase the memory of imperial military sexual violence in the past. By doing so, I attempt to critically reconsider the framework of the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda, which constructs powerful developed nations “not in conflict” as innocent supporters of women in conflict zones.

Keywords: Security Council Resolution 1325, women, peace and security, military sexual violence, imperialism, militarization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2018

'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Renzulli, Isobel. 2017. "'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 35 (4): 210-29.

Author: Isobel Renzulli

Abstract:

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the successive thematic resolutions together with a variety of reports have shaped the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The ensuing policies and institutional responses try to deal with a variety of issues including women’s participation in peace-making initiatives and protection from sexual violence during armed conflict and in its aftermath. As such these responses are underpinned by a reactive approach with a focus on conflict and post-conflict gender-sensitive areas of intervention. While these remain worthwhile interventions, the WPS agenda, in spite of its name, inadequately addresses gender-sensitive areas in peace situations, regardless of the existence of conflicts. Building on feminist critiques of the WPS agenda and the findings and recommendations of the 2015 UN Global study on the implementation of Resolution 1325, the article argues that the WSP agenda and its prevention limb need to elaborate and integrate more explicitly and comprehensively a human rights strategy that shifts the focus from a reactive to a proactive model, one which pursues gender equality and women’s human rights in its own right, irrespective of whether conflicts erupt or not. A human rights infused WPS preventive agenda should be premised, on the one hand, on a clear understanding and endorsement of the meaning of gender equality, on the other hand, on the creation of mechanisms and process bolstering the role of international and regional human rights regimes. In particular, robust regional human rights systems have the potential to create fora for the participation of and interaction with domestic constituencies in the region. This in turn could lead to the elaboration of context sensitive, participatory solutions, grounded in international human rights law, to existing forms of discrimination against women, which during conflicts may be exacerbated, for example, in the form of sexual enslavement and abductions as reported in recent and less recent conflicts.

Keywords: women, peace and security, feminist activism, human rights, UN, African Union, Arab League

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2017

Heroines of Gendercide: The Religious Sensemaking of Rape and Abduction in Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean Migrant Communities

Citation:

Mutlu-Numansen, Sofia, and Ringo Ossewaarde. 2015. “Heroines of Gendercide: The Religious Sensemaking of Rape and Abduction in Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean Migrant Communities.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 428-442. 

Authors: Sofia Mutlu-Numansen, Ringo Ossewaarde

Abstract:

This study seeks to understand a diaspora community narrative of rape and abduction suffered during the genocidal massacre of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire and its aftermath. Based on interviews with 50 Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean migrants in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, whose families are from the village of Bote, known as one of the ‘killing fields’ in southeast Turkey, the article explores the ways in which descendants remember the ‘forgotten genocide’ of Aramean, Assyrian and Chaldean communities in 1915. The research reveals that the descendants of survivors make sense of the sexual violence experienced in Bote mainly through a religious narrative and that, for them, the genocide is, in spite of all the sufferings the males had to go through, a feminized event. In their gendercide narrative, the abducted and raped women are identified as the ‘heroines’ of the genocide.

Keywords: Armenian genocide, feminization, gendercide, migration, narrative, post-genocide, sexual violence

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, conflict, Genocide, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2015

Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC

Citation:

Chertoff, Emily. 2017. “Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC." Yale Law Journal 126 (4): 1050-117.

Author: Emily Chertoff

Abstract:

Reports suggest that Islamic State, the terrorist "caliphate," has enslaved and brutalized thousands of women from the Yazidi ethnic minority of Syria and Northern Iraq. International criminal law has a name for what Islamic State has done to these women: gender-based persecution. This crime, which appears in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has only been charged once, and unsuccessfully, in the Court's two decades of existence. The case of the Yazidi women presents a promising opportunity to charge it again--and, potentially, to shift the lately unpromising trajectory of the Court, which has been weakened in recent months by a wave of defections by former member states. This Note uses heretofore unexamined jurisprudence of the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber to elaborate--element by element--how the Prosecutor of the Court could charge gender-based persecution against members of Islamic State. I argue that the prosecution of Islamic State would not just vindicate the rights of Yazidi survivors of Islamic State violence. It would help to consolidate an international norm against gender-based persecution in armed conflict--a norm that, until now, international law has only incompletely realized. This Note argues that only by prosecuting the crime of gender-based persecution can international criminal law cognize violence, like the attacks on Yazidi women, that is motivated not just by race, ethnicity, or gender, but by the victims' intersecting gender and ethnic or racial identities. I conclude by reflecting on the role that a series of prosecutions against perpetrators of gender-based persecution might have in restoring the legitimacy of the ailing ICC.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Race, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

Can Transnational Feminist Solidarity Accommodate Nationalism? Reflections from the Case Study of Korean “Comfort Women”

Citation:

Herr, Ranjoo Seodu. 2015. “Can Transnational Feminist Solidarity Accommodate Nationalism? Reflections from the Case Study of Korean ‘Comfort Women.’” Hypatia 31 (1): 41–57.

Author: Ranjoo Seodu Herr

Abstract:

This article aims to refute the “incompatibility thesis” that nationalism is incompatible with transnational feminist solidarity, as it fosters exclusionary practices, xenophobia, and racism among feminists with conflicting nationalist aspirations. I examine the plausibility of the incompatibility thesis by focusing on the controversy regarding just reparation for SecondWorld War “comfort women,” which is still unresolved. The Korean Council at the center ofthis controversy, which advocates for the rights of Korean former comfort women, has been criticized for its strident nationalism and held responsible for the stalemate. Consequently, the case of comfort women has been thought to exemplify the incompatibility thesis. I argue against this common feminist perception in three ways: first, those who subscribe to the incom-patibility thesis have misinterpreted facts surrounding the issue; second, the Korean Council’s nationalism is a version of “polycentric nationalism,” which avoids the problems of essentialist nationalism at the center of feminist concerns; and, third, transnational feminist solidarity is predicated on the idea of oppressed/marginalized women’s epistemic privilege and enjoins that feminists respect oppressed/marginalized women’s epistemic privilege. To the extent that oppressed/marginalized women’s voices are expressed in nationalist terms, I argue that feminists committed to transnational feminist solidarity must accommodate their nationalism.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2015

Investigating Outcomes of a Limited Gender Analysis of Enslavement in Post-Conflict Justice Processes

Citation:

Mibenge, Chiseche. 2010. “Investigating Outcomes of a Limited Gender Analysis of Enslavement in Post-Conflict Justice Processes.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 5 (3): 34–46. doi:10.1080/15423166.2010.213451362255.

Author: Chiseche Mibenge

Abstract:

The image of women sex slaves or sexually violated women in armed conflict has begun to dominate and shape international interventions, including justice, peacebuilding and development processes in post-conflict societies. Such interventions respond to women as 'rape victims' when in fact women have more complex narratives of their wartime experiences – experiences that may indeed include rape but also embrace community leadership, anti-war protest, military training and economic profit from wartime livelihoods. Furthermore, an exclusive focus on 'sex crimes' precludes an analysis of femininity(ies) and masculinity(ies) and the ways these gender identities shape modes of violence and victimisation. This article provides a comparative overview of interdisciplinary research representing both narrow and broad gender analyses of enslavement as well as emerging legal definitions of enslavement provided by the case law, indictments and statutes of contemporary international tribunals in The Hague, Tokyo and Freetown respectively.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Japan, Netherlands, Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

"Shades of Grey": Spaces In and Beyond Trafficking for Thai Women Involved in Commercial Sexual Labour in Sydney and Singapore

Citation:

Yea, Sallie. 2012. “‘Shades of Grey’: Spaces In and Beyond Trafficking for Thai Women Involved in Commercial Sexual Labour in Sydney and Singapore.” Gender, Place & Culture 19 (1): 42–60. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2011.617906.

Author: Sallie Yea

Abstract:

In this article I explore the migration trajectories of some Thai women trafficked internationally for commercial sexual exploitation, suggesting that many figuratively ‘cross the border’ between coerced and consensual existence in volatile migrant sex industries during the course of their migration experiences, thus complicating debates around the notion of choice in ‘sex’ trafficking. In exploring these women's transitions I seek to understand why women who had either never previously been sex workers or who were sex workers operating without duress, but who were then trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation remain in, or re-enter volatile forms of migrant sex work at a later point under voluntary arrangements. In answering this question I focus on the temporal and spatial aspects of individual women's experiences in migrant sex industries drawing in detail on the narratives of two Thai women trafficked to Sydney, Australia and Singapore. I make some suggestions about methodologies used in trafficking research that can assist in bringing to light some of these complex time–space dimensions of women's experiences through their shifting positions in commercial sexual labour. The article also reflects on the implications of these women's trajectories for the ‘prostitution debate’ as it relates to trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation by suggesting that many trafficked women occupy ambiguous or in-between positions in migrant sex industries, neither easily distinguishable by the label of victim of trafficking or migrant sex worker.

Keywords: sex trafficking, commercial sexual labour, methodologies, migration trajectories, Thailand

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2012

Prostitution, Gender, and Violence in the Colombian Postconflict Context

Citation:

Olivar, J.M.N., and C.I.P. Sánchez. 2012. “Prostitution, Gender, and Violence in the Colombian Postconflict Context.” In Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: International Law, Local Responses. Sterling: Kumarian Press. https://www.rienner.com/title/Conflict_Related_Sexual_Violence_International_Law_Local_Responses.

Authors: J.M.N. Olivar, C.I.P. Sánchez

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

Human Security and Gender Violence

Citation:

Coomaraswamy, Radhika. 2005. “Human Security and Gender Violence.” Economic and Political Weekly 40 (44-45): 4729–36.

 

Author: Radhika Coomaraswamy

Abstract:

All countries comprising the south Asian region have responded in some measure to the challenges posed by violence against women in the region. However, what remains a matter of concern is the fact that apart from India, none of the other south Asian countries have adopted domestic violence legislation or made the necessary changes to anti-trafficking legislation. Progress to ensure security and a world without violence for women has been slow but its pace especially in the last decade has been heartening. Violence against women, as borne out by research from around the world, can be effectively combated if a healthy partnership prevails between women's groups and the state apparatus.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2005

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