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Sexual Violence

What Do the #MeToo Revelations Tell Us about Women and Wars?

Cynthia Enloe

February 8, 2018

**LOCATION CHANGE** Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3550A

The deluge of exposés about diverse men harassing and assaulting women in the workplace has galvanized women worldwide. But those revelations have been treated as if they have nothing to do with international politics. That is a serious missed opportunity.

This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights Minor; Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Department of Political Science; Department of History; and Honors College. 

Cynthia Enloe is a research professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University. Her feminist teaching and research have focused on the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas. Her many books include: Bananas, Beaches and BasesNimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War; The Curious Feminist; Globalization and Militarism; Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered; and the newly published The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistence of Patriarchy

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Topics

Violencia de género hacia mujeres del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra

Citation:

Carrillo Franco, Blanca Estela, Emma Zapata Martelo, and Verónica Vázquez García. “Violencia de género hacia mujeres del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra.” Política y cultura, no. 32 (2009): 127–147.

Authors: Blance Estela Carillo Franco, Emma Zapata Martelo, Verónica Vázquez García

Abstract:

En este artículo se aborda la represión que sufrieron por parte del Estado las mujeres integrantes del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT), cuando se movilizaron para defender sus tierras. Mediante reconstrucción y análisis de las memorias que ellas guardan del suceso, se propone reflexionar cómo el Estado utiliza la violencia de género como estrategia para frenar la participación de las mujeres. Se parte de información testimonial y observación participante en espacios organizativos del FPDT para explicar cómo la intervención en este movimiento las ha llevado a sufrir violencia de género y tortura sexualizada. Asimismo, se expone cómo pudieron superar la experiencia que implicó la persecución política hacia el movimiento. (Abstract from original source)

This article analyzes the way in which the female members of the social movement Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) have experienced state violence. Through oral testimonies and field work into organizative spaces of the FPDT, we show how women’s political participation has helped them overcome the experience of gender violence and political persecution, including sexual violation and torture. (English provided by original source)

Topics: Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2009

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from Columbia University Press).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

Reframing Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back In

Citation:

Davies, Sara E. and Jacqui True. 2015. “Reframing Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back In.” Security Dialogue 46 (6): 495-512.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True

Abstract:

Over the past decade, significant global attention has been paid to the issue of ‘widespread and systematic’ sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). To contribute to the prevention of SGBV, researchers have examined the relationship between the presence of armed conflict and the causes of SGBV. Much of this causal literature has focused on the individual and group perpetrator dynamics that fuel SGBV. However, we argue that research needs to lay bare the roots of SGBV in normalized and systemic gender discrimination. This article brings back structural gender inequality as a causal explanation for SGBV. In order to better understand and prevent SGBV, we propose a critical knowledge base that identifies causal patterns of gendered violence by building on existing indicators of gender discrimination.

Keywords: gender, international security, peace and security, political violence, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, peace and security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1820, Sexual Violence

Year: 2015

Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia

Citation:

Giraldo, Saridalia. 2012. “Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia.” Paper presented at the Thinking Gender Conference, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Los Angeles, February 3.

Author: Saridalia Giraldo

Abstract:

In Colombia, a country with one of the longest civil wars in the world, women combatants return to civil society in the midst of ongoing tension. In this transition, women suffer triple difficulties: the reaction of their home communities; hostility from armed illegal groups still engaged in conflict, and disregarding from the government itself. What accounts for these obstacles? First, in a patriarchal society such as Colombia, demobilized women face the denigration of their community which views women’s participation in armed conflict as an infringement on traditional female roles. Second, in the midst of continued conflict, demobilized women are also in danger of being rerecruited, tortured, killed or displaced from their home towns by their former peers in combat who perceive them as traitors, or by active criminal groups who consider them as enemies. Third, public policy designed to demobilize and reintegrate combatants gives little attention to women´s special needs as victims of gender violence. Recognizing that women and their needs remain invisible, this paper proposes that formal and informal post-conflict measures in Colombia must be gendersensitized in order to effectively reintegrate women and men into civilian life.
 

Keywords: women combatants, demobilization, reintegration, DDR, peace-building, Colombia, civil war, guerrillas, FARC, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

The Politics of Counting and Reporting Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: the Case of Myanmar

Citation:

Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True. 2017. “The Politics of Counting and Reporting Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: the Case of Myanmar.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (1): 4-21.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True

Abstract:

Scholars, states and international organizations have begun to systematically count, document and compare sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in conflict-affected countries. Qualitative and quantitative studies point to a “tip of the iceberg” phenomenon, where there is a high prevalence but low level of actual reporting of SGBV. We investigate the conditions in which SGBV is reported or, more significantly, is not reported to discover the trends of reporting in politically oppressive environments where SGBV is thought to be occurring. We ask how the power to report in local conflict-affected areas is affected by national political tensions and pervasive gender discrimination. Reporting of SGBV in Myanmar, a country that has experienced multiple, protracted conflicts since independence, is examined. Analysis of open-access reports over a fifteen-year period reveals a pattern of silence that we argue is rooted in pervasive discriminatory civil and physical practices against women. Engaging with the deeply politicized and gender discriminatory context of conflict-affected societies enables us to see the anomalies of SGBV data and to highlight significant gaps in our knowledge about SGBV.

Keywords: ethnic conflict, human rights reporting, feminist methodology, Myanmar, Conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, conflict, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Property Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2017

Intersectionality in Resource Extraction: A Case Study of Sexual Violence at the Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea

Citation:

Manning, Susan M. 2016. “Intersectionality in Resource Extraction: A Case Study of Sexual Violence at the Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (4): 574–89. doi:10.1080/14616742.2016.1189670.

Author: Susan M. Manning

Abstract:

This article uses the lens of intersectionality to analyze secondary data gathered by international human rights organizations investigating women’s experiences of sexual violence near Barrick Gold’s mine in the Porgera valley of Papua New Guinea. This case study provides an example of how an intersectional framework can be useful to feminist researchers exploring North–South power relationships in the context of resource extraction, by helping us ask nuanced questions about the benefits and costs of resource extraction in the Global South. In this article, intersectionality helps to trace the transnational relationships of power that shape women’s experiences of violence in Porgera, and Barrick Gold’s remediation policy for survivors. Intersectionality serves as a useful tool to map the systems of power at work in Porgera and to make visible the structural violence implicit in the relationship between Canada and Papua New Guinea created by Barrick Gold’s operation.

Keywords: intersectionality, sexual violence, mining, Canada, corporate social responsibility

Topics: Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: Canada, Papua New Guinea

Year: 2016

What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response

Citation:

Schott, Robin May. 2015. “What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 397-411.

Author: Robin May Schott

Abstract:

This article reviews the literature on Holocaust and genocide studies to consider the question, ‘what is the sex doing in the genocide?’ Of the three answers usually given: (1) sexual violence is like other forms of genocidal violence, (2) sexual violence is a coordinate in genocide and (3) sexual violence is integral to genocidal violence, the author argues for the third position, but takes issue with Catharine MacKinnon’s claim that sexual violence destroys women as a group, thereby destroying the ethnic, racial, religious, or national group to which women belong. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s concept of natality, the author argues that sexual violence is an attack on a fundamental condition for the possibility of the existence of human groups. When political violence is used to force biological birth in the service of death, it is a form of thanatonatality.

Keywords: genocide, Holocaust, natality, sexual violence, thanatonatality

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Genocide, Race, Religion, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2015

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

Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema

Citation:

Meiri, Sandra. 2015. “Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 443-456.  

Author: Sandra Meiri

Abstract:

This article explores the function of Israeli narrative films’ persistent, albeit marginal, portrayal of women as victims of sexual violence during the Holocaust. While the marginalization of such characters may be attributed to the difficulty of representing sexually-related trauma/post-trauma, their portrayal attests both to the ubiquity of sexually-related crimes in the Holocaust and to its aftermath: namely, the persistence of women’s trauma. The first of the two waves of ‘retro films’ examined here evinces the importance of the visual, cinematic representation of women’s trauma. Its main function is to legitimize its disclosure through cinematic aesthetic/artistic mediation, for sexual violence was a crime committed against helpless victims. The second wave includes films made from the point of view of ‘the second generation’, and explores the topic further by dealing with the transmission of post-traumatic symptoms of women’s trauma to the second generation.

Keywords: cinematic visualization, insanity, sexualized violence, the second generation, transmission of women's trauma, unfit motherhood

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe Countries: Israel

Year: 2015

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