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SV against women

Misogyny in ‘Post-War’ Afghanistan: the Changing Frames of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence


Ahmad, Lida, and Priscyll Anctil Avoice. 2016. “Misogyny in ‘Post-War’ Afghanistan: the Changing Frames of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.” Journal of Gender Studies 1-16.

Authors: Lida Ahmad, Priscyll Anctil Avoice


Although the US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was ideologically justified under the banner of democracy and women’s rights, the latter issue has been completely forgotten within the public sphere since then. As the war has officially ended in Afghanistan, new forms of misogyny and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) have arisen. The ‘post-war’ Afghan context presents an institutional normalization of violence, favouring a culture of rape and impunity. The changing frames of violence against women are widely related to the political situation of the country: while public attention is focused on peace agreements, women’s issues are relegated to banalities and depicted as ‘everyday’ news. Meanwhile, new frames of SGBV appear as body part mutilation within marriage, forced prostitution, and increasing domestic violence, partly due to the growing consumption of opium but also to the perpetuation of powerful warlords in state structures. This article draws on gender studies to analyse the current misogynist culture in ‘post-war’ Afghanistan, framing the new forms of violence induced by successive armed conflicts. It relies on interviews conducted in 2013 in Afghanistan; and on secondary sources, mostly taken from the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan and Human Rights Watch reports.

Keywords: Afghanistan, misogyny, sexual and gender-based violence, violence, politics, post-war, local initiatives

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2016

"Go Back and Tell Them Who the Real Men Are!" Gendering Our Understanding of Kibera's Post-Election Violence


Kihato, Caroline Wanjiku. 2015. “'Go Back and Tell Them Who the Real Men Are!' Gendering Our Understanding of Kibera’s Post-Election Violence.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 9 (1): 12-24.

Author: Caroline Wanjiku Kihato


Using a gendered analysis, this article examines the post election violence (PEV) in Kibera, Kenya, between December 2007 and February 2008. Through indepth interviews with Kibera residents, the article interrogates how gender influenced violent mobilizations in Kenya’s most notorious slum. Most scholarly analyses have tended to understand the post-election violence as a result of politicized ethnic identities, class, and local socio-economic dynamics. Implicitly or explicitly, these frameworks assume that women are victims of violence while men are its perpetrators, and ignore the ways in which gender, which cuts across these categories, produces and shapes conflict. Kibera’s conflict is often ascribed to the mobilization of disaffected male youths by political “Big Men.” But the research findings show how men, who would ordinarily not go to war, are obliged to fight to “save face” in their communities and how women become integral to the production of violent exclusionary mobilizations. Significantly, notions of masculinity and femininity modified the character of Kibera’s conflict. Acts of gender-based violence, gang rapes, and forced circumcisions became intensely entwined with ethno-political performances to annihilate opposing groups. The battle for political power was also a battle of masculinities.

Keywords: conflict, xenophobia, violence

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Governance, Elections, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

The Politics of Gender in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security


Jansson, Maria, and Maud Eduards. 2016. “The Politics of Gender in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (4): 590–604.

Authors: Maria Jansson, Maud Eduards


Women’s groups have worked diligently to place gender and women’s vulnerability on the transnational security agenda. This article departs from the idea that negotiating and codifying gender and women’s vulnerability in terms of security represent a challenge to mainstream security contexts. By contrasting the UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security with feminist theory, this article aims to analyze what is considered to be threatened when women’s vulnerability is negotiated. The article identifies two approaches to the gender/security nexus: gendering security, which involves introducing ideas regarding gender-sensitive policies and equal representation, and securitizing gender, which proceeds by locating rape and sexual violence in the context of war regulations. We demonstrate that, although these measures are encouraged with reference to women’s vulnerability, they serve to legitimize war and the male soldier and both approaches depoliticize gender relations.

Keywords: gender, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, war, peace, security

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2016

Reducing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Does Deterrence Work to Prevent SEA in UN Peacekeeping Missions?


Neudorfer, Kelly. 2014. "Reducing Sexual Exploitation And Abuse: Does Deterrence Work To Prevent SEA In UN Peacekeeping Missions?" International Peacekeeping 21 (5): 623-641. 

Author: Kelly Neudorfer


The data on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in UN peacekeeping missions show a sharp decline between 2006 and 2007 which has yet to be explained in the relevant literature. This article partially closes that gap by examining one measure which was introduced to improve investigation processes and deter possible perpetrators, the conduct and discipline units (CDUs). Using a mixed methods design, the quantitative analysis shows that overall, the introduction of a conduct and discipline unit in missions is negatively and significantly correlated with the number of SEA allegations. The case study of MONUC/MONUSCO corroborates these results, indicating that deterrence measures likely contributed to the reduction of the number of allegations.

Topics: Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women

Year: 2014

"Subjects of Change": Feminist Geopolitics and Gendered Truth-Telling in Guatemala


Patterson-Markowitz, Rebecca, Elizabeth Oglesby, and Sallie Marston. 2012. “‘ Subjects of Change’: Feminist Geopolitics and Gendered Truth-Telling in Guatemala.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 13 (4): 82.

Authors: Rebecca Patterson-Markowitz, Elizabeth Oglesby, Sallie Marston


This paper explores the often-undervalued role of gender in transitional justice mechanisms and the importance of women's struggles and agency in that regard. We focus on the efforts of the women's movement in Guatemala to address questions of justice and healing for survivors of gendered violence during Guatemala's 36-year internal armed conflict. We discuss how the initial transitional justice measures of documenting gendered war crimes in the context of a genocide were subsequently taken up by the women's movement and how their endeavors to further expose sexual violence have resulted in notable interventions. Interviews with key organizational activists as well as testimonies given by victims of sexual violence during the conflict suggest that transitional justice mechanisms, extended by women's movements' efforts, are creating conditions for the emergence of new practices and spaces that support the fragile cultivation of new subjectivities. Sujetas de cambio (subjects of change) are premised not on victimhood but survivorhood. The emergence of these new subjectivities and new claims, including greater personal security and freedom from everyday violence, must be approached with caution, however, as they are not born automatically out of the deeply emotional struggles that play out around historical memory. Still, their emergence suggests new ways for women to cope not only with the sexual violence of the past but also to work against the normative violence that is part of their present.

Keywords: gendered violence, historical memory, transitional justice

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Genocide, Justice, Transitional Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2012

How Does Fear of Sexual Harassment on Transit Affect Women’s Use of Transit?


Hsu, Hsin-Ping. 2009. “How Does Fear of Sexual Harassment on Transit Affect Women’s Use of Transit?” In Women’s Issues in Transportation - Summary of the 4th International Conference. Vol. 2. Irvine, California: Transportation Research Board.

Author: Hsin-Ping Hsu


The purpose of this study is to understand how women’s fear of sexual harassment on transit changes their transit use and travel behavior. The study, which employed a qualitative research approach, found that cultural differences are important to women’s perceptions of sexual harassment and women’s attitudes about adequate policy responses. Yet cultural differences are not as important as the availability of a car in influencing how women modify their use of transit in response to sexual harassment. Thus, a feasible and effective policy addressing this issue should take the cultural context into consideration.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Infrastructure, Transportation, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against women

Year: 2009

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here: Understanding the Problem of ‘Eve Teasing’ in Chennai, India


Mitra-Sarkar, Sheila, and P. Partheeban. 2009. “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here: Understanding the Problem of ‘Eve Teasing’ in Chennai, India.” In Women’s Issues in Transportation - Summary of the 4th International Conference. Vol. 2. Irvine, California: Transportation Research Board.

Authors: Sheila Mitra-Sarkar, P. Partheeban


Fear of victimization and crime are important concerns for women in cities around the world, and this fear is provoked through encounters with men in public space because they are “unpredictable, potentially uncontrollable and hence threatening.” The South Asian literature has focused more on the subordinate role of women in Indian society and the workplace than on gender-based crime (referred to as “Eve teasing”) in the public spaces and transportation systems in South Asia. The objective of this paper is to elicit information on sexual harassment faced by women commuters in Chennai, India. The study found 66% of the surveyed respondents had been sexually harassed while commuting. Many of the respondents first encountered sexual harassment during their adolescent years. Very few (5% or less) found any of the modal choices to be best. The largest number of women (more than 40%) rated their worst harassment experiences to be in buses and trains with no separate sections for women. The paper offers other findings on the nature and frequency of sexual harassment and suggestions to address these incidents. (Abstract from original source)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Transportation, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2009

Rethinking ‘Sexual Exploitation’ in UN Peacekeeping Operations


Simic, Olivera. 2009. “Rethinking ‘Sexual Exploitation’ in UN Peacekeeping Operations.” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (4): 288–95. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.05.007.

Author: Olivera Simic


This article will question definitions used by researchers in their studies of “sexual exploitation” in UN peacekeeping operations. The article will suggest that there is confusion about the definition of “sexual exploitation” not only among scholars undertaking empirical studies and exploring “sexual exploitation” issues in several peacekeeping missions, but also among UN peacekeeping personnel and local people. I look closely at nine empirical studies and explore the language used, the definitions of “sexual exploitation”, the identified causes of “sexual exploitation” and the difficulties of gathering evidence in cases of “sexual exploitation”. My article will suggest that the term “sexual exploitation” is broadly defined and contentious, and might cover activity that is not necessarily “sexually exploitative”. The article concludes that researchers have not questioned the over inclusive and broad term of “sexual exploitation” defined in the Secretary General's ‘zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and sexual abuse’ [SGB (Secretary General's Bulletin) (2003) Special measures on protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. UN Doc ST/SGB/2003/13] and, consequently, conflate all forms of sexual relationships with forced prostitution, rape, human trafficking and other forms of sexual offences.

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2009

Waging Sexual Warfare: Case Studies of Rape Warfare Used by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II


Heit, Shannon. 2009. “Waging Sexual Warfare: Case Studies of Rape Warfare Used by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (5): 363–70. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.07.010.

Author: Shannon Heit


Even in peacetime, women are victims, though to a lesser degree, of the same atrocities that become their fate in war. It is important to recognize that patriarchal and subjective attitudes towards women in peacetime make a logical, though horrifying, progression to the treatment of women during war and armed conflicts. Rape during wartime is an act as old as war itself, but it was not documented as a strategic military practice of warfare until World War I. After World War I these crimes were never prosecuted, further encouraging the use of mass rape as a strategic military operation in subsequent conflicts. Using case studies of documented rape warfare under the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, we are able to discern two categories of rape: that as a weapon of terror as seen in the example of The Rape of Nanking during World War I and that as a form of sexual slavery as exemplified in the case of the “Korean Comfort Women” stations during World War II. This article outlines what actions must be taken to bring the perpetrators of wartime rapes to justice—a necessary step to bringing peace and reconciliation to the victims and in preventing future atrocities.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Trauma, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2009

Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Veterans: Previous Interpersonal Violence as a Risk Factor


Iverson, Katherine M., Rowena Mercado, Sarah L. Carpenter, and Amy E. Street. 2013. “Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Veterans: Previous Interpersonal Violence as a Risk Factor.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 26 (6): 767–71. doi:10.1002/jts.21867.

Authors: Sarah L. Carpenter, Katherine M. Iverson, Rowena Mercado, Amy E. Street


Experiences of abuse during childhood or military service may increase women veterans’ risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. This study examined the relative impact of 3 forms of interpersonal violence exposure (childhood physical abuse [CPA], childhood sexual abuse [CSA], and unwanted sexual experiences during military service) and demographic and military characteristics on past-year IPV among women veterans. Participants were 160 female veteran patients at Veterans Afffairs hospitals in New England who completed a paper-and-pencil mail survey that included validated assessments of past-year IPV and previous interpersonal violence exposures. Women who reported CSA were 3.06 times, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.14, 8.23], more likely to report past-year IPV relative to women who did not experience CSA. Similarly, women who reported unwanted sexual experiences during military service were 2.33 times, 95% CI [1.02, 5.35], more likely to report past-year IPV compared to women who did not report such experiences. CPA was not associated with IPV risk. Having less education and having served in the Army (vs. other branches) were also associated with greater risk of experiencing IPV in the past year. Findings have implications for assisting at risk women veterans in reducing their risk for IPV through detection and intervention efforts.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013


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