Rape as Genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda


Sharlach, Lisa. 2000. “Rape as Genocide: Bangladesh, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda.” New Political Science 22 (1): 89-102.

Author: Lisa Sharlach


According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of an ethnic, national, or religious group and/or 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part' constitute genocide. Rape certainly may cause serious physical and/or mental injury to the survivor, and also may destroy the morale of her family and ethnic community. However, this Convention does not explicitly state that sexual violence is a crime of genocide. The Convention should be expanded to include mass rape, regardless of whether the victims are raped on the basis of racial/ethnic, national, or religious identity. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Genocide, International Law, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans Countries: Bangladesh, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2000

Hidden Opportunities: Islam, Masculinity and Poverty Alleviation


Ahmed, Fauzia. 2008. “Hidden Opportunities: Islam, Masculinity and Poverty Alleviation.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 10 (4): 542–62.

Author: Fauzia Ahmed


Much has been written about patriarchal interpretations of Islam as an obstacle to poverty alleviation in the gender and development literature in Bangladesh, but little research has been carried out on its counterpoint: grassroots Muslim feminist spirituality. Islam is seen as a patriarchal monolith; Muslim men are viewed as inherently inimical to gender empowerment programs. Based on a sample of 200 male and female villagers, this ethnographic study of sharecropper micro credit families revealed at least three masculinities: ‘high-minded (udaar)’, ‘mixed’ and ‘abusive (beshi mare)’. The author analyzes three vignettes of Muslim husbands of Grameen Bank loanees, to illustrate the role that Islam plays in the construction of the different masculinities that these men represent. Muslim women see Islam as a positive force and use boodhi' (wisdom), based on Muslim spirituality as a tool to argue for greater mobility and market access. Increased patriarchal risk compels ‘high-minded’ men to remain silent in public while ‘abusive’ men publicly denounce the Grameen Bank and the loanees as against Islam. In conclusion, the author suggests that field staff enable ‘high-minded’ men to use boodhi to change other men and to ally with women in their efforts to gain agency. These recommendations are part of a larger project that the author initiated in 2007, which is based on including masculinity as an analytic category in gender and development theory, and on using men to change other men as a key strategy in gender and development programs.

Keywords: Islam, masculinities, gender and grassroots politics, patriarchy, development, empowerment, microfinance

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2008

The Politics of Integrating Gender to State Development Processes: Trends, Opportunities, and Constraints in Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, and Uganda


Goetz, Anne-Marie. 1995. The Politics of Integrating Gender to State Development Processes: Trends, Opportunities, and Constraints in Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, and Uganda. Geneva: UNRISD.

Author: Anne-Marie Goetz


This paper provides an assessment of efforts in six of the seven countries to improve public accountability to women in the development process. The paper begins with a brief theoretical discussion of feminist perspectives on the developmentalist state (Part I). It then goes on to provide an overview of some of the more prominent political, economic and social trends of the past two decades, against which efforts have been made to institutionalize gender in state development processes (Part II). In the main body of the paper (Part III), the author provides a historical and comparative analysis of efforts in the six case study countries to institutionalize gender concerns. The picture that emerges is one of extraordinarily fractured trajectories of institutionalization within the public administration. Most of the gender units within government bureaucracy that are studied here have a mandate to pursue their agenda across other government departments — a project that is sometimes called “mainstreaming”. For this they have devised a range of policy instruments (e.g. gender guidelines, gender training) intended to bring about gender-sensitive institutional, policy and operational changes across the public sector in order to make responsiveness to women’s interests a routine part of each sector’s activities. Despite significant efforts, the attempts to routinize gender concerns have for the most part been ineffective because gender units have been unable to provide the necessary incentives to encourage a positive reception in other departments. Some of the critical areas for gender mainstreaming considered in the paper include the national development plan and budget which constitute important public statements expressing politically selected priorities for change and progress, and are based on a macro-economic framework designed to create the conditions under which this national vision can be realized. Efforts so far in the countries studied have failed to ensure a systematic connection between national policy commitments to the integration of gender in development and the budgetary allocations that are necessary to realize those commitments. The chronic short-staffing of gender administrative units, compounded by their weak analytical skills, has tended to contribute to this failure. Equally important, however, has been the political weakness of gender constituents outside the state. In the politics of policy-making a critical point of leverage on decision makers is popular pressure and public opinion — the presence of an active constituency.

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Political Participation Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, Uganda

Year: 1995

Gendered Embodiments: Mapping the Body-Politic of the Raped Woman and the Nation in Bangladesh


Mookherjee, Nayanika. 2008. “Gendered Embodiments: Mapping the Body-Politic of the Raped Woman and the Nation in Bangladesh.” Feminist Review 88: 36-53.

Author: Nayanika Mookherjee


There has been much academic work outlining the complex links between women and the nation. Women provide legitimacy to the political projects of the nation in particular social and historical contexts. This article focuses on the gendered symbolization of the nation through the rhetoric of the 'motherland' and the manipulation of this rhetoric in the context of national struggle in Bangladesh. I show the ways in which the visual representation of this 'motherland' as fertile countryside, and its idealization primarily through rural landscapes has enabled a crystallization of essentialist gender roles for women. This article is particularly interested in how these images had to be reconciled with the subjectivities of women raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War (Muktijuddho) and the role of the aestheticizing sensibilities of Bangladesh's middle class in that process.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2008

Creating Citizens Who Demand Just Governance: Gender and Development in the Twenty-first Century


Mukhopadhyay, Maitrayee. 2003. “Creating Citizens Who Demand Just Governance: Gender and Development in the Twenty-first Century.” Gender & Development 11 (3): 45-56.

Author: Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay


The issue of good governance assumed enormous significance in debates on global development in the 1990s. By and large, this translated into policies aimed at building accountability of public administration institutions to the broad 'public', but omitted to consider two key issues: first, the 'public' consists of women and men, who have gender-differentiated needs and interests; second, civil-society institutions have a role to play in creating the demand for democratic, accountable, and just governance. To address these omissions, and to reinforce the importance of bringing a gender perspective to global debates and approaches to international development, KIT Gender, at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, initiated a three-year programme in 1999. It is entitled 'Gender, Citizenship, and Governance'. This article discusses the programme and its relevance to international development, and provides three case studies from the programme; from India, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

Topics: Citizenship, Civil Society, Development, Gender, Women, Governance Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, South Africa

Year: 2003

Background Report on Gender Issues in Bangladesh


Baden, Sally, Cathy Green, Anne-Marie Goetz, and Meghna Guhathakurta. 1994. Background Report on Gender Issues in Bangladesh. 26. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Authors: Sally Baden, Cathy Green, Annie-Marie Goetz, Meghna Guhathakurta

Topics: Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1994


Rubaiyat Hossain

Jyoti Puri

Rakshanda Saleem

Elora Chowdhury

November 3, 2011

Harvard University

  • Register

A Jihad For Love

"A Jihad for Love is a daring documentary- filmed in twelve countries and nine languages. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma has gone where the silence is strongest, filming with great risk in nations where government permission to make this film was not an option. A Jihad for Love is the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore the complex global intersections of Islam and homosexuality.


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Bangladesh