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Libya

Legitimizing Military Action through “Rape-as-a-Weapon” Discourse in Libya: Critical Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Kolmasova, Sarka, and Katerina Krulisova. 2019. "Legitimizing Military Action through “Rape-as-a-Weapon” Discourse in Libya: Critical Feminist Analysis." Politics & Gender 15 (1): 130-50.

Authors: Sarka Kolmasova, Katerina Krulisova

Abstract:

Contemporary discourse on sexual(ized) violence in armed conflicts represents a powerful source for legitimization of highly controversial military interventions. Recent gender-responsive security studies have called for enhanced protection of women and girls from widespread and systematic sexual(ized) violence. Yet military operations reproduce the Western masculine hegemony rather than providing inclusive and apolitical assistance to victims of sexual assault. The article aims to critically assess discourse on sexual violence in a case of military intervention in Libya initiated under the rubric of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The case study indicates a set of discursive strategies exercised by Western political representatives and nongovernmental organizations and even more expressively by the media to legitimize the military campaign. Typically, sexual(ized) violence is presented as a weapon of war, used by one of the conflicting parties without an adequate response of the state. This is followed by urgent calls for international action, willingly carried out by Western powers. The simplified narrative of civilized protectors versus savage aggressors must be challenged as it exploits the problem of sexual(ized) violence in order to legitimize politically motivated actions.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Media, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Rape, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2019

Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2018. "Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations." Politics, Groups, and Identities 6 (4): 666-81.

Author: Valentine Moghadam

Abstract:

The Arab Spring has been extensively analyzed but the presence or absence of violent protests and the divergent outcomes of the uprising that encompassed the Arab region have not been explained in terms of the salience of gender and women’s mobilizations. I argue that women’s legal status, social positions, and collective action prior to the Arab Spring helped shape the nature of the 2011 mass protests as well as the political and social outcomes of individual countries. I compare and contrast two sets of cases: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, which saw non-violent protests and relatively less repression on the part of the state; and Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, where states responded to the protests, whether violent or non-violent, with force and repression, and where women and their rights have been among the principal victims. I also show why women fared worse in Egypt than in Morocco and Tunisia.

Keywords: Arab Spring, women's rights, women's mobilizations, outcomes, violence, democratization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Nonviolence, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Year: 2018

A Gender Analysis of Peace Agreements and Transitional Documents in Libya, 2011-2018

Citation:

Forster, Robert. 2019. A Gender Analysis of Peace Agreements and Transitional Documents in Libya, 2011-2018. Edinburgh: UN Women.

Author: Robert Forster

Annotation:

Summary: 
"In this Spotlight, we review 26 peace agreements and transition documents signed in Libya between 2011 and 2018, assessing how they provide for the inclusion of women and gender. 1 There are different notions of how to analyse gender in peace agreements and peace processes (see Box 1). 2 Here we review when and how women and gender are explicitly mentioned in the agreements, and how some key areas relevant to gender equality are dealt with. The analysis primarily focuses on two documents, the Constitutional Declaration of 20113 and the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) of 2015. Together, these documents were to function as Libya’s interim constitution for the transitional period. Even though the LPA was not formally adopted by Libyan political institutions, both documents provide a framework for ongoing formal peace talks. The Spotlight goes on to provide an overview of eight intercommunal local agreements as well as ten localised ceasefire agreements (see summary of agreements in Appendix). The analysis concludes that while there are increased references to women and their participation in Libya’s main transitional documents over time, specific provisions for women are ad hoc across Libya’s national and local peace processes; there is little evidence of a gender sensitive approach and none of the agreements are fully gender responsive or gender inclusive" (Forster 2019, 2).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2019

A Gender Analysis of Peace Agreements and Transitional Documents in Libya

Citation:

Forster, Robert. 2019. A Gender Analysis of Peace Agreements and Transitional Documents in Libya, 2011-2018. UN Women. 

Author: Robert Forster

Annotation:

Summary:
“In this Spotlight, we review 26 peace agreements and transition documents signed in Libya between 2011 and 2018, assessing how they provide for the inclusion of women and gender. There are different notions of how to analyse gender in peace agreements and peace processes (see Box 1). Here we review when and how women and gender are explicitly mentioned in the agreements, and how some key areas relevant to gender equality are dealt with.

The analysis primarily focuses on two documents, the Constitutional Declaration of 2011 and the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) of 2015. Together, these documents were to function as Libya’s interim constitution for the transitional period. Even though the LPA was not formally adopted by Libyan political institutions, both documents provide a framework for ongoing formal peace talks. The Spotlight goes on to provide an overview of eight intercommunal local agreements as well as ten localised ceasefire agreements (see summary of agreements in Appendix). The analysis concludes that while there are increased references to women and their participation in Libya’s main transitional documents over time, specific provisions for women are ad hoc across Libya’s national and local peace processes; there is little evidence of a gender sensitive approach and none of the agreements are fully gender responsive or gender inclusive (see Box 1 for definitions)” (Forster 2019, 2).

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2019

Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance

Citation:

Mediha Elnaas, Sahar and Nicola Pratt. 2015. “Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance.” In Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance : Lessons from the Arab World, edited by Maha El Said, Lena Meari and Nicola Pratt. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Authors: Sahar Mediha Elnaas, Nicola Pratt

Topics: Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2015

Modernising Women and Democratisation After the Arab Spring

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2014. "Modernising Women and Democratisation After the Arab Spring." The Journal of North African Studies 19 (2): 137-42

Author: Valentine M. Moghadam

Abstract:

What has the Arab Spring meant to women, and women's rights, in the region? Three years after the mass social protests of January and February 2011, when and where can we expect the promises of democracy and equality, and the revolutionary spirit of unity and purpose, to be realised? This Foreword offers a stock-taking of events and possible future directions, with a focus on prospects for a women-friendly democratisation.

Keywords: Arab Spring, democratisation, women, women's rights, women's movements

Topics: Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Year: 2014

Sub-Saharan Migrants’ Masculinities: An Intersectional Analysis of Media Representations during the Libyan War 2011

Citation:

DeVargas, Maria, and Stefania Donzelli. 2014. “Sub-Saharan Migrants’ Masculinities: An Intersectional Analysis of Media Representations during the Libyan War 2011.” In Migration, Gender and Social Justice, edited by Thanh-Dam Truong, Des Gasper, Jeff Handmaker, and Sylvia I. Bergh, 241–63. New York: Springer.

Authors: Maria DeVargas , Stefania Donzelli

Abstract:

Studies of the role of the media in conflict situations have brought to the fore the significance of representa- tions as an important part of the process of knowledge production about wars and the actors involved. The media can influence interpretations and framing of conflicts, moulding specific understandings of their causes and modalities of intervention. The Libyan war in 2011 is an interesting case to reflect on the United Nations (UN) principle of Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), and how conflict affects those populations who occupy a subordinate position in multiple stratification systems (gender, race, and class), whether they are locked in con- flict zones or are trying to join the flow of people fleeing across borders. In the context of humanitarian inter- vention, specific understandings of the migrants as social subjects become strongly correlated with correspond- ing support mechanisms. This chapter conducts an intersectional analysis to provide a perspective on the politics of the media representation of ‘migrants’ in Libya, discerning the key links between the constructions of their masculinities and the practices of protection for ‘people on the move’. We show how, being situated at the bottom of the social hierarchy in Libya, sub-Saharan black Africans were inappropriately presented in media coverage during the initial phase of the conflict as subjects of adequate protection. Their invisibilization and subordination by the media have been largely framed within international political and economic interests, which have also reinforced the idea of the international community as the legitimate protector of civilians. We argue that these representations reproduce migrants’ vulnerability and, by placing them in a situation of triple jeopardy (structural, political, and representational), undermine the possibility of conceiving and understanding security beyond their ‘naturalized’ victimization and subordination.

Keywords: masculinities, intersectionality, sub-Saharan migrants, Libya, human security, media representations

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Media, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Political Economies, Race, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2014

Rape as a Weapon of War in Libya: New Permutations on an Old Theme

Citation:

Marshall, Lucinda. 2011. "Rape as a Weapon of War in Libya: New Permutations on an Old Theme." Peace and Freedom 71 (2): 24.

Author: Lucinda Marshall

Abstract:

Earlier this year, when reports began to surface alleging the use of Viagra-like drugs to encourage Libyan troops to rape women as a tactic in their fight with Libyan rebels, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) called for a complete investigation into the charges, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "deeply concerned." In Iraq, the number of honor killings rose dramatically after the U.S. invasion and, more recently, in Tehran, women protesting the government have been attacked. In Congo, women in refugee camps are gang-raped with impunity. In Burma, the army uses rape as a weapon of terror in their fight with Shan forces. In Bosnia and Rwanda, there were mass rapes. In the U.S. military, female soldiers are more likely to be attacked by male soldiers than by any enemy. One hundred forty-eight countries signed The Rome Statute, which established the Court. Seven nations voted against it, including the U.S. and Libya. It is therefore supremely ironic that the U.S. pushed for the ICC s prosecution of Libyan war crimes. But make no mistake, the U.S. does not consider itself bound by the ICC s jurisdiction, which would leave it quite obviously vulnerable to prosecution for such things as Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the rape of servicewomen within the ranks of its own military.

Keywords: sexual violence, international criminal court, rape, war rape

Annotation:

 
 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Impunity, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, North Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Libya, United States of America

Year: 2011

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