Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War


Nebesar, D. A. 1998. “Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War.” University of California Davis Journal of International Law and Policy 4: 147–80.

Author: D. A. Nebesar


This article focuses on rape as a concrete war strategy used for the purpose of annihilating an entire group of peoples. This article begins with a discussion of the historical background of rape in wartime (Section I). The article then turns to rape as a weapon of war in the former Yugoslavia (Section II). Section III discusses forced pregnancy and forced maternity as illustrative of the particular nature of rape in the Balkan conflict. Section IV explores the aftermath of rape for women survivors and specifically its cultural and familial ramifications. This section also discusses forced prostitution and prostitution as a result of rape in war. Section V explores the role pornography may have played in creating and exacerbating this scenario. Section VI addresses whether international legal mechanisms can provide effective remedies. Section VII discusses the definition of this war as either international or internal and the ramifications of each. Finally, rape in during armed conflict is compared and contrasted to rape that takes place during peace time.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Balkans

Year: 1998

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