'A Real Women Waits’ – Heteronormative Respectability, Neo-Liberal Betterment and Echoes of Coloniality in SGBV Programming in Eastern DR Congo

Citation:

Mertens, Charlotte, and Henri Myritten. 2019.“‘A Real Women Waits’ – Heteronormative Respectability, Neo-Liberal Betterment and Echoes of Coloniality in SGBV Programming in Eastern DR Congo.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 13 (4): 418-39.

Authors: Charlotte Mertens, Henri Myritten

Abstract:

Drawing on archival and field research, this article critically examines the production and distribution of gender roles and expectations in SGBV programming, in particular in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We find the underlying currents in some of these programmes reinscribe heteronormativity and focus on individual betterment which resonates with regulating gender and sexuality during colonialism. In some cases, strongly western-inspired norms of individual agency have been introduced, disregarding structural constraints of people’s lives. To conclude, we explore alternative approaches to SGBV prevention, ones in which international approaches are re-defined and vernacularized for local use – but which also at times inform global understandings.

Keywords: sexual violence, SGBV, Congo, interventions, gender, colonialism, humanitarianism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Assistance, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

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