Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala

Citation:

Menjívar, Cecilia. 2011. Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala. Oakland: University of California Press. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520267671.

Author: Cecilia Menjívar

Abstract:

Drawing on revealing, in-depth interviews, Cecilia Menjívar investigates the role that violence plays in the lives of Ladina women in eastern Guatemala, a little-visited and little-studied region. While much has been written on the subject of political violence in Guatemala, Menjívar turns to a different form of suffering—the violence embedded in institutions and in everyday life so familiar and routine that it is often not recognized as such. Rather than painting Guatemala (or even Latin America) as having a cultural propensity for normalizing and accepting violence, Menjívar aims to develop an approach to examining structures of violence—profound inequality, exploitation and poverty, and gender ideologies that position women in vulnerable situations— grounded in women’s experiences. In this way, her study provides a glimpse into the root causes of the increasing wave of feminicide in Guatemala, as well as in other Latin American countries, and offers observations relevant for understanding violence against women around the world today.

(University of California Press)

Keywords: sociology, gender studies

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, UNSCR 1960, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2011

"Singers" in the Band

"David Goodman has worked for nearly 30 years to document the very challenging subject of prostitution and global sex trafficking in and around U.S. Military bases abroad. “ ‘Singers’ in the Band” exposes an incredibly elaborate and insidious scam that involves three nations, global sex traffickers, bar/club/hotel owners and the U.S. military all as links in a chain that entraps innocent victims.

Transformative Gender Justice: Setting an Agenda

Citation:

Boesten, Jelke, and Polly Wilding. 2015. “Transformative Gender Justice: Setting an Agenda.” Women’s Studies International Forum 51 (July): 75–80.

Authors: Jelke Boesten, Polly Wilding

Abstract:

Much of women’s experiences during and following periods of extensive violence are informed by pre-existing, peacetime, inequalities. The specific gendered harms suffered by women, such as sexual violence and exploitation, are grounded in understandings of gendered roles in society and the perceived links between reproduction and community. Thus, as the growing body of feminist research into processes of transitional justice show, women have vital stakes in post-conflict transformation, rather than reconstruction (Chinking and Charlesworth 2006 cited in Reilly 2007, Ní Aoláin 2012). Likewise, the (often far less visible) expectation that women sustain their caring roles in the everyday of war – providing food, shelter, and care for dependents, or soldiers, in often desperate contexts – constitutes specifically gendered experiences associated with existing inequalities and expectations (Reilly 2007). With this knowledge in mind, it is increasingly obvious that for women periods of societal transition have to aim for the transformation of the underlying inequalities that provided the conditions in which these specifically gendered harms were possible

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2015

Sex in Peace Operations

Citation:

Simm, Gabrielle. 2015. Sex in Peace Operations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Gabrielle Simm

Annotation:

Summary: 
Gabrielle Simm's critical re-evaluation of sex between international personnel and local people examines the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and its international legal framework. Whereas most preceding studies of the issue have focused exclusively on military peacekeepers, Sex in Peace Operations also covers the private military contractors and humanitarian NGO workers who play increasingly important roles in peace operations. Informed by socio-legal studies, Simm uses three case studies (Bosnia, West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to illustrate the extent of the problem and demonstrate that the problems of impunity for sexual crimes are not just a failure of political will but the result of the structural weaknesses of international law in addressing non-state actors. Combining the insights of feminist critique with a regulatory approach to international law, her conclusions will interest scholars of international law, peace and conflict studies, gender and sexuality, and development.(Summary from Cambridge University Press)

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, NGOs, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2015

Narratives and Testimonies of Women Detainees in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle

Citation:

Hiralal, Kalpana. 2015. “Narratives and Testimonies of Women Detainees in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 29 (4): 34–44. doi:10.1080/10130950.2015.1104883.

Author: Kalpana Hiralal

Abstract:

South Africa's road to democracy was a product of the contributions of both men and women in the freedom struggle. Thousands of women risked their lives and sacrificed their families. In the post-apartheid era the narratives of the nationalist struggle have largely focused on popular and well known men and women, their experiences in exile and their role in the African National Congress (ANC) which led to the under-ground movement. This article seeks to document the lived experiences of women inmates and detainees in the liberation struggle, whose stories have remained in the shadows of dominant nationalist narratives. Thousands of women were arrested, subjected to naked body searches, torture, verbal abuse and sexual harassment. Women experienced both physical and psychological humiliation. This article argues that prison, despite being a "site of humiliation", repression, and subversion, also became a "site of female community and resistance" (Thapar-Bjorkert, 2006:12,25) and that women political prisoners were capable of challenging and negotiating their incarceration. This study challenges dominant narratives of the nationalist struggle by making women inmates and detainees crucial historical subjects and introduces the prison as another terrain of political struggle, resistance, confrontation, and negotiation in the telling of the liberation struggle.

Keywords: gender, prison, apartheid, Narratives, women detainees

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Race, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2015

Reliable Professionals, Sensitive Dads and Tough Fighters

Citation:

Mäki-Rahkola, Anne, and Henri Myrttinen. 2014. “Reliable Professionals, Sensitive Dads and Tough Fighters.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (3): 470–89. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.755834.

Authors: Anne Mäki-Rahkola, Henri Myrttinen

Abstract:

The significance and complexity of mostly male-dominated military peacekeeping forces continues to grow globally, as does the complexity of the masculinities performed in them. This article discusses the discourses and performances of peacekeeper masculinities, drawing on a qualitative case study of Finnish peacekeeping forces. The self-image of Finland as a provider of ideal peacekeepers and practising progressive gender policy is critically analysed. Taking the notion of multiple masculinities as a starting point, three indicative categories of Finnish peacekeeper masculinities are examined. Discourses of ‘amateur professionals’ and ‘peacekeeper fathers’ create space for military peacekeepers to show aspects of masculinity not associated with traditional military masculinities. The third discourse of ‘tough fighters’, however, harks back to more traditional ‘warrior’ concepts. Official gender mainstreaming efforts and assumptions that these attitudes are internalized ‘naturally’ by Finns are put into question by deprecatory or ambiguous attitudes towards gender equity and sexual exploitation. Despite being part of multi-national forces, peacekeeper masculinities are defined based on presumed notions of ‘national character’.

Keywords: Finland, gender mainstreaming, masculinities, peacekeeping, performativity

Topics: Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2014

Sexual Torture of Palestinian Men by Israeli Authorities

Citation:

Weishut, Daniel J. N. 2015. “Sexual Torture of Palestinian Men by Israeli Authorities.” Reproductive Health Matters 23 (46): 71–84. doi:10.1016/j.rhm.2015.11.019.

Author: Daniel J. N. Weishut

Abstract:

In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arrests and imprisonment of Palestinian men in their early adulthood are common practice. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) collected thousands of testimonies of Palestinian men allegedly tortured or ill-treated by Israeli authorities. There are many types of torture, sexual torture being one of them. This study is based on the PCATI database during 2005-2012, which contains 60 cases – 4% of all files in this period – with testimonies of alleged sexual torture or ill-treatment. It is a first in the investigation of torture and ill-treatment of a sexual nature, allegedly carried out by Israeli security authorities on Palestinian men. Findings show that sexual ill-treatment is systemic, with 36 reports of verbal sexual harassment, either directed toward Palestinian men and boys or toward family members, and 35 reports of forced nudity. Moreover, there are six testimonies of Israeli officials involved in physical sexual assault of arrested or imprisoned Palestinian men. Physical assault in most cases concerned pressing and/or kicking the genitals, while one testimony pertained to simulated rape, and another described an actual rape by means of a blunt object. The article provides illustrations of the various types of sexual torture and ill-treatment of boys and men in the light of existing literature, and recommendations. 

Keywords: sexual violence, Torture, human rights, Israel, Palestinian

Topics: Gender, Men, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Men, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2015

'They Have Embraced a Different Behaviour': Transactional Sex and Family Dynamics in Eastern Congo's Conflict

Citation:

Maclin, Beth, Jocelyn Kelly, Justin Kabanga, and Michael VanRooyen. 2015. “'They Have Embraced a Different Behaviour’: Transactional Sex and Family Dynamics in Eastern Congo’s Conflict.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 17 (1): 119-31. 

Authors: Beth Maclin, Jocelyn Kelly, Justin Kabang, Michael VanRooyen

Abstract:

The decades-long conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has resulted in major changes to local economies, strained social networks and insecurity. This environment forces many to pursue unconventional and, at times, socially stigmatised avenues for income. This paper explores the ways in which individuals in eastern DRC engage in, and are affected by, the commoditisation of sex within the context of decades of violent conflict. Focus group discussions conducted with men and women in 2009–2010 highlight how the war in the region has placed individuals, particularly women, in dire economic circumstances, while also changing their roles within families. In the face of severe poverty, women and girls may choose to engage in transactional sex in order to support themselves and their families. Discussants detailed how engaging in transactional sex due to an economic imperative has nonetheless damaged women’s relationships with family members between spouses as well as parents and their children through breach of trust and failure to provide. These focus group discussions elucidate how transactional sex is both a symptom of, and a catalyst for, changes within family dynamics in eastern DRC.

Keywords: family dynamics, transactional sex, conflict, DRC

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2015

Between Rhetoric and Reality: Exploring the Impact of Military Humanitarian Intervention upon Sexual Violence – Post-Conflict Sex Trafficking in Kosovo

Citation:

Godec, Samantha T. “Between Rhetoric and Reality: Exploring the Impact of Military Humanitarian Intervention upon Sexual Violence – Post-Conflict Sex Trafficking in Kosovo.” International Review of the Red Cross 92, no. 877 (March 2010): 235–58. doi:10.1017/S1816383110000159.

Author: Samantha T Godec

Abstract:

Adopting a feminist perspective, this paper analyses the doctrine of humanitarian intervention and its impact on women in recipient states, particularly with regard to sexual violence. By analysing the phenomenon of post-conflict trafficking in Kosovo following the NATO intervention, the author presents a challenge to the ‘feminist hawks’ who have called for military intervention in situations of systematic sexual violence. It is the author’s contention that such intervention would be counterproductive for women’s rights and thus constitute a disproportionate response to sexual violence in terms of the international law governing the use of force. 

 

Annotation:

Godec discusses current critiques of militarized humanitarian intervention and delivery of aid, which do not consider women or a gender analysis of women’s post-intervention experience. This article seeks to analyze the impact of militarized humanitarian intervention in relation to sex trafficking & forced prostitution in Kosovo.  Prior to 1999, Kosovo did not have a thriving sex-industry but within months of the troops, NGO’s, and UNMIK personnel arriving due to the conflict with Serbia, brothels were established around the military bases.  Due to this influx of militarized aid deliverers, Kosovo is now a major destination country for trafficking women & children and the author attributes this to:

1.     Sudden presence of military personnel creating immediate demand for sexual services

2.     Post-intervention of Kosovo sustained the demand & fostered an environment where organized criminal network could reap the profits

3.     Disruption of society & economy resulted in increased numbers of women & girls in need of income thereby creating a supply for the sex industry

4.     Failure of the UNMIK to address the problem of trafficking allowed for a culture of impunity to prevail

In addition to a developing sex industry, the greater the military presence the greater gender-based-violence increased in Kosovo. Godec cautions that the same pattern of international presence and the subsequent outcome on women & girls is arising in conflict areas such as: Kuwait, Afghanistan & Iraq.  As a preventative, Godec calls for gender awareness and education to be brought to peacekeepers and the military.  “The key criterion is whether the benefits of the use of force will outweigh the costs.”

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Kosovo

Year: 2010

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