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Sexual Violence

Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Thomas, Lahoma, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2010. "Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis." Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 479-502.

Authors: Lahoma Thomas , Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La santé et la sécurité des femmes de tous âges sont menacées en situations de conflit et d'après-conflit partout en Afrique. La violence sexuelle et sexiste et la propagation du virus de l'immunodéficience humaine/syndrome d'immunodéficience acquise (VIH/sida) sont autant d'armes utilisées en périodes de conflit, mais elles ont aussi des effets à long terme sur la santé et la sécurité postconflictuelles des femmes et des jeunes filles. Cet article s'appuie sur des recherches empiriques et pratiques menées en Ouganda entre 2007 et 2008 auprès de membres de collectivités du nord de l'Ouganda victimes de la violence sexuelle et sexiste et des intervenants auprès des victimes du viol et des personnes séropositives. Les résultats de ces recherches empiriques soulignent la persistance de la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit et pourquoi l'expression de cette violence doit être placée dans le contexte de la sexospécificité et des masculinités. Nos résultats mettent en évidence la façon dont la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit (en particulier, la violence domestique envers les femmes, l'inceste et la maltraitance sexuelle des enfants) sert à réaffirmer la masculinité et à récupérer le sens de la virilité mis en cause lors de conflits quand les membres masculins de la communauté ont été incapables de protéger leurs familles.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women and girls face specific health and human security threats in conflict and post-conflict situations throughout Africa. Gender and sexual-based violence (GSBV) and the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are weapons used in conflict, but they also have long term effects on the human security and well-being of women and girls post-conflict. This article draws on empirical and field research carried out in Uganda between 2007 and 2008 with community members in northern Uganda who have experienced GSBV and those who are working to help survivors of rape and HIV infection. The findings from empirical research carried out in northern Uganda underscores the ongoing violence women face in a post-conflict environment and why the expression of violence against women must be understood in the context of gender relations and masculinities. Our findings highlight the ways in which violence against women in post-conflict situations (particularly domestic abuse against women, incest and child sexual assaults) is used to re-assert masculinities and to reclaim a sense of manhood that was challenged during the conflict when male community members were unable to protect their families.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls

Citation:

Davis, Lisa, and Blaine Bookey. 2011. "Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls." Health and Human Rights 13 (1): 50-61.

 

Authors: Lisa Davis, Blaine Bookey

Abstract:

Only in recent years has violence against women begun to receive international attention as both a public health and human rights concern. This article argues that the right to be free from sexual violence is a fundamental component of the right to health, and the need is particularly acute in post-disaster contexts. This article uses post-earthquake Haiti as a case study to illustrate conditions for women and girls who suffer daily threats of physical, emotional, economic, and social harm in ways that have no direct parallels for their male counterparts. In addition, this article discusses the reasons that the humanitarian response in Haiti has not effectively protected women and girls and has instead exacerbated structural inequalities, making women, girls, and their families even more vulnerable to human rights violations including interference in their right to health. The article argues that the failure to guarantee the right of women to be free from sexual violence — an essential component of the right to health — is due in large part to the exclusion of displaced women from meaningful participation in formal humanitarian interventions.

 

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2011

Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women's Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe

Citation:

Manyonganise, Molly. 2017. "Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women’s Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe." Journal for the Study of Religion 30 (1): 110-36.

Author: Molly Manyonganise

Abstract:

Zimbabwe’s political history from 2000 to the present epoch has been characterized by violence. This violence reached its peak in 2008 when ZANU PF was defeated at the polls by the opposition party, MDC-T. The violence resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives while many more were maimed, displaced and/or sexually abused. In this context of political violence, various church groups emerged as the church in Zimbabwe broke its culture of silence and sought to condemn the deployment of divisive politics and the use of political violence as a means to political gain. One such group that emerged in 2000 is a forum of churches in the province of Manicaland called Churches in Manicaland (CiM). From the onset, CiM sought to bring healing to victims of political violence as well as reconciliation of communities in Manicaland through a number of activities. The 2008 political violence resulted in the signing of the Global Political Agreement in which the issue of national healing and reconciliation became officialised and critical national institutions (the church included) were implored to play their roles meaningfully. However, scholars on national healing and reconciliation have noted how gender is often not part of reconstruction processes in post-conflict nations. What this paper seeks to do is to evaluate CiM’s approach to gender in its participation in the national healing and reconciliation process in Zimbabwe, both at an unofficial level from 2000 and at the official level from 2008. Drawing on original empirical research (focus groups and interviews), the paper shows how CiM has adopted a general approach to the national healing and reconciliation process, which has made women’s experiences of political violence invisible. It is envisaged that this is one way of informing the church to bring to the ‘centre’ women’s experiences of political violence.

Keywords: women, womanist perspective, Churches in Manicaland, invisible, political violence, national healing, reconciliation, Churches in Manicaland

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2017

Traumatisme, réinsertion psychosociale et résilience chez des femmes victimes de viol pendant les conflits armés en Côte d'Ivoire

Citation:

Koudou, Opadou, Casimir Zady, et Viviane Estelle Djokouehi. 2016. Traumatisme, réinsertion psychosociale et résilience chez des femmes victimes de viol pendant les conflits armés en Côte d'Ivoire.” Rivista di Criminologia, Vittimologia e Sicurezza 10 (1): 4–25.

Authors: Opadou Koudou, Casimir Zady, Viviane Estelle Djokouehi

Abstract:

ITALIAN ABSTRACT:

Questo studio si è posto due obiettivi: uno è stato quello di valutare gli effetti delle violenze sessuali legate ai conflitti armati, l’altro è stato quello di identificare i fattori in grado di favorire i processi di resilienza di queste vittime che si trovano in situazioni di reinserimento psicosociale. Dal punto di vista metodologico, si precisa che hanno partecipato alla ricerca 23 donne vittimizzate durante periodi legati ai conflitti armati in Costa d’Avorio (2002-2003 e situazione di crisi post-elettorale dal 2010 al 2011). Esse hanno risposto a due set di questionari di autovalutazione psicologica, l’IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) e il GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Inoltre, sono state effettuate delle interviste semi-strutturate rivolte a queste donne, ai membri delle loro famiglie o delle loro comunità di appartenenza, agli operatori dei servizi di victim support e ai leader delle loro comunità. Con riferimento all’analisi dei dati, si è utilizzata l’analisi fenomenologica che ha permesso di mettere in evidenza che, sul piano psicologico, fisico e socio-economico, le donne che hanno subito delle violenze sessuali sono state profondamente colpite dal punto di vista affettivo. Tuttavia, lo studio fa emergere alcuni casi di resilienza e indica che, malgrado le avversità, queste donne sono riuscite a superare il loro handicap o il trauma reinserendosi nel tessuto socio-economico.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:

Cette étude poursuit deux objectifs : évaluer les effets des violences sexuelles liées aux conflits armés sur les femmes victimes de violences sexuelles et déceler des facteurs susceptibles de favoriser la résilience de ces victimes en situation de réinsertion psychosociale. Au plan méthodologique, ce sont vingt-trois femmes victimes de violences sexuelles liées aux conflits armés en Côte d’Ivoire (2002-2003 et la crise post-électorale de 2010 à 2011) qui ont participé à l’enquête. Celles-ci ont été soumises à deux séries de questionnaires d’autoévaluation psychologique, l’IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) et le GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Aussi, des entretiens semi directifs ont été administrés à ces femmes, aux membres de leur famille ou communauté, aux agents de la structure de services de prise en charge des victimes de violences sexuelles et aux leaders communautaires. Du point de vue de l’analyse des données, nous avons eu recours à l’analyse phénoménologique. Celle-ci a montré au plan psychologique, physique et socio-économique que les femmes qui ont subies des violences sexuelles ont été profondément marquées négativement. Toutefois, l’étude met en relief des cas de résilience parmi ces femmes traumatisées. Il ressort que malgré l’adversité, ces femmes ont réussi par un processus de résilience à surmonter leur handicap ou traumatisme pour se réinsérer dans le tissu socio-économique.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:

This study has two objectives: to assess the effects of sexual violence related to armed conflict on women victims of sexual violence and identify the factors that promote resilience of the victims in situations of psychosocial rehabilitation. Methodologically, twenty-three women victims of sexual violence related to the armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire (2002-2003 and the post-election crisis of 2010 to 2011) who participated in the survey. They were subjected to two sets of questionnaires psychological self, IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) and GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Also, semi-structured interviews were administered to these women, members of their family or community, the agents of the structure of support services for victims of sexual violence and community leaders. From the perspective of data analysis, we used the phenomenological analysis. This showed the psychological, physical and socio-economic women who have suffered sexual violence were deeply affected negatively. However, the study highlights cases of resilience among these traumatized women. It appears that despite the adversity these women succeeded by a process of resilience to overcome their disability or trauma to reintegrate into the socioeconomic fabric.

Keywords: armed conflict, psychosocial rehabilitation, resilence, trauma, victims of rape

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Côte D'Ivoire

Year: 2016

From Street Girls to "VMC" Girls: Empowering Strategies for Representing and Overcoming Place-Memories of Violence in Colombia

Citation:

Ritterbusch, Amy E. 2013. “From Street Girls to “VMC” Girls: Empowering Strategies for Representing and Overcoming Place-Memories of Violence in Colombia.” Children, Youth and Environments 23 (1): 64-104.

Author: Amy E. Ritterbusch

Abstract:

Memories of violence for “street girls” (referred to as VMC girls in this article) are stored in multiple places across geographic scales. From particular private places to blood-stained street corners, VMC girls’ movements throughout the city are haunted by place-memories of violence. Based on findings from youth-driven participatory action research (YPAR) with VMC girls in Bogotá, Colombia, this article re-presents violence through their eyes by drawing from participatory writing workshops, place-perception interviews, street-corner cartography, and textual reflections in fieldnotes on violence in the socio-spatial context of VMC girls. The inclusion of VMC girls’ voices through qualitative data excerpts takes the reader on a journey through these young people’s minds, voices and visions of Bogotá. Through a description of how VMC girls exercised their “right to the city” during the project, the article discusses strategies adapted by the YPAR team to overcome experiences of violence and to re-envision the urban spaces in which violence occurred. These strategies include artistic expression and different acts of “speaking out” in which VMC girls alter spaces in order to erase painful place- memories of violence and construct an alternative geo-narrative of the city.

Keywords: youth participatory action research (YPAR), children's geographies, gender-based violence, place-memories, street girls

Topics: Age, Youth, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Trafficking, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2013

‘Even Peacekeepers Expect Something in Return’: A Qualitative Analysis of Sexual Interactions between UN Peacekeepers and Female Haitians

Citation:

Vahedi, Luissa, Susan A. Bartels, and Sabine Lee. 2019. “‘Even Peacekeepers Expect Something in Return’: A Qualitative Analysis of Sexual Interactions between UN Peacekeepers and Female Haitians.” Global Public Health: 1–14. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1706758.

Authors: Luissa Vahedi, Susan A. Bartels, Sabine Lee

Abstract:

The UN maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual interactions between peacekeepers and beneficiaries of assistance. Our research describes the lived experience of engaging sexually with UN peacekeepers during Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haiti (MINUSTAH) from the perspectives of Haitian women/girls. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Haitian women raising children fathered by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. Transcripts were analyzed according to empirical phenomenology. Adverse socio-economic conditions were key contextual factors. Three themes related to the nature of the sexual interactions emerged: sexual violence, transactional sex, and long-term transactional relationships imbedded in perceptions of love. Most sexual interactions were transactional and nuanced since the peacekeeper assumed the role of romantic and material provider. Sexual consent was conceptualised as the ability to weigh the benefits and consequences of engaging sexually with peacekeepers. Sexual violence was identified among minors and in instances of sexual abuse. This study provides empirical evidence to support a nuanced understanding of sexual relationships between women/girls and peacekeepers. In addition to holding peacekeepers accountable, a harm reduction approach that aims to raise awareness for peacekeeping codes of conduct and provide comprehensive reproductive and sexual education should be considered.

Keywords: Haiti, peacekeeping, transactional sex, sexual abuse and exploitation, United Nations

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Post-Conflict, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2019

Restrained or Constrained? Elections, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence

Citation:

Krause, Jana. 2020. “Restrained or Constrained? Elections, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence.” Journal of Peace Research 57 (1): 185–98.

Author: Jana Krause

Abstract:

Anecdotal evidence suggests that sexual violence varies significantly across cases of election violence and communal conflicts but systematic research is scarce. Post-election violence is particularly likely if electoral mobilization further polarizes longstanding communal conflicts and political elites do not instruct security forces to intervene decisively. I comparatively analyse two prominent cases of post-election violence in Kenya (2007/8) and Nigeria (2008) that exhibit stark variation in sexual violence. Patrimonial networks and norms of violent masculinity that increase the probability of (gang) rape were present in both cases and do not explain variation. Civil war research has identified three explanations for the variation in sexual violence: situational constraints; ordered sexual violence or restraint; and bottom-up dynamics of sexual violence or restraint. I examine these for the context of post-election violence. I argue that the type of communal conflict triggered by electoral mobilization explains variation in sexual violence. In Kenya, pogroms of a majority group against a minority allowed for the time and space to perpetrate widespread sexual violence while in Nigeria, dyadic clashes between similarly strong groups offered less opportunity but produced a significantly higher death toll. These findings have important implications for preventing election violence. They demonstrate that civilian vulnerability is gendered and that high levels of sexual violence do not necessarily correspond to high levels of lethal violence. Ignoring sexual violence means underestimating the real intensity of conflict and its impact on the political process.

Keywords: communal conflict, election violence, Kenya, Nigeria, rape, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Governance, Elections, Sexual Violence, Rape, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Nigeria

Year: 2020

Between Despair and Hope: Women and Violence in Contemporary Guyana

Citation:

Trotz, D. Alissa. 2004. “Between Despair and Hope: Women and Violence in Contemporary Guyana.” Small Axe 8 (1): 1–20.

Author: D. Alissa Trotz

Abstract:

The immediate aftermath of the 1997 and 2001 elections in Guyana was marked by violence, most of which targeted members of the Indo-Guyanese community. While far more men than women were directly assaulted in the recent waves of political violence, this essay specifically addresses the violence that women experience as members of racially marked communities and asks three questions: How is gender implicated in racialized electoral violence and community responses to such assaults? How can we account for women's different responses to violence? How might we begin to realistically construct a viable opposition against all forms of violence against women? I begin by outlining some gendered aftereffects of the 1997 and 2001 elections. As a way of making sense of these events, I raise some questions about colonial inheritances and contemporary inequalities in an effort to suggest linkages between pasts and presents, private and public domains. I then explore how women come to symbolize racialized difference, and the investments women themselves may have in such self-other notions, as racialized subjects who are gendered female. The final section draws on the work of Red Thread, a women's organization in Guyana, in an effort to stimulate discussion of antiracist and antiviolence work that centrally acknowledges differences among women. The example is used here not as a final word on the subject but rather as a provisional gesture toward inclusion and conversation.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, NGOs, Race, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Guyana

Year: 2004

Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam

Citation:

Ray, Sawmya. 2015. "Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam." Sociological Bulletin 64 (3): 305-24.

Author: Sawmya Ray

Abstract:

This paper discusses the political, economic, and socio-cultural context within which trafficking of women and girls take place for commercial sexual exploitation in Assam. Specifically, it examines the relation between existing gender norms, prevailing conflict, and sex trafficking. It is based on data collected from rescued trafficked women, state and non-state anti-trafficking personnel, and case studies collected from NGOs. It argues that gendered norms intersect with existing political economy factors to doubly disadvantage women vis-à-vis trafficking, both during times of normalcy and conflict.

Keywords: Assam, gender norms, sex trafficking, sex work, violence

Topics: Economies, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

The Body and State Violence, from the Harrowing to the Mundane: Chilean Women's Oral Histories of the Augusto Pinochet Dictatorship (1973–1990)

Citation:

Townsend, Brandi. 2019. "The Body and State Violence, from the Harrowing to the Mundane: Chilean Women's Oral Histories of the Augusto Pinochet Dictatorship (19731990)." Journal of Women's History 31 (2): 33-56.

Author: Brandi Townsend

Abstract:

This article analyzes group interviews with three women from Valparaíso, Chile, who were imprisoned together under Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship (1973–1990). Sylvia, Alicia, and Oriana's oral histories reveal that they frequently spoke about their bodies to convey their experiences of state violence. Sylvia and Alicia constructed narratives of rebellion against the regime and challenged long-standing notions of men's domination over women's bodies. Oriana's account, however, uncovers the complexity of learning to live with the enduring effects of sexual torture, while at the same time defying conventional ideas about sex and motherhood. The article also emphasizes how these women spoke about structural and subtler forms of violence, including denying basic hygienic conditions, constraining freedom of movement, and restricting the right to control birth. It demonstrates how these oral histories were mediated by historical discourses of gender, maternity, sexuality, class, and race.

Topics: Class, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Torture, Sexual Torture, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2019

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