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Sexual Violence

Exploring Transitional Justice’s Impact Pathways on Gender Justice: Trends in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Women from Thirteen African Cases

Citation:

Rubin, Maxine. 2020. “Exploring Transitional Justice’s Impact Pathways on Gender Justice: Trends in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Women from Thirteen African Cases.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (1): 1-26.

Author: Maxine Rubin

Abstract:

The main element of gender justice addressed in transitional justice processes has been sexual and gender-based violence against women (SGBVAW). This article explores if particular dimensions (core characteristics) of transitional justice processes are more likely to positively contribute toward measures taken by the state to address SGBVAW outcomes. Empirical evidence from 13 African cases suggested that transitional justice processes that had autonomous, gender-inclusive, and reparative dimensions were more likely to see positive SGBVAW outcomes. Pending further research, the results suggest that using these dimensions of transitional justice to unpack the impact pathways of transitional justice helps to clarify the ways that transitional justice can benefit societies. The findings also suggest that impact pathways between transitional justice and SGBVAW outcomes exist, but the nature of these pathways is varied and often indirect.

Keywords: 'transitional justice', Africa, SGBV, conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based violence

Topics: Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Out of The Shadows? The Inclusion of Men and Boys in Conceptualisations of Wartime Sexual Violence

Citation:

Touquet, Heleen, and Ellen Gorris. 2016. "Out of The Shadows? The Inclusion of Men and Boys in Conceptualisations of Wartime Sexual Violence." Reproductive Health Matters 24 (47): 36-46. 

Authors: Heleen Touquet, Ellen Gorris

Abstract:

Researchers increasingly acknowledge that men and boys are frequent victims of sexual violence in conflict alongside women and girls, who remain the group that is disproportionately affected. This increasing awareness has contributed to significant efforts to include men and boys in conceptualisations of conflict related sexual violence in policy as well as in international criminal law. This article analyses the changes that have occurred in these two fields in recent years. We argue that while a major shift towards including male victims in international policy on wartime sexual violence took place in 2013-2014, this development has yet to be consolidated in salient policy guidelines and handbooks. While men and boys’ potential victimisation is frequently recognised, most policy documents do not treat the topic of male victimisation in depth. International criminal law on the other hand has pioneered gender-neutral and inclusive definitions. However, the interpretation and application of the gender-inclusive approach is often left to the discretion of judges and the prosecution who at times fail to take the experience of males fully into account, signalling the continuing influence of gender stereotypes and deeply held cultural myths. A renewed effort to fully integrate male victims into conceptualisations of conflict-related sexual violence in both policy and law is therefore advised.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender-based violence, male victims, conflict, 'gender'

Topics: Conflict, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Male Victims, Sexual Violence, SV against Men

Year: 2016

Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya

Citation:

Kirby, Paul. 2020. “Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1209–26.

Author: Paul Kirby

Abstract:

The last decades have seen a striking increase in international policy seeking to protect against conflict-related sexual violence. Norms of protection are, however, unevenly applied in practice. In this article, I address one such situation: the significant and growing evidence of widespread sexual violence at detention sites in Libya where migrants are imprisoned after interception on the Mediterranean Sea. Drawing on policy documents, human rights reports, interviews with advocates and officials, and an analysis of debates in the EU Parliament and UNHCR's humanitarian evacuation scheme in Libya, I examine how abuses have been framed, and with what effects. I argue that decisions about protection are shaped not only by raced and gendered categorizations but also by a demarcation of bodies in the border zone, where vulnerability is to some degree acknowledged, but agency and responsibility also disavowed by politicians, diplomats and practitioners. The wrong of sexual violence is thus both explicitly recognized but also re-articulated in ways that lessen the obligations of the same states and regional organizations that otherwise champion the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The combination of mass pullback and detention for many migrants with evacuation for a vulnerable few is an example of carceral humanitarianism, where ‘rescue’ often translates into confinement and abuse for unwelcome populations. My analysis highlights the importance of the positionality of migrants in the Libyan border zone for the form of recognition they are afforded, and the significant limits to the implementation of the EU's gender-responsive humanitarian policies in practice.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2020

Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne

Citation:

Holzberg, Billy, and Priya Raghavan. 2020. “Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1189–208.

Authors: Billy Holzberg, Priya Raghavan

Abstract:

Postcolonial and black feminist scholars have long cautioned against the dangerous proximity between the politics of sexual violence and the advancement of nationalist and imperial projects. In this article, we uncover what it is in particular about efforts to address sexual violence that makes them so amenable to exclusionary nationalist projects, by attending to the political aftermaths of the rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012, and the cases of mass sexual abuse that took place during New Year's Eve in Cologne in 2015. Tracing the nationalist discourses and policies precipitated in their wake, we demonstrate how across both contexts, the response to sexual violence was ultimately to augment the securitizing power and remit of the state—albeit through different mechanisms, and while producing different subjects of/for surveillance, control and regulation. We highlight how in both cases it is through contemporary resonances of a persistent (post)colonial echo—which enmeshes the normative female body with the idea of the nation—that sexual abuse becomes an issue of national security and the politics of sexual violence becomes tethered to exclusionary nationalisms. Revealing the more general, shared, rationalities that bind the nation to the normative female body while attending to the located political reverberations that make this entanglement so affectively potent in the distinct contexts of India and Germany helps distinguish and amplify transnational and intersectional feminist approaches to sexual violence that do not so readily accommodate nationalist ambitions.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Nationalism, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, India

Year: 2020

Queering Explanatory Frameworks for Wartime Sexual Violence against Men

Citation:

Schulz, Philipp, and Heleen Touquet. 2020. “Queering Explanatory Frameworks for Wartime Sexual Violence against Men.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1169–87.

Authors: Philipp Schulz, Heleen Touquet

Abstract:

In this article we argue that prevalent explanatory frameworks of sexual violence against men primarily pursue one line of inquiry, explaining its occurrence as exclusively strategic and systematic, based on heteronormative and homophobic assumptions about violence, gender and sexualities. Feminist IR scholarship has significantly complexified our understanding of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), documenting its multiple forms and causes across time and space—thereby moving beyond the persistent opportunism-strategy dichotomy and critically engaging with the dominant ‘rape as a weapon of war’ narrative. Drawing on empirical material from Sri Lanka and northern Uganda we queer the current explanatory frameworks, analyzing multiple instances of CRSV against men that both simultaneously seem to confirm and defy categorizations as opportunistic or strategic, while being situated in broader and systematic warfare dynamics and unequal power-relationships. Our empirical material shows that relying on crude categorizations such as the opportunism–strategy binary is unproductive and essentialist, as it tends to mask over the complexities and messiness of deeply gendered power relationships during times of war. Binary strategy/opportunism categorizations also imply broader unintended political consequences, including the further marginalization of sexual violence acts that fall outside the dominant scripts or binary frameworks—such as sexual violence against men with opportunistic underpinnings.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Male Victims, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Men, Sexuality Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2020

What Is Sexual about Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? Stories from Men and Women Survivors

Citation:

Dolan, Chris, Maria Eriksson Baaz, and Maria Stern. 2020. “What Is Sexual about Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? Stories from Men and Women Survivors.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1151–68.

Authors: Chris Dolan, Maria Eriksson Baaz, Maria Stern

Abstract:

Despite the prominent attention that the problem of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) has recently garnered globally, we still know far too little about what is sexual about sexual violence, according to whom, as well as why and how this matters in our efforts to prevent and redress its harms. A growing theoretical, political, legal and ethical imperative to ask questions about the sexual part of sexual violence across both war and peace is nonetheless emerging. This article therefore turns to the accounts of male and female survivors of CRSV at the at the Refugee Law Project (RLP) in Kampala, Uganda. In our reading of their accounts, we explore how the participants understand the possible imbrication of the perpetrator's sexual desire and pleasure with the violence they inflicted, as well as how they deem such intermeshing impossible or deeply problematic in and to the gendered frames that govern how they think about the distinctions between violence and sex, as well as themselves as sexual, social, embodied subjects. Read together, these conflicted and conflicting testimonies offer a vantage point from which to rethink some of the reductive truisms that persist in dominant policy-friendly accounts of wartime sexual violence—namely that such violence is about power and not about ‘sex’. The participants’ accounts thus urge us, as scholars and policy advocates, to resist reducing the multi-layered experiences of victim/survivors of sexual violence to fit into the palatable narratives of victimhood that prevail in humanitarian, juridical and policy spaces.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Sexual Violence, SV against Men, SV against Women, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2020

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

Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979

Citation:

Tyner, James A. 2018. “Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (9): 1305–21.

Author: James A. Tyner

Abstract:

Between 1975 and 1979 approximately two million men, women, and children died during the Cambodian genocide. These deaths are attributed to specific administrative policies and practices initiated by the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), all of which were geared toward the basic objective of increasing agricultural production as a means of building socialism. A crucial question regarding these practices was whether the CPK implemented policies designed specifically to destroy the traditional family structure of Cambodia. Drawing on the work of Silvia Federici, this article argues that policies and practices forwarded by the CPK constitute a variation of primitive accumulation; and that transformations of the traditional family structure were conditioned by the overall social organization of production initiated by the CPK. However, a more pressing form of gendered violence is apparent – a mode that pivots on the social ordering of the CPK’s political economy.

Keywords: Cambodia, gendered violence, primitive accumulation, Silvia Federici, social reproduction

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2018

Racialized Geographies and the ‘War on Drugs’: Gender Violence, Militarization, and Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples

Citation:

Hernández Castillo, Rosalva Aída. 2019. “Racialized Geographies and the ‘War on Drugs’: Gender Violence, Militarization, and Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples.” The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 24 (3): 635–52.

Author: Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
En este artículo reflexiono sobre el impacto que está teniendo la llamada “guerra contra el narco” en los cuerpos y territorios de los pueblos indígenas de México. Tomando como ventana analítica las historias de vida de mujeres víctimas de violencia sexual en regiones militarizadas y paramilitarizadas, así como las historias de exclusión de mujeres indígenas presas en el marco de la lucha contra el narcotráfico, me interesa establecer un vínculo entre la ocupación mediante la violación de los cuerpos de las mujeres indígenas, su control y encarcelamiento, con la ocupación de sus territorios y el despojo de sus recursos naturales. Se trata de procesos que se dan demanera simultánea y que responden a las lógicas neocoloniales del capitalismo en cuya reproducción han sido fundamentales las desigualdades de género y raza.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article examines the effects of the “war on drugs” on the bodies and territories of indigenous peoples of Mexico. This article uses the life histories of women victims of sexual violence in militarized and paramilitarized regions as the analytical framework to inspect, histories of exclusion of indigenous women incarcerated in the context of the war on drugs. This research argues that there are deeply entangled inter-connections between occupation of indigenous women’s bodies through the violation, control, and incarceration and the occupation of indigenous territories and dispossession of their natural resources. These processes take place simultaneously and respond to the neocolonial logics of capitalism, within which gender and race inequalities are essential for their reproduction. 

Keywords: gender, human rights, law, Indigenous people

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Paramilitaries, Race, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2019

Peacekeeping, Compliance with International Norms, and Transactional Sex in Monrovia, Liberia

Citation:

Beber, Bernd, Michael J. Gilligan, Jenny Guardado, and Sabrina Karim. 2017. “Peacekeeping, Compliance with International Norms, and Transactional Sex in Monrovia, Liberia.” International Organization 71 (1): 1–30.

Authors: Bernd Beber, Michael J. Gilligan, Jenny Guardado, Sabrina Karim

Abstract:

United Nations policy forbids its peacekeepers and other personnel from engaging in transactional sex (the exchange of money, favors, or gifts for sex), but we find the behavior to be very common in our survey of Liberian women. Using satellite imagery and GPS locators, we randomly selected 1,381 households and randomly sampled 475 women between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Using an iPod in private to preserve the anonymity of their responses, these women answered sensitive questions about their sexual histories. More than half of them had engaged in transactional sex, a large majority of them (more than 75 percent) with UN personnel. We estimate that each additional battalion of UN peacekeepers caused a significant increase in a woman’s probability of engaging in her first transactional sex. Our findings raise the concern that the private actions of UN personnel in the field may set back the UN’s broader gender-equality and economic development goals, and raise broader questions about compliance with international norms.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

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