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SV against women

Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala


Menjívar, Cecilia. 2011. Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala. Oakland: University of California Press.

Author: Cecilia Menjívar


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

Women in an Insecure World

"DCAF’s 45-minute film, "Women in an Insecure World," explores the lives of women behind the stories: why does a woman decide to abort her female foetus, how do communities come to reject female genital mutilation, how does a woman pick up the pieces after being forced into prostitution or raped during war, or when she is beaten inside her home?"

Situating Sexual Violence in Rwanda (1990-2001): Sexual Agency, Sexual Consent, and the Political Economy of War


Bumet, Jennie E. 2012. “Situating Sexual Violence in Rwanda (1990–2001): Sexual Agency, Sexual Consent, and the Political Economy of War.” African Studies Review 55 (2): 97–118. doi:10.1353/arw.2012.0034.


Author: Jennie E. Bumet


This article situates the sexual violence associated with the Rwandan civil war and 1994 genocide within a local cultural history and political economy in which institutionalized gender violence shaped the choices of Rwandan women and girls. Based on ethnographic research, it argues that Western notions of sexual consent are not applicable to a culture in which colonialism, government policy, war, and scarcity of resources have limited women's access to land ownership, economic security, and other means of survival. It examines emic cultural models of sexual consent and female sexual agency and proposes that sexual slavery, forced marriage, prostitution, transactional sex, nonmarital sex, informal marriage or cohabitation, and customary (bridewealth) marriages exist on a continuum on which female sexual agency becomes more and more constrained by material circumstance. Even when women's choices are limited, women still exercise their agency to survive. Conflating all forms of sex in conflict zones under the rubric of harm undermines women's and children's rights because it reinforces gendered hierarchies and diverts attention from the structural conditions of poverty in postconflict societies.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

The New Sexual Violence Legislation in the Congo: Dressing Indelible Scars on Human Dignity


Zongwe, Dunia Prince. 2012. “The New Sexual Violence Legislation in the Congo: Dressing Indelible Scars on Human Dignity.” African Studies Review 55 (2): 37–57. doi:10.1353/arw.2012.0047.


Author: Dunia Prince Zongwe


This article describes a legal thread running from the commission of massive sexual violence in the eastern provinces of the Congo since 1996 to the enactment of liberal legislation in 2006 to combat sexual violence throughout the country, especially in eastern Congo. In doing so, the article fills a gap in the nascent legal literature on systematic sexual violence. It finds that the new rape law is progressive, liberal, gender-neutral, and in keeping with international law. However, an unfortunate lapse in legislative drafting puts in doubt the authority of the courts to use the new rape law to prosecute systematic sexual violence. Despite this weakness, as well as harsh realities such as resource limitations and institutionalized corruption, the new sexual violence law, "the law of shameful acts," nonetheless provides a framework on the basis of which the state and rape survivors can prosecute perpetrators. It is a necessary step in upholding accountability and preparing for the more daunting task of healing communities affected by a devastating regional war.

Topics: Extractive Industries, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2012

Re-Signifying ‘Sexual’ Colonial Power Techniques: The Experiences of Palestinian Women Political Prisoners


Lena Meari. 2015. “Re-Signifying ‘Sexual’ Colonial Power Techniques: The Experiences of Palestinian Women Political Prisoners.” In Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World, edited by Maha El Said, Lena Meari and Nicola Pratt. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Author: Lena Meari

Topics: Gender, Women, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2015

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative


Mibenge, Chiseche Salome. 2013. Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. 

Author: Chiseche Salome Mibenge


Before the twenty-first century, there was little legal precedent for the prosecution of sexual violence as a war crime. Now, international tribunals have the potential to help make sense of political violence against both men and women; they have the power to uphold victims' claims and to convict the leaders and choreographers of systematic atrocity. However, by privileging certain accounts of violence over others, tribunals more often confirm outmoded gender norms, consigning women to permanent rape victim status.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

Women in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dilemmas and Directions


Cahn, Naomi. 2006. “Women in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dilemmas and Directions.” William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 12 (2): 335.


Author: Naomi Cahn




A. Problems in Establishing the Post Conflict Framework

B. Problems with Post Conflict Donor Aid and Special Needs of Women


A. Deconstructing DDR Programs

B. Reconstructing DDR Programs

1. Redesigning DDR Programs with Gender Centrality

2. Reconceptualizing DDR


A. The Scope of the Problem

B. International Law and Violence Against Women

C. Additional Means of Justice

D. The Need for Domestic Reforms Regarding Women’s Rights and Status

1. Developing a Model Statute

2. Changing Existing Law

3. Implementation

a. Gender-Sensitive Support

b. Gender-Sensitive Policies within the Legal System '

4. What Difference Does It Make: Why Change Domestic Rape Laws?

E. Rape Laws and Gender Equity


Topics: DDR, Gender, Women, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, SV against women

Year: 2006

Trying International Crimes on Local Lawns: The Adjudication of Genocide Sexual Violence Crimes in Rwanda's Gacaca Courts


Amick, Emily. 2011. “Trying International Crimes on Local Lawns: The Adjudication of Genocide Sexual Violence Crimes in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts.” Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 20 (2).


Author: Emily Amick


During the Rwandan genocide sexual violence was used as a weapon of war to ravage a people. Women were tortured psychologically, physically and emotionally. For some women the “dark carnival” of the genocide has not ended. Living side by sidewith the men who committed violence against them, they must confront their past every day. This Article explores how, post-genocide, the country has come to adjudicate these crimes in gacaca. Gacaca is a unique method of transitional justice, one that calls upon traditional roots, bringing community members together to find the truth of what happened during the genocide and punish those who perpetrated violence. One scholar calls gacaca, “one of the boldest and most original ‘legal-social’ experiments ever attempted in the field of transitional justice.” Others, however, criticize gacaca for the impunity it grants to crimes committed by the current ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and its lack of due process and nonconformance to international fair trial processes. Most authors find that, for cases of sexual violence, gacaca is a wholly unsuitable forum.

Topics: Gender, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2011

The Assessment and Mapping of Initiatives on Women Protection and Livelihood Support in South Darfur


Aletegani, Abass Y., Bashir, Nagla Mohamed, and Mohamed Ahamad Nour. 2012. “The Assessment and Mapping of Initiatives on Women Protection and Livelihood Support in South Darfur.” In The Role of Women in Promoting Peace and Development, edited by Nicklas Svensson. 149-160. Lund, Sweden: Media-Tryck Lund University

Authors: Abass Y. Aletegani, Nagla Mohamed Bashir, Mohamed Ahamad Nour


This research assesses women’s need of protection and livelihood in South Darfur’s IDPs camps and host communities, and makes a database on the organizations (national and international) and government bodies working with livelihood and protection. The humanitarian crisis in Darfur leaves women more vulnerable to high rates of poverty, violence (domestic violence, sexual gender-based violence), insecurity and displacement. Many studies about the effects of war on women have been carried out but most of them focus on IDP populations and do not include the host communities, although they contain some of the IDPs. The objectives of the need assessment were to quantify IDP women’s needs around their human rights protection and livelihoods in South Darfur and to establish a database on institutions working on women’s protection and livelihood needs including national and international agencies, women’s organizations, and government bodies in South Darfur. This needs assessment uses participatory rapid assessment techniques, applying gender analysis tools and processes and combines qualitative and quantitative tools (interviews, focus group discussions, story telling, participant observations, active listening). The first part of the research concerned the training of the team in holding field surveys, how the team deals with IDPs inside the camp to give the right information. The result showed that women in IDPs camps practice different income-generating activities (IGAs) to earn money. They need more training in IGAs and in new forms of work that let their products compete in the market and earn more money. Regarding protection, women need more training programs in human rights and violence. Most women need to see that reporting violence against them has a result. This report is the result of a study undertaken by a team of academic staff from the Peace Studies and Community Development Centre, invited and supported by UNIFEM and the University of Nyala in 2007 and comparing and assessing the situation in 2011.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2012

Violence Against Women and Natural Disasters: Findings From Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka


Fisher, Sarah. 2010. “Violence Against Women and Natural Disasters: Findings From Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka.” Violence Against Women 16 (8): 902–18. doi:10.1177/1077801210377649.

Author: Sarah Fisher


This article presents a qualitative study of violence against women in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. It examines the types of violence occurring throughout the disaster’s emergency and later phases, and whether overall levels of violence increased. Explanatory factors and responses by different humanitarian actors are analyzed and recommendations made for future disaster management. It is argued that violence against women during natural disasters must be understood within the context of the violence against women that prevails in societies at “normal” times, which is exacerbated by disaster. Response therefore necessitates addressing both the social inequalities underlying women’s vulnerability to violence and specific factors that “trigger” violence during disaster.

Keywords: disaster management, domestic violence, natural disaster, violence, rape

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2010


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