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In this article, I explore the gendered silencing of conflict-related sexual violence against men and of male survivors’ lived realities in Northern Uganda using the frame of masculinities. Utilizing Stauffer’s conceptual framework of “ethical loneliness,” I elucidate how male survivors’ experiences of sexual violence are characterized by various layers of externally imposed silences by different actors and institutions often over decades. I demonstrate that the harms experienced by survivors in Northern Uganda are characterized by silence, isolation and abandonment, “compounded by the cruelty of wrongs not being heard” and constituted through multiple rounds of neglect. Exemplified through the narrative of a male survivor, I argue that in particular, the externally imposed silencing by institutions designed to listen entrenches further harms. I unpack how these layered silences are gendered and conditioned by socially constructed incompatibilities between masculinities and vulnerabilities, which disallow men to openly speak about their sexual violations and to seek services and support. Working with the concept of “ethical loneliness,” I propose a novel theoretical framework for analyzing the effects of externally imposed and gender-specific silencing with wider utility beyond male sexual violence, applicable to survivors of political and wartime gendered violence more broadly.
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.
... During the early years of the conflict, government soldiers of the National Resistance Army (NRA) unleashed a violent campaign -as punishment and retaliation for previous episodes of violence -against the civilian Acholi population. Within this context of systemic and strategic military operations, government soldiers also committed widespread sexual violence against men (Schulz, 2018b). The vast majority of survivors in Northern Uganda are therefore civilian Acholi men, victimized by government soldiers and aspiring to a hegemonic notion of Acholi masculinity that in many ways is subordinate to the government soldiers' militarized masculinity (Tapscott, 2018) -a different context from the Croatian one examined below. ...
... Throughout the existing literature on gender, silence, and conflict (Thomson, 2019), it is commonly acknowledged that, when externally imposed, silencing can further entrench gendered harms (Schulz, 2018b). Here, however, we want to focus on how (and under what conditions) silence can be agentive, how it can become a powerful political tool for survivors to deploy strategically and an act of conscious agency. ...
... While in both cases survivors have found spaces for recounting experiences, veterans' experiences (in general) are part of a state-sanctioned narrative in Croatia, whereas the experiences of Acholi are generally silenced in Uganda (Schulz, 2018b). Nevertheless, these diverse spaces at different levels facilitate active ways for male survivors to begin engaging with their experiences and gendered harms, thereby exercising agency. ...
In dominant global conceptions of conflict-related sexual violence, the experiences of male survivors, if attended to at all, have thus far almost exclusively been analysed in terms of vulnerabilities. Drawing on empirical evidence from two different cases (Uganda and Croatia), in this article we argue that essentializing and static generalizations of ‘emasculation’ fail to do justice to the complexity of male survivors’ experiences. We show that, in the two cases we examine, male survivors exercise agency and find different ways of engaging with their harmful experiences. Survivors’ agency is shaped and conditioned by different opportunity structures, and thus largely dependent on local gender relations and constructions of masculinity. To build our argument, we take inspiration from feminist international relations scholarship highlighting the active roles of women and girls as agents within the context of armed conflict, extending such analysis to the experiences of male survivors of sexual violence. By systematically analysing the forms and conditions of the agency of male survivors of sexual violence, we offer a more holistic examination of the dynamics of wartime sexual violence, contributing conceptually and empirically to research both on local/civilian agency in wartime and on conflict-related sexual violence.
... The first two papers explore women's mobilization in civil society. While men, too, are victims of wartime sexual violence (Edström & Dolan, 2018;Schulz, 2018), I leverage the fact that women are generally its primary targets. The risk to civilian women is often acute: in approximately two thirds of all armed conflicts ongoing between 1980 and 2009, rape was reported as widespread in at least one year (Cohen, 2013a: 467). ...
... While the focus in this dissertation is on women, it is important to note that the use of sexual violence in conflict cannot be universally reduced to a male perpetratorfemale victim dichotomy. Increasingly, scholars draw attention to male victims (Oosterhoff, Zwanikken & Ketting, 2004;Carpenter, 2006;Jones, 2006;Grey & Shepherd, 2013;Dolan, 2014;Schulz, 2018) as well as to female perpetrators (Cohen, 2013b;Sjoberg, 2016) of sexual violence. Yet, sexual violence against men in conflict is commonly understood as aiming to feminize and humiliate the male victim and the (ethnic) group he represents while asserting the hegemonic masculinity of the perpetrator and his (or her) group (Skjelsbaek, 2001;Jones, 2006;Alison, 2007). ...
... That the pertinent UNSCR resolutions (1820,1888,1960,2106), with one exception 4 , discuss conflict-related sexual violence only with respect to women is a major oversight that ultimately reinforces a simplistic male perpetrator-female victim dichotomy. One can only hope that the international normative and legal framework will catch up with the growing body of scholarship that is shedding light on sexual violence against men and boys in conflict (Oosterhoff, Zwanikken & Ketting, 2004;Carpenter, 2006;Jones, 2006;Grey & Shepherd, 2013;Dolan, 2014) and highlights their active silencing as victims (Schulz, 2018). That international criminal tribunals have also focused on men as victims of conflict-related sexual violence is an important development in this regard, even though legal scholars have raised concerns about whether existing definitions of rape are truly gender-neutral (Isaac, 2016). ...
Introductory chapter to the dissertation.
Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/59909
... While earlier resolutions had cursorily mentioned male survivors, UNSCR2467 was more explicit in its recognition, the result of a long and slow process of documenting an undeniable reality in a wide variety of geographic areas in the last decade, recently most notably in the conflicts in Libya, Syria, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar (Touquet 2018;UNHCR 2017;Women's Refugee Commission 2018. Research has shown that sexual violence against men and boys (SVMB) is more prevalent than is commonly assumed (Johnson et al. 2008(Johnson et al. , 2010 and that it has a serious impact on mental health, personal well-being, and social relations (Edström and Dolan, 2018;Lon car et al. 2010;Schulz 2018aSchulz , 2018b. Like sexual violence against women, SVMB is deeply intertwined with heteronormative and patriarchal gender norms (Carpenter 2006;Del Zotto and Adam, 2002;Sivakumaran 2005Sivakumaran , 2007: it communicates a message of emasculation to both the victim and the wider audience of the victims' co-ethnics and serves to terrorize and humiliate populations (Drumond 2018;Eichert 2019). ...
... Male victims run the risk of losing their masculinity in the eyes of society in the process of disclosing, it is believed, and therefore keep silent, which in turn seriously hinders advocacy on their behalf. Empirical work based on survivor interviews from Uganda and Sri Lanka, however, has indicated that survivors do speak in spite of the stigma, demonstrating that the relationships between (public) silence, disclosure, and individual survivor's agency are complex and deeply intertwined (Edström and Dolan 2018;Schulz 2018aSchulz , 2018bTouquet 2018;Touquet and Philipp, 2020). While some male survivors exercise agency precisely by remaining silent in particular spaces, others talk about their experiences to family members, in spaces they deem safe or to service providers. ...
... While some male survivors exercise agency precisely by remaining silent in particular spaces, others talk about their experiences to family members, in spaces they deem safe or to service providers. Institutions that are "designed to listen" (Schulz 2018a), however, do not always do so. Even when male survivors are open about their experiences, their testimonies are registered as torture or inhumane treatment, erasing the sexual aspect of the violence (Charman 2018;Leiby 2009Leiby , 2018. ...
This article develops a new conceptual framework to understand silence and silencing with regard to conflict-related sexual violence against men. Based on fieldwork data from Bosnia-Herzegovina, it argues that rather than the silence of victims, the problem is that survivor testimonies are coopted and entextualized, and that male vulnerabilities remain inaudible. This process reinforces ignorance about male-directed sexual violence and helps to maintain the dominant view that masculinity and vulnerability are mutually exclusive. To illustrate the point, it examines two spaces where male survivors have told their stories in Bosnia-Herzegovina: the courts and the detainee associations.
... antizipiert wird: (1) Mitglied eines feindlichen ethnisch-nationalen Kollektivs mit Reproduktionsfähigkeit, (2) Verteidiger von ethno-nationalen Ansprüchen, inklusive nationaler Grenzen und / oder (3) Repräsentant der feindlichen nationalen Ideologie und somit Reproduzierender einer feindlichen nationalen Identität. Konsequenterweise lässt sich mit einer derartigen Ideologie im Hintergrund sexualisierte Gewalt gegen Männer als ein organisierter Akt und daher als Kriegswaffe beschreiben (Schulz, 2018 Foucault (1976Foucault ( /2016 auszudrücken -als Bio-Macht der feindlichen Nation bzw. Ethnie aufgefasst werden können. ...
... Es stellt sich konsequenterweise die Frage, ob das Verschweigen bzw. das Nichtberichten im Sinne des unsichtbaren Stigmas nach Goffman (1967Goffman ( /2018 (Schulz, 2018). Für den Einzelnen bedeutet es das Ausbleiben von Anerkennung des erlebten Leides und des widerfahrenen Unrechts und in der Folge weitestgehend fehlende Hilfe und Unterstützung. ...
... These crimes formed part of the wider spectrum of military warfare operations against the Acholi population and can be understood as retaliation and punishment against the local populace (Dolan, 2009). In this context, government soldiers also committed widespread acts of sexual violence against men, including crimes of penetrative anal rape (Schulz, 2018a). ...
... At the same time, publicly speaking out about survivors' harmful experiences of sexual abuse in a hetero-patriarchal society can imply unintended and potentially socially damaging consequences. Due to fear of shame and social stigma, many male survivors often do not want their families or communities to know what happened to them, thereby indicating important spatial nuances with regard to where and by whom recognition is to be obtained (Schulz, 2018a). These dimensions are poignantly illustrated through the example of a male survivor, who has sought wider (and arguably abstract) recognition of his experience by having his account published in an online newspaper (Owich, 2014). 2 In his home village, and even within his family, however, nobody knows about his experience. ...
This article examines how male survivors of wartime sexual violence in Northern Uganda conceptualize justice. Whereas recent years have witnessed increasing consideration for redressing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against women, specific attention to justice for male-directed sexual violence remains absent. Drawing on the empirically-grounded perspectives of 46 male survivors, this article incorporates the seldom-heard voices and perspectives of male wartime rape survivors into debates about justice in the context of sexual violence, thereby contributing towards a gender-inclusive and holistic understanding of gender justice debates. The findings underpinning this article demonstrate that male survivors’ justice priorities primarily centre around three interrelated themes: (a) justice as recognition, (b) government acknowledgement and (c) reparative justice. According to male survivors, these three aspects of justice imply the potential to respond to the misrecognition of male survivors’ experiences and to remedy their sexual and gendered harms in a reparative and gender-sensitive capacity.
... Interestingly, overall, the variables included in the analysis showed stronger associations for males than for females. One hypothesis is that women have more protective mechanisms, such as social support, that help them cope with their experiences of violence, whereas masculine experiences of violence may be subject to "ethical loneliness," or routine silencing of their experiences by multiple layers of their ecologies (Schulz, 2018). Men might therefore be limited in their willingness to actively participate in gender transformative programming. ...
Experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization have well-established associations with poor mental health. There is also burgeoning evidence regarding the association between IPV perpetration and mental health in a small number of countries. However, there is a paucity of data about the gendered differences for these IPV experiences within sub-Saharan African. This study examines the association between IPV victimization, perpetration, and mental health outcomes for male and female adolescents and young adults in Uganda. Data on IPV perpetration were available for a nationally representative sample of 1,373 males and 2,022 females in Uganda. Observations were weighted to be representative of 13- to 24-year-olds in Uganda. Study procedures used multivariate logistic regression models to examine associations between ever-perpetration of IPV and four self-reported mental health variables: severe sadness, feelings of worthlessness, suicide ideation, and alcohol abuse. Models controlled for age, marital status, schooling, and past exposure to violence. Models were sex-disaggregated to examine sex-specific associations. Standard errors were adjusted for sampling stratification and clustering. Data analysis showed that males were more than twice as likely as females to perpetrate IPV (14% vs. 6%, respectively; p < .001), while odds of perpetration for both sexes were higher for those ever experiencing IPV (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 12.12 for males; aOR=4.73 for females). Male perpetrators had 2.93 greater odds of experiencing suicidal ideation (95% confidence interval [CI]: [1.78, 4.82], p < .001) and increased drinking behaviors (2.21, 95% CI: [1.39, 3.50], p < .001) when compared with non-perpetrating males. In addition, female perpetrators had 2.59 times greater odds of suicidal ideation (95% CI: [1.34,4.99], p < .01), as compared with non-perpetrating females. Our findings among youth and adolescents demonstrated associated but different experiences for males and females. Findings indicate the importance of understanding the relationship between IPV victimization and perpetration, and addressing these correlates with a gender-sensitive perspective to inform policy and programming.
... Even so, the silence surrounding male victimhood regarding sexual and gender-based violence contributes to the invisibility of men's suffering during war. While men's experiences of sexual violence are increasingly recognized, they are still not treated in depth which leads to neglect, isolation and abandonment of male survivors of sexual violence (Chynoweth, Freccero, & Touquet, 2017;Schulz, 2018;Solangon & Patel, 2012;Touquet & Gorris, 2016). In the battle for dominance during war; the masculinity that rejects wanton violence is forced to cede physical and socio-political space. ...
Various studies have shown that since the late 20th century, Cuban migration follows global patterns of feminisation. As more Cuban women migrate during their reproductive years, fertility rates have decreased in the island, resulting in the shrinking of the youth population relative to older adults. Both the lack and unequal distribution of care services for older adults and the shrinking welfare services suggest an impending crisis; and the failure of social policy to anticipate these problems and plan accordingly further aggravates it. The result is an uneven landscape, particularly within a general context of social stratification, with some sectors and geographical areas facing greater hardships than others. In this Chapter we delve onto these issues to analyse the relationship between international migration patterns and both, population ageing and the crisis of elderly care in Cuba.
... In northern Uganda, some cases of male rape were also perpetrated in the public sphere, for instance in school yards, or in front of the victims' families and communities. 86 However, many survivor statements also told of perpetrators who took their victims to places far away from any audience, where no one could see what happened. At the very least, these instances indicate that the perpetrators were not particularly interested in 'performing' gender subordination publicly-as is commonly suggested for most cases of sexual violence against men. ...
While critical scholarship has contributed to dismantling the binary categorization
of male perpetrators and female victims of SGBV, emerging research on
male survivors of sexual violence has to date been only insufficiently included in
(and itself affected by) the conceptual and empirical development of explanatory
models for SGBV. In this article, we claim that the insight that wartime sexual
violence can serve multiple functions and can occur for multiple different reasons
has not yet been incorporated into the emerging literature on conflict-related sexual
violence against men. Instead, such violence is predominantly framed in unitary
terms as a systematic strategy aiming to subordinate male victims—often publicly
... Numerous studies have called into question the entrenched gender stereotypes which view men as perpetrators, and women as victims of sexual violence during civil wars (see e.g. Cohen 2013b; Cohen, Green & Wood 2013;Schulz 2018;Touquet et al. 2020). A recent study has shown that men were actually twice as likely as women to have experienced sexual assault during the Sri Lankan civil war (Traunmüller, Kijewski & Freitag 2019). ...
... Of the 449 respondents, 27 were men (of whom 12 were in BiH), a fact that attests to the difficulties of locating and gaining access to male victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Notwithstanding important scholarship on the topic (see Apperley, 2015;Drumond, 2019;Schulz, 2018), female victims-/survivors continue to receive the most attention, and support specifically directed at men remains rare (see Edström and Dolan, 2016). ...
While transitional justice processes call upon individuals and societies to recall and remember, memory practices – and more specifically the frequent politicisation of memory in transitional societies – can undermine transitional justice goals, including peace and reconciliation. This interdisciplinary article seeks to re-think the relationship between transitional justice and memory. It does so by introducing the concept of ecological memory, a supra-political form of memory centred on complex ecosystem responses to disturbance events and the development of resilience to future shocks and stressors. Transposing the concept of ecological memory to the novel context of transitional justice can ultimately foster a new alignment between memory and transitional justice that is more conducive to the realisation of the latter’s core goals. Drawing on empirical data, the article seeks to demonstrate that transitional justice processes can contribute to fostering ecological memory by giving attention to the ecological legacies of war crimes and human rights violations.
... 80 In post-conflict settings, efforts to achieve justice and reintegration often reinforce such practices, thus contributing to the marginalization and social exclusion of survivors. 81 These issues and their perverse implications are in no way under dispute here. ...
In recent years, debates around sexual violence against men (SVAM) started to gain momentum in policy and research. Yet, the conceptualization and empirical identification of SVAM became a matter of political contestation, with incidents often being depicted through de-sexualized labels such as ‘inhumane acts’ and ‘cruel treatment’. The fluidity of sexual meanings surrounding these episodes highlights the intricate relationship between ‘sex’ and ‘violence’: Do we always already know what sexual violence is? What does the language of sexual violence obscure, flatten and trivialize? This contribution draws on Marysia Zalewski's interventions to interrogate concepts and framings commonly used to ‘read’ episodes of sexual violence against men. In particular, it follows Zalewski and Runyan's efforts to ‘unthink’ what we ‘know’ and how we ‘know’ sexual violence against men in global politics, while interrogating the relationship between sex and violence in particular performances of bodily violence. The analysis draws on extensive archival research conducted in the files of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Surveyed documents include records and proceedings, such as trial transcripts and statements of victims and witnesses involved in incidents of violence against men during the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and Peru.
... These informal exchanges also reveal a persistent lack of information, resources, and institutional supportespecially in PhD programs and for first-time field researchersand a shortage of platforms for frank, honest, and vulnerable discussion about the emotional (and other) challenges involved in doing this kind of work. While we draw here on our experiences researching CRSVagainst women in Colombia (Kreft 2019a(Kreft , 2020 and against men in northern Uganda (Schulz 2018)we hope that our reflections will also be relatable for (junior) scholars in adjacent research fields. ...
March 2019. It was a brisk spring day in Toronto. We were having lunch in the crowded food court opposite the conference hotel. This was the first time that we had sat down and openly spoken about the toll that researching conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in the context of our PhD education has taken on our mental well-being. We both felt grateful for having had the opportunity to have this conversation with each other, as our exchange had helped both of us to better understand and situate the difficulties with which we had been grappling in the preceding months. With this piece, we want to extend that conversation, and hope to increase transparency about research processes and researchers’ mental well-being and to encourage more open, honest, and vulnerable exchanges between researchers working on sensitive issues....
... One example might include the use of anonymous hotlines/online forums and counseling services (Davies 2002). These services can provide male and female survivors with opportunities to express themselves and make contact with one another and with health professionals in order to build support and advocacy (Clark 2017;Schulz 2018). With more accepting contexts, more female and male survivors may be encouraged to come forward and receive aid. ...
Existing research on conflict-related sexual violence focuses on the motivations of perpetrators and effects on survivors. What remains less clear is how postconflict societies respond to the hardships survivors face. In survey experiments in Bosnia, we examine public support for financial aid, legal aid, and public recognition for survivors. First, we find a persistent ethnocentric view of sexual violence, where respondents are less supportive when the perpetrator is identified as co-ethnic and survivors are perceived as out-groups. Second, respondents are less supportive of male survivors than female survivors, which we attribute to social stigmas surrounding same-gender sexual activity. Consistent with our argument, those who are intolerant of homosexuality are especially averse to providing aid to male survivors. This study points to the long-term challenges survivors face due to ethnic divisions and social stigmatization from sexual violence.
... The choice of survivors to share their stories and enter public discussion, when driven by their own desire, can provide inspiration to others, and can be facilitated by 'listening' allies, such as social workers, NGOs, community elders and family members. Conversely, when they are not heard or recognized, survivors may experience 'ethical loneliness', what Schulz (2018), drawing on Stauffer (2015), describes as 'prolonged and systematic processes of isolation, initiated through victimization and entrenched through multiple sites of neglect' (p. 589). ...
Children ‘born of war’ refer to people of any age conceived as the result of sexual violence at the hands of armed forces or groups during war, displacement, genocide or military occupation. Due to the circumstances of their birth, children ‘born of war’ can experience social stigma, discrimination and exclusion, resulting in diminished life chances and opportunities. At the same time, children ‘born of war’ fall through the cracks of global policy frameworks. In this article, we explore the reasons for this, arguing that the nature of the harm these children endure renders their status as a victim group elusive. We propose a survivor-centred approach drawing on the lived experiences of children ‘born of war’. The approach recognizes the agency of children and draws attention to their expressed desire to contribute to, and participate in, processes of social reconstruction and reconciliation.
... Also, our findings indicated that men in the Northern and Western regions of Uganda had decreased odds of experiencing sexual IPV compared to those in the Central region. This finding contradicted Schulz  who indicated that men and boys suffer sexual violence and torture, especially in humanitarian and crisis environments. ...
There is limited research on intimate partner violence (IPV) among ever-married men in Uganda. This paper aimed to establish the extent and correlates of emotional, sexual, and physical IPV among ever-married men in Uganda.
We used the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) data and selected a weighted sample of 2559 ever-married men. Frequency distributions were used to describe the characteristics of men and their partners. Chi-square tests and binary logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with IPV among married men in Uganda.
Almost half (44%) of the ever-married men experienced some form of IPV. Among the individual forms of IPV, emotional IPV was the most prevalent (36%), followed by physical IPV (20%) and sexual IPV the least common (8%). Factors that were associated with all the different forms of IPV included, region, number of wives, partners’ controlling behaviors, witnessing parental violence, and drinking alcohol as well as the frequency of getting drunk by the female partners. Except for number of wives, which had a protective effect, the rest of the factors increased the likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence among ever-married men in Uganda.
Besides women, men are also victims of intimate partner violence. This calls for combined efforts to reduce violence against men perpetrated by females by addressing controlling behaviors, frequency of getting drunk with alcohol, and lack of awareness of the issue. There is a need for interventions aimed at increasing public awareness to improve the reporting and case management of violence against men and boys.
... The focus here is on women, who are predominantly targeted in this violence. For excellent research on the responses to CRSV against men in the constraints of patriarchal structures see e.g.Edström & Dolan (2018) orSchulz (2018). ...
International policy discourse upholds the idea that conflict-related sexual violence is a weapon of war, forming part of armed actors’ explicit war strategy. Scholars have taken a critical stance, arguing that this violence is multi-faceted and can take different forms in different contexts. In addition, critical feminist scholars emphasize, decontextualizing sexual violence solely as a product of war disregards the structural factors underlying the perpetration of sexual violence by armed actors. In light of these tensions, how do women mobilized in civil society – as politically relevant actors and sources of expertise – perceive the nature and origins of conflict-related sexual violence? What understanding of sexual violence in armed conflict guides their interventions? A thematic analysis of qualitative interviews carried out with 31 representatives of Colombian women’s organizations and victims’ associations reveals the need to bring patriarchy, generally out of vogue in post-second wave feminist discourse, back into the discussion of conflict-related sexual violence. The mobilized women perceive patriarchal structures to be at the heart of the perpetration of sexual violence as a very gendered violence, which targets women as women and which exists on a continuum extending through the everyday and war, time and place, and to other kinds of violence against women. Armed conflict exacerbates everyday sexual violence and may add a strategic dimension to sexual violence perpetrated by armed actors. The strategic use of sexual violence, in fact, only appears to make sense in light of the patriarchal norms underpinning this violence in society.
This article explores constructions of gender, masculinity, and class in moral crimes prosecutions, and their legal aftermaths in Afghanistan. It argues that the lack of attention to men in advocacy and research about moral crimes, while reflecting a (geo-) politicized conflation of gender with women, constitute both an empirical and an analytical oversight. The first part of the article discusses the legal grounds for the prosecution of men for “moral crimes” in Afghanistan and presents statistical data that reveals large-scale incarceration of men for pursuing consensual, heterosexual relations, including the non-codified crime of elopement. In the second part, we use ethnographic data to probe into the ways in which the treatment of male elopers are based on specific notions of gender, sexuality, and masculinity. We suggest that the interrelated, yet differentiated, prosecution of male and female elopers in Afghanistan can be usefully understood in terms of a gender regime that places different expectations on men and women. Women’s gender performance is ranked according to (verifiable) chastity, men’s gender performance according to the (legitimate, i.e., honorable) command of resources.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (adopted in 2000) seeks to protect women’s bodily integrity in war and promote women’s rights to participate in decisions affecting them in the realm of peace and security. Its normative framework offers potential to transform how peace and security is framed in the UN Security Council. At the same time, critics charge that the Women, Peace and Security agenda reproduces problematic categories, including women as a static, homogeneous social group, binaries such as peace and war as clearly delineated events, and victims and perpetrators as gendered, oppositional groups. In this article, we strive to think critically about gender and human rights through the rubric of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and problematic categories that underpin its design. We do so by exploring gender and embodied knowledge in war.
Examining the case of Mali, this work analyses the discursive strategies utilised by key actors to legitimise the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The analysis traces the legitimisation strategies deployed in both the official and unofficial discourses surrounding the operation. Using van Leeuwen’s conceptualisation of legitimisation, this work uncovers the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the dominant discourse foregrounds certain gendered harms. We argue that the primarily Western conceptualisation of the situation in Mali foregrounds the rape (of young girls) to form the strongest pro-intervention argument. Within this logic, the focus on the bodies of violated women and children aims at providing the undeniable and ultimate proof of barbarity of local rebels. This leads to an immediate need for deployment and continuation of a robust peacekeeping mission.
How do male survivors of sexual violence conceptualize justice in a post-conflict and transitional context? Centralizing male survivors’ voices and perspectives, this article seeks to address this under-explored question in the growing literature on gender and transitional justice. Even though recent years have witnessed increasing consideration for redressing crimes of wartime sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, specific attention to justice for conflict-related sexual violence against men remains remarkably absent. Utilizing novel empirical data from northern Uganda, in this article I show that justice for male survivors of sexual violence means to be in a group with other survivors. Drawing on survivors’ perspectives, I argue that groups make it possible for male survivors to attain a sense of justice on the micro level and in a participatory capacity in four fundamental ways: (1) by enabling survivors to re-negotiate their gender identities; (2) by mitigating isolation through (re-)building relationships; (3) by offering safe spaces for storytelling as a culturally-resonating contribution to justice, enabling survivors to exercise agency; and (4) by initiating a process of recognizing male survivors’ experiences, contributing to justice through recognition. By addressing male sexual and gendered harms in a myriad of ways, survivors’ groups thereby constitute a pathway through which justice can be achieved among survivors themselves on the micro level. In northern Uganda, where formalized transitional justice processes are irresponsive to male sexual violations, survivors’ groups thus constitute community-driven and participatory alternative redress mechanisms for harms that remain unrecognized and unaddressed by standardized transitional justice processes.
This interdisciplinary article draws on two neurological processes and repurposes them to develop a novel theorization of resilience. It argues that major shocks and stressors within societies can have significant ‘demyelinating’ effects, by weakening or damaging communication channels within social-ecological systems (SES). It illustrates this through a focus on conflict-related sexual violence. It further proposes that resilience can be likened to a ‘remyelinating’ process aimed at enhancing how SES support and communicate with each other. Further extending the analogy, it maintains that transitional justice processes have a part to play in ‘remyelinating’ communication in societies affected by conflict and violence.
There is a rich body of research addressing the issues of conflict-related sexual violence, and a similar wealth of scholarship focused on resilience. To date, however, these literatures have rarely engaged with each other. This article developed from an ongoing research project that seeks to address this gap, by exploring how victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in three highly diverse settings – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia and Uganda – demonstrate resilience. This research is the first to apply the Adult Resilience Measure (ARM), a 28-item scale that seeks to measure protective resources across individual, relational, and contextual subscales, to the context of conflict-related sexual violence. A total of 449 female and male participants in the three aforementioned countries completed the ARM (in the framework of the study questionnaire) as part of this research. This article presents some of the results of the analyses. Specifically, we first sought to establish through Confirmatory Factor Analysis whether the ARM was actually measuring the same construct in all three countries, by confirming the invariance (or otherwise) of the factor structure. The second aim was to explore how different resources function and cluster in different cultural contexts, to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the different protective factors in the lives of study participants. We generated different factor structures for BiH, Colombia, and Uganda respectively, suggesting that a single factor structure does not sufficiently capture the diverse groupings of protective factors linked to the particularities of each country, including the dynamics of the conflicts themselves. Ultimately, we use the findings to underscore the need for policy approaches that move away from a deficit model and give greater attention to strengthening and investing in the (often overlooked) protective resources that victims-/survivors may already have in their everyday lives.
In his research with Indigenous Evenki people living in Arctic Siberia, Anderson introduces the concept of “sentient ecology”, defined as “the mutual interrelation of person and place”. This interdisciplinary article starts from the basic premise that sentient ecology is relevant for research on resilience, and it aims to demonstrate this in two key ways. First, it uses sentient ecology as a novel framework for thinking about resilience, with a particular focus on conflict‐related sexual violence (CSRV)—an area of scholarship that to date has given very little attention to the concept of resilience. The article locates resilience in the fluid and dynamic interactions between individuals and their social ecologies. What sentient ecology contributes in this regard is a different way of thinking about these interactions. In particular, it highlights some of the ways that female and male victims–/survivors of CRSV actively utilize and engage with the more‐than‐human living world around them in the process of rebuilding and moving on with their lives. Second, the article uses sentient ecology as a framework for thinking in new “sentient” ways about social‐ecological systems (SES)—and how the social and ecological parts of these systems communicate with each other. Taking this a step further, it argues that sentient ecology offers a potential basis for developing more posthumanist accounts of resilience as an extension of SES.
Background: Reporting of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) allows survivors to access support services to minimize the impact of the violence on their lives. However, research shows that most SGBV survivors do not report. Objective: We aimed to determine the proportion of survivors of SGBV in Mayuge District, Uganda, who report SGBV and the factors associated with reporting. Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, we analyzed data of SGBV survivors in eight villages in Mayuge district collected in a baseline survey of a larger experimental study. Data were analysed using Modified Poisson Regression. Results: Of the 723 participants, 65% were female. Only 31.9% had reported the SGBV experienced. Reporting was 43% lower among survivors aged 45 years and older (p-value = 0.003), and 41% lower among survivors with higher than a primary school education (p-value = 0.005). Likewise, reporting was 37% lower among survivors who relied on financial support from their partners (p-value = 0.001). Female survivors were also 63% more likely to report (p-value = 0.001), while survivors who were separated/widowed were 185% more likely to report than those who were never married (p-value = 0.006). Conclusion: Reporting of SGBV by survivors in Mayuge was found to below. Keywords: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence; survivors; Mayuge; Uganda.
This paper builds upon and challenges existing literature regarding the causes of wartime male sexual violence (particularly Sivakumaran’s concept of “homosexualization”). The author argues that norms about sexuality and the intended audience of violence motivate male sexual violence in three ways. First, perpetrators choose to express power over the individual victim through the weaponization of masculinity, bodily integrity and/or sexual identity. Second, sexual violence can be used to reaffirm group belonging and hetero-masculinity among perpetrators. Third, sexual violence sends a message to a larger community or nation regarding supremacy and power hierarchies. Two examples (Abu Ghraib and Nazi concentration camps) are presented to illustrate the framework’s concepts.
Men’s experiences as victims of sexual and gender-based violence remain little recognised in research, policy or practice. Mainstream narratives generally continue to depict men as perpetrators of violence and women as victims. Yet, having been linked to forced migration in contexts of armed conflict, sexual violence against men is slowly becoming recognised as far more widespread than was previously thought. Responding to this, the Institute of Development Studies approached the Refugee Law Project and Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda in order to jointly design and carry out a study on collective action among male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. This report explores one central question addressed by the study: ‘despite the odds stacked against them, what makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms?’ The study finds that, despite pervasive discrimination, groups of male survivors have been able to develop resilience and mutual support through collective action. Further, the study finds that third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations can play an important support role in reinforcing the resilience and capacity of male survivors to organise collectively. The report addresses the overarching question through three main sub-questions: 1. How can looking at male survivors of sexual violence help us understand the complexity of men’s relationship to sexual and gender-based violence? 2. How and why do groups of male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence respond to their experiences of violence, oppression, stigmatisation and marginalisation, including as refugees? 3. How does the individual agency of male survivors of sexual violence living as refugees interact with collective action to respond to the experience of violence and marginalisation?
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Following the ICC intervention in 2005, northern Uganda has been at the heart of international justice debates. The emergent controversy, however, missed crucial aspects of Acholi realities: that the primary moral imperative in the wake of wrongdoing was not punishment but, instead, the restoration of social harmony. Drawing upon abundant fieldwork and in-depth interviews with almost 200 women, Holly Porter examines issues surrounding wrongdoing and justice, and sexual violence and rape, among the Acholi people in northern Uganda. This intricate exploration offers evidence of a more complicated and nuanced explanation of rape and its aftermath, suggesting a re-imagining of the meanings of post-atrocity justice, whilst acknowledging the role of sex, power and politics in all sexual experiences between coercion and consent. With its wide investigation of social life in northern Uganda, this provocative study offers vital analysis for those interested in sexual and gender violence, post-conflict reconstruction and human rights.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence have always been a feature of war. Yet it is only fairly recently that researchers have identified rape as a deliberate tool of war-making rather than simply an inevitable side effect of armed conflict. Much of the emerging literature has suggested that the underlying causes of rape stem from a single motivation-whether individual, symbolic, or strategic-leading to disagreement in the field about how we can understand and respond to the causes and consequences of sexual violence in war.
In Rape Loot Pillage, Sara Meger argues that sexual violence is a form of gender-based political violence (perpetrated against both men and women) and a manifestation of unequal gender relations that are exacerbated by the social, political, and economic conditions of war. She looks at trends in the form and function of sexual violence in recent and ongoing conflicts to contend that, in different contexts, sexual violence takes different forms and is used in pursuit of different objectives. For this reason, no single framework for addressing conflict-related sexual violence will be sufficient. Taking a political economy perspective, Meger maintains that these variations can be explained by broader struggles over territory, assets, and other productive resources that motivate contemporary armed conflicts. Sexual violence is a reflection of global political economic struggles, and can't be addressed only at the local level-it must be addressed through regional and international policy. She concludes by providing some initial ideas about how this can be done via the UN and national governments.
Read intrduciton + conclusion via eDuke: http://read.dukeupress.edu/content/living-with-bad-surroundings
Since 1986, the Acholi people of northern Uganda have lived in the crossfire of a violent civil war, with the Lord’s Resistance Army and other groups fighting the Ugandan government. Acholi have been murdered, maimed, and driven into displacement. Thousands of children have been abducted and forced to fight. Many observers have perceived Acholiland and northern Uganda to be an exception in contemporary Uganda, which has been celebrated by the international community for its increased political stability and particularly for its fight against AIDS. These observers tend to portray the Acholi as war-prone, whether because of religious fanaticism or intractable ethnic hatreds. In Living with Bad Surroundings, Sverker Finnström rejects these characterizations and challenges other simplistic explanations for the violence in northern Uganda. Foregrounding the narratives of individual Acholi, Finnström enables those most affected by the ongoing “dirty war” to explain how they participate in, comprehend, survive, and even resist it.
Finnström draws on fieldwork conducted in northern Uganda between 1997 and 2006 to describe how the Acholi—especially the younger generation, those born into the era of civil strife—understand and attempt to control their moral universe and material circumstances. Structuring his argument around indigenous metaphors and images, notably the Acholi concepts of good and bad surroundings, he vividly renders struggles in war and the related ills of impoverishment, sickness, and marginalization. In this rich ethnography, Finnström provides a clear-eyed assessment of the historical, cultural, and political underpinnings of the civil war while maintaining his focus on Acholi efforts to achieve “good surroundings,” viable futures for themselves and their families.
Men’s experiences as victims of sexual and gender-based violence remain little recognised in research, policy or practice. Mainstream narratives generally continue to depict men as perpetrators of violence and women as victims. Yet, having been linked to forced migration in contexts of armed conflict, sexual violence against men is slowly becoming recognised as far more widespread than was previously thought. Responding to this, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) approached the Refugee Law Project (RLP) and Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda (MOHRAU) in order to jointly design and carry out a study on collective action among male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.
This report explores one central question addressed by the study: ‘despite the odds stacked against them, what makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms?’ The study finds that, despite pervasive discrimination, groups of male survivors have been able to develop resilience and mutual support through collective action. Further, the study finds that third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can play an important support role in reinforcing the resilience and capacity of male survivors to organise collectively.
The article is concerned with the relationship between the processes of return after mass displacement, and social repair.
If mass displacement frays the social fabric of the family and community, possibilities of re-crafting a viable sociality
are also found within these intimate relations. Thus, we look to the everyday as a space of negotiation and renegotiation
of social relationships that make life meaningful. The article considers these propositions in the context of the forced displacement
of up to 90 per cent of the Acholi population during the height of the war in northern Uganda between 1986 and 2008, and in
the processes of mass return of displaced persons after the war. It takes as a point of departure the efforts of two sisters
as they struggle to overcome their displacement from family networks, and seek to restore their status through the performance
of Acholi notions of motherhood. Their efforts are collectivized by working with other female heads of households to trace
paternal clans, and secure a future for their children. The concept of social repair, we suggest, illuminates the way return
involves the day-to-day processual negotiation of relationships.
Sexual violence against men in armed conflict has been documented for thousands of years under the various guises of war, torture and mutilation yet it is often neglected mainly because of overwhelming stigma and shame surrounding it. Based on academic and grey literature on sexual violence against men in conflict, this article discusses the complex reasons for lack of quality data on this important topic. The motivations of sexual violence against men are also explored through applying causal theories that are largely based on female victims of sexual violence. Finally, interventions for the management of sexual violence against men in conflict are discussed. This study concludes that gendered binaries and strict gender roles are primarily responsible in accentuating sexual violence against men in terrorising and humiliating victims, and must be addressed. It also calls for more research and advocacy of male victims of sexual violence in order to fully understand the dynamics of this challenge as well as to offer effective care for male survivors of such violence.
This article reflects on gender issues in international law over the last decade, using Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security as bookends. It describes the remarkable spread of feminist ideas throughout the UN system and illustrates the productivity that can flow from the institutional embrace of ‘emancipatory’ ideas. At the same time, the Security Council resolutions illustrate a number of major problems, which include a pattern of selective engagement with feminist ideas as they are instrumentalised to serve institutional purposes; an absence of strong accountability mechanisms; and the tendency for protective stereotypes of women to normatively re-emerge. It concludes by expressing uneasiness about lending feminist support to the hegemonic power of the increasingly emboldened Security Council, and questions what this might mean for the future of international law generally, and for feminist efforts to shape the law in particular. It argues that the past decade of feminist engagement with international law highlights the need to develop a deeper understanding of how to work with the possibilities and against the exile of institutional cooption.
Two decades of conflict in northern Uganda have had a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of civilians. Like so many of today's ‘dirty wars,’ gender-related crimes have been pervasive. While numerous disciplines over the past century have developed sophisticated theories for understanding the nature and agency surrounding sexual offences, the nascent field of transitional justice is only just beginning to grapple with these issues or design appropriate measures of redress. This paper is based on research undertaken to look at issues of gender-based violence (GBV) in four camps for the internally displaced in northern Uganda in order to provide insight into the nature and prevalence of GBV within a specific context. The findings show that specific GBV dynamics need to be scrutinised within zones of conflict and taken into consideration in the policies adopted post-conflict. The paper both illuminates the nature of such abuses within the Ugandan context and points to the need for concerted attention to be paid to the pervasive gender dimensions of violence when designing transitional justice mechanisms.
This article explores the legal and psychological ramifications arising from the exclusion of evidence of sexual violence during the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Using empirical findings from post-trial interviews conducted with the ten victim-witnesses who were originally to testify, we juxtapose what the Special Court allowed the women to say, and what the women themselves wanted to say. From a legal perspective, we then critique the Trial Chamber's reasons for excluding the evidence and question the legal bases upon which the women were silenced, arguing that wider and wider circles of the women's experience were removed from the Court's records despite there being ample authority at an international level to support inclusion. We further look at the gendered biases in international criminal law and how expedience and efficiency usurped the significance of prosecuting crimes of sexual violence in this instance. From a psychological perspective, we discuss the consequences that the act of silencing had for the witnesses, and argue that a more emotionally sensitive understanding of the Court's notion of ‘protection’ is required.
Very few women are wartime rapists. Very few women issue commands to commit sexual violence. Very few women play a role in making war plans that feature the intentional sexual violation of other women. This book is about those very few women. Women as Wartime Rapists reveals the stories of female perpetrators of sexual violence and their place in wartime conflict, legal policy, and the punishment of sexual violence. More broadly, Laura Sjoberg asks, what do the actions and perceptions of female perpetrators of sexual violence reveal about our broader conceptions of war, violence, sexual assault, and gender?
This book explores specific historical case studies, such as Nazi Germany, Serbia, the contemporary case of ISIS, and others, to understand how and why women participate in rape during war and conflict. Sjoberg examines the contrast between the visibility of female victims and the invisibility of female perpetrators, as well as the distinction between rape and genocidal rape, which is used as a weapon against a particular ethnic or national group. Further, she explores women’s engagement with genocidal rape and how some orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of entire regions. A provocative approach to a sensationalized topic, Women as Wartime Rapists offers important insights into not only the topic of female perpetrators of wartime sexual violence, but to larger notions of gender and violence with crucial cultural, legal, and political implications.
In Buried in the Heart, Erin Baines explores the political agency of women abducted as children by the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, forced to marry its commanders, and to bear their children. Introducing the concept of complex victimhood, she argues that abducted women were not passive victims, but navigated complex social and political worlds that were life inside the violent armed group. Exploring the life stories of thirty women, Baines considers the possibilities of storytelling to reclaim one's sense of self and relations to others, and to generate political judgement after mass violence. Buried in the Heart moves beyond victim and perpetrator frameworks prevalent in the field of transitional justice, shifting the attention to stories of living through mass violence and the possibilities of remaking communities after it. The book contributes to an overlooked aspect of international justice: women's political agency during wartime.
This chapter explores the exclusion of civilian men from discussions of gender violence and gender inequality in conflict situations. It argues that progress toward including men in policy and legal discourse has been stunted, despite repeated attempts to challenge the silencing of men’s experiences. The chapter demonstrates how men can be simultaneously victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. It also highlights the importance of interrogating data collection methods in sexual violence studies. Reassessments of such statistics show that men are more frequently victims of sexual violence than had been previously assumed. To create alternative models of justice, this chapter calls for a conceptual shift that recognizes the gender-based harms men experience in conflict.
Feminist international legal scholarship is conventionally aimed at addressing the androcentric bias of international law. Its starting point, therefore, is that women have been and continue to be excluded from international law vis-à-vis both its emancipatory and protective potential. As Elisabeth Evatt states in her foreword to Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin’s seminal treatise, The Boundaries of International Law, international law ‘shows little concern for women, their interests and their special vulnerabilities’.1 However, in light of the proliferation of international laws, policies and programmes addressing conflict-related sexual violence over the course of the last two decades, this chapter seeks to add nuance to this claim. More specifically and towards this end, this chapter explores the silencing of male ‘victimhood’2 within mainstream international sexual violence discourse.
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.
The book traces the emergence of 'women' as a category in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.It draws from research conducted on the Commission's Human Rights Violations Hearings and in Zwelethemba, a small town in the Western Cape. It explores the production of gender difference in human rights work and examines the silences, gaps, elisions and possibilities that emerged from the Commission's process. It remains the only full length monograph on the topic and is widely cited.
"In this collection of lively essays, Cynthia Enloe makes better sense of globalization and international politics by taking a deep and personal look into the daily realities in a range of women's lives. She proposes a distinctively feminist curiosity that begins with taking women seriously, especially during this era of unprecedented American influence. This means listening carefully, digging deep, challenging assumptions, and welcoming surprises. Listening to women in Asian sneaker factories, Enloe reveals, enables us to bring down to earth the often abstract discussions of the global economy. Paying close attention to Iraqi women's organizing efforts under military occupation exposes the false global promises made by officials. Enloe also turns the beam of her inquiry inward. In a series of four candid interviews and a new set of autobiographical pieces, she reflects on the gradual development of her own feminist curiosity. Describing her wartime suburban girlhood and her years at Berkeley, she maps the everyday obstacles placed on the path to feminist consciousness-and suggests how those obstacles can be identified and overcome. The Curious Feminist shows how taking women seriously also challenges the common assumption that masculinities are trivial factors in today's international affairs. Enloe explores the workings of masculinity inside organizations as diverse as the American military, a Serbian militia, the UN, and Oxfam. A feminist curiosity finds all women worth thinking about, Enloe claims. She suggests that we pay thoughtful attention to women who appear complicit in violence or in the oppression of others, or too cozily wrapped up in their relative privilege to inspire praise or compassion. Enloe's vitality, passion, and incisive wit illuminate each essay. The Curious Feminist is an original and timely invitation to look at global politics in an entirely different way.".
As Director of the Refugee Law Project at the University of Makerere, Kampala, Uganda, Dolan offers a behind-the-scenes, cross-disciplinary study of one of Africa's longest running and most intractable conflicts. This book shows how, alongside the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army, government decisions and actions on the ground, consolidated by humanitarian. Interventions and silences, played a central role in creating a massive yet only very belatedly recognized humanitarian crisis. Not only individuals, but society as a whole, came to exhibit symptoms typical of torture, and the perpetrator-victim dichotomy became blurred. It is such phenomena, and the complex of social, political, economic and cultural dynamics which underpin them, which the author describes as social torture. Building on political economy, social anthropology, discourse analysis, international relations and psychoanalytic approaches to violence, this book offers an important analytical instrument for all those seeking entry points through which to address entrenched conflicts, whether from a conflict resolution, post-conflict recovery or transitional justice perspective.
Increasing acknowledgement in some quarters that women and girls are not the only victims of sexual violence, and that sexual violence is not the only form of gender-based violence (GBV), has yet to be adequately reflected in policy and practice in the humanitarian world.
This article explores the intersections of silence and transitional justice in Serbia, where, it is often suggested, the general public is silent and indifferent about human rights abuses that took place during the former Yugoslav conflicts. It considers both the 'silent' public and the ways in which transitional justice may be complicit in silencing it. Based on scholarship that suggests silences are not absences but rather sites of silent knowledge or a result of silencing, the article explores some of the dynamics hidden within the public's silence: shared knowledge, secret practices and inability to discuss violence. It also considers the ways in which audiences subvert and resist organized transitional justice initiatives or are caught up in a 'silent dilemma' in which they are unable to speak about the past under the discursive conditions created by transitional justice practitioners.
This article contributes to an ongoing conversation among feminist scholars about what constitutes feminist positioning with regard to the central issues that define transitions from conflict or repression towards more liberal polities. The analysis suggests that the feminist presence in transitional justice is complex, multilayered and still in the process of full engagement. Concentrating on the genealogy of this presence, the article reflects on what are commonly invoked scholarly and policy reference points, showing how little gender analysis and women's issues entered into the discursive fray in the public and political arenas where the terminology of accountability emerged. The challenge in assessing feminist positioning is that an uncritical and narrowly liberal conception of gender equality directs our gaze away from the cultural, material and geopolitical sites in which transitional justice practices have emerged. The article explores the connections between transitional justice and identification of harms done to women, the importance of acknowledging these harms and the need to centre discussions of agency and autonomy in feminist approaches to structural political change in deeply divided societies.
Inspired by the themes of violence, masculinity and responsibility, this article investigates the visibility of male victims/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in war. Despite the passing of UNSCR 1820 in 2008, the formulation of UN ACTION (United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict), and the appointment of a United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General to lead policy and practice in this issue area, we argue here that male survivors/victims remain a marginal concern, which has, among other consequences, profound implications for the facilities that exist to support male victims/survivors during and after periods of active conflict. In the first section of the article, we provide an overview of the contemporary academic literature on rape in war, not only to act as the foundation for the analytical work that follows but also to illustrate the argument that male survivors/victims of sexualised violence in war are near-invisible in the majority of literature on this topic. Second, we turn our analytical lens to the policy environment charged with addressing sexualised violence in conflict. Through a discourse analysis focussed on the website of UN ACTION (www.stoprapenow.org), we demonstrate that this lack of vision in academic work maps directly to a lack of visibility in the policy arena. The third section of the article explores the arrangements in place within extant peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction programmes that aim to facilitate recovery with victims/survivors of sexualised violence in war. We conclude with reflections on the themes of violence, masculinity and responsibility in the context of sexualised violence in war and suggest that in this context all privileged actors have a responsibility to theorise violence with careful attention to gender in order to avoid perpetuating models of masculinity and war-rape that have potentially pernicious effects.
Reports of sexual violence by men against men emerge from numerous conflicts, ranging in time from Ancient Persia and the Crusades to the conflicts in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite these accounts, relatively little material exists on the subject and the issue tends to be relegated to a footnote. This article ascertains the extent to which male sexual violence is committed in armed conflict. It considers factors that explain under-reporting by victims and lack of detection on the part of others. The particular forms of male sexual violence are also examined: namely rape, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence, including enforced nudity, enforced masturbation and genital violence. The dynamics present in these offences are explored, with issues of power and dominance, expressed through emasculation, considered. Thus, attention is paid to ideas of feminization, homosexualization and the prevention of procreation. The symbolic construction of male and female bodies in armed conflict is also explored.
This article critically examines the presumption that international adjudication of wartime rape cases advances the interests of survivors. It argues that just as national women's rights advocates recognize the futility of relying on court testimony alone for the production of a narrative that reflects women's experiences, promotes their agency and addresses their need for closure and healing, international women's rights advocates should explore the limitations of international tribunals and examine complementary and alternative mechanisms. Using the landmark "Foca case' as an illustration, the author explains that although women may still exercise agency in the context of the adversarial process, their ability to do so is stunted. Moreover, I argue that, although witnesses may actively resist the legal meta-narrative of Woman Victim, adversarial processes serve to reinforce gender essentialism and cultural essentialism. This analysis has important implications for women human rights advocates seeking to bring cases before all international courts, including the permanent International Criminal Court.
This article discusses the role of rumors in everyday Acholi life in war-torn northern Uganda. These rumors concern various health threats such as HIV and Ebola. The rumors are closely associated with the forces of domination that are alleged to destroy female sexuality and women's reproductive health and, by extension, Acholi humanity. Moreover, the rumors are stories that say something profound about lived entrapments and political asymmetries in Uganda and beyond.
Methodological issues have constituted some of the deepest sources of misunderstanding between International Relations (IR) feminists and IR theorists working in social scientific frameworks. IR theorists have called upon feminists to frame their research questions in terms of testable hypotheses. Feminists have responded that their research questions cannot be answered using social science explanatory frameworks. Deep epistemological divisions about the construction and purpose of knowledge make bridging these methodological divides difficult. These epistemological standards lead feminists to very different methodological perspectives. Asking different questions from those typically asked in IR, many IR feminists have drawn on ethnographic, narrative, cross-cultural, and other methods that are rarely taught to students of IR, to answer them. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary scholarship on feminist methodologies and some recent IR feminist case studies, this article analyzes and assesses how these methodological orientations are useful for understanding the gendering of international politics, the state and its security-seeking practices and its effects on the lives of women and men.
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Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard. Columbia: Columbia University Press
Male-on-Male Sexual Violence in Wartime: Human Rights’ Last Taboo?” Paper presented at the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA)
Victims Who Are Men” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict