Gender Violence in Peace and War: States of Complicity

Authored by: Victoria Sanford, Katerina Stefatos, Cecilia M. Salvi

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Year: 2016
Citation: SANFORD, VICTORIA, KATERINA STEFATOS, and CECILIA M. SALVI, eds. Gender Violence in Peace and War: States of Complicity. New Brunswick, New Jersey; London: Rutgers University Press, 2016.

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Executive Summary

Gender Violence in Peace and War: States of Complicity offers an analysis of the role of the state, its mechanisms, and its structures in perpetuating, legitimizing, and facilitating gender violence worldwide. This book documents the nature, extent, and progress made in relation to gender-based violence since the advancements in women’s rights that had their zenith in the 1990s, and focuses specifically on state participation in and interventions on gender violence. The authors ask: How is gender violence perpetrated and facilitated by the state to be understood as a worldwide phenomenon? What are the connections and effects of sexism, nationalism, and militarism (as structural and ideological elements of the state) in the victimization of women? In what ways does the state’s political agenda not adequately respond to and protect women’s rights? What possible interventions exist when the state itself is an agent of gender violence?

Our cross-cultural, multidisciplinary research indicates that rape and sexual violence are not produced by the “chaos” of war, rogue soldiers, or a faulty command structure. Rather, our research in Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, Kenya, Kurdistan, Indonesia, and Peru identifies the various ways in which rape and sexual violence were used as weapons and deployed by command structures with strategic political intentions.