The Quest for Post-Conflict Gender Justice

Authored by: Kelly D. Askin

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2003
Citation: Askin, Kelly D. "The Quest for Post-Conflict Gender Justice." Columbia Journal of Transitional Law 41 (2003): 509-521.

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Executive Summary

There is no scarcity of evidence of gender-related crimes committed on an astronomical scale in current or past conflicts around the world, despite the reluctance of victims to report the crimes and the disinclination of a majority of investigators and reporters to search for evidence of sexual violence. Sex crimes are exceedingly commonplace during periods of international and internal armed conflict, with the crimes committed both opportunistically and purposefully, randomly and calculatedly, and by persons in control or those out of control. Such crimes are committed regardless of whether there are orders or encouragement to commit rape or whether such assaults are expressly forbidden by superiors. Sexual violence is committed by military personnel and civilians alike on all sides of armed conflict, whether to achieve political and military objectives or simply for personal motivations or gratifications. Once considered a by-product of war, it is now recognized that women and girls are regularly and intentionally targeted for abuse, particularly sexual abuse.