Added: May 7, 2016 – Last updated: May 7, 2016


Author: Baillie Bell

Title: The Wartime Rape Narrative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Subtitle: -

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, University of Ottawa

Year: 2016

Pages: iii + 146pp.

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | African History: Congolese History | Types: Wartime Rape / First Congo War, Second Congo War


Link: uO Research: Digital Repository of the University of Ottawa (Free Access)


Abstract: »The international community has constructed a dominant narrative to explain the prevalence of gendered violence in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This dominant narrative posits regional and national antagonisms over conflict minerals as the cause of the Congolese wars that have resulted in the mass rape of Congolese women and girls. Sexual violence against women and girls is portrayed as the most significant form of violence occurring during the Congolese wars. This narrative has had a substantial impact on how the international community has represented, researched and responded to Congolese women and gendered violence. I argue that this narrative is based on problematic conceptions of gender relations rooted in Western feminism that are incompatible with the local experiences of Congolese women and men. The misconception of gender, gender relations and gender violence has engendered misguided intervention initiatives that have failed to produce meaningful change in the lives of Congolese women. This thesis challenges dominant discourses that inform and impose specific narratives of violence and development agendas. It moves beyond them to propose an alternative analysis of gender and gendered violence. It sheds light on the historical disconnection between international and local perspectives of gender and gender violence in the Congo, arguing that to be effective, international development and humanitarian discourses must be re-examined in light of the local socio-cultural context of eastern Congo.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. iii)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter One: Dominant Discourses on Violence (p. 12)
    Discourse on the Congo (p. 23)
    The Wartime Rape Discourse in the DRC (p. 32)
    Misguided Interventions (p. 39)
  Chapter Two: Gender Dynamics and A History of Inequality (p. 44)
    Gender Based Violence In the DRC- The Construction of a Victim (p. 48)
    Components of Community Belonging (p. 59)
    Gender Relations From the Colonial to the Post-Colonial (p. 66)
    Gender, Marriage, and Social Norms in Post Colonial DRC (p. 70)
    Gender Relations During the Congolese Wars and its Aftermath (p. 73)
  Chapter Three: The Gendered Dynamics of Violence (p. 80)
    Perceptions of Gender Based Violence in the DRC (p. 81)
    Men as Victims of Gendered Violence (p. 85)
    Violence Against Children (p. 89)
    Violence Against Women (p. 93)
    Sexual Violence (p. 94)
    Economic and Structural Violence (p. 100)
    Secondary Victims, Primary Loss (p. 108)
  Chapter Four: The Gap Between International Perspective and Local Realities (p. 111)
    International Solutions to Violence (p. 113)
    Gender Equality Through Legislation (p. 119)
    Disconnect Between the National and Local (p. 123)
  Conclusion (p. 131)
  Bibliography (p. 135)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Types of rape: Wartime sexual violence | War: First Congo War, Second Congo War