Added: December 3, 2016 – Last updated: December 3, 2016


Speaker: Deniz Özbek Özyurt

Title: The Use Of Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War

Subtitle: A Comparative Study on the Bosnian and Rwandan Cases

Conference: Evil, Women and the Feminine: 7th Global Meeting (May 6-8, 2015)

Session: 1: In The Battlefield

Place: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Date: May 6, 2015

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Rwandan History; European History: Bosnian History | Types: Genocidal Rape / Rwandan Genocide; Types: Wartime Rape / Bosnian War


Link: Inter-Disciplinary.Net (Free Access)



»The military history embraces series of sexual violence incidents; most of them have not been recorded nor recognised as crime. Since, the traditional schools of thoughts ignore gender-related aspects of war and instead concentrate on power shifts, a very important angle of the study remains unseen. War and peace are two concepts that should be redefined by a feminist perspective. In this way, the military strategies targeting women can be analysed accurately.
The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war has always been a “successful” method to reach military goals like population control, humiliation and displacement of targeted civilian group, demoralization of targeted armed group, encouragement of soldiers by ordered sexual torture that includes militarized rape, forced prostitution and forced pregnancy. Besides, perpetrators can easily free themselves from penal sanctions; anyhow it is very difficult to reveal sexual violence cases.
The “achievements” of using sexual violence as a military strategy have been proven by perpetrators in countless and diversified armed conflicts. The diversity is the key term to demonstrate the universal use of sexual violence-related military tactics. In order to underline the importance of gender-based analysis on armed conflicts, two different cases were selected; Bosnian War (1992-1995) and Rwandan Genocide (1994). These cases are very different from each other in terms of history, geography, national-ethnic-religious origins; however the similarities are remarkable when it comes to the use of sexual violence on targeted civilian women. In both cases, the public-gendered silence covers the atrocities of war victims even in post-conflict period of time.
The analysis aims to demonstrate that even in the most different cases, the sexual violence practices are the same ones; the invisible targets of war are the ones who suffer from “sexual violence weapon.” They should be seen and not be considered as “invisible war casualties.”« (Source: Inter-Disciplinary.Net)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Rwanda; History of Europe: History of Bosnia and Herzegovina | Genocide: Rwandan genocide / Rape during the Rwandan Genocide | Types of rape: Genocidal rape, Wartime sexual violence | War: Bosnian War / Rape during the Bosnian War