Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Ruepublic of Congo

Topics: Violence, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations Pages: 20 (7136 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Johanna Neyt
International Law INTL 5530/17
Dr. D. Gierycz
2 October 2011

1Introduction4
1.1Interest of Research Topic4
1.2Research Question5
1.3Structure5
1.4Methodology6
1.5Definition of terms6
2Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law and Criminal Rights Law about Sexual and Gender Based Violence7
2.1Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts7
2.2Two historical examples: Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Rwanda8
2.3The International Criminal Court and Sexual Gender Based Violence9
2.4Progression in International Law on Sexual Gender Based Violence10
3The Complexity of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the conflict Democratic Republic of Congo11
3.1Facts11
3.2Causes and interpretations14
3.2.1Historical assessment and analysis of the state of the National Armed Forces (FARDC)14
3.2.2Social and Juridical factors15
3.3Sexual and Gender Based Violence as a cultural pattern in the Great Lakes region18
4Strategies to end Sexual and Gender Based Violence in DRC19
4.1UNiTE Goals19
4.2Sexual Violence Unit at MONUC mission in DRC20
4.3Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in DRC21
5Conclusion23
5.1Answer Research Question23
5.2Recommendation25
6Bibliography26
Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo Introduction
Interest of Research Topic
Congo/Zaire has always triggered my interest as a Belgian woman. Having a lot of relatives and friends in the former Belgian colony, I am raised with the stories of missionaries, plantations and Black African culture. My aunt, a missionary nun of the Sisters of Mercy , lived in Zaïre/Congo for 30 years. In these years, we received a monthly newsletter, where she introduced us to the local traditions and culture. She was posted at different locations, mainly involved with educational projects. The last 10 years, she lived in a small community within a military camp in Eastern Congo. I remember her letters from 1996, where she expressed her hope that Laurent-Désiré Kabila would finally make an end to the 31 years of Mubutu Sese Seko’s dictatorship, corruption and military oppression. She described Kabila as a Messiah who finally would bring peace, order and prosperity to the country. In October 1996, Kabila and his army, Alliance des Forces Démocratique pour la Libération (AFDL), crossed the Rwandan and Burundese border to liberate Zaïre . The soldiers of the Forces Armées Congolais (FAC) and the AFDL fought a bitter war with a lot of civilian victims. The military camp, where my aunt lived, was attacked and she saw one of her co-sisters being violated and raped. My aunt fled into a dog cage, where she hid for 3 days. With the help of missionary fathers, she was able to escape and she left her beloved Zaïre and never returned. After 15 years she is still experiencing the psychological and physical consequences of these days of terror. It took a long time before the violated and raped women revealed their experiences, because of the taboo that rested on them. Most of the raped women and children didn’t only suffer from physical wounds, pregnancies, and life-long fistula’s, but were also abandoned by their husbands and stigmatized by the whole community. ‘Breaking the Silence’ was the term used to tell these stories to the world and only afterwards aid organizations would become active in the region to support the victims and to battle the ongoing acts of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Research Question

Some reports call Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) a new weapon of war. In this paper I examine what lay at the foundation of SGBV and I analyze how International Law (Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law and Criminal Law) has responded to the concepts and which strategies were developed and implemented to combat this violence. As...

Bibliography: - Anderson, Irina and Kathy Doherty. Accounting for Rape. Psychology, Feminism and Discourse Analysis in the Study of Sexual Violence. London: Routledge, 2008.
- Bastick, Megan, Karin Grimm and Rahel Kunz. Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector. Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2007.
- Bouta,Tjeard, Georg Freks and Ian Bannon
- Carlsen, Erika. Ra/pe and War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 21: 474-483, 2009.
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) (1995); cited in M. Hynes and B. Lopes-Cardozo, Sexual Violence Against Refugee Women, Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-based Medicine Vol 9(8), 819-23,2000.
- Inter-Agency Standing Committee. Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. Focusing on Prevention of and response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies. 2005.
- Inter-Agency Standing Committee
- medica mondiale (ed.): Violence Against Women in War. Handbook for professionals working with traumatized women. Mabuse Publisher, 2008.
- Mukwege, Denis Mukengere, and Cathy Nagini. Rape with Extreme Violence: The New Pathology in South-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. PLoS Medicine, Volume 6,Issue 12, 2009.
- Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges
- Prunier, Gérard. Africa’s World War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Puechguirbal, Nadine. Women and War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. in: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 28, No. 4,1271-1281, 2003.
- Silberschmidt, Margrethe. Disempowerment of Men in Rural and Urban East Africa: Implications for Male Identity and Sexual Behavior. University of Copenhagen, 2001.
- Stiglmayer, Alexandra (ed.). Mass rape. The War Against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina.University of Nebraska, 1994.
- Yuval-Davis, Nira: Gender and Nation. Sage Publication, 1997.
- http://monusco.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4078
- http://cigj.anu.edu.au/cigj/people/staff/charlesworth.php, last updated April 29, 2011
- http://www.womenwarpeace.org/bosnia/bosnia.htm., UNIFEM , May 16, 2006
- http://monusco.unmissions.org/, Newsletter, update August 2010
[ 3 ]. Megan Bastick, Karen Grimm and Rahel Kunz, Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Global overview and Implications for the Security Sector, DCAF, 2007
[ 4 ]
[ 5 ]. Avega (1999); cited in J. Ward, If not now, When?, Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium (RHRC)
(New York, April 2002).
[ 14 ]. Human Rights Watch interview UN official, Goma, March 30, 2009
[ 15 ]
[ 16 ]. Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern,The Complexity of Violence: A critical analysis of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo,Sida working paper on Gender Based Violence (Sida: May, 2010)
[ 17 ]
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Gender Based Violence Essay
  • Gender Based Violence Research Paper
  • Essay on Gender-Based Violence
  • Essay on Sexual Violence
  • Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination in Iraq Essay
  • Roles in Sexual Violence of Rwandan Genocide Essay
  • Gender Based Violence Essay
  • Religion and Gender-Based Violence Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free