Comprehending Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict
09. December 2018 at 08:00
Sexual violence has been firmly placed in the internal theme of the humanitarian community. Regardless of the commendable advances in both practice and policy, there is still a continuous gap between the reality in the field and what is recommended.In this Research Paper, It is emphasized that, despite the intense obstacles of working in a humanitarian emergencies, the deeper understanding of sexual violence in times of conflict is watered down to such a level that it hinders significant humanitarian Action.
Firstly, the humanitarians reductionists approach towards sexual violence not solely disregard survivors/victims other than the stereotypical but also prevents perpetrators from questioning and the international humanitarian community itself in which vast sexual violence depoliticisation has erased the connection between violence and gender inequality.
Secondly, the Humanitarian International Community has placed itself as the western, white, heroic safeguard of vulnerable girls (and not boys and men) and women– a narrative that solely increases power differences between the beneficiary and the humanitarian but also reproduces the subordination of women.
Thirdly, an exposé or publication of silences in international discussions in respect to sexual violence in armed conflicts indicate the humanitarian community involvement in wrongdoing in reproducing systems of gender inequality that permits for sexual violence to take place and continuously remains un-emphasized by ignoring to transform the limiting political environment that majorly and negatively affects a favorable humanitarian Action.
This evaluation of Humanitarian sexual violence serious discussion entails a mismatch between the nature of the subject matter as well as the manner in which it is comprehended, resulting to ineffective initiatives on ground. Research involvement with feminism and humanitarian involvement with crucial research may recreate inner importance that is essential to our comprehension rather than impede it.
- DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo
- AU: African Union
- ICTY: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- ICTR: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- IDP: Internally Displaced Persons
- NGO: Non Governmental Organizations
- IS: Islamic State
- UN: United Nation
- US: United States
- RUF: Revolutionary United Front
Sexual violence is a serious violations of human rights that occurs in a place and involves perpetrators, violent acts, impacts, survivors and victims’ varying from health to a wide array of social consequences. Sexual violence is also a strategy or tool of war that encompasses the conflict escalation, pre conflict and post conflict stages. It breaks tabors and therefore violating rules and regulations and crossing the starting point that society sets on demandable Conduct.
For Long ago, sexual violence has been known to happen during the period of war, yet only since the globe was exposed en masse to the crimes carried out during the genocide in Rwanda and the dissolution of Yugoslavian – most especially the war in Herzegovina and Bosnia has sexual violence in armed conflict began to receive rapt international attention. The year 1990 also saw a sudden expansion of the number of policies relating to Humanitarian and dealings with Gender and Sexual violence in conflict affected populations including the United Nations (UNs) Security Council Resolutions that acknowledged not solely gendered encounters of war but also the significance of addressing and tackling sexual violence in armed conflict.
Regardless of the advances in the Decision making process arena, a wider scale of sexual violence perpetration continues to escalate in contemporary conflicts. The scenarios of sexual violence in the protracted conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are well famous instances. Here, sexual violence is continually documented to the level of creating “pornography of violence” where researchers and Medias alike are continually attempting to outdo one another with the most barbaric gang rape incident.
However, survivors/victims of sexual violence may view minimal change after sharing their encounters, the event more incessant and present media attention given to sexual violence carried out by the Islamic States (IS) in Iraq does entails that sexual violence in armed conflicts is now majorly centered on the consciousness of the public in most donor nations and on the international Agenda.
The International Humanitarian Community –comprising of Red Cross, United Nation agencies, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Red Crescent Societies catering for urgent relief in protracted conflicts ( mostly armed conflict), loosely coordinated along functional and ideological views –is continually less capable to attain humanitarian assistance requirements despite its significant expansion over the last years.
In respect to sexual violence in conflict; these entails, for instance, that vital services for sexual violence survivors/victims are massively unavailable, inadequate and inaccessible. There is a wide gap between what is recommended and the reality in the field even though sexual violence has a serious social, psychological and physical repercussion for survivors/victims that extend to their communities and families –such as children born from rape.
Nevertheless, the various obstacles similar to working in conflict areas and also war period sexual violence most especially and regardless of the greatly praiseworthy made advances, some explanations for the disparity between the practice point and the policy to the international humanitarian system “inherent structural insufficiency”; an instance of this is a serious concern to the cluster approach and the coordination mechanism that has been executed in various humanitarian emergencies since the 2005 Humanitarian reform.
Also, a great number of scholars have emphasized that response to and prevention of sexual violence during the period of conflict is frustrated through the way in which the action of the humanitarian is coordinated and organized; no single agency, United Nations (UNs) or otherwise is emphasizing any distinct leadership in tackling sexual violence.
This Research Paper emphasizes that the disparity between the promise of Justice by the Humanitarian and the actual reality of conflict disrupted populations and that of survivors/victims of sexual violence is partly as a result of the present (mis)understanding of sexual violence during armed conflict. Comprehending shapes practice, the way and manner in which humanitarian action is coordinated; no single agency, United Nations (UNs) or otherwise is showcasing any leadership in tackling sexual violence.
This Research Paper emphasizes that the gap between the Promise of justice by the humanitarian and the factual reality of conflict affected populations and that of survivors/victims of sexual violence is partly as a result of the present misunderstandings of sexual violence in armed conflict. Understanding shapes practice; the manner in which sexual violence is conceptualized will have an effect on the manner those participated in interventions for support or prevention of victims interact and behave, as this can in some situation be challenging.
Therefore; the research paper basically looks at the International humanitarian issues around sexual violence in armed conflicts and its understanding of survivors/victims. Next, the Research Paper analysis and evaluates how the international humanitarian community stances itself in respect to sexual violence survivors and victims’ and also how it conceptualizes it function in tackling sexual violence during the time of conflict.
Thirdly, the research paper looks at the silences on the international sexual violence issues most especially in respect to the manner that obscured interests in ensuring that the status quo continually remains the same. Lastly, the significance of the results for humanitarian practices is emphasized and suggestions are made in respect to how to pave forward so as to arrive at a more attainable and realistic humanitarian Actions.
Understanding Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Depoliticisation, Medicalisation and Instrumentality
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) are majorly known as the events that put sexual violence in conflict on the international agenda. The particular case of the 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Akayesu Paul Jean has virtually been referred to as a historical attainment as it effectively prosecuted rape as genocide, regardless of the initial unwillingness to do so. This as well as other landmark scenarios nevertheless assisted in transforming sexual violence in conflict from an unfortunate but unavoidable by the actions of wars to a serious violation of human rights and as part of crimes against humanity and as war crime, genocide and torture to attain a weaponized Portfolio.
This conceptualization of sexual violence as a “tool for war” has become pervasive in scholarly works on conflicts, media accounts applying description such as “deliberate military strategy”, “terror tactic” and as a “bio military strategy” by which equipped combatants symbolically cross the enemy lines. United Nation (UN) Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) of 1820 basically emphasizes that sexual violence is a “tactic of war” in which the populations of the civilians are methodically aimed at as “part of a systematic or a widespread attack”. Sexual violence is usually accepted by sophiscated armed groups instead of as an international planned action of war. And therefore; this term has served to emphasize the “pervasive, systematic and orchestrated nature” of sexual violence during the period of armed conflict. Nevertheless; it is incomplete and narrow.
For instance, there are generalization of sexual violence as a “tool for genocide” in Rwanda which renders invisible and unknown victims other than the Tutsi women, such as the men and women of Twa and Hutu ethnicities. Also in a similar vein, the instrument of war explanation evaluates sexual violence as a tool applied by equipped combatants, carrying out violence caused by the civilian such as the intimate partners to vanish. Also, Sexual Violence acts carried out by the African Union (AU) or United Nation (UN) peacemakers; deployed personnel of the United Nation (UN) activities, United Nation (UN) volunteers, specialists on mission, military observers, consultants, contractors and police units become excluded from major and serious injury –let alone sexual violence among various humanitarians.
While on the other hand, scholars cautions that the approach to sexual violence as an instrument of weapon could have opposite effect by maximizing its value as an instruments to significantly and basically disentangle the fabric of the community, the major concentration of this Research Paper is that the concept of instrumentality hazards of designing the humanitarian initiatives that entails with the restricted comprehension of sexual violence is carried out by equipped combatants. An instance of this is whereby services for sexual violence survivors/victims in Northern Uganda selectively aimed those that have been committed by unanimous equipped combatants, even though violence from recognized perpetrators was much more frequent. However; the idea and impression of instrumentality is not the sole challenging manner in which sexual violence in conflict has been framed by the international community.
Actually, alongside the label “tool of war; sexual violence has continually occurred from a (bio) medical standpoint, proof in the common idea and impression of rape pandemics or even rape epidemics. Medicalisation tends to minimize sexual violence to a harm done or an apolitical ‘injury’ that has majorly eliminate the power relations that inform and produce gender leaving in its place suffering bodies, without causes or perpetrators, each of which can be handled by the global “humanitarian kit”. In such a way, the main emphasis is selectively on the survivor/victim: “the batterer becomes invisible as well as the challenge”. The sexual violence survivor/victim becomes a “patient viewed in isolation from various forms of injustices as well as exploitation”. Therefore, Medicalisation ensures for the decoupling of sexual violence from its economic, socio cultural and political contexts and also Interventions centered on Medicalisation hazard tackling “the symptoms” of violence instead of the underlying ‘illness’.
Humanitarian action results to the connections of suffering to innocence; as an innocent victim is more probably to generate the giving reflex instead of an image of an individual as oppressed rights bearers entailing an obligation from peoples and states across the globe. Also; Medicalisation depoliticalises the female survivor/victim of sexual violence so as to render her, as a recipient of global aid, ‘legitimate, palatable and even sympathetic’ –not unconnected to the importance centered on Victorian perspectives about the loss of honor, sexual integrity and societal perspectives that criticizes victims for their own rape. Consequent depoliticisation and Medicalisation have not solely ensured survivors/victims of sexual violence to become the “poster child for humanitarian assistance” but also links humanitarian activities on sexual violence to political neutrality, usually important for access of humanitarian stakeholders to and safety related in war zones.
Also, it is important to note that although depoliticisation and Medicalisation are essential to “decontaminate” the (most especially) female survivor/victim of sexual violence in other to make her “worthy” of humanitarian aid in the global south, this may be clearly distinct for western girls and women that are raped , particularly when the perpetrator is viewed as the “the other”. presently, the varieties of sexual violence as an “epidemic” regained current ground in media accounts of Europe’s refuge conflict:- an instance such as rape. Medicalisation tends to address the sensed level of the challenge, postulating it as a bio political plan of warfare applied by “the enemy”. Here, sexual violence against western women tend to be politicized instead of been depoliticized by calling on politicians yet in a manner that has the occurrence of depoliticized by calling on politicians yet in a manner that has the occurrence of western men asserting their dominance over “their” women.
Also, Medicalisation draws attention away from the structural differences that are so closely connected to this violation of human rights for both women from the global south and western women. The basic “truth” is that sexual violence during the times of conflict does not develop and occur in isolation from the society’s pre existing culturally and socio economic shaped gender connections”
The Notion of Instrumentality, Depoliticisation (of other women) and Medicalisation prohibits the deep comprehension of sexual violence in armed conflict by failing to reflect and depict the vigorous and purposeful complexity of this violation of human rights. Centered on restricted understanding, humanitarian assistance centered on safeguarding of Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and refugee communities or the provision of reproductive and sexual health services for survivors/victims of sexual violence is bound to be inadequate and ineffective.
Positioning the Internationals Humanitarian Community: Heroic Safeguard of Girls and Women
Understanding the response of the international humanitarian community to sexual violence during the time of armed conflict necessitates an evaluations of how stakeholders within this community stance themselves in respect to the issue as well as to survivors/victims of sexual violence. The beginning conceptualization of humanitarianism as the “philanthropic provisions of relief” is inherently racist: racism which still lingers from colonialism was usually comforted instead of being challenged by humanitarian reporting and marketing which took a patronizing philanthropic perspective. Various private acts of humanitarian giving were likely tainted by the perspectives of Asian and African inferiority that served to infantilize these societies as well as to dehumanize and degrade their individuals to an almost pornographic level.
Actually, the very act of giving might usually have served to attest such racism. However; the language of the international humanitarian community has previously migrated to a rights centered narrative assisted by the development of the International Humanitarian Law, it is not unimaginable that these notions still occur, particularly when it entails to sexual violence in conflict –where the suffering and pains of others become the source of western, white moral superiority.
United Nation (UN) discussion around women/girls in war and gender and sexual centered violence in conflict possesses an unmistakable importance on female vulnerability, reinforcing every common gender stereotypes. Subsequently, the vulnerability of women compensated with safeguarding the “essence to safeguard women in war” is visibly proved in different Security Council resolutions such as Resolutions 1888 (2009); 1820 (2008); 2106 (2013) and 1960 (2010).
This repetitious and uninteresting of the vulnerable woman continuously equated with the “girl child”, successfully strips her of her agency while silencing simultaneously every discussion surrounding the male victims of sexual violence during armed conflict. Such discussions ignore war zones sexually exploited boys and also culturally advanced and refined men compelled to carry our acts of sexual violence.
In Northern Uganda, compelling men to rape family members and raping of men served to continuously oppress communities by negatively affecting family bonds. A major study discovered that more than one in five male refugees from the District Republic of Congo (DRC) had encountered sexual violence in their Lifetime.
Feminist Scholars have emphasized that the beginning terms from the 1990s such as the “violence against women”; however stressing on its structural forming parts, has to create provision for the more objective and neutral term “gender centered violence”. However; this supposed neutrality based on some; disavow the connection between women’s subordination in societies – and violence and historically rooted gender inequality by insisting that violence and gender is an issue to please those who were of feminist terminology –with the repercussion of losing its critical and political capability. in practice, it has created room for the inclusion of male survivors/victims of sexual violence. Nevertheless, the male survivors/victims remain an elusive subject in the international sexual violence. Discussion, rendering the inclusion agreement is insincere.
Actually, much still requires to be carried out by the humanitarian community to tackle sexual violence against girls/women. Furthermore, it is actually sexual violence against women that emphasizes the essence of holding on to the connection between sexual violence and women’s and girls’ subordination. To rape a woman or to sexually violate a woman or a girl is to ensure lesbianism and sexually afflict victim. Now she is considered a raped woman or girl and this affects her negatively and she is now not solely subordinate to other women but she is also subordinate to other men or women precisely because she is seen as a weak woman. By applying the word sexual including gender based violence and gender loses its close connection with historically rooted inequality and the insubordination of women’s is therefore reproduced by the International Humanitarian community.
Also; the concentration on the vulnerability of women renders invisible female accomplices or perpetrators in sexual violence such as the sexual torture of hostages carried out by Female United States (US) military personnel at Ghraib Abu prison in Baghdad, Iraq. Sierra Leone’s female fighters Revolutionary United Front (RUF) majorly involved in gang raping. Also; Sexual violence survivors/victims that fall outside the dichotomy of socially constructed gender portfolios are disregarded, even though transgender, bisexual or lesbian individuals may be at a particular hazard of sexual violence in the scenarios of political instability and armed conflict.
Further moving away from the male perpetrators/female victim dichotomy in the international sexual violence discussion, the victim-perpetrator binary basically ignores how individuals may both be agents and subjects of violence in respect to child soldiers who are the primary survivors/victims of (sexual) violence and later participate in its perpetration. A number of studies look at sexual violence perpetration as a tools for maximizing social cohesion among equipped groups. This explains again that the complexity contexts within which sexual violence transpires are not wholly comprehended.
Nevertheless; the simplistic perspective of the girl child and vulnerable women requiring protection serves as a “backbone pillar of the Humanitarian sentiment”. As the extremely susceptible of the “other” (non western) woman comes at the expense of her agency and power, it seems that the perspectives underlying the more present rights-inspired rhetoric of “safeguard” are only a continuation of the under presences of paternalism, racism, patriarchal hegemonies of the west and colonialism.
In the present day, the narrative of the protectionist action of the humanitarian, majorly referred to as the heroic narrative, the (white, male) west is the backer of the progressive values such as freedom, security and peace as well as the heroic savior, who brings “human rights and peace to the local communities that requires saving”. The former remains a passive, powerless, symbol of poverty, helplessness, violence, oppressed by non-western/non-white oppressors.
The nature of these narratives permits us to evaluate the self representation and self positioning of the international humanitarian community in the light of grandiosity; entailing an “attempts to give yourself, your organization (occupational group or probably the society in which you dwell, a positive; if somewhat well polished, superficial and status improving Image.
The International humanitarian community has polished its self image (its image) not solely through the heroic narrative centered on female vulnerability but as well as through the “inflation of job titles”. Although, there is an improvement from “executives” to “managers” and “vice presidents” within the humanitarian community, it entails of High Commissioners, special envoys, special representatives of the secretary general on sexual violence in conflict as well as the secretary general.
However, these designations may effectively improve the image of the humanitarian community and of influential persons within that community. Nevertheless; it propels a naming game that increases the distance in respect to power between a “rape victim” and a “high commissioner”. Whereas “the bestowment” of humanitarian aid upon “beneficiaries” already significantly disempowers the recipients, humanitarian titles aid in the reproduction of this asymmetric Connection.
The angle in which the International Humanitarian Community places itself in respect to survivors/victims of sexual violence during the period of armed conflict adds up to a restricted understanding of sexual violence. It also obscures the complicity of humanitarians not solely directly as a result of their absence or presence in warzones but also due to the indirectly west involvement in the creation of these conflicts.
Complicity and Elephant in the Room: Supra Personal Perpetrators
In June 2014, the first Global summit towards ending sexual violence in conflict amalgamated together delegates from more than 150 nations and more than a thousand religious leaders, professionals, international organizations and representatives of civil society to tackle warzone sexual violence. “Special envoy for the United Nation (UN) High Commissioner or Refugee and Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie co-chaired the summit with the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary; Hague William worked together in their zeal to handle sexual violence in conflict.
The contribution of Jolie’s to the field, the Global Summit was a sterling instance of how the international humanitarian’s community majorly involves with celebrities in what is referred to as celebrity humanitarianism or celebrity diplomacy. This is not wholly dangerous considering that stakeholders usually present these issues stripped of their basic complicated nature. Also; celebrities recreate the developing globe and the individuals who dwell in developing nations (as well as sexual violence survivors/victims), to put them in their necessary place in the Neoliberal international system through a per-formative perpetuation embedded historically subjective. Also in the same vein, the rising integration of social media into humanitarian campaigns in what is referred to as “click, forget and donate campaigns” has not solely reframed “assisting others” in respect to “narcissistic self work and entrepreneurial” but also depoliticized humanitarianisms by privileging “personalized action instead of grand political and ethical changes that intends to break down the worldwide structures of injustices”.
Also; in other words, humanitarian involvement with social media and celebrities may not come from a desire to “stand shoulder to shoulder with every victims as well as those affected by sexual violence during conflict” but rather serves to continually strip sexual violence of its complexity and present it in a manner that makes it seems “solvable”. This raises the question of whether the “popularization of human rights” serves as suggested by humanitarian organizations themselves, to create visibility on to create support.
Undeniably, the Global Summit drew necessary and substantial rapt attention towards the theme of sexual violence during conflict. So much so, BanguraHawa Zainab, “United Nation (UN) Secretary General’s Special representative for sexual violence in conflict”. With various Humanitarian Power wielded Governments, United Nation (UN) agencies, donors available in one place to discuss about a subject, there could have been considerable potential to tackle some issues that negatively affect the effective emphasize of sexual violence. Yet this did not occur.
“Why,[…] with all these health activists and global leaders gathered to handle the case of sexual violence in conflicts was no one discussing about one of the major threats to the welfare of women raped in conflicts?. The panel, which involved the delegates of the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) governments, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Committee stated that it could not emphasize on the target of […] inquiry: The Helms Amendment of 1973 of the United State (US) Foreign assistance Act. Her question revealed the hypocrisy at the heart of international commitments to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict.
Under the Helms Amendment, the United State (US) statutory law restricts the United States (US) Agency for international department (USAID) finance to pay for the performance of safe abortion services. Even though the Global Gag or the “Mexico city policy” in 2009 (which obligated organizations to declare non involvement in the provisions of any services connected to abortion, even if these services were funded by other finances), the Helmes Amendment remains in place, with the repercussion that programming ‘has been restricted by its resistance to buying life saving tools such as manual vacuum aspiration rates for treating uncompleted abortions.
The excess interpretation of the Helmes Amendment has also kept the United States (US) Agency for international Development (USAID) from creating or allowing abortion services in scenarios that are excluded under the restriction- that is, abortions to save the life of a woman in the scenario of incest or rape. The United States (US) regulations thereby directly interferes with the provision of life saving services for sexual violence survivors/victims, even though in the absence of necessary rapt attention, numerous (raped) women will continue suffering from unsafe ‘backstreet’ abortions or dwell with usually deliberating repercussions - Donor prohibitions on financing can solely be effectively challenged when the International humanitarian community unites in its resistance. Looking at the fierce competitiveness among humanitarian organizations, this is highly likely
Whereas discursive non-action or silences is unmistakable in the above mentioned instance, in other scenarios; silences are less straight forward. Despite the present acknowledgement of women's and men's differential demands, information from peace activities fieldwork is usually not gender-disaggregated.
The Disaggregation of data in respect to Gender would probably result to the recognition of the inequalities in humanitarian aid, Also, obligating organizations to discover ways to fill these vacuums with all its political and financial consequences; not challenging the status quo makes decision makers lives considerably easier. By showcasing inequalities, the processes that create them are probably to become exposed and a situation whereby the International humanitarian community is implicated in reproducing or creating these inequalities, there is considerable motivation to not disaggregate data on the essence of gender.
Another instance of the way in which the (dis)organization of the international humanitarian community contributes to the ineffective emphasis of sexual violence during the period of armed conflict is how in major scenarios; intergovernmental organizations and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are investigated by professionals who are compensated by their financiers and that they sometimes select. The lack of accountability by humanitarian agencies to their beneficiaries or as well as independent, external institution takes away evaluation as a privilege to enhance their practices.
There may be different incentives for such unhelpful attitude. Looking at the damaging capability of pessimistic analyses; relief agencies demands for an optimistic analysis for the continuation of their finding, existence and recipient nations desires positive analyses for the validation of their projectors and analysts requires a positive analyses because their future employment may center on it; even in-house evaluators such as those who work in the institutionally insulated analysis department of the global bank are aware that the way to forge ahead is not to keep so many reports that their agency’s projects have derailed.
In the world of the humanitarians where everyone is aware of themselves, stakeholders within the system are frightened to lose their jobs of speaking out; stakeholders outside the system are frightened that condemning Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) may result to the discontinuation of programmes to the detriment of their beneficiaries. This paradox is sustained through a challenge of self reflexivity that ‘removes the conditions of power in which specific knowledge’s become centralized, viewed as self evident reality and/or others are exempted, registering as incomprehensible or irrational (impenetrable, impractical). The way hegemony is naturalized and legitimized therefore goes unidentified and is continuously reinforced’
Sometimes, the complicity of the international community in sexual violence is direct, for instance, a situation whereby sexual violence is carried out by Non Governmental Organization (NGO) peacekeepers or personnel. In other scenarios; humanitarian’s complicity is less direct, not solely through fallacious discourses but as well as through silences
The Action of the Humanitarian can solely be as effective if its political society allows it to be; “when the political context is not appropriate, studies are ignored, evaluations are forgotten, research is bypassed and aid itself can be reduced. Wheels are reinvented that, in various scenarios, it never actually worked in the initial place”. Against the backdrop, raped women upon departing Internally Displaced (IDP)/Refugee camp to collect firewood cannot be blamed on the continuous repeated ‘absence of coordination and funds’. These instances emphasizes how the organization of the international humanitarian system tends to be aimed at allowing its survival instead of to attain its promises to those disrupted violence.
A Case of Complexity
This Research paper critically looks how humanitarian discourses about sexual violence during armed conflict basically simplify Sexual violence as well as strip it of its inherent complexities embedded within political, economical and socio-cultural realities that inform the major differential sexual violence. The way in which the international humanitarian community places itself with respect to sexual violence and its survivors/victims serves to reinforce and support a simplified version of sexual violence that can basically be sold to the public.
Hypocrisy and silence embedded in the way in which the international humanitarian system is coordinated further ensures the status quo. This analysis of silences and discourses combined with the interests that play a significant role in the international humanitarian arena (particularly in the larger organizations and institutions) indicates how favorable intentions are unlikely to be attained. Sexual Violence in conflict most especially indicates the international humanitarian system as its Limits.
There is a mismatch between the nature of the issue and the way it is comprehended resulting to the development of initiatives on the ground that it is out of touch with the complex nature of the challenges these initiatives intends to tackle. Actually; the shortcomings of staff and policies in the field are not to be blame, but rather how major concepts around sexual violence in armed conflicts have been disseminated and framed within the international humanitarian community.
The question is whether the mismatch between the nature and extent of sexual violence is armed conflict, the way in which the International humanitarian community really comprehends it and the way in which it is subsequently emphasized (or not emphasized) in the field is either part of the inherent hypocrisy or unintentional of the international system. The answer of the question is unlikely to be straightforward. Simplicity, that is reductionist philosophy, underlines much of the global, summing up to ‘a system where simplicity is consistently repeated and damagingly selected over appropriateness and relevance’.
The consequence of this approach is that the issue cannot be effectively tackled illustrated by ‘gender being handled as a portable tool of improvement and analysis that can be carried around in the back pockets of both development staff and international humanitarian’ rather than a concept that should inform major understanding. Simplicity ensures humanitarian stakeholders not solely relief from the obligation to investigate structural contexts that ensures the prevalence of sexual violence during the time of conflict but as well as exclusion from scrutiny in situations whereby stakeholders are complicit in (re)producing these structural inequalities.
This results to a paradigm shift from conventional simplicity reasoning to complexity reasoning - a way of viewing at global challenges where dynamics, inter connectivity’s and complexities are identified rather than prohibited and therefore towards a more realistic deeper comprehension of the issue. If humanitarian can be able to apply complexity reasoning, the appropriate questions would be queried rather than the provided appropriate solutions and organizational learning would be tireless and fearless, attributed by learning and co-evolving with ‘beneficiaries’ instead of for them: International humanitarian systems would be ‘as open to adjust on the inside as it was yearning for change outside’.
This entails (re)connecting not solely significant research to humanitarian theory but also theory to practice. This entails that researchers have to be capable to fearlessly involve with feminist reasoning band by giving ‘gender’ back it practical and political potential by (re)visualizing sexuality and the significant dimensions of sexual violence during armed conflict. Actually, “a depoliticized, disembodied gender discourse hardly holds out the hope for women’s empowerment and transformation. Also, creating a trending humanitarian globe entails a maximized consciously of the antiquated assumptions that underlie the present significant discourses. Agency or power is in fact determined and characterized through the “accumulation, production, functioning and circulation of a discourse” which entails that the international humanitarian community can (re)creates meaning as well as put it into practice.
Cite This Article As: Tochukwu Benedict Ezeifekwuaba. "Comprehending Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict." International Youth Journal, 09. December 2018.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/comprehending-sexual-violence-in-armed-conflict
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/comprehending-sexual-violence-in-armed-conflict