(Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict.

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractOther research output

Abstract

Sexual violence in conflict is high on the agenda of the international humanitarian community. Despite commendable advances in both policy and practice, there continues to be a gap between what is
recommended, and the reality on the ground. This paper argues that notwithstanding the profound challenges of working in humanitarian emergencies, an analysis of humanitarian sexual violence discourses indicates a mismatch between the complexity of the issue and the way in which it is understood, leading to ineffective programmes on the ground. First, humanitarians’ reductionist approach to sexual violence not only disregards victims/survivors other than the stereotypical, it also exempts perpetrators from scrutiny – including the international humanitarian community itself, through whose extensive de-politicisation of sexual violence has erased the link between gender
inequality and violence. Second, the international humanitarian community has positioned itself as the white, western, heroic protector of vulnerable women and girls (and not men and boys) – a narrative
that not only escalates power differences between humanitarian and beneficiary, but also reproduces the subordination of women. Third, an exposé of silences in international discourses about sexual violence in armed conflict shows the humanitarian community’s complicity in reproducing systems of gender inequality that allow for sexual violence to occur and remain unaddressed, by refusing to transform the restrictive political environment that ultimately impedes effective humanitarian action. Humanitarians’ engagement with critical research, as well as researchers’ engagement with feminist theories may recreate meanings that benefit our understanding of sexual violence in conflict, rather than impede it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016
EventNetherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands - De Rode Hoed, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Oct 2016 → …

Conference

ConferenceNetherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands
CountryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period28/10/16 → …

Fingerprint

sexual violence
community
discourse
politicization
mismatch
violence
gender

Keywords

  • Sexual violence

Cite this

Anholt, R. (2016). (Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict.. Abstract from Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Anholt, Rosanne. / (Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict. Abstract from Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Anholt, R 2016, '(Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict.' Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 28/10/16, .

(Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict. / Anholt, Rosanne.

2016. Abstract from Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractOther research output

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Anholt R. (Mis)Understanding sexual violence in conflict.. 2016. Abstract from Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG) Health of people on the Move: Access to health for refugees en route and in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands.