Reports from war zones often note the obscene victimization of women, who are frequently raped, tortured, beaten, and pressed into sexual servitude. Yet this reign of terror against women not only occurs during exceptional moments of social collapse, but during peacetime too. As this powerful book argues, violence against women should be understood as a systemic problem—one for which the state must be held accountable.
The twelve essays in Gender Violence in Peace and War present a continuum of cases where the state enables violence against women—from state-sponsored torture to lax prosecution of sexual assault. Some contributors uncover buried histories of state violence against women throughout the twentieth century, in locations as diverse as Ireland, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Others spotlight ongoing struggles to define the state’s role in preventing gendered violence, from domestic abuse policies in the Russian Federation to anti-trafficking laws in the United States.
Bringing together cutting-edge research from political science, history, gender studies, anthropology, and legal studies, this collection offers a comparative analysis of how the state facilitates, legitimates, and perpetuates gender violence worldwide. The contributors also offer vital insights into how states might adequately protect women’s rights in peacetime, as well as how to intervene when a state declares war on its female citizens.
About the Author
VICTORIA SANFORD is professor and chair of anthropology, as well as director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at Lehman College, and doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of many books including Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala, and is the coeditor of Engaged Observer: Activism, Advocacy, and Anthropology.
KATERINA STEFATOS is an adjunct assistant professor at Lehman College (CUNY) and serves as the Hellenic Studies Program Coordinator at Columbia University in New York.
CECILIA SALVI is a doctoral student at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Table of Contents
Part One: State Violence, Gender, and Resistance
1. Subaltern Bodies: Gender Violence, Sexual Torture, and Political Repression during the Greek Military Dictatorship (1967–1974)
2. Sexual Violence as a Weapon during the Guatemalan Genocide
Victoria Sanford, Sofia Duyos-Álvarez, and Kathleen Dill
3. Gender, Incarceration and Power Relations during the Irish Civil War (1922–1923)
4. Resistance and Activism against State Violence in Chiapas, Mexico
Part Two: The Continuum of Sexual Violence and the Role of the State
5. Medical Record Review and Evidence of Mass Rape during the 2007/2008 Period of Post-Election Violence in Kenya
6. The Force of Writing in Genocide: On Sexual Violence in the al-Anfal Operations and Beyond
7. Sexualized Bodies, Public Mutilation, and Torture at the Beginning of Indonesia’s New Order Regime (1965–66)
Part Three: State Responses to Gender Violence
8. Advances and Limits of Policing and Human Security for Women: Nicaragua in Comparative Perspective
Shannon Drysdale Walsh
9. The State to the Rescue? The Contested Terrain of Domestic Violence in Post-Communist Russia
Maija Jäppinen and Janet Elise Johnson
10. The Absent State: Teen Mothers and New Patriarchal Forms of Gender Subordination
11. Anti-Trafficking Legislation, Gender Violence, and the State
Cecilia M. Salvi
Conclusion: Sex at the Security Council: Reflections on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Notes on Contributors