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Title:Gendered violence and the militarisation of ethnicity: a case study from South Sudan
Authors:Hutchinson, Sharon ElaineISNI
Jok, Jok MadutISNI
Book title:Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:gender relations
sexual offences
Abstract:More often than not, processes of militarization increase women's vulnerability to violence and rape, at the hands not only of enemy troops but also of their own male 'protectors'. This chapter examines gendered violence in the context of the rapid polarization and militarization of Nuer and Dinka ethnic identities during the 1991-1999 period of Sudan's continuing civil war. The authors identify the specific historical conditions that led to the abrupt, post-1991 abandonment of ethical restraints on gendered violence previously honoured by generations of Nuer and Dinka combatants. In the process, they link the problematic of militarization and gendered violence to a distinctive turn in their postcolonial subjectivities, showing how Nuer men and women, in particular, have begun to reject a 'performative' concept of ethnicity in favour of a more 'primordialist' concept based on procreative metaphors of shared blood. This wartime shift of perspective, the authors argue, has contributed not only to a dramatic escalation in the viciousness of Nuer/Dinka violence but, more uniquely, to a major reformulation of the relationship between gender and ethnicity in their eyes. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]