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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rape of the Congo: understanding sexual violence in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Author:Meger, SaraISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:sexual offences
civil wars
political economy
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589001003736728
Abstract:This paper examines the function of sexual violence in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It argues that rape in this conflict is best understood from the following dimensions: the individual motivation of combatants and the structural influences that perpetuate the conflict. Individual motivation is largely informed by social constructions of masculinity, which construct sexual violence as an effective weapon of conflict. Furthermore, the low social status of women has encouraged impunity for the crimes being committed as part of this ongoing conflict. What exacerbates the use of sexual violence, however, is the political economy of the conflict. There is an economic incentive to use rape as a tool of both symbolic and physical subjugation and social disorder, creating a chaos which enables the illegal exploitation of mineral riches found in the region. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]