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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Whores, men, and other misfits: undoing 'feminization' in the armed forces in the DRC
Authors:Baaz, Maria ErikssonISNI
Stern, MariaISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Volume:110
Issue:441
Pages:563-585
Language:English
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:armed forces
gender relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adr044
Abstract:The global attention focused on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Cong (DRC) has not only contributed to an image of the Congolese army as a vestige of pre-modern barbarism, populated by rapists, and bearing no resemblance to the world of modern armies; it has also shaped gender and defence reform initiatives. These initiatives have become synonymous with combating sexual violence, reflecting an assumption that the gendered dynamics of the army are already known. Crucial questions such as the 'feminization' of the armed forces are consequently neglected. Based on in-depth interviews with soldiers in the Congolese armed forces, this article analyses the discursive strategies male soldiers employ in relation to the feminization of the army. In the light of the need to reform the military and military masculinities, the article discusses how globalized discourses and practices render the Congolese military a highly globalized sphere. It also highlights the particular and local ways in which military identities are produced through gender, and concludes that a simple inclusion of women in the armed forces in order to render men less violent might not have the pacifying effect intended. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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