Women Are Victims Of Sexual Violence

3761 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 16 Pages
I. Abstract
Every five minutes, four women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are raped. This means that 1,100 women are victims of sexual violence on a daily basis (Counting Sexual Violence in the Congo). Such exorbitant cases of rape have earned the DRC its title as “the rape capital of the world” (Citation -http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8650112.stm). Nevertheless, Congolese conventions regarding gender roles have facilitated massive infliction of sexual violence, especially on behalf of soldiers. This incorporation of rape into the sociocultural fabric of the DRC has, in turn, given way to a normalization of rape culture in the Congo, which has perpetuated and even enabled the sexual violence crisis. Moreover, the rape epidemic in the DRC is deeply embedded in systemic political, legal, and social structures that reinforce norms of masculinity and gender inequality. Consequently, policy recommendations from the international community have thus far fallen short because instead of proactively addressing structural issues of sexual violence, the policy has reactively intervened after soldiers and civilians have already committed the egregious act. The analysis herein focuses specifically on military-based soldier rape, both during times of war and peace with an emphasis on the former.

II. Masculinity in the DRC
In order to understand how Congolese men justify rape, I offer here an examination of the role of masculinity in the DRC’s sociocultural matrix. In…
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