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16 Days of Activism: We need to move beyond seeing women as victims and men as rapists

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In an article titled Thoughts on Gender based violence and international development Pamela Scully writes:

We need a far more expansive understanding of gender-based violence as a category of analysis. We need to move beyond seeing women as victims and men as rapists. A more nuanced definition would see the ways that men are forced into particular roles either as rapists or as victims themselves of sexual violence.

In addition, we have to query the solutions that the international development community is currently using to try to end GBV. I worry that we focus so much on the state. The models of intervention, of what makes a good society, emerge from places where the state largely works. Yet the state is in basic collapse in the kinds of conflict and post conflict settings that are receiving much attention for the problem of sexual violence. We need to look to local institutions such as women’s societies, religious communities, consumer cooperatives, and traditional councils far more than is currently done as staging places for dialogues about ending sexual violence.

Pamela Scully is a professor of women’s studies and African studies at Emory who teaches courses on feminist theory, sexuality and genocide, and post conflict societies in Africa. Scully is the author of books on race, sexuality, and colonial cultures. You can read the full article here

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