Bodies as Battlefields: The Prevalence of Sexual Violence towards Women in Armed Conflict and the Impact of IGO Interventions by NATO and the UN (1989-2009)

TitleBodies as Battlefields: The Prevalence of Sexual Violence towards Women in Armed Conflict and the Impact of IGO Interventions by NATO and the UN (1989-2009)
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFeil, Julia Zimmerman
Academic DepartmentHistory, Politics & International Relations
DegreeMA
Number of Pages117
Date Published2018/07
UniversityWebster Vienna Private University
CityVienna
Abstract

Armed conflict comes in many forms and brings with it different repercussions for the societies in which it occurs. One of these repercussions is often conflict-related sexual violence, particularly towards women and girls. Sexual violence during armed conflict can be a strategic tool enlisted in battle, a way of forming troop cohesion or even result from an opportunity to exploit and abuse individuals for personal benefits. Although we are aware of some of the underlying mechanisms that allow for the prevalence of sexual violence in armed conflicts, it remains difficult to identify patterns in its occurrence. Additionally, what can be done to curb the prevalence of sexual violence during armed conflict deserves further investigation. In this research, the author explores peacekeeping by intergovernmental organizations – in this case, NATO, and the UN – as a tool for addressing conflict-related sexual violence. The following research utilizes the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) database to explore patterns in the prevalence of sexual violence committed by state forces, pro-government militias, and rebel/insurgent groups, particularly towards women and girls. This data has been combined with a list of peacekeeping interventions by NATO and the UN between 1989-2009, examining the impact of IGO interventions on the prevalence of sexual violence. Using Feminist IR theory as a basis, the author enlists a mixed-methods approach to analyze the effect of these peacekeeping interventions, finding that the longer the duration of a NATO and UN intervention, the more likely the prevalence of sexual violence in armed conflict will lower. She also explores the case of Kosovo (1998-1999) and the impact of the KFOR and UNMIK missions on the prevalence of sexual violence. In the case-study, she observes that the prevalence of sexual violence went from a very high level to practically no observed prevalence shortly after the intervention began and continued to remain low into the post-conflict period.

URLhttps://www.proquest.com/docview/2116579845?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true
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