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The Politics of Identity and Sexual Violence: A Review of Bosnia and Rwanda

From: Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 30, Number 3, August 2008
pp. 561-578 | 10.1353/hrq.0.0024



This article argues that particular assumptions about biology, ethnicity, genetics, and gender create a permissive environment for policies of sexual violence during war. It further asserts that the children born as a consequence of these policies become a prism for identity politics. The arguments regarding identity and war and the consequences on policies of sexual violence during wartime are illustrated through analyses of the Serbian militia's rape campaigns in Bosnia in the early 1990s and the mass rape and killing of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.