The Worst Tool of War
Sexual violence has long been, and continues to be, used as a tool of war.
This past weekend, the world recognised the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. One of the most fascinating, and disturbing, aspects comes in the context of peace building. Specifically, violence perpetrated by UN Peacekeepers against women and girls.
My Master's thesis looked at the links between hegemonic masculinity and such acts. It found critical links between gender bias, sexual exploitation, and the human development index. Not surprisingly, I found those countries with higher levels of machismo disproportionately committed violence. Interestingly, though, this was just as high among males as females from those countries. HDI also played a role, with those countries lower on the list more likely to offend.
It's been over a decade since I wrote my thesis, and the UN has done so much to combat violence in peacekeeping. I'd be interested to see how my original data stands today. All I need to do is find someone with the time and energy to crunch those numbers.
Now I'm shuddering thinking about grad school.