The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been called the 'worst place in the world' for women, with reports of widespread and horrific incidents of rape and sexual violence and almost complete impunity for the perpetrators of such violence. However, despite the high profile media reporting on sexual violence in the DRC, and the widely publicized responses of the international community, there is still very little real analysis of the real situation of women in the country. This book provides such detailed analysis of gender relations in the DRC, and goes beyond the usual explanations of sexual violence as a product of conflict, to examine the complex and socially constructed gender norms and roles which underlie incidences of violence. The book benefits from a comprehensive account of men's and women's roles in conflict, violence, peace building and reconstruction, and evaluates the impacts of national and international political responses. In doing so, this book provides valuable new evidence and analysis of the complex and multilayered conflicts in the DRC.
Jane Freedman is Professor at the Universite de Paris 8, and a member of the Centre de Recherches Sociologiques et Politiques de Paris (CRESPPA).