Women a(t) Battlefield

MA. Albana Gërxhi


Sexual violence against women on the war setting has reached shocking dimensions being recorded as an intentional tool strategically used to achieve military objectives. A means to an end! This paper explores arguments on the evolving of the sexual violence into a weapon of war responsible for some of the most severe crimes. A picture of the legal provisions and the international legal instruments ruling over it is considered; shedding light on the history of an old crime with just some recent records on legal accountability. Historical facts and two cases of war rapes; respectively that of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are analysed drawing remarks on how and why rape was an effective tool of war to achieve ethnic cleansing and territorial gain. Using a comparative approach between the cases it is argued that, despite the progress done on the recognition of sexual violence as a crime of war and crime against humanity, such aggression remains largely unpunished and not prosecuted.


Sexual violence; armed conflict; weapon of war; justice; Bosnia; Kosovo; ICTY;


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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v7i2.320

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