New Report: The Impact of Gendered Misconceptions of Militarized Identities on DDR and Humanitarian Assistance in the DRC

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

Pages from DDR DRC WomenThe Advanced Training Programme on Humanitarian Action has released an interesting new report on the gender dynamics at play in the conflict in the DRC. According to the report, the armed conflict in the DRC is often spoken about in a manner which ignores the fact that women often play an active role in the fighting. The dominant narrative of the conflict all too often paints women as the victims and the men as the rebel perpetrators of sexual violence.  The report argues that the fact that women’s role as ‘fighters’ in the conflict has not been given attention means that it has not been taken account of the design of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programs in the DRC. For example, there has been little attention given to the question of how women, who have abandoned their traditional gender role to play a combatant function in the conflict, can return to their communities

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