Rwandan women no more: female génocidaires in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Jessee, E. (2015) Rwandan women no more: female génocidaires in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Conflict and Society, 1(1), pp. 60-80. (doi: 10.3167/arcs.2015.010106)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2015.010106

Abstract

Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the current government has arrested approximately 130,000 civilians who were suspected of criminal responsibility. An estimated 2,000 were women, a cohort that remains rarely researched through an ethnographic lens. This article begins to address this oversight by analyzing ethnographic encounters with 8 confessed or convicted female génocidaires from around Rwanda. These encounters reveal that female génocidaires believe they endure gender-based discrimination for having violated taboos that determine appropriate conduct for Rwandan women. However, only female génocidaires with minimal education, wealth, and social capital referenced this gender-based discrimination to minimize their crimes and assert claims of victimization. Conversely, female elites who helped incite the genocide framed their victimization in terms of political betrayal and victor’s justice. This difference is likely informed by the female elites’ participation in the political processes that made the genocide possible, as well as historical precedence for leniency where female elites are concerned.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jessee, Dr Erin
Authors: Jessee, E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Conflict and Society
Publisher:Berghann
ISSN:2164-4543
ISSN (Online):2164-4551

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