Gender Relations, Sexual Violence and the Effects of Conflict on Women and Men in North Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Preliminary Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES)

A new study by Promundo and the Sonke Gender Justice Network conducted in Goma, eastern Democtratic Republic of Congo ( DRC) finds that more than a third of men surveyed have carried out some form of sexual violence and more than three quarters hold deeply alarming attitudes about rape and women’s rights. The report reveals that sexual violence, while sometimes implemented as a weapon of war, more often reflects widespread acceptance of patriarchal norms and rape myths that justify and normalize rape, the everyday subordination of women, and men’s a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies. Sexual violence includes forcing a wife or partner to have sex, as well as stranger rape and other forms of forced sex. The study also indicates that many men are themselves victims of various forms of violence, including of sexual violence, and shows a clear association between exposure to violence during childhood and increased likelihood of subsequent perpetration. Findings also affirm just how much conflict affects families in the DRC: three-quarters of men and women have had to leave their homes due to conflict.

Published 2012-12-06

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