Gender and Genocide

TitleGender and Genocide
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJoeden-Forgey, Elisa von
EditorBloxham, Donald, and A. Dirk Moses
Book TitleThe Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies
PublisherOxford University Press

This article aims to show that a consideration of gender is crucial to the understanding of the crime of genocide, because genocide is an historical process that is, at its core, about group reproduction. The perpetrators must either annul reproduction within the group or appropriate the progeny in order to destroy the group in the long run. While the perpetrators' ultimate aim is the material destruction of the target group, the means used to achieve this end tend to target men and women according to their perceived and actual positions within the reproductive process. As part of the killing, then, one finds in all genocides a shared set of tortures involving generative symbols and institutions (reproductive organs, infants and small children, and the bonds that promote family coherence).

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