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  1. 1

    Women seek accountability from International Criminal Court.

    ISIS-WICCE COMMUNIQUE. 1998 Apr; (3):4-5.

    In 1996, the UN resolved to establish an international criminal court (ICC) and scheduled sessions for 1997 and 1998 to debate its viability and effectiveness. Proposals for an ICC gained momentum after it became clear that national judicial systems in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were unable to deal with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The two ad hoc tribunals set up by the UN in these countries since 1993 have had limited success filling the gap. It is crucial for women's groups to support the ICC to actualize the gains they made when they were successful in having rape categorized as a war crime in the former Yugoslavia. Women's groups have the unique opportunity to have women's human rights considered by the ICC from its inception so that women's human rights can be fully realized through effective mechanisms to detect, document, and try gender-specific war crimes. The Women's Caucus for Gender Justice in the ICC is a group of women's human rights activists working to integrate gender issues into the ICC convention. The Caucus specifically seeks to achieve changes in the laws of evidence and procedure for gender-specific crimes to protect victims from facing their attachers in court and protect the witnesses' identity. In order to join the campaign to ensure the integration of gender issues in the ICC, activists should 1) determine the position of their own government and lobby for its support, 2) determine if their own government is sending a representative to the Preparational Meetings and make certain that the representative is informed of the concerns of the Caucus, 3) link issues concerning the ICC to ongoing work on gender violence and women's human rights, and 4) contact the Caucus directly to contribute recommendations.
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  2. 2

    Rape as a metaphor for modernity.

    Banuri T

    Development. 1994; (1):6-9.

    The "rape of nature" is language out of context that does not serve the interests of the oppressed. The act of oppression can be gauged in terms of successful outcomes. The outcomes can be assessed in a variety of ways. Modernity can be taken as an "attitude that makes fair gain of any vulnerable group." The guiding principles can be confused with the manifestations of modernity. Modernity is taken within population, development, and gender discussions to justify itself. Blame for disfunction is diffused by blaming nonmodernity (for instance, the Nazis or the American slave owners, or the ignorant farmer or landholder, ancient patriarchal customs, male domination, religion, lack of modern knowledge). The solution to problems is modernity. Prior violence and oppression are used to justify continued violence and oppression. Population growth only becomes a problem when man as individual or collective entity loses the sense of the limits of nature. The environment is being destroyed by man's knowledge and the breakdown of barriers between man and nature. Modernity has brought with it political violence, intolerance, genocide, ethnic cleansing, terrorization of whole societies, the epidemic of civil wars, and the persecution of minorities and other unwanted people. Humanity speaks in an impersonal voice; the alternative is to talk about technical things in a personal and embodied way. Rape is an apt description of modernity literally and metaphorically. Feminists demand the spoken language of women. Violence is the silencing of voices. Modernity has seen an increase in the violence towards nature, individuals, bodies, and communities. Knowledge is related to the privilege of an impersonal and objective attitude toward people or nature that predisposes violence. The thought is that superior knowledge will dominate nature. Vulnerable groups everywhere are armed to prevent the "never again" will we be the objects of violence. The use of rape in this context has the danger of potentially becoming an impersonal objectification. The alternative for sustainable development is to accept vulnerability and place ourselves in others' trust, which requires subjectivity, dialogue, and empowerment and local, national, and global governance to obstruct local tyrannies. Reciprocity of interests must prevail.
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