“In pre-conflict periods, the intensification of nationalist or other patriarchal ideologies (religious, ethnic, racial, and so forth) are used to mobilize and polarize members of society, and draw tighter boundaries between in and outgroup/s. This kind of rhetoric often relies on using the symbol of the women as the “mother of the nation,” and the carrier of the “purity” of the group. Thus, attacks against the enemy’s women and girls, or claims that one’s own women or girls are being attacked and raped serve as mechanisms of conflict escalation and can be considered important signals of the potential for intensification of conflict.”
Interesting analysis from Janie Leatherman on the dynamics of sexual violence committed against women in the context of war. Read her full article here.