Women and the Rwandan Genocide: Agency, Culpability and Evasion

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: History


When we consider the Rwandan genocide, we wonder how so many ordinary men could have committed such horrendous acts of violence against their neighbours. We think of women being murdered or sexually assaulted, and survivors spending the rest of their lives dealing with the aftermath. This gendered dichotomy is present in most of the historiography on the genocide. I want to go beyond the current research, and question why female perpetrators were not held accountable for their crimes. How were some women able to escape punishment? What does it mean for present-day Rwanda that perpetrators of the genocide continue to live within their communities? This project will use media reports, court transcripts and interviews to address these questions. This research would also have wider significance, speaking to debates over the agency and culpability of women in violence throughout history and to a developing literature on the effectiveness and pitfalls of transitional justice.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2068416 Studentship ES/P000762/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Bethany Brewer