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Durham University

Research & business

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Miss Bethany Brewer

Women and the Rwandan Genocide: Agency, Culpability and Evasion in the Department of History

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About

My project examines the contention that female perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide were not held fully accountable for their crimes. It examines the experiences of accused women in the justice system after the genocide, paying particular attention to the roles of gender and female agency in testimonies of, and judgements regarding, involvement in violence. It uses a variety of approaches and sources, including court transcripts and oral history interviews, to consider the relative importance of different narratives, agents and underlying stereotypes in the conceptualisation of female genocidal involvement.

The research aims to lead to a greater understanding of the Rwandan transitional justice system and the gendered layers of violence and agency during the genocide. It will also speak to debates over the agency and culpability of women in violence throughout history, and to a developing literature on the effectiveness of transitional justice.