"OH, DID THE WOMEN SUFFER, THEY SUFFERED SO MUCH:" Impacts of Gendered based violence on Kinship Networks in Rwanda


In 1994 the world stood idly by as one million Rwandans were violently killed by machetes in only 100 days. The long-standing conflict, a consequence of colonialism, resulted in the destruction of a nation. This violence resulted in thousands of orphaned children, a majority-female nation, hundreds of thousands of survivors who contracted AIDS due to rape, and institutions (e.g. schools, churches) that were stained with blood and filled up with bones and rotting bodies. Sociologists, historians and women's studies scholars have begun to make a significant contribution to understanding the role that gender played in both the mass atrocities and the possibilities for peace in post-genocide Rwanda. Based on qualitative in-depth interviews, this paper draws on women's and men's narratives of gendered based violence, particularly rape, perpetuated on their siblings and cousins during the 1994 genocide. In understanding some of the consequences of gendered based violence on Rwandan survivors, a kinship analysis is utilized that takes into account the trauma of family members who knew of the rape and the ramifications of fractured familial relationships on the survivors.

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Journal Title

International Journal of Sociology of the Family


International Journals

Document Type