A reckoning for the women victims – rape recognized as war tactic

“A reckoning for the women victims of the Bosnian war?”

… We will never know how many women were raped in Bosnia and Croatia. What we do know is that mass rape occurred and it was not a specific aspect of Serb brutality. There has always been rape in war. What this war did was to bring it out of the shadows, out of the dismissive inattention that accompanies the phrase “war propaganda”, or “the fog of war”. Rape is as much a fact of war, of the control of civilian populations, as ethnic cleansing. It took a modern women’s movement to collect the data and a critical mass of women journalists to insist on writing about it. From then on, rape in war would be taken seriously.

With the arrest two days ago of Radovan Karadzic, and his forthcoming trial in The Hague, there might now be some debate about justice for the women so abused.

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