Associate Professor Sara Davies
Presented by: Sara Davies, Associate Professor, Centre for Governance and Public Policy and Griffith Asia Institute
Scholars and international organisations are increasingly focused on documenting the incidence of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) to explain and prevent its occurrence. These efforts are vital but the reporting and documentation of SGBV is neither objective nor innocent. Counting SGBV is a political and politicised form of knowledge production inextricable from the contexts in which it occurs. The case of Myanmar illustrates both the politicisation of SGBV reporting and the neglect of non-reported SGBV in a situation where there are multiple conflicts and gendered inequalities. We find the SGBV that is not reported and therefore not counted in Myanmar produces a generalised silence, which enables and perpetuates a widespread culture of impunity for SGBV in particular against women and girls. Given the significant political and institutional constraints that affect SGBV reporting in Myanmar, we analyse the patterns of existing quantitative and qualitative reporting of conflict-related SGBV. In the context of political violence and transition, we argue that reports as well as acts of SGBV are part of the dynamic of conflict. In such contexts, highlighting where there are pervasive discriminatory civil and physical practices against women, including restrictions to their resource entitlements, is crucial in efforts to reduce SGBV.
Dr Sara E. Davies is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at Centre for Governance and Public Policy and Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University. The research and fieldwork that informs the GA presentation is from an ARC Discovery Project held with Jacqui True, Monash University. Sara is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Gender, Peace and Security Initiative, School of Social Sciences at Monash University; and Program Director of the Prevention of Sexual Violence Unit, Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland. Sara is co-editor-in-chief of Global Responsibility to Protect, and serves on the Research Committee, Australian Institute for International Affairs.
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