Gender and the Genocide in Rwanda

Women as Rescuers and Perpetrators

"Sara Brown begins to remedy this in her excellent new study Gender and Genocide in Rwanda: Women as Rescuers and Perpetrators (Routledge, 2017). Sara spent months interviewing Rwandan women. The result is a thoughtful analysis of the role gender played in facilitating or discouraging rescue and violence. As Brown says in the interview, she starts by asking the most basic question: how many, where, how? From there she moves on to examine the way women’s choices were rooted in a historical context in which a few women possessed power but many ordinary women found their choices and actions constrained. Brown highlights the way in which women were empowered by the context of genocide. Some used this opportunity to (attempt to) save lives. Others used it to loot, to demand violence, or even to kill or to rape."

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