The Postcolonial Politics of Militarizing Rwandan Women: An Analysis of the Extremist Magazine Kangura and the Gendering of a Genocidal Nation-state

Holmes, Georgina (2008). The Postcolonial Politics of Militarizing Rwandan Women: An Analysis of the Extremist Magazine Kangura and the Gendering of a Genocidal Nation-state. Minerva Journal of Women and War, 2(2) pp. 44–63.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3172/MIN.2.2.44

Abstract

Rwanda has been used by many feminist scholars researching international relations as a case study to examine how gender-based violence is employed as a strategy of war and civil war. Few feminists have analysed the mass rape of Rwandan women in the context of a carefully planned and prepared genocide. While studies have examined how Tutsis women became militarised as prostitutes in the process as othering and dehumanising the population group targeted for annihilation, less attention has been paid to the ways in which the authoritarian state militarised Hutu women as part of the process of garnering support for genocide. This article considers the ways in which the Rwandan nation-state became increasingly militarized and masculinized between October 1990 and April 1994. Examining extremist propaganda magazine Kangura’s use of cartoons to militarize Rwandan women, the article identifies how Tutsi and Hutu women were divided into three categories of representation: non-citizens (Tutsi women); partial-citizens (moderate Hutu women) and full-citizens (Hutu women who supported Hutu Power). It makes the case that Hutu women were encouraged to support Hutu Power in its fight for peace and democracy, all the while the women were being prepared to either support or commit genocide.

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