Round up from the ReproHealthLaw List

I subscribe to an excellent email list compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme, reprohealth.law@utoronto.ca.  I don’t get flooded – never been more than 3 emails a week, always together as a set, with one headed Calls, Resources, News, Jobs – that one is always a treasure trove of interesting and important things.   For their publications and resources, see http://www.law.utoronto.ca/programs/reprohealth.html.  Here are a few What looked especially interesting on May 20.

The Trouble with Rape Trials ­ Views of Witnesses, Prosecutors and Judges on Prosecuting Sexualised Violence during the War in the former Yugoslavia, study and recommendations, Medica Mondiale 116pp.

An extensive report including excerpts from interviews with victim/witnesses.  Inter alia, the authors discuss the widely accepted view that Muslim women were particularly shamed by having been raped:

Sexualised violence certainly remains an enormous taboo in our societies and is often associated with a social stigma. However, the idea that the Muslim society in Bosnia-Herzegovina is particularly prone to stigmatisation is utterly wrong and was used at the time to draw a line. The subliminal message was: Bosnian Muslim men and women cannot be part of a civilised Europe, as they, in contrast to all other countries in (Western and Northern) Europe, mistreat „their“ women. It is astonishing how long such a myth prevails, in spite of all evidence to contrary. In the summer of 1992, no journalist would have been able to write a single word about war rapes, if Bosnian women had not spoken about these crimes directly in front of their cameras. They talked about these crimes with openness and anger, not shame. While the Catholic Church in Croatia still condemns abortions even if pregnancies are the result of rapes, the Muslim society, as well as their religious leaders, see things differently. (Forward, Dr. Monica Hauser, p6) (see also p67 of the report proper for more on this issue)

US:   Reproductive Rights Prof Blog provides US-focused scholarship and news. Subscribe here: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/reproductive_rights/

The way this is listed in the ReproHealthLaw List email indicates how resolutely international the List is.  The US has some very particular domestic struggles which occupy many scholars and activists in that country. The ReproHealthLaw list is a good way of moving beyond that focus without losing sight of it all together. The Reproductive Rights Prof Blog on the Lawprofessors network is a project of Caitlin E. Borgmann, Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law.

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