Reporting Rape in Congo: A Unique or Paradigmatic Case?

32 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2014

See all articles by Summer Lindsey

Summer Lindsey

Columbia University

Monica Toft

University of Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

This paper analyses media reporting on rape across Africa and within the Democratic Republic of Congo. The central question is whether Congo deserves the title of “rape capital of the world.” We find that not only is this question difficult to answer with existing data on rape in Congo, but that media reporting suffers from a number of biases in its reports on rape. The paper concludes that the emphasis on description of a general environment of rape rather than on description of ground-based facts makes it difficult to decipher what we actually know about the underlying dynamics of rape in Congo. Regardless of the merits of the bestowing of the title initially, we highlight how a pernicious circle emerges as the title is perpetuated by international agents and reinforced in the media.

Keywords: international organizations, media, sexual violence, civil war, Africa

Suggested Citation

Lindsey, Summer and Toft, Monica, Reporting Rape in Congo: A Unique or Paradigmatic Case? (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2452770

Summer Lindsey (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Monica Toft

University of Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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