Intersectionality refers to a sociological theory that is suggesting and aimed at examining how a variety of socially and culturally created categories of favoritism interrelate on multiple and usually simultaneous levels that are contributing towards systematic social disparity. In is held by intersectionality that the classical models of repression within a community like ones that are depending on ethnicity or race. Masculinity, sexual orientation, nationality, class, disability or religion do not work separately from one another, in its place, these kinds of repression interrelate thus developing a system of repression that reflects the intersection of multiple kinds of discrimination (Lanier & Henry, 2010, 56).
An Example of a Gendered Crime
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, ex-minister for Women’s affair in Rwanda, who is on trial currently at the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) is the woman scorned for allegedly applying her official capability to incite Hutus to rape thousands of female Tutsis in the course of 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Pauline is the first woman to be accused with rape as an offense against humanity by an International Court. The Rwanda Genocide of 1994 had devastating impacts on the female population in Rwanda as a result of the systematic gender-based violence supported and performed by the government bureaucrats (Heimer & Kruttschnitt, 2006, 76). Nearly one million individuals were murdered within one hundred days and nearly all female-survivors including quite a number of young girls were raped and sexually assaulted in accordance to the reports. Efforts of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in prosecuting gender-based violence as crimes against tools of genocide and humanity have been unprecedented whereas these offenses are neither in history nor geographically exclusive to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Even though rape conflict is common all through the history, it has been the slightest condemned war offense traditionally.
Historical ambivalence towards gender-based aggression was devastated by the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda by condemning and putting on trial Rwandan officials who countenanced rape as a fighting technique during the genocide even though not in absence of criticism. The initial step in devastating this ambivalence took place with the trial of a mayor in the Taba Commune known as Jean Paul Akayesu, who also authorized enormous sexual hostility against Tutsi women. The ICTR became the initial international war crime tribunal with the prosecutor vs. Akayesu’s verdict to convict a bureaucrat for genocide and to say publicly that rape might comprise genocide.
According to Heimer & Kruttschnitt (2006, 82), the watershed decision connecting sexual violence to the genocide in Rwanda was due to the pressure from women’s groups accompanied with cooperation and support resulting from within the ICTR. However, a failure to sufficiently inspect and point the finger at the gender-based violence sanctioned by the administration in the course of genocide prior to trial, insufficiency of handling witnesses during the examination and trial stages, and delays affecting the delivery of justice to survivors was revealed by the ICTR’s handling of the Akayesu and Nyiramasuhuko cases. These deficiencies ought to be addressed and rectified so as to maintain the legitimacy of the court, protect civil rights of the women, and develop upon the jurisprudence censuring rape warfare genocides. It is timely given by an evaluation of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda’s shortages that the tenth centenary of the genocide took place in April 2004.
Problems encountered by the ICTR in accusing and prosecuting gender-based violence are supposed to be lessons for future prosecutions in the international community elthough the Akayesu conviction and the Nyiramasuhuko prosecution have important precedential value. Only the first step in developing the prevention essential to fight future impunity is represented by the recognition of rape as a serious war crime. It is very important to assess the past so as to facilitate the effectiveness of prospect trial for rape fighting due to the fact that women of all ages, creeds, races, ethnicities and colors are still being raped in the course of armed conflicts.
According to the case above, it is evidence that quite a number of women are exposed to many different kinds of gender crimes with sexual mistreatment being the most common one. There is therefore an imperative want of all people and governmental leaders across the world to implement strict rules and regulations that will govern and help to protect women’s human rights. As seen in the above case, governments, like government of Rwanda, are normally slow to charge and prosecute government bureaucrats like Akayesu and Nyiramahusuko who are directly involved in gender crimes against women (Heimer & Kruttschnitt, 2006, 136). They reduce process through which justice is looked for and leave witnesses under threat thus being afraid to give their views in courts. Hence, it is a challenge to all tribunals and governments not only in Rwanda but across the world to ensure that all people face the law equally and that justice is granted.