chapter  5
Concealing Violence Against Women in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps: The Politicisation of Victimhood
Pages 20

For the purposes of this chapter, i take ‘violence against women’ to refer to ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life’ (article 1, united nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993). throughout the chapter i pinpoint different incidents and experiences situated along a ‘continuum of violence’ (scheper-Hughes and bourgois, 2004: 1-5), highlighting the hidden realities of physical, psychological and sexual violence within the sahrawi refugee camps, before suggesting that

this representational system is itself a form of structural violence with serious implications for sahrawi women’s wellbeing. if we agree with Farmer that ‘the concept of structural violence is intended to inform the study of the social machinery of oppression’, and that ‘oppression is a result of many conditions’ including processes of ‘erasure’ (2004: 305) and, by extrapolation, silencing, in this case i propose the significance of what i refer to as the repress-entation of violence against women.