ABSTRACT

The ethno-nationalist war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) between 1992 and 1995 became infamous for the massive use of sexualized violence against women.1 The war in Bosnia, in fact, was the case which brought sexualized violence in war situations onto the international agenda, eventually leading to its international recognition as war crime and crime against humanity.2 Despite international attention to the issue, the international post-war intervention in the country started out as a completely gender-blind endeavor. This is furthermore striking because the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing had taken place just a few months before the peace agreement and the international mandate in Bosnia were hammered out. The final document of this conference, the Beijing Platform for Action, refers to the protection of women in violent conflicts and the promotion of the participation of women in peace negotiations and post-war politics as one of its 12 strategic goals.3 Even though delegations from all states involved in the post-war intervention in Bosnia had also participated in the Beijing Conference, women’s rights issues were utterly ignored by the intervening international community-with detrimental effects for the security and rights of women.4