This study takes as the focus of its analysis the disconnection between representations of HIV and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in conflict discourses. This analysis draws on intersectionality and gender theories of identity and power to analyze the relationship between HIV and SGBV as it is framed in conflict discourses, specifically looking at three UN Security Council Resolutions (1308, 1325 and 1820), as well as relevant international and national legal texts from the ICTY, ICTR and ICC. This paper challenges the ways, i.e. securitization and criminalization, that the issues of SGBV and HIV are addressed, arguing that the representations found in these texts help form the realities of which they describe. More than this, the representations act as a form of intervention, because of the way the texts discursively frame –and subsequently categorize, value and create hierarchies of realities of HIV and SGBV in conflict. While many would not argue against the securitization and protection against sexual violence in conflict, or the prosecution of war criminals for mass rape, however both securitization and the law are used in relation to conflict to denote which subjects should be securitized and protected, and which subjects require retributive justice and punishment. This paper challenges the prioritization and categorization of realities over others, and the ways in which these processes in themselves are harmful in actually addressing the root problems of the issues they represent. By mapping the way that HIV and SGBV are represented as connected and disconnect, this paper engages in questioning how, when and why particular issues were securitized and criminalized to understand when they became significant and for whom, and for what purpose, in order to understand whom and what is still disregarded, still not fully reached, and perhaps even threatened, by current interventions. The findings suggest that the way the selected UN and other legal texts speak about HIV and SGBV in relation to conflict can be viewed as essential to justifying interventions and making particular realities more salient, while silencing others.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, HIV, conflict, intersectionality, framing, discourse
Thesis Advisor Zarkov, Dubravka
Persistent URL
Series Conflict, Reconstruction and Human Security (CRS)
Mumford, Lauren Elizabeth. (2010, December 17). Representations as interventions: framing HIV and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in conflict. Conflict, Reconstruction and Human Security (CRS). Retrieved from