Episode 8 – JJ Wangui lets victims speak

Janet went AWOL this week, interviewing another woman with an asymmetrical haircut. While in Kenya she interviewed JJ Wangui, a journalist who has specialised in covering Sexual and Gender Based Crimes. 

As many of you will remember Kenya’s post-election violence during 2007/2008 in which more than 1000 died and a half a million were displaced, ended up at the ICC.

In talking with JJ, we don’t focus though on The Hague. But rather on the actual experiences of those who lived through the violence and their search for justice. And how JJ has found a way to report, respectfully, what victims went through. She focused on those stories from the ground. And people trusted her. 

If you’d like to read more of her work check out these spaces here , here , here and here. And if you’d like more of her own story here she is in action.

JJ mentions some powerful films. This one is from the Refugee Law Project in Uganda, who have worked together with men victims of sexual violence in their project Men of Hope . Another is by Michele Mitchell, called the Uncondemned. It follows the Rwandan women who testified at the ICTR and the lawyers who worked with then to prosecute rape as a war crime and as part of genocide.  

What’s also interesting to explore is this recent campaign by Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice about the definition of what makes violence sexual? The International Criminal Court’s legal texts don’t define the term “sexual violence” or provide examples of acts which might be perceived to be sexual.