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Islam, Kajalie Shehreen (2012) 'Breaking Down the Birangona: Examining the (Divided) Media Discourse on the War Heroines of Bangladesh’s Independence Movement.' International Journal of Communication, 6. pp. 2131-2148.

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Rape, commonly used as a weapon of war, was long seen as an inevitable by-product of battle. Recent research finds that war itself is gendered and that the implications and consequences of violence in battle differ for women and men. Against this backdrop, this article explores the issue of wartime rape during Bangladesh’s liberation movement against Pakistan in 1971. It examines the discourse surrounding the women who were raped in wartime and, after independence, awarded the title of “birangona” or “war heroine.” It explores the representation of the birangona in the postwar Bangladeshi media, the media’s role in challenging or reinforcing the discourse, and the implications of these for war heroines who lacked agency.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: sexual violence, gender, war, Bangladesh
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for Media Studies
ISSN: 19328036
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2015 15:44

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