Birangona: Bearing Witness in War and 'Peace'

Of the Nation Born

Author/s (editor/s):

Bina D'Costa

Publication year:


Publication type:

Book chapter

Find this publication at:
Zubaan Publishers

Bina D’Costa, ‘Birangona: Bearing Witness in War and “Peace” ’, in Hameeda Hossain and Amena Mohsin, eds, Of the Nation Born: The Bangladesh Papers, New Delhi: Zubaan, 2016, pp. 68-112.

Uncovering the truth from a shroud of erroneous national consciousness is a prerequisite for a nation’s reconciliation with its own past. When the wall of silence that surrounds abuses of women’s human rights breaks down with testimonies and evidence, how do we then translate emotions and passions into practical actions? This chapter addresses this query by focusing on the vulnerability of women survivors of the 1971 war whose needs both the state and the civil society have failed to address in a meaningful and responsive way. Through a brief analysis of the Peoples’ Tribunal of 1992, this chapter argues for a gender sensitive and safe space for women to share their memories of sexual and gender-based violence during the Liberation War of 1971. It discusses the broader contexts of women’s advocacy in the region and elsewhere in redressing rape and sexual violence.

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