This paper seeks to add to existing study of gender and conflict by examining the complexities of interactions between international workers and local populations in spaces mired in war or post-war conflicts. Feminist scholarship on gender, war, and political violence/security provides the theoretical and empirically informed framework for this examination. I argue that in order to discuss Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), it is necessary to first consider context with respect to location, gender, belief, and praxis. "Universal" conceptions of sexual conduct, misconduct, and SEA may be in opposition to acceptable practices within a particular site and situation. This includes addressing temporally specific conditions and the lack of legal parameters or enforcement during times of heightened conflict. Thus, both local populations’ and international workers' obedience to international or national/local laws remains flexible rather than fixed. Consequently, civilian populations reside in a state of vulnerability to various forms of misconduct and abuse, including SEA. This study suggests additional research on the tensions and divisions between supposed universal rights and the beliefs or practices positioned in contrast to these standards.
"Sexual Misconduct and International Aid Workers: An Afghanistan Case Study,"
Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women's & Gender Studies: Vol. 10:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cortland.edu/wagadu/vol10/iss1/4