The Complexity of Sexual Violence, Birthing, and Status After the Fall of the Caliphate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter addresses the complexity of sexual violence and coercion, rape, pregnancy, and birth in the territories formerly held (and some still coercively controlled) by Islamic State. The monolithic realities of stigma and long-term rights denial are particularly acute for children born through forced pregnancies in territories captured by the Islamic State. These children are outcast, ostracized, and unwanted by their countries of nationality, and defined almost exclusively by the parentage of their absent or dead fathers. As global regulatory mechanisms, Security Council Resolutions, and state approbation for fighters and their associated families have universally shown, there is adverse judgment in abundance and little willingness by many states, particularly Western states, to disaggregate the experience of women, girls and their children and to recognize the complexity of birthing, violence, and gendered realities under the Caliphate. There is little indication that mothers and their children will be treated as victims and there is a dearth of compassion for both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChallenging Conceptions
Subtitle of host publicationChildren Born of Wartime Rape and Sexual Exploitation
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780197648315
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2023. All rights reserved.


  • complex victimhood
  • counter-terrorism
  • forced pregnancies
  • Islamic State
  • terrorism


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