Sexual Violence

Indro Montanelli Statue in Milan

Indro Montanelli Statue in Milan


By Contested Histories Initiative

The Indro Montanelli statue in Milan was built in 2006 by the then-mayor Gabriele Albertini. Initially, criticism arose for the funeral aesthetic and impression of the statue; some described it as a ‘funerary mummification.’ However, in the last years, it has been contested for Montanelli’s link to colonialism, fascism and… Read More

Filipina Comforto Women Statue in Manila

Filipina Comfort Women in Manila


By Contested Histories Initiative

Filipina Comfort Women was a statue erected on 8 December 2017 along Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard, in Manila. The contestation began days after the statue’s installation with a request for background information by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication Seiko Noda later regretted the… Read More

Memorial Plaque Comfort Women Palisades

Comfort Women Memorial in New Jersey


By Contested Histories Initiative

A ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial was unveiled outside Palisades Public Library in New Jersey in 2010. The monument paid homage to the more than 200,000 South Korean women who were victims of sexual exploitation (also termed ‘sexual slavery’) by Imperial Japanese forces before and during World War II. Though the Korean-American… Read More


Statue of Peace in Seoul

South Korea

By Jade

The Statue of Peace in Seoul, South Korea, is among the most iconic and contested statues dedicated to ‘comfort women’, a euphemism for women who were sexually exploited by the Japanese military during the Second World War. Since its unveiling in 2011, the statue has been a source of ongoing… Read More

Gender, Transnational Justice and Memorial Arts

Global Perspectives on Commemoration and Mobilisation

By Jelke Boesten & Helen Scanlon 2021

This book examines the role of post-conflict memorial arts in bringing about gender justice in transitional societies. The book brings together research from scholars around the world who are interested in the gendered dimensions of memory-making in transitional societies. Aimed at those interested in the fields of transitional justice, memory… Read More

The Memorial to Comfort Women, with a woman sitting down, covered in fresh flowers with explanatory papers and plaques in front.

Statue of Peace in Berlin


By Contested Histories Initiative May 2021

The ‘Statue of Peace’ in Berlin-Moabit commemorates ‘comfort women’, a euphemism for women who were sexually enslaved by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. The memorial urges historical justice and reconciliation. After its unveiling in September 2020, the installation drew criticism from Japanese officials. Although the Berlin-Mitte district… Read More

umn of Strength in San Francisco consists of three women grasping hands with their backs towards one another.

‘Comfort Women’ Column of Strength in San Francisco, California

United States of America

By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

In 2017, a civil society organisation unveiled a San Francisco monument dedicated to the “comfort women,” women compelled to provide sexual services for the Japanese military during World War II. The monument became the centre of an international conflict, with both passionate supporters and fierce critics of the monument and… Read More

The Intersection of Colonialism and Gender & Sexuality

By Diversify Our Narrative 2021

In this lesson, students will analyze the intersection between colonialism and sexuality, especially in the context of how colonial states use sex as a form of power and control. Students will utilize their critical thinking skills to learn about heteronormativity and the impacts of settler colonialism on Indigenous communities. Through… Read More

Generating Tension

Memorial of Sexual Slavery

By Mary Park 2020

The writer explores how war crimes, such as sexual slavery and rape, as delicate and difficult history, are present in today’s dialogue between countries. The focus is on sexual violence perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial Army in South Korea, and how this affects the relationship between these countries to this… Read More


Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery Issue

(The so-called ‘Comfort Women’ Issue)

By Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) October 2018

The report discusses Japan’s military sexual slavery in the case of “comfort women”, and how authorities have responded to the demand of taking accountability for the crimes committed. Includes excerpt from survivals as well as other requests and demands of the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace NGO. Read More

Digital Civics Toolkit

By MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics 2018

A collection of resources for educators to support youth to explore, recognize, and take seriously the civic potentials of digital life. The Digital Civics Toolkit is organized into a five distinct modules that each capture a key practice associated with digital civics: Participate, Investigate, Dialogue, Voice and Action. Read More

Explaining Wartime Rape

By Jonathan Gottschall 2004

The article provides a brief overview of the literature on wartime rape in historical and ethnographical societies and a critical analysis of the four leading explanations for its root causes: the feminist theory, the cultural pathology theory, the strategic rape theory, and the biosocial theory. Read More