Toni Smith

Toni Smith

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Historical Ethnography of Policy and Practice- 1980- 2016 (working title)
Supervisors: Dr Benedetta Rossi and Professor Sabine Lee
PhD African Studies


My research project centres on sexual violence and development policy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I focus on the historical context and on Congolese activists’ interaction with beneficiaries, the state and international policy. I aim to produce a study of the social processes within the development system that shape gender policy in practice. My research integrates historical/archival work, policy centred discourse analysis and anthropological methods. I hope to shed light on some of the forces which facilitate historical transformation in ideas around gender and sexual violence in the DRC.

I am a member of the Conjugal Slavery in War Research Partnership, headed by Professor Annie Bunting. I am funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and by the University of Birmingham. I aim to contribute to wider discussions on wartime sexual violence and the experiences of people who were exposed to violence/forms of enslavement during conflict in the Congo.