“Under Conditions of Hardship”: The Peace Corps’ Catch-22 for Survivors of Sexual- and Gender- Based Violence
by E.L. Tremblay
The Peace Corps’ treatment of Volunteers and trainees, particularly with regard to the policies and permissiveness surrounding sexual- and gender-based violence, reflects and perpetuates workplace sex discrimination. Because the agency fails to collect adequate data, it is impossible to determine the precise nature and degree of the problem, but it is likely worse than what annual reports have described as a persistently growing crisis despite twenty years of criticism, activism, and reform efforts. Without legally enforceable accountability mechanisms — the simplest and most effective of which would be to recognize Volunteers and trainees as federal employees — the discrimination is likely to continue.