Cycles of Violence: Gender Relations and Armed Conflict

Citation:

El-Bushra, Judy, and Ibrahim M.G. Sahl. 2005. Cycles of Violence: Gender Relations and Armed Conflict. Nairobi: ACORD - Agency for Co-Operation and Research in Development.

Authors: Judy El-Bushra, Ibrahim M.G. Sahl

Abstract:

This book describes ACORD's research 'Gender-sensitive Design and Planning in Conflict-Affected Situations', carried out during 2000 and 2001 in five communities living in the shadow of violent conflict in Juba (Sudan), Gulu (Uganda), Luanda (Angola), Timbuktu (Mali) and the Lower Shabelle region (Somalia). It also includes analysis of data collected earlier in Eritrea and Rwanda. Two main questions are examined in this book: What is the impact of war on gender relations? And can gender relations contribute to conflict?

The analysis in this book explores the term 'gender relations' and unravels it into gender 'roles', 'identities', 'ideologies' and 'institutions/power structures', examining how each of these changes as a result of war. It finds that, while gender is a factor in perpetuating violence, it is also a factor in rebuilding social relations and peace.

This book also addresses the challenges in methodologies and tools for research in turbulence. The aim is to develop flexible and sensitive research methods that go beyond information collection into engaging in joint reflection with communities about issues confronting them. Agencies should no longer continue to work only 'in' conflict rendering practical services, but also jointly work 'on' it with communities to analyse and address the factors which perpetuate it.

Keywords: gender relations, armed conflict, violence, oral testimony, Uganda, Sudan, Mali, Angola, Somalia

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

Working 'in' and working 'on' violent conflict
The evolution of gender policy
Development research and its place in operational development practice
Aims and structure of the present volume

Section 1: EXPERIENCES OF WAR IN FIVE COMMUNITIES

UGANDA
The historical background to the war in Uganda
Gender and ethnic identity in Acholiland
The impact of the war on the Acholi community
Ethnic and gender norms as contributory factors in the dynamics of conflict
Conclusions

SUDAN
The historical background to the war in the Sudan
Impact of conflict on Juba and the surrounding area
Impacts on individual men and women
Impact of the war on gender relations
Gender identity and its contribution to conflict
Conclusions

SOMALIA
The historical background to the conflict in Somalia
The impact of the war on the Lower Shabelle region
The impact on individual men and women
Impact on different clan groups
Impact on gender relations
Conclusions

ANGOLA
Historical background to the conflict in Angola
A sketch of the research area
The impact of the war on Km 9
The impact of the conflict on gender relations in Km 9
Gender identity and its contributions to the conflict situation
Conclusions

MALI
Historical background to the rebellion in northern Mali
Impact of conflict on the Timbuktu area
The impact of the rebellion on gender relations
Conclusions

Postscript

Section 2: THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF WAR ON POOR COMMUNITIES: A GENDERED VIEW

Economic impacts: livelihoods and the division of labour
The personal dimensions of social change in war: marriage and sexuality
Discussion on war and the nature of social change: Do gender relations change?
Gender roles
Gender identities
Gender institutions/power structures
Gender ideologies
Analysing gender relations: a framework
Lessons and challenges
Livelihoods, vulnerability and autonomy
Gender and social justice
Rebuilding institutions
Conclusions

Section 3: MEN AND WOMEN, WAR AND PEACE - DO CITIZENS HOLD THE BALANCE?

Power and patriarchy: conceptual resources for conflict analysis
Complexity and conflict
Gender, power, identity and violence
Patriarchy and the structures of oppressive power
Evidence from the case studies
Patriarchy and violent struggles for identity and control
Gender identity and its impact on cycles of violence
Gender impact flowchart: 'how gender identity can contribute to cycles of violence'
The complexity of conflict causes and impacts
Ways out: strategies for conflict transformation
Conclusions

Section 4: METHODS AND TOOLS FOR RESEARCH IN TURBULENT CONTEXTS

The research process
The strengths and weaknesses of oral testimony as a research method
Open-ended and participatory research as a tool for development

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANNEXES
Annex 1: Social exclusion analysis
Annex 2: Summary of conflict impacts in northern Mali
Annex 3: Timbuktu Guidelines on Oral Testimony

Full Report: http://www.acordinternational.org/silo/files/cycles-of-violence-gender-relationa-and-armed-conflict.pdf

Book Reviews of Cycles of Violence:

By Susan McKay: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20461148

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2005

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