Women, War and Empowerment: A Case Study of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia


Magnæs Gjelsvik, Ingvild. 2010. “Women, War and Empowerment: A Case Study of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Master’s Thesis, Peace Research Institute Oslo, University of Tromsø.

Author: Ingvild Magnæs Gjelsvik


"While we have seen an increased focus in the past few decades on the role of women in armed conflict, women are still chiefly perceived and categorized as victims, civilians or being in supporting roles for male fighters (Goldstein 2001). Women‟s direct participation as combatants has received less attention. Existing literature is dominated by discourses on victimhood and vulnerability, with attention mainly focused on the negative experiences women have. In the Colombian context, little has been written about women's gains as combatants; the focus has rather been directed at issues such as forced recruitment, sexual exploitation, and forced abortions. The positive experiences women obtain from being part of armed groups has been less visible, often unknown outside the armed groups. This thesis represents an effort to offer a more nuanced and multifaceted perspective on women's experiences in war in Colombia. The analysis proceeds from the research question: To what extent are women empowered by joining guerrilla groups in Colombia?" (Gjelsvik, 2010, p. 6).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2010

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