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Armed Conflict

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia

Citation:

Bamidele, Seun. 2017. “War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia.” International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences 12 (1): 69-82.

Author: Seun Bamidele

Abstract:

The literature on the sexual violence (SV) in many arms-ravaged countries offers a gruesome and horrific narrative of how the feminine sex has become a victim of such conflict. The literature relates how women were both victims and weapons of war in both physical and psychological ways. However, the literature contains very little relating to the issues of sexual justice for victims as well as perpetrators. In Liberia, years of conflict and abuses against women have been given great attention, but little has been said about regimes of reparation, rehabilitation, and compensation for the victims of war. While there were attempts to ensure that victims of war be systematically compensated and rehabilitated as in Rwanda, the Liberian experience left much to be desired in this respect. The reason for this deserves investigation. Although there are traditional and contemporary barriers barring access to sexual justice in many developing countries, Liberia included, efforts to achieve sexual assault justice in post-conflict societies remain very sensitive for the reason that they may inadvertently lead to stigmatization. The social deficit resulting from this failure has yet to be analyzed in many states. Similarly, a systemically dysfunctional judicial process cannot serve as an agency of remedy. This system is usually expensive to service and maintain. This is coupled with a loss of faith in government and its institutions by the victims. As a combination of weak judicial institutions and social and economic impediments limits the prospects of a sexual justice, this study assesses sexual justice in post-conflict Bahn and Nimba County in Liberia. It examines the broader implications, as it raises questions about the relevance of the regime of justice on the Bahn and Nimba County victims and the perpetrator and draw lessons from this experience.

Keywords: conflict, sexual violence, Sexual Justice, women, Liberia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2015. “From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia.” In Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, edited by Alexander Wilde, 443–76. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter draws on field research with former combatants from the paramilitaries Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Since January 2005 I have been conducting anthropological research on the individual and collective demobilization programs. To date my Colombian colleague Paola Andrea Betancourt and I have interviewed 236 male and 53 female former combatants. In addition, we have interviewed representatives of state entities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the military, the Catholic and Evangelical churches, and various sectors of the 'host communities' to which former combatants are sent or to which they return. I sought to understand the local dynamics between victims and victimizers and the experiences of those individuals and communities the UNDPKO rightly describes as lying somewhere in between" (Theidon 2015, p. 445). 
 
“I begin with an overview of Colombia’s current DDR program and its impact on Urabá, located in the region with the highest concentration of demobilized combatants. I then explore how evangelical pastors manage memory and the past, issues of great relevance in the lives of former combatants and those around them. This leads to a discussion of repertoires of justice and the elaboration of local theologies of redemption and reconciliation. I conclude by analyzing the role these churches play in providing a space for the development of alternative masculinities and the much-desired personal transformations that may allow these former combatants to forge una nueva vida” (p. 446).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Religion Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

Explaining Recidivism of Ex-Combatants in Colombia

Citation:

Kaplan, Oliver, and Enzo Nussio. 2018. “Explaining Recidivism of Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 62 (1): 64–93.

Authors: Oliver Kaplan, Enzo Nussio

Abstract:

What determines the recidivism of ex-combatants from armed conflicts? In post-conflict settings around the world, there has been growing interest in reintegration programs to prevent ex-combatants from returning to illegal activities or to armed groups, yet little is known about who decides to ‘‘go bad.’’ We evaluate explanations for recidivism related to combatant experiences and common criminal motives by combining data from a representative survey of ex-combatants of various armed groups in Colombia with police records of observed behaviors that indicate which among the respondents returned to belligerent or illegal activities. Consistent with a theory of recidivism being shaped by driving and restraining factors, the results suggest that factors such as antisocial personality traits, weak family ties, lack of educational attainment, and the presence of criminal groups are most highly correlated with various kinds of recidivism and hold implications for programs and policies to successfully reintegrate ex-combatants into society.

Keywords: recidivism, reintegration, DDR, Colombia, civil war, ex-combatants

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, DDR, Education, Gender, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Are War and Violence Really in Decline?

Citation:

True, Jacqui. 2014. “Are War and Violence Really in Decline?” Australian Journal of International Affairs, 68 (5): 487–94.

Author: Jacqui True

Annotation:

Summary:
"A powerful thesis—that we have won the war on war, and that war and violence have never been as low as they are today—has emerged recently in the realm of popular non-fiction, the type that frequent flyers purchase in airport bookstores. It includes Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s (2011) The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes, Joshua Goldstein’s (2011) Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide, Ian Morris’s (2014) War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilisation from Primates to Robots, and Jared Diamond’s (2012) The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? For international relations scholars and specialists, this literature has major implications since it takes on, in broad-brush, central questions about the causes and consequences of global violence. Here, I engage mainly with Pinker’s tome in this genre, and show it to be not only wrong, but both methodologically flawed and morally troubling. The declinist thesis diverts our attention from noticing and analysing violence which is often not publically reported, recorded or counted, and which is a large part of the violence being perpetrated today" (True 2014, p. 487).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Violence

Year: 2014

Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia

Citation:

Schwitalla, Gunhild, and Luisa Maria Dietrich. 2007. “Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Forced Migration Review 27: 58–9.

Authors: Gunhild Schwitalla, Luisa Maria Dietrich

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Among the millions of Colombian IDPs one group is particularly invisible – women and girls associated with illegal armed groups. The current demobilisation process does not adequately address the consequences of the sexual violence they have suffered before, during and after conflict" (Schwitalla and Dietrich 2007, 58).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Non-state armed groups, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljack, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2013. “Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order.” Critical Studies on Security 1(3): 311-25.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

The increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in contemporary military conflict marks a historic shift in the state’s organization of military violence. This transformation has gendered underpinnings and entails gender-specific outcomes, at the same time as it reveals a gendered continuum between public and private military and security organizations. As the US example illustrates, security privatization was facilitated by the broader neoliberal transformation of the militarized gender order and itself has had negative implications for gender equality in the military and security sphere. Based on original research, this article argues that PMSCs are deeply gendered organizations whose employment practices tends to intensify the gendered division of labour that is characteristic of public militaries. While business and operational needs may allow for temporary disruptions of gender norms, masculinism remains not only vital but is reinvigorated by privatization. Political goals such as gender equality are sidelined in a sector premised on de-regulation and free markets. In contrast to problem-solving approaches that view gender as a problem of accountability or operational effectiveness in regards to PMSCs, this article shows that gender is deeply implicated in the expansion and organization of private force at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: private security, privatization of military security, PMSCs, gender, feminist security studies, neoliberalism, militarization, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Privatization, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Message from our Syrian Sisters

"Despite navigating a world of constant disruption, Syrian women and girls living as refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon bravely share why and how they continue to challenge inequalities and stereotypes in order to realize peace. These women peacebuilders may be separated by borders and war, but they have a single message to the world: Syrian women have ambitions and capacities to make change." 

Source: https://giwps.georgetown.edu/

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