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Civil Wars

Finding Women in the Zimbabwean Transition

Citation:

Dendere, Chipo. 2018. "Finding Women in the Zimbabwean Transition." Meridians 17 (2): 376-81.

Author: Chipo Dendere

Abstract:

This essay is a feminist response to the 2017 coup in Zimbabwe that brought to an end Robert Mugabe’s thirty-seven-year on power. Mugabe came into power in 1980 after his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), successfully negotiated for an end to the civil war. The male-dominated ZANU PF has stayed in power because they consolidated power around Mugabe’s leadership. However, as the aging Mugabe became frail and his fifty-two-year-old energetic wife found her political voice, ZANU PF became deeply fractured and was facing electoral defeat in the 2018 elections. Grace Mugabe’s rise to power became the rallying point for ZANU PF to evict their longtime leader. Her fall from power has been used to restrict the voices of women even in this new era of political openness.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Feminisms, Gender, conflict, Governance, Elections, Post-conflict Governance Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2018

Gender Inequality and Internal Conflict

Citation:

Forsberg, Erika, and Louise Olsson. 2016. “Gender Inequality and Internal Conflict.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.34.

Authors: Erika Forsberg, Louise Olsson

Keywords: gender, gender inequality, civil war, intrastate armed conflict, gender norms, positivism, masculinity, femininity, empirical international relations theory

Annotation:

Summary: 
Prior research has found robust support for a relationship between gender inequality and civil war. These results all point in the same direction; countries that display lower levels of gender equality are more likely to become involved in civil conflict, and violence is likely to be even more severe, than in countries where women have a higher status. But what does gender inequality mean in this area of research? And how does research explain why we see this effect on civil war? To explore this, we start with reviewing existing definitions and measurements of gender inequality, noting that the concept has several dimensions. We then proceed to outline several clusters of explanations of how gender inequality could be related to civil war while more equal societies are better able to prevent violent conflict, as described in previous research. It is clear that existing misconceptions that gender inequality primarily involves the role of women are clouding the fact that it clearly speaks to much broader societal developments which play central roles in civil war. We conclude by identifying some remaining lacunas and directions for future research.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Violence

Year: 2016

Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - 'the forgotten Gender' - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone

Citation:

Baio, Andrew, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, and David Whitmarsh. 2013. “Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - the ‘forgotten Gender’ - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone.” African Historical Review 45 (1): 46–61.

Authors: Andrew Baio, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, David Whitmarsh

Abstract:

In a number of low-income countries the fisheries sector has been shown to be instrumental in meeting key development goals, specifically in combating malnutrition, but the crucial contribution of women within this sector has been largely overlooked. This is particularly true in Sierra Leone, despite gender featuring prominently in the country’s poverty reduction strategy. This article therefore examines the history of female involvement in the sector, how this involvement was transformed by the civil war, and assesses whether the various current initiatives to support women in the post-harvest sector offer a realistic ‘pathway out of poverty’.

Keywords: fish distribution chain, food security, women, poverty alleviation, Sierra Leone

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

Commander Arian: A Story of Women, War and Freedom

"On the front line of the Syrian war, 30-year-old Commander Arian guides a female battalion towards the city of Kobane to release its people from the grip of ISIS in Alba Sotorra’s empowering tale of emancipation and freedom. When the war in Syria broke, a group of women from the Kurdish resistance assembled the YPJ—Women Protection Units. Arian, who witnessed at a young age the nefarious treatment of sexual assault victims, leads the unit and dedicates her life to battling ISIS.

Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka

Citation:

Ruwanpura, Kanchana N., and Jane Humphries. 2004. “Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka.” Feminist Economics 10 (2): 173–205.

Authors: Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Jane Humphries

Abstract:

For the last twenty years, eastern Sri Lanka has witnessed a bitter and bloody civil conflict. This paper explores the experience of female-headed households in the region. Only partially the product of war, such households cannot be bundled together as a social problem with a single solution. Our study endorses the feminist suspicion of falsely homogenizing accounts of women's lives and suggests instead an alternative emphasis on the many ways in which gendered relations of dominance and subordination are maintained. With its co-existing Muslim, Tamil, and Sinhala groups, eastern Sri Lanka facilitates the exploration of ethnicity as a source of variation. The households included in this study share a common structure and face the same economic problems, yet ethnic differences divide them. The paper charts the problems, strategies, and partial triumphs of these lone mothers and proposes policies to help them in their mundane but heroic struggle.

Keywords: female headship, gender, ethnicity, eastern Sri Lanka, conflict, kinship and community

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2004

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

Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars

Citation:

Potter, Antonia. 2008. “Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars.” In Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction, edited by John Darby and Roger Mac Ginty, 2nd ed., 105–19. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Antonia Potter

Annotation:

Summary: 
"While this chapter is located in Part II (Negotiations) of this book, the issues it addresses are cross cutting, therefore it will briefly scan the spectrum of the broadly defined peace process ‘stages’, namely violence, pre-negotiations, negotiations, peace accords, and peacebuilding. Across these it examines two strands: first, the presence or representation of women as actors in these stages from conflict to peace; second, the approaches to addressing gender issues and perspectives that are employed by those that have a hand in peace processes, together with successes and failures in implementing them.
 
"It draws attention to changed perceptions of women’s roles in these phases, and to the special challenges and opportunities which armed conflict and its resolution can present for women. It suggests where there are gaps in research, literature, and actual practice arguing that much of this is due to ongoing problems of women’s exclusion from agency and decision making at certain levels (especially the more senior or official ones) of peacemaking and peace- building, and a continuing failure of those at the highest levels to understand properly and take seriously the implications of that exclusion. Throughout, it draws on recent or contemporary examples of peace agreements and processes including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Sudan, and Timor–Leste.
 
"The chapter concludes by reiterating that reality lags far behind rhetoric on women’s involvement in peace processes, to the great detriment of both. It argues that the process and substance of peace negotiations and agreements would be richer, subtler, stronger, and more firmly rooted in the societies whose problems they aim to solve with increased participation of women and the issues which are important to them; but that until those that organize these processes actually make this happen, it will be obviously be hard to make this case with empirical evidence. Thus it calls for political leaders, especially the most visible and powerful, to stop talking and start acting on this issue. Finally, it stresses the basic but often forgotten fact that gender is a concept which embraces both women and men, and exhorts more men to swell the ranks of those working at all levels of peacemaking in the causes of equality and practical sensitivity to gender issues" (Potter 2008, 105-6).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Violence

Year: 2008

Women, War and Peace: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war, and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003.

Women, Disempowerment, and Resistance: An Analysis of Logging and Mining Activities in the Pacific

Citation:

Scheyvens, Regina, and Leonard Lagisa. 1998. “Women, Disempowerment, and Resistance: An Analysis of Logging and Mining Activities in the Pacific.” Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 19 (1): 51–70. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9493.1998.tb00250.x.

Authors: Regina Scheyvens, Leonard Lagisa

Abstract:

There are many arguments supporting the need for a reduction of large scale logging and mining activities in Pacific Island countries. In addition to ecological and economic concerns, logging and mining have had significant social impacts, including gendered impacts. Women tend to be excluded from decision-making processes, and they have limited access to royalty payments and business and employment opportunities which emerge. Women also bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility for dealing with the social and environmental mess which accumulates. However, women are not simply passive victims of logging and mining activities, as this discussion of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will argue. They are often the first to feel dissatisfaction with logging and mining and it is such dissatisfaction which has fuelled civil unrest, from family break-ups to sabotage of machinery to civil war, in some communities. It may thus be useful for companies to more carefully monitor the effects of their activities on women and involve women more actively in decision-making bodies if they wish to avoid such unrest in the future.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

Year: 1998

Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia

Citation:

Giraldo, Saridalia. 2012. “Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia.” Paper presented at the Thinking Gender Conference, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Los Angeles, February 3.

Author: Saridalia Giraldo

Abstract:

In Colombia, a country with one of the longest civil wars in the world, women combatants return to civil society in the midst of ongoing tension. In this transition, women suffer triple difficulties: the reaction of their home communities; hostility from armed illegal groups still engaged in conflict, and disregarding from the government itself. What accounts for these obstacles? First, in a patriarchal society such as Colombia, demobilized women face the denigration of their community which views women’s participation in armed conflict as an infringement on traditional female roles. Second, in the midst of continued conflict, demobilized women are also in danger of being rerecruited, tortured, killed or displaced from their home towns by their former peers in combat who perceive them as traitors, or by active criminal groups who consider them as enemies. Third, public policy designed to demobilize and reintegrate combatants gives little attention to women´s special needs as victims of gender violence. Recognizing that women and their needs remain invisible, this paper proposes that formal and informal post-conflict measures in Colombia must be gendersensitized in order to effectively reintegrate women and men into civilian life.
 

Keywords: women combatants, demobilization, reintegration, DDR, peace-building, Colombia, civil war, guerrillas, FARC, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

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