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Women, Peace and Security

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Exploring the Continuum: Gendered Violence in Post-Conflict Landscapes

Smita Ramnarain

April 19, 2018

Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston

In societies impacted by war or civil conflict, women experience violence as a continuum across domestic and societal spheres. However, studies of violence treat micro and macro violence as theoretically distinct. The lecture will illustrate how the separation of violence into micro or macro violence is problematic for understanding gender-based violence in post-crisis contexts. Using examples from field research in Nepal, it is shown that this separation obscures structural forms of exclusion in post-conflict societies. The neglect of post-conflict reconstruction frameworks of the different forms of gender-based violence leads, therefore, to new and persistent forms of discrimination and marginalization.

Smita Ramnarain is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on the political economy of development in South Asia. She is especially interested in examining development issues using the lens of gender. She has worked on post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding and development, feminization of poverty and female headship, microfinance, and more recently, environmental adaptation and resource conflicts. She has carried out field-based research in Nepal and India for these projects. Her work has been published in diverse and interdisciplinary fora such as Feminist Economics, Gender Place & Culture, and the Community Development Journal, and in edited volumes. Smita is also interested in mixed methods research in economics, and has recently contributed to an edited collection, the Handbook of Research Methods in Heterodox Economics.

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This event is being cosponsored by the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; and the Honors College.

Putin, Erdoğan and Politicized Masculinity in a Global Context

Elizabeth Wood

March 27, 2018

Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston

Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have both developed extensive playbooks of performed, political masculinity. These combinations of speech acts, visual photo-ops, and interpersonal dramas have served to show them as simultaneously democratic (because they look like the average man) and autocratic (because they seem to dominate all other men). In this talk I will explore some of the ways that politicized masculinity serves as a kind of glue that holds together their popular appeal and their authoritarianism.

This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Department of Political Science; Department of History; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Honors College; and Department of Anthropology.

Elizabeth A. Wood is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at MIT, where she also directs the Russian Studies Program.  Her books include The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (1997); Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2005); and Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (coauthored) (Woodrow Wilson Center/Columbia University Press, 2016). Recently she has been working on Vladimir Putin’s scenarios of power.  

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Securing Rights & Unleashing the Potential of African Women and Girls: Lessons from the Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

March 22, 2018

Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3545, UMass Boston

This event is the UMass Boston Human Rights Minor Spring Keynote Address and is co-hosted by the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It is cosponsored by the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights; the Graduate Consortium in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality; the Department of Political Science; the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has, over two decades, been working on issues of women and children’s human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries. Active in the women’s movement, she has more specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, property rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV and AIDS.

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What Do the #MeToo Revelations Tell Us about Women and Wars?

Cynthia Enloe

February 8, 2018

**LOCATION CHANGE** Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3550A

The deluge of exposés about diverse men harassing and assaulting women in the workplace has galvanized women worldwide. But those revelations have been treated as if they have nothing to do with international politics. That is a serious missed opportunity.

This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights Minor; Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Department of Political Science; Department of History; and Honors College. 

Cynthia Enloe is a research professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University. Her feminist teaching and research have focused on the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas. Her many books include: Bananas, Beaches and BasesNimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War; The Curious Feminist; Globalization and Militarism; Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered; and the newly published The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistence of Patriarchy

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Women, Gender and Protest: Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Indonesia


Morgan, Miranda. 2017. “Women, Gender and Protest: Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Indonesia.” The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Author: Miranda Morgan


This study explores the conditions that lead to the participation of rural women in protest. Drawing from a case study in Indonesia, it finds that gender relations are integral to shaping the motivations and political opportunities that lead to women’s decisions to participate in protests around land. It also argues that gender relations are not fixed. Individual actors play an influential role in opening up new political opportunities for women, who are discursively cast as apolitical. Despite dominant gender relations that tend to exclude women from politics, the presence of women in protest opens up the possibility that rural struggles around land and dispossession, though ostensibly free of explicit gender concerns, may simultaneously serve as sites of struggle over gender as well. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana


¿Quién toma las decisiones agrícolas? Mujeres propietarias en el Ecuador


Deere, Carmen D, and Jennifer Twyman. “¿Quién toma las decisiones agrícolas? Mujeres propietarias en el Ecuador.” Agricultura, Sociedad y Desarrollo 11, no. 3 (2014): 425–440.

Authors: Carmen D. Deere, Jennifer Twyman


Este trabajo investiga si las mujeres propietarias de parcelas participan en las decisiones agrícolas sobre ellas. Con base en una muestra nacional de Ecuador, el análisis demuestra que la gran mayoría de mujeres dueñas participan activamente en la conducción de sus parcelas, sean éstas propiedades de ellas de manera individual o en conjunto con su pareja. También revela que hay diferencias en el nivel de participación de las mujeres, dependiendo de su estado civil o situación marital (si son casadas o unidas en comparación con jefas de hogar solteras, separadas, divorciadas o viudas) y de la forma de la propiedad. Además, su participación varía según la decisión agrícola bajo consideración. De todos modos, nuestro análi­sis conduce a una conclusión sobresaliente: los datos censales proporcionan una visión distorsionada de la agricultura fa­miliar porque no se toma en cuenta que las decisiones agrí­colas son tomadas frecuentemente por la pareja y conllevan a una subestimación de la participación de las mujeres casadas/unidas como agricultoras. (Abstract from original source)
This study investigates whether women landowners participate in the agricultural decisions about their plots. Based on a national sample from Ecuador, the analysis shows that the large majority of women owners participate actively in the conduction of their plots, whether they are their property individually or jointly with their couple. It also reveals that there are differences in the level of participation of women, depending on their marital status (whether they are married or united, in comparison to heads of households who are single, separated, divorced or widows) and the form of property. Also, their participation varies depending on the agricultural decision under consideration. In any case, our analysis leads to an outstanding conclusion: the census data provide a distorted vision of family agriculture because they do not take into account that agricultural decisions are frequently made by the couple, and they lead to an underestimation of the participation of women married/united as agricultural producers. (English provided by original source)

Topics: Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2014

Reforma agraria: Representaciones de género y política de tierras en Colombia


Sañudo Pazos, Maria Fernanda. “Reforma agraria: Representaciones de género y política de tierras en Colombia.” Revista Interdisciplinaria de Estudios de Género de El Colegio de México 2, no. 3 (2016): 102–125.


Author: María Fernanda Sañudo Pazos


A través del análisis de los procesos de negociación para la incorporación del género en la política de tierras en Colombia, en específico de la Ley 30 de 1988 y de la Ley 160 de 1994, se evidencia cómo operaron las representaciones de género que encarnaron diferentes agentes (organizaciones campesinas mixtas, organizaciones de mujeres campesinas, funcionarios y funcionarias estatales), en el posicionamiento de los intereses de las mujeres rurales frente al acceso a la tierra y en los logros que alcanzaron. De manera más precisa, se visibiliza cómo las construcciones y elaboraciones simbólicas sobre los roles de hombres y mujeres campesinos que los agentes encarnan han sido determinantes en el tipo de reconocimiento, formal y de hecho, del derecho a la propiedad de la tierra. Desde una perspectiva bourdiana se considera que quienes intervinieron en la negociación están constituidos por habitus, de los que las representaciones de género son expresiones. Éstas, además de estar estrechamente conectadas con la ubicación socioeconómica y cultural de los sujetos, se configuran como uno de los recursos mediante los cuales los agentes dotan de significado a la realidad social. Y son, también, guía de la percepción y de las acciones que se realizan en un campo específico: el de la política de tierras. En el marco del estudio, dicho campo corresponde a la red de instituciones con prácticas y discursos específicos cuyo objetivo, en momentos coyunturales, ha sido el de regular el acceso a la tierra y los conflictos aparejados a éste. (Abstract from original source)
This article analyses the role and operation of gender representations regarding, on the one hand, the definition and allocation of women’s interests in relation to access to land processes and, on the other, their actual achievements in this respect. For this purpose, it examines the gender representations displayed by peasants’ organizations, women peasants’ organizations and civil servants during the negotiation processes for including a gender perspective into the Colombian land policy. In this regard, special attention is given to Law 30 of 1988 and Law 160 of 1994. More specifically, the article argues that the symbolic constructions of the role of peasant women and men have significantly determined the kind of formal and de facto recognition of land ownership rights. From a Bourdieun perspective, it is maintained that those participating in the land policy negotiation where constituted by habitus, of which gender representations are expressions. Besides being closely connected to the socioeconomic and cultural location of the subjects, such representations function as one of the resources whereby agents provide meaning to social reality. In this sense, the article reads the land policy in Colombia as a Bourdieun field where gender representations guided both the perception and the actions taking place there. Such field is organized into a grid of institutional practices and discourses seeking to circumstantially regulate land and land conflicts. (English provided by original source)

Topics: Gender, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Enfoques de género en el papel de la mujer rural en la agricultura cubana


Martínez Montenegro, Isnel, and Mónica Baeza Leiva. “Enfoques de género en el papel de la mujer rural en la agricultura cubana.” Revista Prolegómenos Derechos y Valores 20, no. 39 (2017): 29–38.


Author: Isnel Martínez Montenegro, Mónica Baeza Leiva


El presente artículo indaga sobre los enfoques de género en el papel que desempeña la mujer en la industria agraria, y sobre el tratamiento que se le da a este tema en la legislación vigente sobre la herencia de la tierra en Cuba. Se analizan aquí los avances y retos con respecto a las mujeres en la agricultura cubana y se expone la norma cubana y sus aspectos contradictorios, haciendo una comparación con la situación actual en Latinoamérica. La mujer ha logrado desarrollar tareas imprescindibles en la industria agraria cubana, sin embargo, no en todos los casos estos avances se corresponden con las medidas adoptadas ni están dirigidos a la consecución de la igualdad como objetivo fundamental. (Abstract from original source)
This article investigates the gender perspective in the role performed by women in the agricultural industry, and the treatment given to this topic in the current legislation on the inheritance of land in Cuba. Progress and challenges regarding women in Cuban agriculture are analyzed here, and it is exposed the Cuban standard and its contradictory aspects, making a comparison with the current situation in Latin America. The woman has managed to develop essential tasks in the Cuban agricultural industry; however, not in all cases these advances correspond to the measures adopted or are aimed at the achievement of equality as a fundamental objective. (English provided by original source)
A presente artigo indaga sobre os enfoques de gênero no papel que desempenha a mulher na indústria agrária e sobre o tratamento que é dado a este tema na legislação vigente sobre a herança da terra em Cuba. Aqui foram analisados os avanços e desafios com respeito às mulheres na agricultura cubana e foi exposta a norma cubana e seus aspectos contraditórios, fazendo uma comparação com a situação atual na América Latina. A mulher conseguiu desenvolver tarefas imprescindíveis na indústria agrária cubana, porém, nem em todos os casos estes avanços correspondem a medidas adotadas nem estão dirigidos à consecução da igualdade como objetivo fundamental. (Portuguese provided by original source)

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Cuba

Year: 2017

Entre el despojo y la restitución: reflexiones sobre género, justicia y retorno en la costa caribe colombiana


Meertens, Donny. “Entre el despojo y la restitución: reflexiones sobre género, justicia y retorno en la costa caribe colombiana.” Revista Colombiana de Antropología 52, no. 2 (2016): 45–71.


Author: Donny Meertens


Este artículo explora, a través de un lente de género centrado en la relación mujer-tierra, los múltiples discursos de justicia que entran en juego en los contextos de despojo y restitución de tierras en Colombia. El despojo de tierras es más que un asunto material, pues tiene otras dimensiones (sociales y simbólicas), todas marcadas por el género, las cuales se presentan nuevamente en la restitución. Las investigaciones realizadas en el Caribe colombiano sugieren que el modelo legal de restitución, centrado en lo material, tiene efectos limitados de justicia ante las experiencias subjetivas de las mujeres que retornan al campo como propietarias de tierra. Lo anterior se debe a la difícil reconstrucción de las dimensiones sociales y simbólicas de la restitución en los territorios posviolencia, en términos de restauración de la dignidad, el sentido de pertenencia y la legitimidad social. (Abstract from original source)
This article explores, through a gender lens focused on women and land, the multiple discourses on justice at stake in the contexts of both violent land dispossession and land restitution in Colombia. Land dispossession is more than a material affair and its multiple dimensions (social, symbolic), all with a gender mark, are also present in the restitution process. Research carried out in Colombia’s Caribbean region suggests that the legal model of land restitution, focused on the material aspects, has only limited success in terms of justice as it does not sufficiently address the subjective experiences of the women who return to the countryside as formal landowners. This is due to the difficult reconstruction of the social and symbolic dimensions of restitution in “postviolent” territories, in terms of the restoration of dignity, sense of belonging, and social entitlement. (English translation provided by original source)

Topics: Gender, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016


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