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Gender-Based Violence

Gender and Disasters

Citation:

Fordham, Maureen. 2011. “Gender and Disasters.” In Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, edited by J. O. Nriagu, 834–38. Burlington: Elsevier.

Author: Maureen Fordham

Abstract:

The gendered dimensions of disasters remain underreported and poorly managed. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that women and men (girls and boys) experience disasters and their aftermath in different ways. The differences arise, on the one hand, from women's frequent subordinate status, and on the other, from the socialization of boys and men to take risks and assume dominance, in societies around the world. This can lead to increased female workloads at one end of the scale, to gender-based violence (GBV) and excess female deaths at the extreme end. For men and boys it can create situations where their emotional needs are not met and they adopt negative coping behaviors. Key areas of environmental health including shelter/housing and livelihoods; water, sanitation, and waste management; general environmental health; and food safety and nutrition can be seen to have gender aspects in disaster contexts and require attention on both service delivery efficiency and equity grounds.

Keywords: Gender-based violence (GBV), Gender disaggregated data, gender mainstreaming, Rights-based transformative approach, Vulnerability approach, Women (and child) friendly space

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

Gender, Sexuality and Disaster

Citation:

Fordham, Maureen. 2012. “Gender, Sexuality and Disaster.” In The Routledge Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction, edited by Ben Wisner, J. C. Gaillard, and Ilan Kelman. Oxon: Routledge.

Author: Maureen Fordham

Abstract:

In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, The Independent newspaper reported occurrences of the rape and sexual abuse of women and girls (Nguyen 2010). This is the most recent evidence at the time of writing that cases of gender-based violence are frequent and still at an unacceptably high level in disasters. This raises questions about why women, as compared with men, continue to be disadvantaged, abused or made vulnerable in disasters, and highlights the importance of recognising gender as of vital consideration in disaster management and in instigating measures for disaster risk reduction (DRR).

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2012

Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine. 2014. “Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers.” In Human Security and Natural Disasters, edited by Christopher Hobson, Paul Bacon, and Robin Cameron. London: Routledge.

Author: Elaine Enarson

Abstract:

Like sustainability and resilience, human security is a powerful discourse despite its elusive and contested quality. Is it also a useful rubric for guiding efforts to reduce the risk of disaster? In this chapter, I suggest it is but only to the extent that a gender lens informs our thinking about the interface between human security and disasters-natural, technological, or human-induced. Gender comes into play across all dimensions of disaster prevention, response, and recovery. 
 
Parsing these (non-linear) phase distinctions is a daunting, and perhaps distracting, task. But sustainable and holistic recovery is the center beam upon which vulnerability reduction, hazard mitigation, capacity building, and hence prevention ultimately rest, so my discussion focuses there: all efforts to respond to urgent human needs are undone if we don’t get recovery right. The discussion also privileges women and girls due to the overarching gender hierarchies that constrain the lives of girls and women, and due also to the empirical knowledge base of past gender and disaster research. Unquestionably, boys and men are also hurt in disasters (Grabska 2012; Mishra 2009). They may be subject to gender-based violence; the environmental resources sustaining them may be contaminated, diminished, or destroyed, forcing relocation and new threats to personal security. Dominant masculinity norms (including pressure to provide) rob too many men of identity, livelihood, and well-being, putting them at risk of self-harm, too. A gender lens also brings these vital concerns to light as security threats.
 
I begin by explaining the need for gender analysis in the ostensibly gender-neutral domains of human security, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation, emphasizing that gender is more than a “cross-cutting” concern and introducing the main outlines of the subfield of gender and disaster. In the second section, case material is used to illustrate the major “lessons (not) learned” that must be integrated into consideration of how to protect and enhance human security in disasters. A short third section on women’s grassroots mobilization after disasters foreshadows my conclusion. When the stars align, the brief postdisaster “window of opportunity” offers a critical moment for transformative adaptation-but only when women and men are fully and equally engaged. The chapter ends with reflections about how to move gender from the margins to the center of our thinking about human security. (Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security

Year: 2014

Gendered Violence in Natural Disasters: Learning from New Orleans, Haiti and Christchurch

Citation:

True, Jacqui. 2013. “Gendered Violence in Natural Disasters: Learning from New Orleans, Haiti and Christchurch.” Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work 25 (2): 78–89.

Author: Jacqui True

Abstract:

Why are women so vulnerable to violence and death as a result of disaster compared with men? This article investigates how global environmental forces in the form of natural disasters from floods, droughts and famines to earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes affect women and men differently. Disasters are known to have direct and indirect impacts on gender-based violence particularly against women and girls, revealing a pattern of heightened violence and vulnerability in their aftermath. These gendered impacts are directly relevant to social work theory, practice and advocacy, which seek to promote social well being and to prevent violence in homes and communities during and in the aftermath of disasters. The article argues that women’s unequal economic and social status relative to men before a disaster strikes determines the extent of their vulnerability to violence during and after a crisis. If gender-based violence and women’s particular needs are not addressed in disaster preparedness, disaster recovery plans and humanitarian assistance, then women and girls’ vulnerability will increase. The article offers some lessons based on primary research of responses to the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes against the backdrop of what we know about the responses to an earthquake of similar magnitude in Haiti in 2009. It draws implications from this research for social work theory, practice and advocacy, highlighting the importance of ensuring that future disaster planning and decision making is gender-sensitive.

Keywords: canterbury earthquakes, christchurch earthquakes, disaster, women, gender, haiti earthquake, violence, disaster planning

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, Oceania Countries: Haiti, New Zealand, United States of America

Year: 2013

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

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

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

Private Security and Gender

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2015. “Private Security and Gender.” In Routledge Handbook of Private Security Studies, edited by Rita Abrahamsen and Anna Leander, 158-67. London: Routledge.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

In recent years, a new set of scholarship that focuses on gender and private security in global politics has emerged. This feminist and feminist-informed critical gender scholarship examines private security processes, practices, and actors through the lens of gender. It uncovers how private security shapes and is shaped by masculinities, femininities, and gendered relations of power. While gender has become established as analytical category in the study of private security, the treatment of gender in industry and policy discourses continues to be problematic. It is therefore necessary to distinguish critical from problem-solving approaches to gender and private security. A problem-solving approach frames gender issues as problems which can be solved by adding more female employees or including language on gender-based violence into regulatory frameworks. But such an approach underestimates the extent to which gender matters in private security.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security

Year: 2015

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

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