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Gender-Based Violence

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

Cynthia Enloe

February 8, 2018

Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd floor, Room 3300, UMass Boston

The deluge of exposes 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.

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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This event is cosponsored by the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Human Rights Minor

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie, Ballif-Spanvill, Bonnie, Caprioli, Mary, and Emmett, Chad F. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York City: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Summary:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2012

Whose Turn Is It to Cook Tonight? Changing Gender Relations in a South African Township

Citation:

Annecke, Wendy. 2015. "Whose Turn Is It to Cook Tonight? Changing Gender Relations in a South African Township." Cape  Town: Department for International Development.

Author: Wendy Annecke

Abstract:

This study is set in an urban area, in a township called Khayelitsha in South Africa, where poverty, violence and unemployment are endemic. Since the new democratic order came to power in 1994, there have been two changes in policy that impact on this study. The first is that gender equality has been legislated (with some machinery to enforce this), the second is that an accelerated electrification programme has been implemented so that 75% of the formal houses and shacks in Khayelitsha are electrified. This study uses cooking as the domestic chore that epitomises traditionally gendered domestic relationships to explore the hypothesis that when women have access to modern energy services their daily drudgery is reduced and they are able to improve their own lives. The findings include the resentment felt by some men that they can no longer use force to compel their partners to perform domestic duties to their own satisfaction, and that, backed by strong institutional support for gender equality, access to modern energy services (in this case electricity) can facilitate shifts in gender roles and responsibilities in the domestic sphere

Keywords: gender relations, Energy, gender violence, domestic tasks, household electrification

Topics: Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2015

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from Columbia University Press).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

Women, War and Peace: War Redefined

Reframing Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back In

Citation:

Davies, Sara E. and Jacqui True. 2015. “Reframing Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back In.” Security Dialogue 46 (6): 495-512.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True

Abstract:

Over the past decade, significant global attention has been paid to the issue of ‘widespread and systematic’ sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). To contribute to the prevention of SGBV, researchers have examined the relationship between the presence of armed conflict and the causes of SGBV. Much of this causal literature has focused on the individual and group perpetrator dynamics that fuel SGBV. However, we argue that research needs to lay bare the roots of SGBV in normalized and systemic gender discrimination. This article brings back structural gender inequality as a causal explanation for SGBV. In order to better understand and prevent SGBV, we propose a critical knowledge base that identifies causal patterns of gendered violence by building on existing indicators of gender discrimination.

Keywords: gender, international security, peace and security, political violence, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, peace and security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1820, Sexual Violence

Year: 2015

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

The Politics of Counting and Reporting Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: the Case of Myanmar

Citation:

Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True. 2017. “The Politics of Counting and Reporting Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: the Case of Myanmar.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (1): 4-21.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True

Abstract:

Scholars, states and international organizations have begun to systematically count, document and compare sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in conflict-affected countries. Qualitative and quantitative studies point to a “tip of the iceberg” phenomenon, where there is a high prevalence but low level of actual reporting of SGBV. We investigate the conditions in which SGBV is reported or, more significantly, is not reported to discover the trends of reporting in politically oppressive environments where SGBV is thought to be occurring. We ask how the power to report in local conflict-affected areas is affected by national political tensions and pervasive gender discrimination. Reporting of SGBV in Myanmar, a country that has experienced multiple, protracted conflicts since independence, is examined. Analysis of open-access reports over a fifteen-year period reveals a pattern of silence that we argue is rooted in pervasive discriminatory civil and physical practices against women. Engaging with the deeply politicized and gender discriminatory context of conflict-affected societies enables us to see the anomalies of SGBV data and to highlight significant gaps in our knowledge about SGBV.

Keywords: ethnic conflict, human rights reporting, feminist methodology, Myanmar, Conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, conflict, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Property Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2017

Introduction to Conflict and Violence

Citation:

Green, Caroline, and Caroline Sweetman. 2013. “Introduction to Conflict and Violence.” Gender & Development 21 (3): 423-431.

Authors: Caroline Green, Caroline Sweetman

Annotation:

"Here you will find articles from a wide range of practitioners, researchers and activists, focusing on the complicated and context-specific relationships between gender inequality, violence and conflict, and debating ways to end gender-based violence (GBV) in its many pernicious forms" (Green and Sweetman, 2013, p. 423).

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

Year: 2013

Pages

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