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"What Was My War Like?": Missing Pages from the Gendered History of War in Cyprus


Özkaleli, Umut, and Ömür Yilmaz. 2015. “‘What Was My War Like?’: Missing Pages from the Gendered History of War in Cyprus.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (1): 137–56. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.833700.

Authors: Umut Özkaleli, Ömür Yilmaz


This paper aims to uncover Turkish Cypriot women's war experiences and integrate that knowledge into the public discourse. We argue that the omission of women's war experiences thus far has served to sustain the mutually reinforcing alliance between patriarchy and nationalism, which we call patriarchal nationalism. Building on feminist standpoint theory, deconstruction of the official and hegemonic ‘his'tory of war poses challenges to the stronghold of patriarchy and ethnic nationalism in society by engaging women in the re-construction of history. Narratives of twenty women from different regions and backgrounds revealed common experiences that have been systematically silenced, memories that have been socially forgotten but could not be erased despite the dominant discourse that has denied their existence for decades. These experiences defy images of the ethno-national Glorious Self, protected by heroic and righteous men, and the Villainous Other. They also identify types of insecurity and victimization that have been excluded from traditional, gendered definitions of security. As these narratives contest fundamental tenets of patriarchy and nationalism, their contributions to the reconstruction of ‘reality’ and history carry prospects for the transformation of both gender and ethnic relations.

Keywords: gender, memory, war history, Cyprus, security, women's narratives

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe Countries: Cyprus, Turkey

Year: 2015

War and Gender Performance


Stephan, Rita. 2014. “War and Gender Performance.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (2): 297–316. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.849969.

Author: Rita Stephan


The 2006 war in Lebanon that erupted between Hezbollah and Israel marked the largest evacuation of Americans abroad since World War II. This article captures the experiences of Lebanese-American women and investigates how gender identity was expressed during these evacuations. Presented from the point of view of a participant-observer and personal interviews, findings show that gender became a master identity that influenced these women's choices regarding how to escape the country and return to the United States. Some embraced dependency upon masculinist exercises of power while others claimed agency as they determined their own fate and carried out their own evacuation without waiting to be rescued by the state or male kin members. The evacuation stories in this article confirm and illuminate the complexity of ethnic citizenship and gendered agency.

Keywords: Lebanon, 2006 Lebanon Israeli war, women's agency, evacuation, gender identity, women and children, feminine vulnerability, patriarchy and militarism, kinship, gender performance

Topics: Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2014

Narratives of Peace: Naga Women in the Self Determination Struggle


Vamuzo, Meneno. 2012. “Narratives of Peace: Naga Women in the Self Determination Struggle.” InTensions Journal, no. 6, 1–23.

Author: Meneno Vamuzo


Naga women live in a politically sensitive environment given their people’s prolonged struggle for self-determination. They also face the complexity of a society that is undergoing the binary of change and continuity, with the pull towards modernity, on the one hand, and strong undercurrents of traditional and customary practices on the other. The latter are often geared towards a strong patriarchal system that is often inclined to disfavouring women. Nevertheless, Naga women have managed to engage themselves effectively within their traditional space and have significantly impacted their society. Through a tactful and non-contentious stance, they have continued to influence the dynamics of peacemaking. This article looks at some narratives of contemporary Naga women who are active peacemakers in a geographically and politically divided Nagaland.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Myanmar

Year: 2012

Women and Decentralized Water Governance: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward


Kulkarni, Seema. 2011. “Women and Decentralised Water Governance: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward.” Review of Women’s Studies 46 (18): 64–72.

Author: Seema Kulkarni


Based on a study of water rights and women’s rights in decentralised water governance in Maharashtra and Gujarat, this paper argues that decentralisation will fail to meet its desired objectives unless the value systems, culture and the nature of institutions, including the family, change. While the policy initiative of introducing quotas for women in public bodies is welcome and necessary, it is certainly not sufficient for the success of decentralisation in a society ridden with discrimination based on class, caste and patriarchy, and where the culture of political patronage is dominant. The presence of vibrant social and political movements that propose alternative cultural, social and political paradigms would be a necessary foundation for major social changes. The success of decentralised water governance is constrained by the conceptualisation of the larger reform in water at one level and the notions of the normative woman, community, public and the private domains, and institutions at another. Unless all of these are altered, decentralised processes will not be truly democratic.

Topics: Caste, Class, Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Quotas Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Just Add Women and Stir?


Sahana Dharmapuri. 2011. “Just Add Women and Stir?” Parameters 41.1.


Author: Sahana Dharmapuri

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2011

The Cost of Ignoring Gender in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: A Feminist Perspective


Puechguirbal, Nadine. 2012. “The Cost of Ignoring Gender in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: A Feminist Perspective.” In Amsterdam Law Forum, 4:4–19.


Author: Nadine Puechguirbal


This article focuses on the cost of ignoring gender when analysing conflict and post-conflict environments. It explains how a feminist perspective allows us to uncover hidden gender power relations and deconstruct the so-called gender-neutral approach in international relations. By highlighting the differential impact of war on women and men regarding security issues, it is understood that the cessation of hostility is not always synonymous with peace for women. It is also understood how patriarchy resurfaces after a war and marginalises women who are mainly seen as powerless victims and sidelined in peace talks that promote a conservative return to the status quo ante bellum.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict

Year: 2012

Snagged on the Contradiction: NATO UNSC Resolution 1325, and Feminist Responses


Cockburn, Cynthia. 2011. ‘Snagged on the Contradiction: NATO UNSC Resolution 1325, and Feminist Responses’. Unpublished mansuscript.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn


Feminist antimilitarists in a host of countries and contexts are struggling with the contradictions inherent in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 31 October 2000 on Women, Peace and Security. It was ‘our’ achievement. It was ‘our’ project and ‘our’ success. Yet the more energetically we push for its implementation, the more we see its limitations. Worse, we realize how it can be used for ends quite contrary to those we intended. In this respect, NATO is a thought-provoking case. No…. more than that, it’s an enraging example of how good feminist work can be manipulated by a patriarchal and militarist institution. 

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, NATO, militarism, antimilitarism, patriarchy

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2011

Domestic violence prevention through the Constructing Violence-free Masculinities programme: an experience from Peru


Mitchell, Rhoda. 2013. “Domestic violence prevention through the Constructing Violence-free Masculinities programme: an experience from Peru.” Gender and Development, 21 (1): 97-109.

Author: Rhoda Mitchell


This paper examines work undertaken with male perpetrators of violence in the Construction of Violence-free Masculinities, a project run by the Centro Mujer Teresa de Jesus, a Women’s Centre located in a poor peri-urban district of Lima, Peru, in conjunction with Oxfam-Quebec. Centre staff faced the challenge of how to work with men who are violent towards their intimate partners. They use a community education approach, to challenge powerful stereotypes about gender roles, to question men’s assumed dominance over women, and support men to construct new forms of masculinity, without violence. Ultimately, the programme seeks to modify and change the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviours of men who are aggressors.

Keywords: masculinity, Intimate partner violence, domestic violence, men's groups

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Domestic Violence, Education, Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Masculinism, Households, NGOs, Nonviolence, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013


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