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Patriarchy

Learning in a Militarized Context: Exploring Afghan Women’s Experiences of Higher Education in ‘Post-Conflict’ Afghanistan

Citation:

Akseer, Spogmai. “Learning in a Militarized Context: Exploring Afghan Women’s Experiences of Higher Education in ‘Post-Conflict’ Afghanistan.” PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2015.

Author: Spogmai Akseer

Abstract:

This study examines the repercussions of the war on terror and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan, on the daily (gendered) life experiences of Afghan women. I argue that such wars are markers of the shifts in global capitalist accumulation processes, from exporting ‘goods’ to the Global South, to now exporting capitalism. Specifically, the war on terror is the latest manifestation of monopoly finance capitalism, which leverages wars and insecurity in the Global South as lucrative sites for accumulating profits and (re)investments. Democratic ideals provide a ‘moral’ justification for mass militarism, human rights violations, torture and erosion of existing social and economic inequalities. Notions of freedom, equality or classlessness, which are important objectives of formal democracy, as well, colonialist and racist ideologies of Others have become effective mechanisms forcapitalism to sustain and reproduce capitalist class relations. Education is an important site for socializing citizens toward accepting and participating as human capital in monopoly finance capitalism. Through the World Bank, higher education reforms in Afghanistan are endorsing neoliberal policies, even as these policies continue to contradict and exacerbate existing inequalities. Specifically, female education has become a key strategy in continued militarization and occupation in the country.
 
In this study, I examine the contradictory ways in which female university students navigate through an increasingly militarized, violent and patriarchal terrain. Guided by a transnational feminist approach and a dialectical historical materialist framework, 19 female university students from 5 public and private universities were interviewed in Afghanistan. Findings suggest that the university is a contradictory site where participants mobilize new and old strategies for addressing gendered constraints in their lives, while simultaneously creating new ones. The implications of these findings suggest a need for extensive institutional and ideological support for women’s learning, and also improving home-school connections. The participants’ desire to learn and their concerns over increasing violence and insecurity, reveal the militarized nature of their learning, as well, the possibility for critical and transformative learning against imperialism, patriarchy and class relations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Education, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2015

The Violence of Memory: Renarrating Partition Violence in Shauna Singh Baldwin's What the Body Remembers

Citation:

Misri, Deepti. 2011. “The Violence of Memory: Renarrating Partition Violence in Shauna Singh Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers.” Meridians 11 (1): 1–25. doi:10.2979/meridians.11.1.1.

Author: Deepti Misri

Abstract:

This article explores how Shauna Singh Baldwin's novel What the Body Remembers builds on Partition feminist historiography in order to exhume and retell the story of family violence against women during India's Partition, intended to “save their honor” from rioting mobs. While feminist historiographies have restored Partition survivors' memories of violence to the historical archive, Baldwin's novel explicitly foregrounds the role of gendered bodies in and as the archive of communal memories of violence. I begin with Baldwin's exploration of the embodied character of Sikh subject-formation in a pre-Partition border community, and close in, like the novel itself, on a key moment of embodied violence: the cutting up and reassembling of a woman's body, whose manner of death is later reconstructed by her male family members, in the presence of a female family member. My analysis shows how the text's layering of perspectives around this body encodes a feminist hermeneutics of doubt and models a critical practice of “reading between the lines” in order to recover the violence suppressed in the text of patriarchal memory. Furthermore, I argue, the woman's dismembered, re-membered body in the text allegorizes the processes of disfigurement through which women's bodies are routinely produced as “dead metaphors” for patriarchal honor; as well as the project of remembering violence differently, which the novel itself endorses.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Political Transition and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe: A Comparative Analysis

Citation:

Thomas, Kylie, Masheti Masinjila, and Eunice Bere. 2013. “Political Transition and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe: A Comparative Analysis.” Gender & Development 21 (3): 519–32. 

Authors: Kylie Thomas, Masheti Masinjila, Eunice Bere

Abstract:

This article draws on research conducted in Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe that focused on violence in the context of political transition. The paper examines the relation between political transition and sexual and gender-based violence in the three countries. The paper argues that it is critical to recognise sexual and gender-based violence as bound to systemic gendered inequality if such forms of violence are to be addressed and mitigated when periods of violent conflict end.

Keywords: political transition, sexual and gender-based violence, patriarchy, rape, colonial oppression, structural violence, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, post-election violence

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Rape, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Year: 2013

A Luta Kontinua (The Struggle Continues): The Marginalization of East Timorese Women Within the Veterans’ Valorization Scheme

Citation:

Kent, Lia, and Naomi Kinsella. 2015. “A Luta Kontinua (The Struggle Continues): The Marginalization of East Timorese Women Within the Veterans’ Valorization Scheme.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (3): 473–94. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.913383.

Authors: Lia Kent, Naomi Kinsella

Abstract:

This article examines how East Timorese women's contributions to the resistance against the twenty-four-year Indonesian occupation (“the Resistance”) have been marginalized within the veteran's valorization scheme (veterans' scheme) established in the post-conflict period. Drawing on interviews with politicians, veterans and members of women's organizations, we show that although women played significant roles within the Armed, Clandestine and Diplomatic fronts, for the most part they have not been recognized as veterans within the veterans' scheme. Instead, the scheme has reinforced perceptions of women's roles as wives, mothers, homemakers and widows, rather than as political actors, suggesting that the return to “peace” in Timor-Leste has been accompanied by the strengthening of patriarchal traditions and the expectation that women return to “traditional” roles. We argue that the failure to recognize women as veterans is problematic both for East Timorese women and society as a whole. It represents a lost opportunity to recognize women's agency and potentially to improve their social status in society. It also narrows the way in which the independence struggle is remembered and represented and further promotes a culture of “militarized masculinity” that elevates and rewards men who show the capacity to use violence.

Keywords: Timor-Leste, resistance, post-conflict, veterans, women's recognition, militarized masculinity

Topics: Civil Society, Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2015

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Author: Meneno Vamuzo

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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?

Citation:

Dharmapuri, Sahana. 2011. “Just Add Women and Stir?” Parameters 41(1): 56-70.

Author: Sahana Dharmapuri

Annotation:

Summary:
"Recent efforts made by UN peacekeeping missions and NATO to implement UN Resolution 1325, show that security actors are more successful when they take into account the different needs, status, and experience of men and women in the local population, and when peace and security missions include women in executing operations and decisionmaking. A growing body of evidence from the field reveals that the inclusion of women enhances operational effectiveness in three key ways: improved information gathering, enhanced credibility, and better force protection. Empirical evidence underscores the fact that attention to the different needs, interests, and experiences of men and women can enhance the success of a variety of security tasks, to the benefit of both civilians and soldiers" (Dharmapuri 2011, 56).

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

Citation:

Puechguirbal, Nadine. 2012. “The Cost of Ignoring Gender in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: A Feminist Perspective.” In Amsterdam Law Forum, 4:4–19. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2007625.

 

Author: Nadine Puechguirbal

Abstract:

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

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