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Post-Conflict

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.

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

Why Women’s Participation Is Essential to Sustainable Peacebuilding: Lessons from Sierra Leone

Citation:

White, Aimee. 2008. "Why Women’s Participation Is Essential to Sustainable Peacebuilding: Lessons from Sierra Leone." M.A., Canada: Dalhousie University (Canada).

Author: Aimee White

Annotation:

Summary:
Post-conflict countries will not achieve sustainable peace without the inclusion and participation of women in peacebuilding processes. In Sierra Leone, women were heavily involved in bringing about an end to the 1991--2002 conflict, but yet were largely excluded from political and decision-making processes in post-conflict context. The physical and structural gender-based violence women experienced throughout the conflict and the ways in which women took the lead in addressing these issues in the post-conflict context demonstrates women's essential but formally unrecognized role in peacebuilding in Sierra Leone. The post-genocide context in Rwanda provides a comparison for the ways in which women have seized the socio-political space opened up by conflict to challenge gender inequality and take an active role in the political structures of the country. There are a number of international policy frameworks to complement this process in post-conflict countries but international and national rhetoric must translate into concrete action. (Summary from original)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone

Year: 2008

The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables

Citation:

Villellas Ariño, María. 2010. "The Participation of Women in Peace Processes. The Other Tables." Barcelona: Institut Catalá Internacional per la Pau.

Author: María Villellas Ariño

Abstract:

This paper argues that women’s absence in peace processes cannot be explained by their alleged lack of experience in dialogue and negotiation, but by a serious lack of will to include them in such important initiatives of change. Women have wide ranging experience in dialogue processes including many war and post-war contexts, but there has been a deliberate lack of effort to integrate them in formal peace processes. After introducing the research framework, the paper addresses women’s involvement in peace, and analyzes the role played by women in peace processes, through the cases of Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland. The paper concludes that peace processes are as gendered as wars, and for that reason gender has to be a guiding line for including women in peace processes. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Sri Lanka, United Kingdom

Year: 2010

After Revolution: Mapping Gender and Cultural Politics in Neoliberal Nicaragua

Citation:

Babb, Florence E. 2001. After Revolution: Mapping Gender and Cultural Politics in Neoliberal Nicaragua. Austin: University of Texas Press. 

Author: Florence Babb

Annotation:

Summary:
An exploration of how Nicaragua's least powerful citizens have fared in the years since the Sandinista revolution, as neo-liberal governments have rolled back state-supported reforms and introduced measures to promote the development of a market-driven economy (Summary from WorldCat).
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction: Writing after Revolution
 
2. Negotiating Spaces: The Gendered Politics of Location
 
3. "Managua Is Nicaragua": Gender, Memory, and Cultural Politics
 
4. Place on a Map: The Local and the National Viewed from the Barrio
 
5. Unmaking the Revolution: Women, Urban Cooperatives, and Neoliberalism
 
6. From Cooperatives to Microenterprises in the Postrevolutionary Era
 
7. Narratives of Development, Nationhood, and the Body
 
8. Toward a New Political Culture
 
9. Conclusion: Remembering Nicaragua

Topics: Economies, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Privatization Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2001

Empowerment Boom or Bust? Assessing Women’s Post-Conflict Empowerment Initiatives

Citation:

MacKenzie, Megan. 2009. “Empowerment Boom or Bust? Assessing Women’s Post-Conflict Empowerment Initiatives.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 22 (2): 199–215.

Author: Megan MacKenzie

Abstract:

Over the past decade, the term ‘empowerment’ has been generously employed and woefully ill-defined. In particular, women's empowerment has been embraced by such a vast number of development actors that it appears to be a unifying mission within development. Despite the boom in women's empowerment initiatives, there remains little critical analysis of the use of empowerment in general, and the perceived success or failures of specific empowerment initiatives. Using the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process in Sierra Leone as a case study, this paper examines how reintegration was described as a source of empowerment for women. Drawing from interviews and analysis of related policy discourses, it is argued that, rather than representing a radical shift in development approaches towards more inclusive and representative policies, empowerment projects are shaped by neoliberal ideas such as individualism, responsibility and economic order and carry implicit, gendered and disciplining messages about appropriate social behavior. (Abstract from original)

Topics: DDR, Development, International Financial Institutions, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding

Citation:

Goetz, Anne Marie, and Rob Jenkins. 2016. "Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding." Feminist Economics 22 (1): 211-236.

Abstract:

This contribution reviews international policy and practices to engage women in formal peace talks, post-conflict elections, and economic recovery, and finds a combination of factors contributing to poor performance in promoting women's agency. The fact that the privileged category for post-conflict decisions are those groups capable of acting as “spoilers” has tended to exclude women's groups from the categories considered most important to involve in decision making. Exacerbating this exclusion is the reluctance of international decision makers to encourage affirmative action measures in these contexts. This carries through to the minimal-state approach to economic recovery efforts. Provisions are needed to foster and invite women's voice in decision making, and build more active-state approaches to women's livelihood recovery. (Abstract from original)

Keywords: affirmative action, agency, community, development, discrimination, interdisciplinary

Topics: Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Privatization

Year: 2016

Global Trends in Land Tenure Reform: Gender Impacts

Citation:

Archambault, Caroline, and Annelies Zoomers, eds. 2015. Global Trends in Land Tenure Reform: Gender Impacts. London and New York: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315765822.

Authors: Caroline Archambault, Annelies Zoomers

Annotation:

This book explores the gendered dimensions of recent land governance transformations across the globe in the wake of unprecedented pressures on land and natural resources. These complex contemporary forces are reconfiguring livelihoods and impacting women’s positions, their tenure security and well-being, and that of their families.

Bringing together fourteen empirical community case studies from around the world, the book examines governance transformations of land and land-based resources resulting from four major processes of tenure change: commercial land based investments, the formalization of customary tenure, the privatization of communal lands, and post-conflict resettlement and redistribution reforms. Each contribution carefully analyses the gendered dimensions of these transformations, exploring both the gender impact of the land tenure reforms and the social and political economy within which these reforms materialize. The cases provide important insights for decision makers to better promote and design an effective gender lens into land tenure reforms and natural resource management policies. (Summary from Taylor & Francis eBooks)

Table of Contents:
Introduction 
 
Part 1: From Farm to Firm: A Bad Deal for Women? 
 
1. Gender, Land and Agricultural Investments in Lao PDR  
 
2. Women and Benefit Sharing in Large Scale Land Deals: A Mining Case Study from Papua New Guinea  
 
3. A Women's World or the Return of Men? The Gendered Impacts of Residential Tourism in Costa Rica  
 
Part 2: From de Facto to de Jure: Formalizing Patriarchy in the Codification of Customary Tenure?  
 
4. Cameroon's Community Forests Program and Women's Income Generation from Non-Timber Forest Products: Negative impacts and potential solutions  
 
5. Gendered Mobilization: Women and the Politics of Indigenous Land Claims in Argentina  
 
6. Joint Land Titles in Madagascar: The gendered outcome of a "gender neutral" land tenure reform  
 
7. Land Titling and Women's Decision-Making in West Bengal  
 
Part 3: From Common Property to Private Holdings: A Tragedy for the Commoners?  
 
8. "One Doesn't Sell One's Parents:" Gendered Experiences of Shifting Tenure Regimes in the Agricultural Plain of the Sais in Morocco  
 
9. Aging Ejidos in the Wake of Neo-Liberal Reform: Livelihood Predicaments of Mexican Ejidatarias  
 
10. Women's Forestland Rights in the Collective Forestland Reforms in China: Fieldword Findings and Policy Recommendations  
 
11. Gendered Perspectives on Rangeland Privatization among the Maasai of Southern Kenya  
 
Part 4: From Conflict to Peace: An Opportunity for Gender Reconstruction?  
 
12. Reproducing Patriarchy on Resettled Lands: A lost opportunity in reconstituting women's land rights in the fast track land reform program in Zimbabwe  
 
13. Resigning Their Rights? Impediments to women's property ownership in Kosovo  
 
14. Strengthening Women's Land Rights while Recognizing Customary Tenure in Northern Uganda 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Governance, Land grabbing, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Privatization, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Argentina, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Year: 2015

War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism

Citation:

Meger, Sara. 2016. “War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism.” Postcolonial Studies 19 (4): 378-92.

Author: Sara Meger

Abstract:

This article examines the structures of international relations that facilitate political violence in postcolonial states. It explores the intersections of patriarchy and imperialism in the contemporary political economy to understand how armed conflict and political violence in postcolonial states form an integral element of the global economy of accumulation in deeply gendered ways. By focusing on the structural level of analysis, this article argues that the siting of armed conflict in postcolonial contexts serves to maintain neo-colonial relations of exploitation between the West and non-West, and is made both possible and effective through the gendering of political identities and types of work performed in the global economy. I argue here that armed conflict is a form of feminized labour in the global economy. Despite the fact that performing violence is a physically masculine form of labour, the outsourcing of armed conflict as labour in the political economy is ‘feminized’ in that it represents the flexibilization of labour and informalization of market participation. So while at the same time that this work is fulfilling hegemonic ideals of militarized masculinity within the domestic context, at the international level it actually demonstrates the ‘weakness’ or ‘otherness’ of the ‘failed’/ feminized state in which this violence occurs, and legitimizes and hence re-entrenches the hegemonic relations between the core and periphery on the basis of problematizing the ‘weak’ state’s masculinity. It is through the discursive construction of the non- Western world as the site of contemporary political violence that mainstream international relations reproduces an orientalist approach to both understanding and addressing the ‘war puzzle’.

 

Keywords: political economy, neo-colonialism, war, gender, feminized labour, feminist international relations, postcolonial theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, conflict, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict

Year: 2016

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

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