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Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields


Bowden, Charles. 2010. Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields. New York: Nation Books.

Author: Charles Bowden


Ciudad Juarez lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. A once-thriving border town, it now resembles a failed state. Infamously known as the place where women disappear, its murder rate exceeds that of Baghdad. Last year 1,607 people were killed, a number that is on pace to increase in 2009. In Murder City, Charles Bowden, one of the few journalists who has spent extended periods of time in Juarez, has written an extraordinary account of what happens when a city disintegrates. Interweaving stories of its inhabitants, a raped beauty queen, a repentant hitman, a journalist fleeing for his life with a broader meditation on the town's descent into anarchy, Bowden reveals how Juarez's culture of violence will not only worsen, but inevitably spread north. (Summary from WorldCat)

Table of Contents:

Prologue: get in the car

1. Miss Sinaloa

2. Dead reporter driving

3. Murder artist


Appendix : The river of blood

Topics: Sexual Violence, Rape, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2010

Ending Violence against Women in Latin America: Feminist Norm Setting in a Multilevel Context


Roggeband, Conny. 2016. “Ending Violence against Women in Latin America: Feminist Norm Setting in a Multilevel Context.” Politics & Gender 12 (1): 143–67. 

Author: Conny Roggeband


“Much of the literature that deals with international norm development depicts norm diffusion as a rather mechanical process. The central concern is how norms emerge on the international level and how these norms then become adopted and implemented at the national level. More recently, a number of authors argue that we need to develop more complex approaches to transnational norms diffusion processes (Krook and True 2012; Montoya 2013; Zwingel 2012). In this article I attempt to contribute to a more adequate theoretical understanding of norm diffusion building on the case of feminist norm setting on violence against women under conditions of multilevel governance in Latin America. I argue that, in particular, three central assumptions prevalent in the global norm diffusion literature are problematic to understand these complex multilevel processes of norm institutionalization” (Roggeband 2016, 144). 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, International Law, Post-Conflict, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2016

Women's Movements and Constitution Making after Civil Unrest and Conflict in Africa: The Cases of Kenya and Somalia


Tripp, Aili Mari. 2016. “Women’s Movements and Constitution Making after Civil Unrest and Conflict in Africa: The Cases of Kenya and Somalia.” Politics & Gender 12 (01): 78–106. doi:10.1017/S1743923X16000015.

Author: Aili Mari Tripp


As numerous conflicts have come to an end in Africa over the past two decades, women's movements have sought to advance a women's rights agenda through peace accords; through constitutional, legislative, and electoral reforms; as well as through the introduction of gender quotas. This article focuses the impact women's movements have had in shaping constitutions after periods of turmoil, particularly in areas of equality, customary law, antidiscrimination, violence against women, quotas, and citizenship rights. It demonstrates how countries that have come out of major civil conflict and violent upheaval in Africa after the mid-1990s—but especially after 2000—have made more constitutional changes with respect to women's rights than other African countries. The second part of the article provides two examples of how women's movements influenced constitutional changes pertaining to gender equality as well as the difficulties they encountered, particularly with respect to the international community.

Topics: Civil Society, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Constitutions, Quotas, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Somalia

Year: 2016

Feminist Security Studies and Feminist International Political Economy: Considering Feminist Stories


Allison, Katherine. 2015. “Feminist Security Studies and Feminist International Political Economy: Considering Feminist Stories.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 430–4. 

Author: Katherine Allison

Topics: Feminisms, Militarism, Political Economies, Security, Violence

Year: 2015

From Unity to Divergence and Back Again: Security and Economy in Feminist International Relations


Sjoberg, Laura. 2015. “From Unity to Divergence and Back Again: Security and Economy in Feminist International Relations.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 408–13. 

Author: Laura Sjoberg


“In Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security, J. Ann Tickner (1992) identified three main dimensions to “achieving global security”—national security, economic security, and ecological security: conflict, economics, and the environment. Much of the work in feminist peace studies that inspired early feminist International Relations (IR) work (e.g., Brock-Utne 1989; Reardon 1985) and many of Tickner's contemporaries (e.g., Enloe 1989; Peterson and Runyan 1991; Pettman 1996) also saw political economy and a feminist conception of security as intrinsically interlinked. Yet, as feminist IR research evolved in the early 21st century, more scholars were thinking either about political economy or about war and political violence, but not both” (Sjoberg 2015, 408). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Political Economies, Security, Human Security, Violence

Year: 2015

“New,” “Old,” and “Nested” Institutions and Gender Justice Outcomes: A View from the International Criminal Court


Chappell, Louise. 2014. “‘New,’ ‘Old,’ and ‘Nested’ Institutions and Gender Justice Outcomes: A View from the International Criminal Court.” Politics & Gender 10 (04): 572–94. doi:10.1017/S1743923X14000427.

Author: Louise Chappell


What difference do new actors and new institutions make to gender justice outcomes? This article explores this question through an examination of the objectives and influence of “new” international actors on the design and implementation of the “new” victims' rights and gender justice provisions contained in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court's (ICC). Highlighting the role of gender and formal and informal institutions, this article argues that during its first decade in operation, the ICC has produced mixed outcomes in terms of the treatment of victims, especially of conflict-related sexual violence. While there is some sign that the new actors and rules have helped produce some positive outcomes, there are also signs that “old” informal gender rules and the historical context in which the ICC is “nested” has contributed to undermining and distorting news rules aimed at addressing gender injustices. The article suggests that “newness” matters, but so, too, does “oldness” and “nestedness,” and understanding the interaction and relationship between these factors is key to understanding gender justice outcomes.

Topics: Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2014

Why is Development Work so Straight? Heteronormativity in the International Development Industry


Jolly, Susie. 2011. “Why Is Development Work so Straight? Heteronormativity in the International Development Industry.” Development in Practice 21 (1): 18–28. doi:10.1080/09614524.2011.530233.

Author: Susie Jolly



International development work has both reinforced and challenged inequalities related to sexuality and gender. The concept of heteronormativity is a promising frame for understanding these dynamics. This article starts with a description of the history of the concept and an exploration of its possible applications. It goes on to consider heteronormativity in development work, in relation to three areas in which struggles based on sex and gender orders have been most visible: in household models and family forms; HIV/AIDS; and efforts to combat violence against women.


Le travail international de développement a à la fois renforcé et mis en cause les inégalités liées à la sexualité et au genre. Le concept d’hétéronormativité constitue un cadre prometteur pour comprendre cette dynamique. Cet article commence par une description de l’histoire du concept et une étude de ses applications possibles. Il traite ensuite de l’hétéronormativité dans le travail de développement, par rapport à trois domaines dans lesquels les luttes basées sur les ordres du sexe et du genre ont été les plus visibles: dans les modèles de ménages et les formes familiales; le VIH/le sida; et les efforts en vue de lutter contre la violence à l’encontre des femmes.


O trabalho de desenvolvimento internacional tem ao mesmo tempo reforc¸ado e desafiado as desigualdades relativas a` sexualidade e ao geˆnero. O conceito de heteronormatividade e´ uma estrutura promissora para se compreender essas dinaˆmicas. Este artigo inicia com uma descric ¸a˜o da histo´ria do conceito e uma explorac¸a˜o de suas possı´veis aplicac¸o˜es. Em seguida ele avalia a heteronormatividade no trabalho de desenvolvimento em relac¸a˜o a treˆs a´reas nas quais as lutas baseadas nas a´reas de sexo e geˆnero teˆm sido mais visı´veis: em modelos familiares e formas de famı´lia; HIV/AIDS; e nas esforc¸os para combater a violeˆncia contra as mulheres.


El trabajo en desarrollo internacional ha incrementado las inequidades relacionadas con la sexualidad y el ge´nero a la vez que las ha combatido. El concepto de heteronormatividadpuede ser u´til como marco analı´tico para comprender esta dina´mica. Este ensayo comienza describiendo la historia del concepto y analizando sus posibles aplicaciones. Tambie´n analiza la heteronormatividad en el trabajo de desarrollo en las tres a´reas donde las luchas basadas en el sexo y en las jerarquı´as de ge´nero son ma´s visibles: los modelos de hogares y las normas familiares; VIH/SIDA; y las luchas contra la violencia hacia las mujeres.


Keywords: aid, gender, diversity, Rights, East Asia

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, LGBTQ, Sexuality, Violence

Year: 2011

'Pink Transportation’ in Mexico City: Reclaiming Urban Space through Collective Action against Gender-Based Violence.


Graglia, Amy Dunckel. 2013. “‘Pink Transportation’ in Mexico City: Reclaiming Urban Space through Collective Action against Gender-Based Violence.” Gender & Development 21 (2): 265–76. doi:10.1080/13552074.2013.802131.

Author: Amy Dunckel Graglia


Women-only transportation has become a popular option for urban women around the world who are tired of being groped and harassed in buses, subways and taxis. The separation of men and women in public transit is controversial among feminists, since it does not address or solve the fundamental issue of gender inequality which causes violence and harassment. However, less addressed among feminists is how violence makes women afraid to act collectively. To support them, the state can play a role in setting up measures to protect them, while they confront their attackers. This article shows how women’s organisations in Mexico City use women-only transportation to create a safe place for female commuters, where municipal and state authorities have developed ‘pink transportation’. This includes segregated transport together with wider changes to laws, provision of support for victims of violence, and positive images of women which help women act collectively against violence. Pink transportation has catalysed creating wider conversations about gender discrimination, women’s rights and gender equality in media and society.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Transportation, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2013

The Gendered Nature of Education under Siege: A Palestinian Feminist Perspective


Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera. 2008. “The Gendered Nature of Education under Siege: A Palestinian Feminist Perspective.” International Journal of Lifelong Education 27 (2): 179–200.

Author: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian


Military occupation affects educational space and places, transforming them into politicized, sexed, gendered, and racialized ones. The uncontrolled political violence in conflict zones causes psychological trauma, internal displacement and economic stagnation, and intersect to shape the gendered nature of education. This article is based on data collected from young Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories between 2004–2007. Its theoretical background departs from the perspective that women's education in conflict zones is simultaneously a site of empowerment, resistance, and victimization. As such, the article demonstrates that the personal is political, and highlights how education can be both a source of consciousness-raising and a powerful mobilizing force for young women while simultaneously being oppressive in nature. The results show that the covert and overt acts of political violence against Palestinians has transformed Palestinian gender relations in complex, contradictory, and diverse ways while both militarizing and violating their right to education. In addition, the article argues that the study of gender and education requires close attention to women's words and acts in order to identify revolutionary modes of resistance that are capable of promoting social justice. It concludes by arguing that the daily terror facing young women on their way to school, the systematic denial of school permits, and other actions that interfere with their right to obtain an education not only necessitates the re-conceptualization of education conceived as a neutral zone and separated from the politics of the state, but also requires a close scrutiny of the gendered nature of education under siege. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rights, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

Huda, Rihab, and Jessica: Orientalism and the Construction of Gender in Representations of the War on Iraq


Riley, Robin. 2009. “Huda, Rihab, and Jessica: Orientalism and the Construction of Gender in Representations of the War on Iraq.” Presented In Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada: International Studies Association. 

Author: Robin Riley


The volume of news coverage generated around Jessica Lynch's capture by the Iraqis, her rescue, and her subsequent return to the US, hid from view not only other US American women who were similarly situated like Native American, Lori Piestewa, and African American Shoshona Johnson, but it also obscured the peril and devastation that first sanctions, then the war, imposed on Iraqi women. Instead, the Iraqi women westerners were made familiar with were the ominously nicknamed, Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax. The suffering of Iraqi women due to sanctions, was not a part of Western consciousness, and in the build-up to the war, women were not the focus of the western press who were obsessed with the detailing of Saddam Hussein's sins and predictions of his future actions. Even as the war commenced, we, in the US were rarely treated to images of ordinary Iraqi women who attempted to go about their lives while the bombs dropped around, and sometimes on, them. Today, we still have little knowledge about whether Iraqi women were imprisoned by US American or British troops as they swept across Iraq, or how many Iraqi women were killed as a result of American aggression. Consequently, Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, two evil women who worked in Saddam Hussein's administration came to represent all Iraqi, indeed, all Arab women. The news stories about Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash were used in US American popular culture to buttress Orientalist ideas about the West and its relationship to Iraq and the Arab world, and to reinforce old ideas about mysterious, often sinister woman of color. These narratives work not only to support the Bush administration's foreign policy and aggression against Iraq, but they also reinforce male supremacy and white supremacy. This research is an analysis of popular news accounts of the time including newspapers, magazines and television news stories. These stories reveal how the US thinks of itself in relation to the rest of the world and how enforcement of the proper practice of gender is always the subtext of these accounts.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2009


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