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Colombia

The Endurance of Women’s Mobilization During “Patriarchal Backlash”: A Case from Colombia’s Reconfiguring Armed Conflict

Citation:

Zulver, Julia Margaret. 2021. “The Endurance of Women’s Mobilization during ‘Patriarchal Backlash’: A Case from Colombia’s Reconfiguring Armed Conflict.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 440–62.

Author: Julia Margaret Zulver (she/her/hers)

Abstract:

Despite the signing of a peace accord between the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Government of Colombia in 2016, it is increasingly apparent that the country’s armed conflict is reconfiguring rather than abating. This is evident in the widespread targeting of social leaders with threats, violence, and death. This article focuses on the Alianza de Mujeres Tejedoras de Vida, an association of women in Putumayo who mobilized for peace and women’s rights during Colombia’s armed conflict. Since 2018, however, they have been specifically targeted by armed groups for their activism and support of the peace process. This has led to increased – and gendered – acts of violence against them. This article frames the violence that they currently face as an example of what Berry refers to as “patriarchal backlash,” a reaction to the gains that women make in their communities during war that threaten men’s hegemonic control. I argue that while the resurgence of violence represents a limitation to women’s mobilization, it is not insurmountable. Indeed, the Alianza’s ongoing mobilization can be understood as a function of the repertoires of action developed during previous moments of conflict. This article contributes to wider conversations about the durability of women’s mobilization beyond the permeable bounds of a conflict/post-conflict binary.

Keywords: women's activism, Colombia, patriarchal backlash, repertoires of action, women social leaders

Topics: Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peace Processes, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2021

'A Walk with the Lads’: Masculinities’ Perspectives, Gender Dynamics and Resilience in Soacha, Colombia

Citation:

Gutierrez, D. José Antonio, and Pat Gibbons. 2020. “‘A Walk with the Lads’: Masculinities’ Perspectives, Gender Dynamics and Resilience in Soacha, Colombia.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 49 (October). 

Authors: D. José Antonio Gutierrez, Pat Gibbons

Abstract:

Soacha is a municipality in the periphery of Colombia's capital Bogotá, whose population has soared over the past two decades with a constant influx of people displaced by conflict all over the country. The result is a fragile municipality with a majority of highly vulnerable settlements due to: high levels of tenure insecurity; generalised lack of protection and territorial control by gangs; normalised violence; and high levels of intra-urban displacement. Disenfranchisement and lack of rights set the backdrop in which the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people transcur. As part of the Horizon 2020 project, the ‘Preparedness and Resilience to address Urban Vulnerability’ (PRUV) Consortium employed the Urban Vulnerability Walk methodology to understand the vulnerabilities of both men and women in a gender-segregated research in one locality –Altos de Florida. While the methodology was useful to identify vulnerabilities and risks, it proved equally useful to better understand the resources of the community, both of the women and the men, in order to overcome the difficulties in which they are immersed and to build a sustainable future.

Keywords: masculinities, insecure tenure, resilience, Colombia, urban vulnerability walk

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Urban Displacement, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Land Tenure, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Ordinary Geographies: Care, Violence, and Agrarian Extractivism in ‘Post-Conflict’ Colombia

Citation:

Berman‐Arévalo, Eloísa, and Diana Ojeda. 2020. “Ordinary Geographies: Care, Violence, and Agrarian Extractivism in ‘Post-Conflict’ Colombia.” Antipode 52 (6): 1583–1602.

Authors: Eloísa Berman‐Arévalo, Diana Ojeda

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
In Colombia’s agrarian spaces, war and extractivism are deeply entangled. Almost four years after the peace accords signed between the national government and the FARC guerrilla, post-conflict geographies are best characterised by the ongoing dispossession of local populations related to the entrenchment of extractivism. Drawing from ethnographic work carried out in the Colombian Caribbean on the ordinary practices and spaces of social reproduction, the ordinary geographies, this article explores gendered practices of care and their role in both sustaining and disrupting paramilitary violence and agrarian extractivism. The focus not just on the gendered effects of war and extractivism, but on gender’s constitutive role in the configuration of these processes and dynamics, allows us to contribute to recent literature on extractivism, dispossession and violence from a feminist standpoint.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT: 
La guerra y el extractivismo estan profundamente entretejidos en los espacios agrarios en Colombia. Casi cuatro a~nos despues de la firma de los acuerdos de paz entre el gobierno nacional y la guerrilla de las FARC, las geografıas del post-conflicto estan caracterizadas por el despojo sostenido de poblaciones locales tras el afianzamiento y la expansion del extractivismo. A partir de trabajo etnografico llevado a cabo en el Caribe colombiano sobre las practicas y los espacios cotidianos de la reproduccion social, que definimos como geografıas ordinarias, este artıculo explora las practicas de cuidado atravesadas por genero y su papel en el mantenimiento y la irrupcion de la violencia paramilitar y el extractivismo agrario. El enfoque, no solo en los efectos generizados de la guerra y el extractivismo, sino tambien en el papel constitutivo del genero en la configuracion de estos procesos y dinamicas, nos permite contribuir a la literatura reciente sobre el extractivismo, el despojo y la violencia desde un punto de vista feminista.

Keywords: ordinary geographies, gender, care, extractivism, dispossession, war, Colombia, geografías ordinarias, género, cuidado, extractivismo, despojo, guerra

Topics: Agriculture, Armed Conflict, Extractive Industries, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Narrating Victimhood: Dilemmas and (In)Dignities

Citation:

Krystalli, Roxani C. 2021. “Narrating Victimhood: Dilemmas and (In)Dignities.” International Feminist Journal of Politics. doi:10.1080/14616742.2020.1861961.

Author: Roxani C. Krystalli

Abstract:

Feminist researchers are increasingly paying attention to the politics of victimhood during transitions from violence. In this article, I address the dilemmas of researching victimhood when the researcher herself is part of the production of its politics and hierarchies. Based on in-depth fieldwork in Colombia, I examine dilemmas related to (1) directing the research gaze during transitions from war; (2) investigating violence without requiring people to re-narrate harms suffered during armed conflict; (3) engaging with both voluntary and imposed silences; and (4) navigating the complicated tug of loyalties among conflict-affected actors. I argue that ethics and methods are inseparable from each other, from the findings of the research, and from the meaningful study of power and violence. Collectively, these insights contribute to an ongoing interdisciplinary conversation about power and politics in the study of violence.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2021

The Nature of Women, Peace and Security: A Colombian Perspective

Citation:

Yoshida, Keina, and Lina M Céspedes-Báez. 2021. “The Nature of Women, Peace and Security: A Colombian Perspective.” International Affairs 97 (1): 17–34.

Authors: Keina Yoshida, Lina M Céspedes-Báez

Abstract:

On 12 November 2019, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), handed down a landmark decision in the case of ‘Katsa Su’ concerning the Awa indigenous group in Colombia. The Colombian conflict has particularly affected indigenous groups, such as the Awa people, and has also affected the territory in which they live. In this article, we explore the decision of the JEP, within a broader analysis of the Colombian peace agreement and consider how it might help us to think about the place of the environment in the Women, Peace and Security agenda and in international law. We call for a gendered and intersectional approach to environmental peacebuilding which is attentive to the importance of gender and different groups. Further, we highlight how the Colombian example shows how concepts such as relief, recovery and reparations are often confined in international law to women's recovery and redress with respect to sexual violence and yet, this conceptualization should be much broader. The Katsa Su case provides an example of the fact that reparations and redress must address other forms of violence, spiritual and ecological, which women also suffer in times of conflict.

Keywords: Americas, Energy and Environment, International Governance, Law and Ethics, conflict, Security and Defence

Topics: Conflict, Environment, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Infrastructure, Energy, International Law, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2021

Strategies for Including Women’s and LGBTI Groups in the Columbian Peace Process

Citation:

Cóbar, Kosé Alvarado. 2020. Strategies for Including Women’s and LGBTI Groups in the Columbian Peace Process. Stockholm: SIPRI.

Author: José Alvarado Cóbar

Annotation:

Summary: 

In order to have a more nuanced understanding of inclusive peace processes, it is important to understand how civil society can connect to formal peace negotiations. The Colombian peace negotiation process is highly regarded as one of the most inclusive processes; involving civil society groups from diverse backgrounds, including both women’s and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) groups. But how do these groups leverage influence among the main conflict actors, and what specific challenges and opportunities do they face? This paper applies a conflict resolution and negotiation framework to assess the involvement of women’s and LGBTI groups in the most recent Colombian peace negotiation process. In doing so, the suggested framework provides a practical application of conflict resolution and negotiation strategies that can further complement discussions on inclusion of marginalized groups in other peace negotiation processes. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Justice, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo

Citation:

Gruner, Sheila. 2018. "Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo." In Movimientos indígenas y autonomías en América Latina: Escenarios de disputa y horizontes de posibilidad, edited by Flores Pavel C. López and Guerreiro Luciana García, 259-84. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO.

Author: Sheila Gruner

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:

La autonomía de los movimientos étnico-territoriales está orientada por conceptualizaciones de territorio y los derechos políticoterritoriales, y las relaciones sociales de producción que se producen y reproducen dentro del mismo territorio. Para entender lo que está en juego para pueblos indígenas y negros tanto como sociedad en general, se requiere abordar temas del desarrollo, conflicto y paz en su conjunto, mirar las tendencias de violencia contra las mujeres, y las mujeres racializadas en específico, desde un marco crítico, global y decolonial, tanto como anti-racista y depatriarcal. En este artículo serán explorados movimientos étnico-territoriales en Colombia y Canadá, examinando aquellos que han avanzado hacia formulaciones ontológicas alternativas al desarrollo, representado en conceptos como el buen vivir, ubuntu, y mino-bimaadiziwin. En este escrito se examinarán de igual forma los esfuerzos de los pueblos indígenas y negros en Colombia en cuanto a la construcción de la paz, la defensa del territorio y su autonomía, y la inclusión del Capítulo Étnico en los Acuerdos de paz de la Habana.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:

The autonomy of ethno-territorial movements is oriented by conceptualizations of territory, political and territorial rights and the social relations of production that are produced and reproduced within this same territory. To understand what is at stake for indigenous and black people, as well as for society in general, issues of development, conflict, and peace must be addressed in relation to each other, examining tendencies of violence against women and racialized women in particular, from within a critical, global and decolonial framework, that is also anti-racist and depatriarchal. Ethno-territorial movements in Colombia and Canada will be explored, examining those that express ontologies alternative to that which underpins dominant development, represented in concepts such as good life, ubuntu and mino-bimaadiiziwin. Efforts of indigenous and afrocolombian communities will also be explored in relation to the construction of peace, the defense of territory, autonomy and will centre on the inclusion of the Ethnic Chapter in the Havana Peace Accords.

Keywords: decolonial, buen vivir, good life, ubuntu, mino-bimaadiiziwin, movimiento etno-territorial, ethnoterritorial movement, territorio ancestral, ancestral territory, Acuerdos de Habana, Havana Accords, Ethnic Chapter, Capitulo Etnico

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Canada, Colombia

Year: 2018

After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia

Citation:

Lemaitre, Julieta. 2016. “After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia.” Social & Legal Studies 25 (5): 545–65.

Author: Julieta Lemaitre

Abstract:

This article examines internally displaced women’s narratives of rebuilding their life after displacement, focusing on questions of moral agency and community governance. The data come from a 3-year research project (2010–2013) with internally displaced women in Colombia, during the emergence of a new transitional justice regime. The article finds in internally displaced women’s narratives of the injuries of war, of their own resistance and overcoming, and of their aspirations for the future, concerns that go beyond poverty alleviation and redistribution in peace-building efforts. Internally displaced women’s narratives also engage with questions of ordinary ethics and community governance, describing the loss of moral agency in civil war and its painstaking recovery. This article questions the limitations of transitional justice regimes and peace-building efforts that ignore concerns with the loss of moral agency and community during civil war as well as the role of ordinary ethics in peace building at the grassroots.

Keywords: community governance, internal displacement, internally displaced women, moral agency, ordinary ethics, peace building, transitional justice, Colombia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

‘We Are Not Poor Things’: Territorio Cuerpo-Tierra and Colombian Women’s Organised Struggles

Citation:

Rodriguez Castro, Laura. 2020. “‘We Are Not Poor Things’: Territorio Cuerpo-Tierra and Colombian Women’s Organised Struggles.” Feminist Theory (March). doi: 10.1177/1464700120909508.

Author: Laura Castro Rodriguez

Abstract:

In this article, I use Lorena Cabnal’s notion of territorio cuerpo-tierra to analyse seventeen in-depth interviews with women leaders of rural social movements and other organisations in Colombia. In the interviews, social leaders condemn violence that is epistemic, systemic, militarised and that permeates all ambits of life. They denounce how the coloniality of power operates, while at the same time they propose alternatives for a better life from their own cosmovisions by enacting food sovereignty and constructing feminisms from ‘below’. I demonstrate how these social leaders’ actions are entangled in decolonial feminist struggles, which undermine the way in which women in the Global South have been constructed as ‘objects’ or ‘in need of saving’. These women are not ‘victims who need saving’, but politically active subjects who enact change locally and nationally through their ‘territories bodies-lands’. Not only do their narratives highlight the intimate relationship of the body with the land, but I argue that we must follow their lead in order to dismantle the coloniality of power.

Keywords: decoloniality, feminism, food sovereignty, global south, rurality, territory

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia

Citation:

Meger, Sara, and Julia Sachseder. 2020. “Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia.” Globalizations 17 (6): 953–73.

Authors: Sara Meger, Julia Sachseder

Abstract:

After more than 50 years of war, in 2016, the Colombian government signed a historic peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Although the cessation of hostilities between the rebel group and the government is a monumental step, violence remains rife in the country. By drawing attention to the correlation between neoliberal economic development in the country and militarism, this paper sheds light on several structural issues that have been left potentially unresolved by the peace negotiations, each with the potential to ignite further violence. We introduce the concept of militaristic neoliberalism to argue that there is a fundamental link between Colombia’s neoliberal development and a culture of militarism, which relies on gendered and racialized constructions of ‘self’ and ‘other’, that exacerbate structural inequalities and severely hampers prospects for achieving peace for many of Colombia’s citizens post-conflict.

Keywords: Colombia, peace accord, paramilitaries, political economy, feminist theory, militaristic neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Non-State Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

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