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Eritrea

In War’s Wake: Contextualizing Trauma Experiences and Psychosocial Well-Being Among Eritrean Youth

Citation:

Farwell, Nancy. 2003. “In War’s Wake: Contextualizing Trauma Experiences and Psychosocial Well-Being Among Eritrean Youth.” International Journal of Mental Health 32 (4): 20–30.

Author: Nancy Farwell

Abstract:

This study examines war trauma experienced by Eritrean youth, their psychological symptoms and contextual actors related to their psychosocial well-being in the postwar environment in Eritrea. The youth offered retrospective accounts of trauma experiences in semi-structured interviews that included open- and closed-ended questions and the administration of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Among the ninety-seven youth in this school-based sample from four regions of Eritrea, exposure to trauma and economic hardship were significant predictors of psychological distress. Refugee status did not predict lower symptom levels, a factor related to the stressors encountered in exile as well as to the earlier war events that forced the youth and their families to flee their country. For many youth, grief over the loss of parents and close relatives was not resolved. The youth were generally positive about the future, both personally and in the context of a free and independent Eritrea. This article suggests that the intrapsychic post-traumatic stress disorder framework may be too narrow for conceptualizing war trauma, which is essentially psychosocial in nature, and deeply contextualized in a community's socioeconomic and political realities of conflict and its aftermath. Expanding this knowledge base is important order to ensure that practitioners and policy makers can effectively assist youth and their families with the postconflict tasks of healing and reintegration, essential elements of building a lasting peace.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2003

Eritrean Women Asylum Seekers in Israel: From a Politics of Rescue to Feminist Accountability

Citation:

Ghebrezghiabher, Habtom M., and Pnina Motzafi-Haller. 2015. “Eritrean Women Asylum Seekers in Israel: From a Politics of Rescue to Feminist Accountability." Journal of Refugee Studies 28 (4): 570-594.

Authors: Habtom M. Ghebrezghiabher, Pnina Motzafi-Haller

Abstract:

Despite acclaimed gender equality during the struggle for liberation and post independence in their country, the entrenched system of gender-based inequality has forced many Eritrean women to flee their country. On their difficult flight and during their journey, Eritrean women were exposed to blackmail, sexual abuse and rape. Those who made it through the difficult journey sought asylum in Israel but have not been able to escape gender violation and discrimination in their host state. This article traces the experience of Eritrean woman asylum seekers in Israel from the moment of their escape from Eritrea, through their torturous journey and after their entry into a state that refuses to consider their right to refugee status. Data were obtained using in-depth interviews with women asylum seekers in Israel, records of radio interviews and Paltalk discussions in the Tigrigna language, and close reading of unpublished reports by human rights activists and of Hebrew-language Israeli newspapers. Analysis of these diverse bodies of data reveals that gender is largely ignored by the few scholars who attempted to document the Eritrean asylum seekers experience in Israel. Drawing on post-colonial feminist Canadian scholar Sherene Razack (1999), who urges us to develop 'a more political understanding of why women flee', we examine here the experience of Eritrean women asylum seekers in Israel within a critical feminist analytical framework that documents their agency within changing historical and political circumstances and forces. We use this larger historically specific framework to disengage from the trope of 'pity and rescue' and offer instead a critical examination of how Eritrean women act as agents from the moment they decide to flee their country and until they settle in Israel. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Violence Regions: East Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Eritrea, Israel

Year: 2015

Women Without Arms: Gendered Fighter Constructions in Eritrea and Southern Sudan

Citation:

Weber, Annette. 2011. “Women Without Arms: Gendered Fighter Constructions in Eritrea and Southern Sudan.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 5 (2): 357–70.

Author: Annette Weber

Abstract:

An analysis of gendered fighter constructions in the liberation movements in Eritrea and southern Sudan (EPLF and SPLA/M), examining the question of female access to the sphere of masculine fighter constructs and the relevance of this for influence in peacetime affairs. Empirical research in both countries, in particular interviews with participants, reveals that what keeps women out of the sphere of legitimized violence is not some “inherent peacefulness,” but the exclusivist construct of the masculine fighter, which is supported by society. This makes it hard for women to participate in war, and especially to gain full fighter status. An intrinsic link is found between fighter status and access to power in post-conflict state-building from which women, being unable to gain full fighter status, are largely excluded.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea, South Sudan

Year: 2011

The Land Issue in Eritrea’s Reconstruction & Development

Citation:

Rock, June. 2000. “The Land Issue in Eritrea’s Reconstruction & Development.” Review of African Political Economy 27 (84): 221–34.

Author: June Rock

Abstract:

At the end of the 30 year‐long liberation struggle against Ethiopian overrule, Eritrea was faced with the enormous tasks of political and economic reconstruction, the repair of the country's physical infrastructure, and the need to rebuild and rehabilitate the devastated agricultural sector. These tasks coincided with those of the demobilisation of fighters and the repatriation and reintegration of some 600,000 refugees that had fled to the Sudan during the struggle. High on the agenda of Eritrea's decision‐makers immediately after Independence, was the issue of land. A speedy resolution of the land issue was seen as integral to the government's overall policies for post‐war recovery and reconstruction. This resulted in the introduction, in 1994, of the Eritrea Land Proclamation, which aimed to radically transform the country's tenure systems. Some six years later, with the exception of one or two small pilot projects in the immediate environs of the capital, Asmara, the Proclamation has still to be implemented. This article examines some of the specific provisions of the Land Proclamation in order to explore what would need to be done to initiate it on the ground. It is argued that, while the principles of the Land Proclamation are well intentioned, its implementation would be too complex and costly, and that there are alternative lessons to be learned from the EPLF's own, earlier land reforms of the mid‐1970s and 1980s.

Topics: DDR, Development, Economies, Governance, Households, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2000

Gender Conflict and Development Volume II: Case Studies: Cambodia; Rwanda; Kosovo; Algeria; Somalia; Guatemala and Eritrea

Citation:

Byrne, Bridget, Rachel Marcus, and Tanya Powers-Stevens. 1995. Gender, Conflict and Development Volume II: Case Studies: Cambodia; Rwanda; Kosovo; Algeria; Somalia; Guatemala and Eritrea. 35. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Authors: Bridget Byrne, Rachel Marcus, Tanya Powers-Stevens

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Gender Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Algeria, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia

Year: 1995

Equality to Die For?: Women Guerrilla Fighters and Eritrea’s Cultural Revolution

Citation:

Bernal, Victoria. 2000. “Equality to Die For?: Women Guerrilla Fighters and Eritrea’s Cultural Revolution.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 23 (2): 61-76.

Author: Victoria Bernal

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2000

Eritrean Women: Defending National Borders and Challenging Gender Boundaries

Citation:

Stefanos, Asgedet. 2000. “Eritrean Women: Defending National Borders and Challenging Gender Boundaries.” SAIS Review 20 (2): 167–81.

Author: Asgedet Stefanos

Topics: Gender, Women, Nationalism Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2000

From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea

Citation:

Bernal, Victoria. 2001. “From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea.” Northeast African Studies 8 (3): 129–54.

Author: Victoria Bernal

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Citizenship, Combatants, Development, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2001

Gender and Post-Conflict Civil Society: Eritrea

Citation:

Campbell, Patricia J. 2005. “Gender and Post-Conflict Civil Society: Eritrea.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 7 (3): 377–99.

Author: Patricia J. Campbell

Abstract:

Women have historically participated in revolutionary/liberation movements. A consensus among scholars working in the field suggests that once the broader aims of the movement have been achieved, women's public role and the concern for gender differentiated interests diminish in the post-conflict society. The aim of this study is to apply this hypothesis using the case study of Eritrea. Eritrea offers an opportunity to study a modern, successful revolutionary movement that relied heavily upon women's contributions both as support personnel and as front-line soldiers. Preliminary evidence suggests that Eritrea is following the pattern of many other post-conflict societies. Several questions are addressed here: Does the hypothesis which suggests women's participation is welcomed during a revolutionary struggle, but discouraged inpost-conflict society, hold true in the Eritrean case? What role did women play in Eritrean independence and what role do they currently play? Have the reforms enacted by the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) carried forward under the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)? What role does women's inclusion play in creating a viable civil society? How has the generational aspect of women's military service affected society's overall perception of women?

Keywords: civil society, Eritrea, gender, human rights, post-conflict, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2005

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