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


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


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

Author: Patricia J. Campbell


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

Strategies for Change: Women & Politics in Eritrea & South Africa


Connell, Dan. 1998. "Strategies for Change: Women & Politics in Eritrea & South Africa." Review of African Political Economy 25: 189-206.

Author: Dan Connell


This article examines the position of women in the process of democratisation in Eritrea and South Africa. It examines the difficulties in translating declared government and policy document support for gender issues into implemented strategy. It does so by tracing the position of women in the different movements, the problems which women have confronted in political and economic reconstruction and the political struggles which women have engaged in to ensure that gender issues remain at the core of democratic politics.

Keywords: autonomy, democracy, nation-building, post-conflict, reconstruction, women's organizations

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Eritrea, South Africa

Year: 1998

Gender-Sensitive Programme Designe and Planning in Conflict-Affected Situations


El-Bushra, Judy., Asha El-Karib, and Angela Hadjipateras. 2002. Gender-Sensitive Programme Designe and Planning in Conflict-Affected Situations. Nairobi: Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development.

Authors: Judy El-Bushra, Asha El-Karib, Angela Hadjipateras


The project’s goal was to contribute to the reduction of poverty and suffering through enhancing gender-awareness in the design and management of development projects in contexts affected directly or indirectly by conflict. It aimed to achieve this by increasing understanding of the gender dimension of conflict, both for the humanitarian community and for development practitioners. The project ran from April 2000 to December 2001: field research was carried out in Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Mali and Angola, with complementary desk studies for Eritrea and Rwanda. It builds on ACORD's experience of operating development programmes in conflict-affected areas, and on its research and policy development in the fields of gender analysis and conflict analysis.

Keywords: conflict, humanitarian aid, recovery



“This project sought to address two particular questions, namely how do gender relations change as a result of conflict? and how might conflict itself be fueled by aspects of gender identity? It also examined the strategic and research implications of these findings for project design.” (3)

“ general, changes in gender roles at micro level have not been accompanied by corresponding changes in political or organisational influence.” (4)

“It could be argued that even where gender roles have changed, they have done so in line with existing gender ideologies. In this view, the increase in women’s economic responsibilities results from, rather than challenges, their role as family nurturers.” (5)

“Gender ideologies seem resistant to change even when their outward manifestations are re-ordered. Interventions aiming to take the opportunity of rapid change in conflict and post-conflict situations to encourage transformations in gender relations may therefore be unrealistic. Conflict may create space to make a redefinition of social relations possible, but in so doing it rearranges, adapts or reinforces patriarchal ideologies, rather than fundamentally changing them.” (5)

“...if gender analysis is to ‘dismantle patriarchy’, as one workshop participant put it, it needs to forego a narrow focus on women’s autonomy and instead adopt broader, more inclusive parameters. This would permit context-specific analysis of masculinity alongside femininity, and of the relationship of both to violence and militarisation.” (7)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, NGOs, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Eritrea, Mali, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2002


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