Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding


Schnabel, Albrecht and Amara Tabyshalieva, eds. 2012. Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Tokyo and New York: United Nations University Press.

Authors: Amara Tabyshalieva, Albrecht Schnabel


Women are among the most competent, yet marginalized, unnoticed and underutilized actors in efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. Opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding are lost - and sustainable peace is at risk - when significant stakeholders in a society's future peace and conflict architecture are excluded from efforts to heal the wounds of war and build a new society and a new state. The contributors to this book draw on comparative case and country studies from post-conflict contexts in different parts of world to offer their insights into frameworks for understanding women as both victims and peacebuilders, to trace the road that women take from victimhood to empowerment and to highlight the essential partnerships between women and children and how they contribute to peace. The authors examine the roles of women in political and security institutions.



1 Forgone opportunities: The marginalization of women’s contributions to post-conflict peacebuilding; Albrecht Schnabel and Anara Tabyshalieva

2 Frameworks for understanding women as victims and peacebuilders; Lisa Schirch

Part I: From victimhood to empowerment: Patterns and changes

3 Mass crimes and resilience of women: A cross-national perspective;  Krishna Kumar

4 Victimization, empowerment and the impact of UN peacekeeping missions on women and children: Lessons from Cambodia and Timor-Leste; Sumie Nakaya

5 Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi;  Rose M. Kadende-Kaiser

Part II: Women and children: Essential partnership of survival and peace.

6 Women and children in the post-Cold War Balkans: Concerns and responses; Constantine P. Danopoulos, Konstantinos S. Skandalis and Zlatko Isakovic

7 Emerging from poverty as champions of change: Women and children in post-war Tajikistan; Svetlana Sharipova and Hermine De Soto

8 Young mothers as agents of peacebuilding: Lessons from an early childcare and development project in Macedonia; Deborah Davis

Part III: Putting good intentions into practice: National and global efforts to right past wrongs.

9 Gender and transitional justice: Experiences from South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone; Lyn S. Graybill

10 Empowering women to promote peace and security: From the global to the local – Securing and implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325; Ancil Adrian-Paul

Part IV: Deconstructing victimhood: Women in political and security institutions.

11 State-building or survival in conflict and post-conflict situations? A peacebuilding perspective on Palestinian women’s contributions to ending the Israeli occupation;  Vanessa Farr

12 Women’s participation in political decision-making and recovery processes in post-conflict Lebanon; Kari H. Karamé

13 Combating stereotypes: Female security personnel in post-conflict contexts; Kristin Valasek


14 Defying victimhood: Women as activists and peacebuilders; Anara Tabyshalieva and Albrecht Schnabel

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Burundi, Lebanon, Macedonia, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2012

Women & Conflict in the Middle East: Palestinian Refugees and the Response to Violence.


Holt, Maria. 2014. Women & Conflict in the Middle East: Palestinian Refugees and the Response to Violence. Library of Modern Middle East Studies 123. London: Tauris.

Author: Maria Holt


Women in conflict zones face a wide range of violence: from physical and psychological trauma to political, economic and social disadvantage. And the sources of the violence are varied also: from the 'public' violence of the enemy to the more 'private' violence of the family. Here, Maria Holt, using research gathered in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon and in the West Bank in 2007, looks at the forms of violence suffered by women in the context of the wider conflict around them. Drawing on first-hand accounts of women who have either participated in, been victims of or bystanders to violence, this book highlights the complex situation of these refugees, and explores how many of them become involved in resistance activities. It thus makes essential reading for students of the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as those interested in the gender dimension of conflict. (WorldCat)


Introduction : the Palestine of our imagination --
The intimate history of violence --
'Violated spaces' : Palestinian women and the politics of place --
'She still has the key' : the multiple violences of exile --
War and 'uncivil violence' in Lebanon --
The politics of forgetting --
Conclusion : counter-narratives of resistance

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2014

Translating International Norms: Filters to Combating Violence Against Women in Lebanon


Sabat, Rita. 2013. “Translating International Norms: Filters to Combating Violence Against Women in Lebanon.” In Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2013

War and Gender Performance


Stephan, Rita. 2014. “War and Gender Performance.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (2): 297–316. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.849969.

Author: Rita Stephan


The 2006 war in Lebanon that erupted between Hezbollah and Israel marked the largest evacuation of Americans abroad since World War II. This article captures the experiences of Lebanese-American women and investigates how gender identity was expressed during these evacuations. Presented from the point of view of a participant-observer and personal interviews, findings show that gender became a master identity that influenced these women's choices regarding how to escape the country and return to the United States. Some embraced dependency upon masculinist exercises of power while others claimed agency as they determined their own fate and carried out their own evacuation without waiting to be rescued by the state or male kin members. The evacuation stories in this article confirm and illuminate the complexity of ethnic citizenship and gendered agency.

Keywords: Lebanon, 2006 Lebanon Israeli war, women's agency, evacuation, gender identity, women and children, feminine vulnerability, patriarchy and militarism, kinship, gender performance

Topics: Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2014

The War Experiences and Psychosocial Development of Children in Lebanon


Macksoud, Mona S., and J. Lawrence Aber. 1996. “The War Experiences and Psychosocial Development of Children in Lebanon.” Child Development 67 (1): 70–88.

Authors: Mona S. Macksoud, J. Lawrence Aber


This study examines the number and types of war traumas children face growing up in a war-torn country and the relation of such traumatic experiences to their psychosocial development. A sample of 224 Lebanese children (10-16 years old) were interviewed using measures of war exposure, mental health symptoms, adaptational outcomes, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The number and type of children's war traumas varied meaningfully in number and type by their age, gender, father's occupational status, and mother's educational level. As predicted, the number of war traumas experienced by a child was positively related to PTSD symptoms; and various types of war traumas were differentially related to PTSD, mental health symptoms, and adaptational outcomes. For example, children who were exposed to multiple war traumas, were bereaved, became victims of violent acts, witnessed violent acts, and/or were exposed to shelling or combat exhibited more PTSD symptoms. Children who were separated from parents reported more depressive symptoms and children who experience bereavement and were not displaced reported more planful behavior. Lastly, children who were separated from parents and who witnessed violent acts reported more prosocial behavior. Implications for program interventions and directions for future research on the effects of war on the psychosocial development of children are explored.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Girls, Boys, Health, PTSD, Trauma, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 1996

Women, Gender, and Terrorism


Gentry, Caron E., and Laura Sjoberg, eds. 2011. Women, Gender, and Terrorism. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Authors: Caron E. Gentry, Laura Sjoberg


"In the last decade the world has witnessed a rise in women’s participation in terrorism. Women, Gender, and Terrorism explores women’s relationship with terrorism, with a keen eye on the political, gender, racial, and cultural dynamics of the contemporary world. Throughout most of the twentieth century, it was rare to hear about women terrorists. In the new millennium, however, women have increas­ingly taken active roles in carrying out suicide bombings, hijacking air­planes, and taking hostages in such places as Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Chechnya. These women terrorists have been the subject of a substantial amount of media and scholarly attention, but the analysis of women, gender, and terrorism has been sparse and riddled with stereotypical thinking about women’s capabilities and motivations. In the first section of this volume, contributors offer an overview of women’s participation in and relationships with contemporary terrorism, and a historical chapter traces their involvement in the politics and conflicts of Islamic societies. The next section includes empirical and theoretical analysis of terrorist movements in Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, and Sri Lanka. The third section turns to women’s involvement in al Qaeda and includes critical interrogations of the gendered media and the scholarly presentations of those women. The conclusion offers ways to further explore the subject of gender and terrorism based on the contributions made to the volume. Contributors to Women, Gender, and Terrorism expand our understanding of terrorism, one of the most troubling and complicated facets of the modern world." (University of Georgia Press)




Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka

Year: 2011

Reframing the War on Terror: Feminist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Activism in the Context of the 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon


Naber, Nadine, and Zeina Zaatar. 2014. "Reframing the War on Terror: Feminist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Activism in the Context of the 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon." Cultural Dynamics 26 (1): 91-111.

Authors: Nadine Naber, Zeina Zaatar


This article seeks to expand the kinds of questions we ask about the diverse militarized campaigns referred to collectively as the “war on terror,” the grassroots resistance to these wars, and efforts committed to creating a world without destruction and killing. Shifting the focus of this feminist critique of war away from the center of power (the empire) to the everyday lives of feminist and queer activists living the war on terror from the ground up, this article examines a distinct feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social movement that worked to respond to and resist the US-backed Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. We argue along with our interlocutors in Lebanon that asymmetrical systems of gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and family are entangled in the historical conditions of transnational capital, empire, and war, and necessitate an intersectional approach that refuses to impose false binaries or hierarchies on a complex social reality. We conclude by arguing the importance of reframing the war on terror and reimagining feminist and LGBTQ policies as a critique of the post-racial discourse, beyond dominant imperialist and nationalist discourses, which are exclusionary, sexist, and homophobic in different ways.

Keywords: queer studies, feminism, armed conflict, MENA, Asia, middle east, Israel, Lebanon

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Households, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race, Sexuality, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Lebanon

Year: 2014

Assessment of Reproductive Health and Violence against Women among Displaced Syrians in Lebanon


Reese Masterson, Amelia, Jinan Usta, Jhumka Gupta, and Adrienne S. Ettinger. 2014. “Assessment of Reproductive Health and Violence against Women among Displaced Syrians in Lebanon.” BMC Women’s Health 14 (25): 1-8.

Authors: Amelia Reese Masterson, Jinan Usta, Jhumka Gupta, Adrienne S. Ettinger


The current conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands to neighboring countries, including Lebanon. Information is needed to provide adequate health and related services particularly to women in this displaced population.

Keywords: violence against women, stress, refugee, reproductive health, Syria

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Syria

Year: 2014

Child Sexual Abuse in Lebanon during War and Peace


Usta, Jinan, Jo Ann M. Farver, and Lama Zein. 2010. “Child Sexual Abuse in Lebanon during War and Peace.” Child: Care, Health and Development 36 (3): 361–68. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01082.x.

Authors: Jinan Usta, Jo Ann M. Farver, Lama Zein


Purpose Child sexual abuse (CSA) is rarely addressed in the Arab world. This study examined the prevalence, risk factors and consequences associated with CSA in Lebanese children before, during and after the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli war.
Method A total of 1028 Lebanese children (556 boys; 472 girls) were administered an interview questionnaire that included the International Child Abuse Screening Tool, the Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Family Functioning in Adolescence Questionnaire.
Results In total, 249 (24%) children reported at least one incident of CSA; 110 (11%) occurred before the war, 90 (8%) took place in the 1-year period after the war to the time of the data collection and 49 (5%) occurred during the 33-day war. There were no gender differences in CSA reports before or after the war, but boys reported more incidents during the war than did girls. Girls who reported CSA had higher trauma-related symptoms for sleep disturbance, somatization, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety than did boys. There were geographic differences in the reports of abuse that may be associated with poverty and living standards. Logistic regression analyses correctly classified 89.9% of the cases and indicated that children’s age, family size, fathers’ education level and family functioning significantly predicted CSA during the period following the war.
Conclusions The prevalence of CSA in the current study is within the reported international range. Given the increase in the incidents of CSA during the war and the significant findings for family-related risk factors, there is an urgent need to provide multi-component culturally appropriate interventions that target the child and the family system in times of peace and conflict.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, family functioning, Lebanon, trauma symptoms, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2010

Women Between Nation and State in Lebanon


Joseph, Suad. 1999. “Women Between Nation and State in Lebanon.” In Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State, edited by Minoo Moallem, Caren Kaplan, and Norma Alarcon, 162-81. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Suad Joseph

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Nationalism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 1999


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