Amnesty, Patriarchy and Women: The ‘Missing Gender’ Voice in Post-Conflict Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Citation:

Umejesi, Ikechukwu. 2014. “Amnesty, Patriarchy and Women: The ‘Missing Gender’ Voice in Post-Conflict Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.” Gender & Behaviour 12 (1): 6223–37.

Author: Ikechukwu Umejesi

Abstract:

On 25 June 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria declared amnesty for all armed groups fighting against the Nigerian state and oil producing companies in the Niger Delta region. The amnesty project spelt out a triple program of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of the militant groups. In other words, the program was designed to end the conflict and reintegrate the militants into the society through an economic empowerment process. While the amnesty program was hailed as "reconciliatory", "compensatory" and a "sustainable solution" towards achieving lasting peace in the restive region, the program seems to benefit only men who constitute the bulk of the militants and their commanders. It does not take into consideration the socio-ecologic and economic losses suffered by women throughout the course of the struggle. This paper asks: where are the women? Is the amnesty program an empowerment project or an entrenchment of patriarchy in the Niger Delta region? Using both primary and secondary sources, this article examines these questions as a way of understanding government's amnesty policy and its gender dynamics.

Keywords: Niger Delta, conflict, amnesty, women, patriarchy, gender, militants

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Economies, Economic Inequality, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2014

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