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

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