Gendered Violence: Continuities and Transformation in the Aftermath of Conflict in Africa


Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla, Jennifer Fish, and Tamara Shefer. 2014. “Gendered Violence: Continuities and Transformation in the Aftermath of Conflict in Africa.” Signs 40 (1): 81–99. doi:10.1086/676979.


Authors: Jennifer Fish, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Tamara Shefer


This thematic cluster of essays, titled “Gendered Violence: Continuities and Transformation in the Aftermath of Conflict in Africa,” focuses on the continuities between regimes of violence during organized political conflict and persisting violence against women in the postconflict era of democratic governance. The genesis for this collection evolved out of an international symposium organized by the first author of this introduction, in August 2011. The aim of the symposium was to explore African women’s experiences in the aftermath of mass violence and genocide—both in terms of their victimhood and their agency—and their positioning in the broader context of their social, cultural, and political engagement after the official ending of hostilities. In this introduction, we consider the multiple violations that women have suffered in recent conflicts and genocide on the African continent, and which they continue to suffer long after the violent conflict has ended. We explore the plurality of women’s experiences in the wake of political violence and in its aftermath—their simultaneous experiences of trauma and victimhood, their agency and empowerment, and their solidarity in standing together in their woundedness to rebuild their communities.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

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