From Helplessness to Agency: Examining the Plurality of Women's Experiences in Armed Conflict


Haeri, Medina, and Nadine Puechguirbal. 2010. “From Helplessness to Agency: Examining the Plurality of Women’s Experiences in Armed Conflict.” International Review of the Red Cross 92 (877): 102–22.

Authors: Medina Haeri, Nadine Puechguirbal


Although women routinely display remarkable resilience and fortitude by adopting new roles and taking on new responsibilities when confronted by the ravages of war, they continue to be depicted by many humanitarian actors as being intrinsically weak and vulnerable – a depiction that results in the perceptible absence of women from decision-making bodies both during and in the wake of conflict. This article argues for the need to consider the plurality of women’s experiences in war, including as female heads of households, as victims (and survivors) of sexual violence, as community leaders, and as armed combatants.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Sexual Violence

Year: 2010

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