Normative, Agitated, and Rebellious Femininities among East and Central African Refugee Women


Jaji, Rose. 2015. “Normative, Agitated, and Rebellious Femininities among East and Central African Refugee Women.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (4): 494–509. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2014.885886.


Author: Rose Jaji


This article discusses femininities among East and Central African refugee women self-settled in Nairobi, Kenya. It argues that while normative approaches to refugee studies depict a homogeneous refugee femininity inherently synonymous with vulnerability and ‘victimhood,’ femininity among refugee women in Nairobi is heterogeneous, fluid, and complex. It is premised on individual refugee women's marital statuses in relation to economic situation. The article argues that femininity is a constraint in some instances and a resource in others, such that what exists among the refugee women is not a single femininity but a continuum of femininities. Specifically, the article conceptualizes femininity under three categories, namely: normative, agitated, and rebellious femininities.

Keywords: femininity, refugee women, vulnerability, self-policing, resistance, opportunities

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Femininity/ies Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

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