The Social Imaginaries of Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda


Chigudu, Simukai. 2016. “The Social Imaginaries of Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (1): 19–38. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1105588.

Author: Simukai Chigudu


The metanarrative of global feminism is often constructed as a progressive and emancipatory movement emanating from the West and fostering radical politics elsewhere in the world. Such a view is not only ethnocentric but, critically, it fails to engage with the complex ways in which feminist politics travel and are evinced in specific localities. In this article, I seek to understand how marginalized women in the “Global South” – particularly in Africa – interpret, experience and negotiate feminist ideas to wield political power within the context of their social and moral worlds. I focus on women's organized resistance to violence and armed conflict, known as “women's peace activism.” Using a case study of a women's peace movement in Uganda mediated by an international feminist organization called Isis Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange, I conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with a wide range of activists in the organization and in its network in postconflict areas in Northern Uganda. I argue that the feminist peace discourse is most meaningful when its universal values of equity and securing the dignity of women are appropriated and re-signified through the cultural institutions and the collective memory of activists in their local settings.

Keywords: feminism, violence and peacebuilding, transnational politics, Uganda, social imaginaries

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at