Towards a Gendered Understanding of Conflict


Byrne, Bridget. 1996. “Towards a Gendered Understanding of Conflict.” IDS Bulletin 27 (3): 31–40.

Author: Bridget Byrne


Conflict has only recently been examined in the context of development studies and a gender analysis is frequently lacking. Nevertheless a gender analysis is an important tool for understanding how economic, social and political divisions which underlie conflict situations are cross-cut by gender divisions and how men and women are caught up in and affected in different ways by struggles over power and resources. This article draws out the potential relevance of feminist writings on conflict, peace and gender ideologies for the analysis of conflict from a gender and development perspective. It challenges essentialist notions of men and women and proposes instead that there needs to be an analysis of the ways in which gender identities are re-defined and manipulated in processes of conflict. The article also addresses the question of intervention, arguing that gender analysis is an essential, if neglected, tool for interventions for development and relief agencies in conflict situations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance

Year: 1996

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