War, Women and Health


Arcel, Libby Tata, and Marianne C. Kastrup. 2004. “War, Women and Health.” NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 12 (1): 40–47. doi:10.1080/08038740410005758.

Authors: Libby Tata Arcel, Marianne C. Kastrup


Wars increasingly target civilian populations and cause severe health problems in those targeted. It also creates a militarization and masculinization of society and exacerbates discrimination against women, for example by intensifying women's exclusion from the public sphere and rendering access to health services more difficult. Sexual violence is a clear example hereof and may take many forms, for example as rape, sexual mutilation, forced abortion, or forced prostitution. The vulnerability of women is related to their social situation as single providers, to their dwelling in refugee camps etc., and their personal security in unsafe settings. All may contribute to an increased risk of abuse with deleterious consequences for their physical and psychological state of health. Physically, this includes complaints of the musculo‐skeletal system, reproductive organs as well as chronic pain conditions. The prevailing psychological manifestations include anxiety, depression, cognitive dysfunction, insomnia and lack of energy. The need for the implementation of international human rights laws is pertinent and provision for protection of the health of women should be guaranteed, including the urgent need for adequate and culturally sensitive care for such women.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery

Year: 2004

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