Women, Internal Displacement and the Boko Haram Conflict: Broadening the Debate


Ajayi, Titilope F. 2020. "Women, Internal Displacement and the Boko Haram Conflict: Broadening the Debate." African Security 13 (2): 171-94.

Author: Titilope F. Ajayi


Women and children make up 79 per cent of the population displaced by the conflict between the Nigerian government and the armed movement informally known as Boko Haram. Their lived experiences expose the considerable protection and humanitarian risks of being female in violent contexts and the complexities of addressing them. In addition to open conflict and inconsistent policy and humanitarian responses, women’s displacement is being protracted by disjunctures between women’s roles and their construction as victims in policy and humanitarian frameworks. Construed as lacking agency, displaced women are resisting the hardship of displacement by returning to Boko Haram. This article argues for a rethinking of the importance of context, autonomy and agency as a prerequisite to reconciling false narratives about women’s experiences of conflict and displacement and their lived realities. It speaks to broader debates about women and conflict and the utility of current approaches and frameworks for addressing the roles and needs of women in these contexts.

Keywords: Nigeria, gender and security, IDPs, UNSCR 1325, women, peace and security in Africa

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2020

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