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Africa

Towards an Indigenous Model of Conflict Resolution: Reinventing Women's Roles as Traditional Peacebuilders in Neo-Colonial Africa

Citation:

Isike, Christopher, and Ufo Okeke Uzodike. 2011. “Towards an Indigenous Model of Conflict Resolution: Reinventing Women’s Roles as Traditional Peacebuilders in Neo-Colonial Africa.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 11 (2): 32–59.

Authors: Christopher Isike, Ufo Okeke Uzodike

Abstract:

Women have always been at the centre of peace processes across different pre-colonial African societies. Their peace agency in these societies can be located in their cultural and socio-political roles as well as their contributions to the overall well-being of these societies. It is noteworthy that women’s peacebuilding roles then were reinforced by perceptions which stereotyped women as natural peacemakers, and as being more pacific than men. However, women in neo-colonial African states appear to have lost this myth/sacredness that surrounded their being and social existence in pre-colonial Africa. This is because apart from being marginalised socially, economically and politically, they have increasingly become victims of male violence. How and why did women transform from being active participants in precolonial politics and peace processes to being passive observers of politics and peacebuilding in neo-colonial Africa? And second, given their pre-colonial peacebuilding antecedents, do women have the potential to transform politics and conflict in neo-colonial Africa?In building towards an indigenous model of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, this paper contends that the feminist ethic of care (defined by ubuntu) that was appropriated by pre-colonial African women to wage peace and maintain societal harmony, is still very much a part of the core of contemporary African women, and can be appropriated in resolving subnational conflicts in neo-colonial Africa. Indeed, it is possible to develop it into a model of African feminist peacebuilding which can be utilised as an ideological rallying point to transform politics and create a suitable environment for development in the continent.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa

Year: 2011

Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict

Citation:

McGadney-Douglass, Brenda Faye, and William K. Ahadzie. 2008. “Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict.” Affilia 23 (4): 324–37.

Authors: Brenda Faye McGadney-Douglass, William K. Ahadzie

Abstract:

This article presents the findings of field research in Ghana in 2002 about internal displacement stemming from multiethnic violence in northern Ghana in 1994, known as the “Guinea Fowl War.” Indigenous, gender-specific knowledge from displaced Ghanaian women is presented in the context of feminist perspectives on the consequences of regional wars on noncombatants. The research generated indigenous material for social work education about interethnic peace building and conflict resolution. The discussion includes first-person responses about warning signs, origins of conflict, immediate and long-term responses, social consequences, and an integration of findings with feminist perspectives on conflict resolution and policies that are designed to aid internally displaced women.

Keywords: Africa, ethnic conflict, feminist social work, internally displaced women, social work education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2008

Women Transcending 'Boundaries' in Indigenous Peacebuilding in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Border Conflict

Citation:

Ombati, Mokua. 2015. “Women Transcending ‘Boundaries’ in Indigenous Peacebuilding in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Border Conflict.” Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, 4 (1): 637–61.

Author: Mokua Ombati

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Opinion and understanding on the consequences of violent conflict on women, and the importance of their participation in peacebuilding processes is varied. What exactly are women’s roles in violent conflict transformation and peacebuilding? What can be done to enhance women's role and contribution to peacebuilding processes? This study addresses these and other questions concerning women’s experiences of and responses to violent conflict. Drawing from the human needs approach, the study explores grassroots women’s engagement of peacebuilding through the promotion of social capital as both a public and private good. Based on an ethnographic case study of Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu cross-border conflict, the study explores how women have (re)discovered, (re)formulated, (re)framed and (re)adapted their traditional gender roles for peacebuilding, empowerment and development. The adopted indigenous conflict resolution approaches, knowledge and citizen peacekeeping are playing a prominent role in reappraising and building sustainable peace. Individually and collectively, women contribute to peacebuilding in many ways; though their contributions are often neglected because they take avant-garde forms, occur outside formal peace processes or are considered extensions of women’s existing gender roles.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT: 
La opinión y comprensión de las consecuencias de los conflictos violentos entre las mujeres y la importancia de su participación en los procesos de paz es variada. Este estudio aborda las experiencias de las mujeres y sus respuestas ante conflictos violentos. A partir del enfoque de las necesidades humanas, el estudio explora el compromiso de las mujeres de base en la construcción de la paz a través de la promoción del capital social. A partir del estudio etnográfico del conflicto transfronterizo Sotik/Borabu (Kenia), se explora cómo las mujeres han (re)descubierto, (re)formulado, (re)enmarcado y (re)adaptado sus roles tradicionales de género para la consolidación de la paz, el empoderamiento y desarrollo. El enfoque, conocimientos y mantenimiento de la paz ciudadana tomados en la resolución del conflicto indígena adoptado están desempeñando un papel destacado en la nueva valoración y la construcción de una paz sostenible. Individual y colectivamente, las mujeres contribuyen a la consolidación de la paz en muchos aspectos; aunque sus contribuciones a menudo no se toman en cuenta porque toman formas vanguardistas, realizan procesos formales de paz o se consideran parte de su rol de género.

Keywords: women, cross border conflicts, peacebuilding

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Thomas, Lahoma, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2010. "Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis." Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 479-502.

Authors: Lahoma Thomas , Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La santé et la sécurité des femmes de tous âges sont menacées en situations de conflit et d'après-conflit partout en Afrique. La violence sexuelle et sexiste et la propagation du virus de l'immunodéficience humaine/syndrome d'immunodéficience acquise (VIH/sida) sont autant d'armes utilisées en périodes de conflit, mais elles ont aussi des effets à long terme sur la santé et la sécurité postconflictuelles des femmes et des jeunes filles. Cet article s'appuie sur des recherches empiriques et pratiques menées en Ouganda entre 2007 et 2008 auprès de membres de collectivités du nord de l'Ouganda victimes de la violence sexuelle et sexiste et des intervenants auprès des victimes du viol et des personnes séropositives. Les résultats de ces recherches empiriques soulignent la persistance de la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit et pourquoi l'expression de cette violence doit être placée dans le contexte de la sexospécificité et des masculinités. Nos résultats mettent en évidence la façon dont la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit (en particulier, la violence domestique envers les femmes, l'inceste et la maltraitance sexuelle des enfants) sert à réaffirmer la masculinité et à récupérer le sens de la virilité mis en cause lors de conflits quand les membres masculins de la communauté ont été incapables de protéger leurs familles.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women and girls face specific health and human security threats in conflict and post-conflict situations throughout Africa. Gender and sexual-based violence (GSBV) and the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are weapons used in conflict, but they also have long term effects on the human security and well-being of women and girls post-conflict. This article draws on empirical and field research carried out in Uganda between 2007 and 2008 with community members in northern Uganda who have experienced GSBV and those who are working to help survivors of rape and HIV infection. The findings from empirical research carried out in northern Uganda underscores the ongoing violence women face in a post-conflict environment and why the expression of violence against women must be understood in the context of gender relations and masculinities. Our findings highlight the ways in which violence against women in post-conflict situations (particularly domestic abuse against women, incest and child sexual assaults) is used to re-assert masculinities and to reclaim a sense of manhood that was challenged during the conflict when male community members were unable to protect their families.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion: Mobile Money, Gendered Walls

Citation:

Natile, Serena. 2020. The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion: Mobile Money, Gendered Walls. Abingdon-on-Thames, UK: Routledge.

Author: Serena Natile

Annotation:

Summary:
Focusing on Kenya’s path-breaking mobile money project M-Pesa, this book examines and critiques the narratives and institutions of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality, arguing for a politics of redistribution to guide future digital financial inclusion projects. 

One of the most-discussed digital financial inclusion projects, M-Pesa facilitates the transfer of money and access to formal financial services via the mobile phone infrastructure and has grown at a phenomenal rate since its launch in 2007 to reach about 80 per cent of the Kenyan population. Through a socio-legal enquiry drawing on feminist political economy, law and development scholarship and postcolonial feminist debate, this book unravels the narratives and institutional arrangements that frame M-Pesa’s success while interrogating the relationship between digital financial inclusion and gender equality in development discourse. Natile argues that M-Pesa is premised on and regulated according to a logic of opportunity rather than a politics of redistribution, favouring the expansion of the mobile money market in preference to contributing to substantive gender equality via a redistribution of the revenue and funding deriving from its development.

 This book will be of particular interest to scholars and students in Global Political Economy, Socio-Legal Studies, Gender Studies, Law & Development, Finance and International Relations. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2020

Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women's Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe

Citation:

Manyonganise, Molly. 2017. "Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women’s Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe." Journal for the Study of Religion 30 (1): 110-36.

Author: Molly Manyonganise

Abstract:

Zimbabwe’s political history from 2000 to the present epoch has been characterized by violence. This violence reached its peak in 2008 when ZANU PF was defeated at the polls by the opposition party, MDC-T. The violence resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives while many more were maimed, displaced and/or sexually abused. In this context of political violence, various church groups emerged as the church in Zimbabwe broke its culture of silence and sought to condemn the deployment of divisive politics and the use of political violence as a means to political gain. One such group that emerged in 2000 is a forum of churches in the province of Manicaland called Churches in Manicaland (CiM). From the onset, CiM sought to bring healing to victims of political violence as well as reconciliation of communities in Manicaland through a number of activities. The 2008 political violence resulted in the signing of the Global Political Agreement in which the issue of national healing and reconciliation became officialised and critical national institutions (the church included) were implored to play their roles meaningfully. However, scholars on national healing and reconciliation have noted how gender is often not part of reconstruction processes in post-conflict nations. What this paper seeks to do is to evaluate CiM’s approach to gender in its participation in the national healing and reconciliation process in Zimbabwe, both at an unofficial level from 2000 and at the official level from 2008. Drawing on original empirical research (focus groups and interviews), the paper shows how CiM has adopted a general approach to the national healing and reconciliation process, which has made women’s experiences of political violence invisible. It is envisaged that this is one way of informing the church to bring to the ‘centre’ women’s experiences of political violence.

Keywords: women, womanist perspective, Churches in Manicaland, invisible, political violence, national healing, reconciliation, Churches in Manicaland

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2017

Traumatisme, réinsertion psychosociale et résilience chez des femmes victimes de viol pendant les conflits armés en Côte d'Ivoire

Citation:

Koudou, Opadou, Casimir Zady, et Viviane Estelle Djokouehi. 2016. Traumatisme, réinsertion psychosociale et résilience chez des femmes victimes de viol pendant les conflits armés en Côte d'Ivoire.” Rivista di Criminologia, Vittimologia e Sicurezza 10 (1): 4–25.

Authors: Opadou Koudou, Casimir Zady, Viviane Estelle Djokouehi

Abstract:

ITALIAN ABSTRACT:

Questo studio si è posto due obiettivi: uno è stato quello di valutare gli effetti delle violenze sessuali legate ai conflitti armati, l’altro è stato quello di identificare i fattori in grado di favorire i processi di resilienza di queste vittime che si trovano in situazioni di reinserimento psicosociale. Dal punto di vista metodologico, si precisa che hanno partecipato alla ricerca 23 donne vittimizzate durante periodi legati ai conflitti armati in Costa d’Avorio (2002-2003 e situazione di crisi post-elettorale dal 2010 al 2011). Esse hanno risposto a due set di questionari di autovalutazione psicologica, l’IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) e il GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Inoltre, sono state effettuate delle interviste semi-strutturate rivolte a queste donne, ai membri delle loro famiglie o delle loro comunità di appartenenza, agli operatori dei servizi di victim support e ai leader delle loro comunità. Con riferimento all’analisi dei dati, si è utilizzata l’analisi fenomenologica che ha permesso di mettere in evidenza che, sul piano psicologico, fisico e socio-economico, le donne che hanno subito delle violenze sessuali sono state profondamente colpite dal punto di vista affettivo. Tuttavia, lo studio fa emergere alcuni casi di resilienza e indica che, malgrado le avversità, queste donne sono riuscite a superare il loro handicap o il trauma reinserendosi nel tessuto socio-economico.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:

Cette étude poursuit deux objectifs : évaluer les effets des violences sexuelles liées aux conflits armés sur les femmes victimes de violences sexuelles et déceler des facteurs susceptibles de favoriser la résilience de ces victimes en situation de réinsertion psychosociale. Au plan méthodologique, ce sont vingt-trois femmes victimes de violences sexuelles liées aux conflits armés en Côte d’Ivoire (2002-2003 et la crise post-électorale de 2010 à 2011) qui ont participé à l’enquête. Celles-ci ont été soumises à deux séries de questionnaires d’autoévaluation psychologique, l’IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) et le GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Aussi, des entretiens semi directifs ont été administrés à ces femmes, aux membres de leur famille ou communauté, aux agents de la structure de services de prise en charge des victimes de violences sexuelles et aux leaders communautaires. Du point de vue de l’analyse des données, nous avons eu recours à l’analyse phénoménologique. Celle-ci a montré au plan psychologique, physique et socio-économique que les femmes qui ont subies des violences sexuelles ont été profondément marquées négativement. Toutefois, l’étude met en relief des cas de résilience parmi ces femmes traumatisées. Il ressort que malgré l’adversité, ces femmes ont réussi par un processus de résilience à surmonter leur handicap ou traumatisme pour se réinsérer dans le tissu socio-économique.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:

This study has two objectives: to assess the effects of sexual violence related to armed conflict on women victims of sexual violence and identify the factors that promote resilience of the victims in situations of psychosocial rehabilitation. Methodologically, twenty-three women victims of sexual violence related to the armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire (2002-2003 and the post-election crisis of 2010 to 2011) who participated in the survey. They were subjected to two sets of questionnaires psychological self, IES-R (Impact of Events-Scale Revised) and GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28). Also, semi-structured interviews were administered to these women, members of their family or community, the agents of the structure of support services for victims of sexual violence and community leaders. From the perspective of data analysis, we used the phenomenological analysis. This showed the psychological, physical and socio-economic women who have suffered sexual violence were deeply affected negatively. However, the study highlights cases of resilience among these traumatized women. It appears that despite the adversity these women succeeded by a process of resilience to overcome their disability or trauma to reintegrate into the socioeconomic fabric.

Keywords: armed conflict, psychosocial rehabilitation, resilence, trauma, victims of rape

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Côte D'Ivoire

Year: 2016

Indigenous Approaches to Peace Building: Examining the Strategies Employed by Women in South Sudan

Citation:

Adeogun, Tolulope J., and Muthoni J. Muthuki. 2017. “Indigenous Approaches to Peace Building: Examining the Strategies Employed by Women in South Sudan.” Gender & Behaviour 15 (3): 9639–51.

Authors: Tolulope J. Adeogun, Muthoni J. Muthuki

Abstract:

South Sudan got her independence from Sudan in 2011 and up till now it has suffered from recurrent relapses. Many groups such as Governmental organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Women’s Organizations and other various Civil Society groups troop into this post conflict zones in order to achieve a sustainable peace. More importantly, women at the grass roots formed groups/movements in order to help in the peace building process. Despite all the efforts at the grass roots in form of mediation, diplomacy, peaceful intervention, South Sudan still suffers relapses of war. Albeit, this is not to say that the grass roots women had not been working and making progress in peace building in South Sudan. The findings of this paper are based on an empirical study carried out in South Sudan among the grass roots women’s groups. Hence, this paper examines the indigenous strategies put in place by these women’s groups while attempting to build a sustainable peace at the grass roots in their communities after a long and protracted war, the success stories that come along with it and recommendations on what else can be done.

 

Keywords: indigenous approaches, peacebuilding, women's organizations, South Sudan

Topics: Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: South Sudan

Year: 2017

What Factors Contribute to Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Urban, Conflict-Affected Settings? Qualitative Findings from Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire

Citation:

Cardoso, L. F., J. Gupta, S. Shuman, H. Cole, D. Kpebo, K. L. Falb. 2016. “What Factors Contribute to Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Urban, Conflict-Affected Settings? Qualitative Findings from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.” Journal of Urban Health 93 (2): 364–78.

Authors: L. F. Cardoso, J. Gupta, S. Shuman, H. Cole, D. Kpebo, K. L. Falb

Abstract:

Rapid urbanization is a key driver of the unique set of health risks facing urban populations. One of the most critical health hazards facing urban women is intimate partner violence (IPV). In post-conflict urban areas, women may face an even greater risk of IPV. Yet, few studies have examined the IPV experiences of urban dwelling, conflict-affected women, including those who have been internally displaced. This study qualitatively examined the social and structural characteristics of the urban environment that contributed to the IPV experiences of women residing in post-conflict Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Ten focus groups were conducted with men and women, both internally displaced (IDPs) and non-displaced. Lack of support networks, changing gender roles, and tensions between traditional gender norms and those of the modern city were reported as key contributors to IPV. Urban poverty and with it unemployment, food insecurity, and housing instability also played a role. Finally, IDPs faced heightened vulnerability to IPV as a result of displacement and discrimination. The relationship between economic strains and IPV are similar to other conflict-affected settings, but Abidjan’s urban environment presented other unique characteristics contributing to IPV. Understanding these factors is crucial to designing appropriate services for women and for implementing IPV reduction interventions in urban areas. Strengthening formal and informal mechanisms for help-seeking, utilizing multi-modal interventions that address economic stress and challenge inequitable gender norms, as well as tailoring programs specifically for IDPs, are some considerations for IPV program planning focused on conflict-affected women in urban areas.

Keywords: gender-based violence, humanitarian crisis, urbanization, domestic violence

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Urban Displacement, Poverty, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Post-Conflict, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Côte D'Ivoire

Year: 2016

Restrained or Constrained? Elections, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence

Citation:

Krause, Jana. 2020. “Restrained or Constrained? Elections, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence.” Journal of Peace Research 57 (1): 185–98.

Author: Jana Krause

Abstract:

Anecdotal evidence suggests that sexual violence varies significantly across cases of election violence and communal conflicts but systematic research is scarce. Post-election violence is particularly likely if electoral mobilization further polarizes longstanding communal conflicts and political elites do not instruct security forces to intervene decisively. I comparatively analyse two prominent cases of post-election violence in Kenya (2007/8) and Nigeria (2008) that exhibit stark variation in sexual violence. Patrimonial networks and norms of violent masculinity that increase the probability of (gang) rape were present in both cases and do not explain variation. Civil war research has identified three explanations for the variation in sexual violence: situational constraints; ordered sexual violence or restraint; and bottom-up dynamics of sexual violence or restraint. I examine these for the context of post-election violence. I argue that the type of communal conflict triggered by electoral mobilization explains variation in sexual violence. In Kenya, pogroms of a majority group against a minority allowed for the time and space to perpetrate widespread sexual violence while in Nigeria, dyadic clashes between similarly strong groups offered less opportunity but produced a significantly higher death toll. These findings have important implications for preventing election violence. They demonstrate that civilian vulnerability is gendered and that high levels of sexual violence do not necessarily correspond to high levels of lethal violence. Ignoring sexual violence means underestimating the real intensity of conflict and its impact on the political process.

Keywords: communal conflict, election violence, Kenya, Nigeria, rape, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Governance, Elections, Sexual Violence, Rape, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Nigeria

Year: 2020

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