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West Africa

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

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

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

Women, Gender, and the Evolving Tactics of Boko Haram

Citation:

Zenn, Jacob, and Elizabeth Pearson. 2014. "Women, Gender, and the Evolving Tactics of Boko Haram." Journal of Terrorism Research 5 (1): 46-57.

Authors: Jacob Zenn, Elizabeth Pearson

Abstract:

This article addresses an under-researched aspect of Boko Haram’s activities: gender-based violence (GBV) and its targeting of women. It argues that 2013 marked a significant evolution in Boko Haram’s tactics, with a series of kidnappings, in which one of the main features was the instrumental use of women. This was in response to corresponding tactics by the Nigerian security forces. Additionally the analysis provides evidence of a shift by Boko Haram to include women in its operations, in response to increased pressure on male operatives. It also considers the gendered rationale for instrumentalizing women within the framework of Boko Haram’s ideology and culture, arguing for a greater appreciation of how gender factors in the group’s violence.

Keywords: Boko Haram, terrorism, radicalisation, kidnapping, tactics, gender, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2014

El acceso de las mujeres a la tierra en Mali

Citation:

Niang, Korotoumou. 2020. “El acceso de las mujeres a la tierra en Mali.” En Tierra, Derechos Humanos y Desaroollo: Supuestos y Visiones desde África y América, editado por Miguel Ángel Martín López, Ramón Reuda López, Concha Pérez Curiel, y Laura García Martín, 16-37. Sevilla: Egregius Ediciones. 

Author: Korotoumou Niang

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Nos encontramos con una obra que aborda múltiples cuestiones ligadas a la tierra y su aprovechamiento, en diversos escenarios geográficos, de África y América, con una perspectiva de lo que debería ser, de la influencia de una perspectiva de derechos humanos. Gracias a todo ello, se consigue una coherencia y un hilo conductor unitario, enriquecido además por el hecho de que la mayoría de los autores provienen directamente de dichos escenarios geográficos, con aportaciones cercanas y con el deseo por comprender y mejorar la realidad existente.

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2020

Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?

Citation:

Sulle, Emmanuel, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, and Leah Mugehera. 2019. “Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?” Paper presented at Conference on Land Policy in Africa, 2019: Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, Abidjan, November 25-29.

Authors: Emmanuel Sulle, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, Leah Mugehera

Abstract:

This paper assesses the performance of selected countries in implementing the provisions of women’s land rights instruments such as African Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure among others. Field research was carried out in seven African countries whereby, in each country a national researcher in collaboration with the collaborating nongovernmental organisation selected three heterogeneous locations which capture the range of situations under which rural women use land. Based on field research results complemented with desk review, the study finds that while statutory laws to protect women land rights are in place in all studied countries, with some differences and, in some cases with existing loopholes, adherence to these laws at the community level remain inadequate. This is particularly evident in terms of equality of rights to inherit land among men and women. Women experience constant threat from clansmen and relatives of their husbands. As also documented elsewhere, in many African communities (although not all), most land-holding systems are male lineage based, with men playing an important decision-making role. Malawi represents a specific case in this regard, as most land-holdings are based on matrilineal systems, but this still is not an automatic guarantee of women having more decision-making power on land. Based on these findings the paper confirms that while impressive steps to address women’s land rights issues have been taken in recent African policies, law enforceability is yet to receive sufficient political backing, due to widespread patriarchal values, limited financial and human resources and last but not least informal rules of the games that are the same drivers of widespread corruption. Patronage, ‘clientage’, illegality and opacity of land transactions find fertile ground in a patriarchal system. Understanding the status, causes and consequences of the de facto ‘unenforceability’ of constitutional and legal provisions in favour of women might shed a light on much broader challenges like those addressed in this conference. Holistic implementation and reforms that 1) address existing loopholes in land laws and regulation, 2) align other sectoral policies, laws and regulations, and 3) use transformative actions to revert patriarchal values in order to bridge the gender gap in property rights, but also to help creating a fairer environment to contribute combating corruption.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Governance, Constitutions, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Togo

Year: 2019

Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa

Citation:

Bizoza, Alfred Runezerwa. 2019. “Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 46–59.

Author: Alfred Runezerwa Bizoza

Abstract:

This article discusses different issues pertaining gender and land governance with focus to access and control of land by rural women and how this affects their resilience in G5-Sahel region- Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania. Findings show that land remains the property of men, customary chiefs, male members of the family who have the full control of land use; women continue to serve as servants of their husbands in the farming activities. Limited access to production resources such as land, agricultural inputs, small scale irrigation and agricultural mechanization, and lack of post-harvest handling facilities; all restrain women’s economic capacity for their economic resilience to climate change and other natural disasters. There is need, therefore, for innovative models of land tenure regularization systems in the G5-Sahel countries; models that take into account current social, cultural and religious barriers for women’s land access and use for their economic activities.

Keywords: land rights, gender, economic resilience, G5-Sahel, West Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Land Tenure, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

Year: 2019

Women Land Rights and Food Security Status of Farming Households in Oyo State, Nigeria

Citation:

Adepoju, Abimbola O., and Rahman A. Adewole. 2020. “Women Land Rights and Food Security Status of Farming Households in Oyo State, Nigeria.” In Developing Sustainable Food Systems, Policies, and Securities, by Abiodun Elijah Obayelu and Oluwakemi Adeola Obayelu. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Authors: Abimbola O. Adepoju, Rahman A. Adewole

Abstract:

The dominance of men in decision-making processes and leadership positions within the communities has made land allocation, land use, and control skewed in favour of men. This study examined the effects of women's land rights on households' food security status using a sample of 300 representative farmers. Descriptive statistics, household food expenditure, logistic regression, and ordered logit models were the analytical tools used. Results revealed that about 35% of the rural women farmers had land use rights while the remaining 65% had land ownership rights. Women with ownership rights were more food secure, with the majority of the women having residual rights, while only a few had sell rights. Secure women land rights are germane to achieving and sustaining household and national food security. Strategies and instruments for protecting women rights should be developed and implemented, while efforts geared towards designing strategies, assessing multiple dimensions of women empowerment for improved food security status, and welfare of the households should be intensified.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2020

Masculinity, Men and Patriarchal Issues Aside: How Do Women’s Actions Impede Women’s Access to Land? Matters Arising from a Peri-Rural Community in Nigeria

Citation:

Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene. 2019. “Masculinity, Men and Patriarchal Issues Aside: How Do Women’s Actions Impede Women’s Access to Land? Matters Arising from a Peri-Rural Community in Nigeria.” Land Use Policy 81: 39–48.

Author: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu

Abstract:

There have been many contributions to the understanding of how gender functions impede women’s access to land. However, particular frameworks concerning how women contribute to their lack of access to land have been widely ignored. This study investigates the frames that hinder women’s access to land due to (in)actions of women, in a peri-rural community in Nigeria. It is a qualitative study based on data from e-Focus Group Discussions with international researchers on gender and land; and key informants’ interviews with local women. The study argues that women do contribute to their lack of access to land by some of their actions or inactions. It questions the role women play in their land tenure status in customary land tenure. The study approaches its subject by problematising women’s land access beyond the concept of patriarchy and investigating how women’s lack of access to land is reinforced by not just men, but by women. The study reveals that even though in many instances patriarchy and customary laws play a significant role in women’s lack of access to land, there are cases where women contribute to their lack of access to land. Among other factors, it identifies ‘Brother complex’ and ‘self-hurt’ issues as some of the structures emanating from women which hinder their smooth access to land. The study is important and presents a useful initiative that can inform policies aimed at strengthening women’s land tenure. It contributes to a radical transformative agenda towards women’s access to land.

Keywords: community, gender, land access, land tenure, tenure security, women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

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