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Civil Wars

'Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth': Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Baines, Erin K. 2015. “‘Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth’: Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice.” International Political Sociology 9 (4): 316–32.
 

Author: Erin K. Baines

Abstract:

In this article, I am concerned with the political agency available to victims of wartime violence, and the subsequent insights it generates for thinking about complicity and responsibility. The article first considers the problematic ways in which victims are cast in the discipline of transitional justice, drawing on interdisciplinary studies of gender, agency, and wartime violence. I conceptualize the political as relational and situated within a web of human relationships that make life meaningful. Political agency includes acts, gestures, and words that negotiate the value of human life within various relationships. To illustrate, I turn to the life story of Sara, a young woman who grew up in the context of prolonged conflict in northern Uganda. I conclude with thinking about how Sara’s acts of political agency move us beyond static categories of victims in transitional justice, and conceive of responsibility as diffuse and socially held.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015

Queering Colombia's Peace Process: A Case Study of LGBTI Inclusion

Citation:

Maier, Nicole. 2020. "Queering Colombia's Peace Process: A Case Study of LGBTI Inclusion." The International Journal of Human Rights 24 (4): 377-92.

Author: Nicole Maier

Abstract:

In August 2016, Colombia's government announced that they had reached an agreement with the country's largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This peace deal was historic in Colombia's more than half-century long armed conflict; however, Colombian voters rejected it. A revised version was ultimately passed through a congressional vote. Despite the intense domestic criticism of the peace talks, they have been praised internationally and revered as a model for the world, particularly with regard to their efforts surrounding victims of the armed conflict. This article focuses on one particular group of victims, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. The experience of LGBTI people in armed conflicts has historically been one of exclusion from peace processes. This article explores how Colombia's peace process has approached the LGBTI experience through interviews with LGBTI activists and analyses of collaborative civil society efforts. The actions taken by LGBTI organisations reveal the critical role of truth and memory initiatives and capacity building. While much work has been done, Colombia is left with many unanswered questions about what a post-conflict society will look like for LGBTI victims of the armed conflict.

Keywords: LGBT, victim, Colombia, armed conflict, transitional justice, peacebuilding

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, LGBTQ, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Sexual Violence and Biased Military Interventions in Civil Conflict

Citation:

Johansson, Karin, and Mehwish Sarwari. 2019. "Sexual Violence and Biased Military Interventions in Civil Conflict." Conflict Management and Peace Science 36 (5): 469-93.

Authors: Karin Johansson, Mehwish Sarwari

Abstract:

What is the impact of foreign troop support on combatant-perpetrated sexual violence against civilians? We hypothesize that biased troop support increases the risk of sexual violence by the subordinate party both as a consequence of strategic considerations and as a product of a situation increasingly conducive to opportunistic behavior. Time-series cross-section analyses of all civil wars during 1989–2012 are largely supportive of our expectation. Rebel groups are more likely to perpetrate sexual violence the more troop support the state receives. Likewise, state forces are more prone to commit sexual violence the more they are challenged by troops supporting the rebel group(s).

Keywords: biased military intervention, civil war, conflict-related sexual violence, external support, troop support, violence against civilians, wartime sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Sexual Violence

Year: 2019

Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention

Citation:

Alkoudsi, Kinda T., and Iman A. Basheti. 2020. "Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention.Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 16 (5): 689-98.

Authors: Kinda T. Alkoudsi, Iman A. Basheti

Abstract:

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious health problem. In women experiencing PCOS, there are myriad physical and mental health consequences; anxiety/depression are commonly associated with this condition. Community pharmacists are in a pivotal position to identify and help women diagnosed with PCOS. Objectives: To investigate the prevalence/severity of anxiety/depression among females diagnosed with PCOS living in Syria (a war-zone country) and Jordan (a non-war zone country). Secondly, to evaluate the impact of a pharmaceutical care service delivered by a clinical pharmacist on participants’ anxiety/depression severity. 
 
Methods: Females, diagnosed with PCOS above the age of 16, were recruited into the study and randomly allocated into either the active or the control group. The active group participants received a PCOS pharmaceutical care service. This service involved the provision of verbal and written educational materials, with a special focus on diet and exercise. The control group participants received only standard counseling. Both groups were followed up for four months. All participants completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline and follow-up. 
 
Results: Data from study participants (n = 118) from both Syria (n = 60) and Jordan (n = 58) highlighted a high prevalence of anxiety (Syria = 95% vs. Jordan = 98%) and depression (Syria = 83% vs. Jordan = 65%). At follow-up, active group participants, from both countries, showed significant improvements in anxiety and depression mean scores (anxiety: Syria = 34.97 ± 14.8 vs. 30.47 ± 14.3, p < 0.001; Jordan = 26.93 ± 13.7 vs. 23.37 ± 15.2, p < 0.001; depression: Syria = 26.53 ± 12.6 vs. 22.93 ± 12.2, p < 0.001; Jordan = 17.70 ± 11.0 vs. 15.76 ± 11.1, p = 0.049). No significant improvements were evident for control group participants from either countries. 
 
Conclusion: Prevalence of anxiety/depression for females with PCOS living in Syria and in Jordan is high and calls for special attention by healthcare specialists and policymakers in both countries. Females, who received the PCOS pharmaceutical care service, showed significant improvements in anxiety/depression scores. Improvements were similar in both countries.

Keywords: polycystic ovary syndrome, war, anxiety, depression

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2020

Female Fighters: Why Rebel Groups Recruit Women for War

Citation:

Wood, Reed M. 2019. Female Fighters: Why Rebel Groups Recruit Women for War. New York: Columbia University Press.

Author: Reed M. Wood

Annotation:

Summary:
The presence of women combatants on the battlefield-especially in large numbers-strikes many observers as a notable departure from the historical norm. Yet women have played a significant active role in many contemporary armed rebellions. Over recent decades, numerous resistance movements in many regions of the globe have deployed thousands of female fighters in combat. In Female Fighters, Reed M. Wood explains why some rebel groups deploy women in combat while others exclude women from their ranks, and the strategic implications of this decision. Examining a vast original dataset on female fighters in over 250 rebel organizations, Wood argues rebel groups can gain considerable strategic advantages by including women fighters. Drawing on women increases the pool of available recruits and helps ameliorate resource constraints. Furthermore, the visible presence of female fighters often becomes an important propaganda tool for domestic and international audiences. Images of women combatants help raise a group's visibility, boost local recruitment, and aid the group's efforts to solicit support from transnational actors and diaspora communities. However, Wood finds that, regardless of the wartime resource challenges they face, religious fundamentalist rebels consistently resist utilizing female fighters. A rich, data-driven study, Female Fighters presents a systematic, comprehensive analysis of the impact women's participation has on organized political violence in the modern era. (Summary from Columbia University Press)

Table of Contents:
Introduction

1. Why Rebels Mobilize Women for War

2. The Strategic Implications of Female Fighters

3. Female Combatants in Three Civil Wars

4. Empirical Evaluation of Female Combatant Prevalence

5. Empirical Evaluation of the Effects of Female Combatants

Conclusion: Understanding Women's Participation in Armed Resistance

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Religion, Violence

Year: 2019

The Success of Women's Participation In Resolving Conflicts In Liberia

Citation:

Masitoh, Dewi. 2020. "The Success of Women's Participation In Resolving Conflicts In Liberia." Journal of Governance 5 (1): 71-90.

Author: Dewi Masitoh

Abstract:

The Civil War that occurred in Liberia has been going on for a long time, where there are two rebel groups, they are: Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL). Both of these rebel groups have caused gender inequality in Liberia continuously, especially women who have been victims of this war. However, with the efforts and participation of women from Liberian society, the war was successfully reconciled without creating violence. This research is aimed at realizing that women are not only victims of gender inequality, but can also be 'agents of change' in creating peace and better change for the future of a country. This research will use qualitative research methods, that emphasize the observation and understanding of a social phenomenon, where data is collected through secondary data and literature review. This research will analyze the case using three concepts: Feminism, Gender Equality, and Peace. The research concluded that there have been several efforts that have been made by women to resolve conflicts in Liberia by creating and building peace sustainably so that peace can be stable for a long time. The efforts that have been made by Liberian women are by creating several organizations and affiliations, they are: Woman in the Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), Mano River Women's Peace Network (MARWOPNET), Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL). This long-term peace can improve gender equality in several sectors of Liberian society, such as the economy and political sectors that are getting better and more effective from year to year.

Keywords: women's participation, conflicts, democracy, Liberia, Movement

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2020

Liberia’s Women Veterans: War, Roles and Reintegration

Citation:

Vastapuu, Leena. 2018. Liberia's Women Veterans: War, Roles and Reintegration. London: Zed Books.

Author: Leena Vastapuu

Annotation:

Summary:
The Liberian civil wars of the 1990s and 2000s were notorious for their atrocities, and for the widespread use of child soldiers by both sides. Young girls accounted for up to forty percent of these combatants, but their unique perspective and experiences have largely been excluded from accounts of the conflict.
 
In Liberia’s Woman Veterans, Leena Vastapuu uses an innovative “auto-photographic” methodology to tell the story of two of Africa’s most brutal civil wars through the eyes of 133 former female child soldiers. It allows the book to provide a palpable account of these women’s experiences of trauma and stigma. It also illustrates the challenges of reintegration into postwar society, as well as the women’s hopes and aspirations for the future. Vastapuu argues that these women, too often perceived merely as passive victims of the conflict, can in fact play an important role in postwar reconciliation and peace building. In the process, the work overturns gendered perceptions of warfare and militarism, and provides an exceptional take on postconflict societies. (Summary from Zed Books)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, DDR, Gender, Girls, Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2018

Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences

Citation:

K.C., Luna. 2019. "Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences." PhD diss., Wageningen University.

Author: Luna K.C.

Annotation:

Summary:
Nepal suffered from the civil conflict from 1996 to 2006 as the Communist party of Nepal (so-called Maoist) sought to end the monarchical system that had been in place for 240 years and establish a People’s Republic. The Maoist-party ideology was highly focused upon the structural transformation of the country and had a strong message about women’s empowerment. The conflict brought a dramatic shift in the social, economic, and the political situation of Nepal. In November 2006, the peace agreement was signed, the country then started the post-conflict reconstruction process, such as writing a new constitution, constitution assembly election, state restructuring, and the policy formation.
 
The Maoist conflict produced multiple gendered effects upon women’s everyday lives. One category of women joined as Maoist combatants in search of equality and empowerment and performed roles equal to men in the war. Another category of women stayed behind when the men fled from the war to the cities or neighbouring countries, and their husbands, fathers or sons were killed, or became rebels or disappeared in the war. Women non-combatants experienced a situation where men’s work shifted onto their shoulders and they performed dual roles; at home and outside.
 
After the earthquake happened on 25 April 2015 in Nepal, women were impacted in a different way. When men were killed or became disabled, were away, or lost income in the earthquake, women took over men’s roles and responsibilities, such as rescued their family members, searched for the food, accommodation, financial support, jobs, health care, including took care of the children and elderly people. At the same time, women were also involved in a multiple role during post-earthquake settings.
 
The conflict/post-conflict/disaster period produces gendered effects; thus, gender analysis becomes fundamental during this time to understand how women and men deal with the rapid gender role change in the context of crisis and its aftermath, when there is a certain return to the normal situation.
 
This thesis is about women and changing gender roles in Nepal. The study traces the gendered effects of the Maoist war and the earthquake on women’s everyday lives. It examines how women experience the impact of the Maoist war and the post-conflict era in relation to shifting gender roles, responsibilities, challenges, and new openings. The thesis then asks similar questions about women affected by the earthquake, that happened while the country was still struggling with post-conflict issues.
 
Chapter 1 presents the introduction, which offers an overview of the main concern of the thesis and the theoretical perspectives (the sexual division of labour and power, ideology of gender, structural factors, and the role of the policy) that inform it. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology (in-depth interview, focuses group discussion, participant observation, and key informant interview) applied to conduct this study.
 
Chapter 3 examined how the Maoist conflict in Nepal affected women ex-combatants and non-combatants, looking at changes in gender roles during and after the conflict particularly from the standpoint of livelihood challenges in the post-war period. Major findings indicate that changing gender roles largely depend upon everyday practice of sexual division of labour and power as it evolved during and after the conflict. It also shows that the conflict produced different and contradictory effects on both categories of women who experienced shifts in gender roles. In post-war settings, these changes were partly reversed, and especially ex-combatant women faced severe livelihood challenges and returned to traditional gender roles.
 
Chapter 4 investigated how the Maoist armed conflict in Nepal was a struggle for the emancipation of women and it particularly looked at how women ex-combatants were engaged with ideas of gender equality and women’s empowerment during the Maoist war and afterwards. It further explores what happens to women’s ideological drive as gender roles ‘shift back’ after the war. The results demonstrate that in the Maoist war women ex-combatants were strongly committed to the Maoist gender ideology and experienced empowerment through this process, as they adopted non-traditional roles and crossed gender as well as caste lines. However, in the post-war, they felt ambivalent empowerment because there was a lack of commitment from the Maoist party to issues of gender equality and at the same time the patriarchal structures continued intact and, in some ways, even strengthened, and women faced multiple exclusions. 
 
Chapter 5 looked at how women ex-combatants experienced the reintegration process in the aftermath of war. The study found that the reintegration programming of Nepal lack gender framework due to which woman encountered a range of challenges in the post-war period. Mainly, the challenges were two-fold: At the societal level; they struggled to gain recognition, and at the family level they negotiated/renegotiated to rebuild relationships and safety-nets.
 
Chapter 6 investigated what challenges women faced in the wake of the earthquake and how these were related to their gender position. It asks how gender roles changed in relation to the earthquake in Nepal. Findings illustrate that different categories of women faced the effects of earthquake differently, especially with regards to the intersectionality of gender and migration and family composition. The earthquake provided women a window of opportunity to change gender roles. On the other hand, women encountered great difficulties in addressing their everyday needs and experienced gender-based exclusion.
 
Chapter 7 synthesises the outcomes of the four substantive chapters, discusses the findings, and offers four recommendations for policy implications.
 
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
 
Chapter 2: Methodology
 
Chapter 3: Changing Gender Role: Women’s Livelihoods, Conflict and Post-Conflict Security in Nepal
 
Chapter 4:Living Maoist Gender Ideology:Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal 79
 
Chapter 5: Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex- Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal
 
Chapter 6: Exploring Gendered Effects of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal through Women’s Eyes
 
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Discussion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Marital Violence during War Conflict: The Lived Experience of Syrian Refugee Women

Citation:

Al-Natour, Ahlam, Samar Mohammad Al-Ostaz, and Edith J. Morris. 2019. "Marital Violence during War Conflict: The Lived Experience of Syrian Refugee Women." Journal of Transcultural Nursing 30 (1): 32-8.

Authors: Ahlam Al-Natour, Samar Mohammad Al-Ostaz, Edith J. Morris

Abstract:

Introduction: Marital violence increases during times of war. This study aims to describe the lived experience of marital violence toward Syrian refugee women during the current war in Syria. 
 
Design: A descriptive phenomenological research methodology was used to conduct semistructured interviews with 16 purposively selected Syrian refugee women residing in displacement centers in Jordan. Colaizzi’s steps of data analysis were used. 
 
Results: Four themes identified were identified: (1) Loss, insecurity, and suffering; (2) Shame and humiliation; (3) Justifying and enduring marital violence; and (4) Ways of coping with marital violence. 
 
Conclusion: The Syrian War conflict changed women’s lifeway and created a context for marital violence. Study findings suggests addressing marital violence during wartime and allocating resources to provide care and support of victims of violence in the displaced countries.

Keywords: transcultural health, women's health, phenomenology

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

Fighting about Women: Ideologies of Gender in the Syrian Civil War

Citation:

Szekely, Ora. 2020. "Fighting about Women: Ideologies of Gender in the Syrian Civil War." Journal of Global Security Studies 5 (3): 408-26.

Author: Ora Szekely

Abstract:

This article seeks to map and explain the sudden increase in the appearance of female combatants in the propaganda distributed by various parties to the Syrian civil war. Based on interviews and the analysis of online propaganda, the article argues that the importance of ideologies of gender to two of the four main participants in the Syrian civil war (specifically, the Kurdish Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, PYD, and the Islamic State, or ISIS) has rendered gender ideology an unusually salient point of ideological cleavage in the Syrian context. This has meant that other parties to the conflict, for whom gender ideology is less important, are able to easily signal their position in relation to other conflict participants by means of policies or actions relating to women’s participation in the conflict.

Keywords: civil war, gender, Syria, middle east

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Media Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

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