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Civil Wars

The Role of African Women in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The Case of Rwanda

Citation:

Issifu, Abdul Karim. 2015. "The Role of African Women in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The Case of Rwanda." Journal of Pan African Studies 8 (9): 63–78.

Author: Abdul Karim Issifu

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of women in post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa via a look at the roles played by the Rwandese women during and in the post-genocide era. Data for the paper is from a secondary source, including articles, books, internet publications, and journals, etc. A thorough content analysis and critical document review of the secondary data, reveals that, despite a UN Security Council Resolution repeated appeals to respect the equal rights of women and their role in peacebuilding, millions of women and children in Africa continue to account for the majority of casualties in hostilities, marginalisation and discriminations. Hence, to help promote and ensure sustainable peace for women, it is recommended that the United Nations, African Union, the European Union, large donor countries, etc. should make a greater effort to financially support a broader spectrum of local actors who work in the gender dimension, and specifically in the women’s movement.

Keywords: conflict, genocide, peacebuilding, Rwanda, women

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia

Citation:

Lemaitre, Julieta. 2016. “After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia.” Social & Legal Studies 25 (5): 545–65.

Author: Julieta Lemaitre

Abstract:

This article examines internally displaced women’s narratives of rebuilding their life after displacement, focusing on questions of moral agency and community governance. The data come from a 3-year research project (2010–2013) with internally displaced women in Colombia, during the emergence of a new transitional justice regime. The article finds in internally displaced women’s narratives of the injuries of war, of their own resistance and overcoming, and of their aspirations for the future, concerns that go beyond poverty alleviation and redistribution in peace-building efforts. Internally displaced women’s narratives also engage with questions of ordinary ethics and community governance, describing the loss of moral agency in civil war and its painstaking recovery. This article questions the limitations of transitional justice regimes and peace-building efforts that ignore concerns with the loss of moral agency and community during civil war as well as the role of ordinary ethics in peace building at the grassroots.

Keywords: community governance, internal displacement, internally displaced women, moral agency, ordinary ethics, peace building, transitional justice, Colombia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance

Citation:

Gilbert, Victoria. 2020. “Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance.” Politics & Gender, 1–28. doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000136.

Author: Victoria Gilbert

Abstract:

In the rich literature on women and conflict, many scholars have assumed that the outbreak of civil war suppresses women’s political involvement. However, during Syria’s civil war, there was significant subnational and temporal variation in the involvement of women in the institutions established by armed groups and civilians in rebel-held areas. Why were some Syrian women able to secure a place for themselves in insurgent governance? How were they able to influence the form of local institutions to secure a role for women? Bringing together the scholarship on social movements and rebel governance, this article argues that two factors determine whether women were able to mobilize politically during conflict: the organizational capacity of women and the strength and ideology of locally active armed groups. The article leverages data on local organizations and institutions in Syria, Syrian news sources, and correspondence with several women’s organizations operating in Syria in 2017. By doing so, this article strives to bring attention to the role of gender in the expanding literature on rebel governance. It also highlights the significance of armed groups’ ideologies, an aspect often dismissed in the literature in favor of a focus on material factors.

Keywords: gender, rebel, rebel governance, insurgent governance, civil war, conflict, institutions, Syria, conflict processes, comparative politics, women, middle east, institutional design

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

'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

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