Combatants

The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force

Citation:

Duriesmith, David, and Georgina Holmes. 2019. “The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force.” Security Dialogue 50 (4): 361–79.

Authors: David Duriesmith, Georgina Holmes

Abstract:

Since the 1994 genocide and civil war, the Rwandan government has implemented an externally funded disarmament, demobilization and reintegration/security sector reform (DDR/SSR) programme culminating in the consolidation of armed groups into a new, professionalized Rwanda Defence Force. Feminists argue that DDR/SSR initiatives that exclude combatant women and girls or ignore gendered security needs fail to transform the political conditions that led to conflict. Less attention has been paid to how gendered relations of power play out through gender-sensitive DDR and SSR initiatives that seek to integrate women and transform hyper-masculine militarized masculinities. This article investigates how Rwanda’s DDR/SSR programme is governed by an oppressive masculine logic. Drawing on critical studies on men and masculinities and feminist work on peacebuilding, myths and the politics of belonging, it argues that Rwanda’s locally owned DDR/SSR programme places the military and militarization at the centre of the country’s nation-building programme. Through various ‘boundary-construction’ practices, the Rwandan government attempts to stabilize the post-1994 gender order and entrench the hegemony of a new militarized masculinity in Rwandan society. The case study draws on field research conducted in 2014 and 2015 and a discourse analysis of historical accounts, policy documents and training materials of the Rwanda Defence Force.

Keywords: DDR, gender, militarization, peacebuilding, Rwanda, SSR

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Gender Dimensions of DDR – Beyond Victimization and Dehumanization: Tracking the Thematic

Citation:

Hauge, Wenche Iren. 2020. “Gender Dimensions of DDR – Beyond Victimization and Dehumanization: Tracking the Thematic." International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (2): 206-26.

Author: Wenche Iren Hauge

Abstract:

In much of the early literature on gender dimensions of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes – from the 1980s and 1990s – the focus was on women as victims in conflict and DDR processes. This article reviews the literature on gender dimensions of DDR processes, exploring its many different topics – such as discussions of the definition of combatants, the political economy of DDR processes, group identity, cultural contexts, and masculinity – while focusing the discussion on the representation of female and male combatants of armed groups along the victim–actor axis. It furthermore analyzes the consequences of these representations for the way in which DDR processes are structured, and for who is allowed to participate in them. Finally, the article questions the push toward normalization in DDR processes and the neglect of progressive changes in gender relations within armed groups during war.

Keywords: demobilization, reintegration, gender, actors, victims, normalization

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Economies

Year: 2020

'What Is Wrong with Men?’: Revisiting Violence against Women in Conflict and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Pankhurst, Donna. 2016. “‘What Is Wrong with Men?’: Revisiting Violence against Women in Conflict and Peacebuilding.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 180–93.

Author: Donna Pankhurst

Abstract:

Much has been written about the high rates of rape and other forms of violence against ‘enemy’ women in wartime and sustained violence against women in post-war contexts. Research on violence against women, recognised as a problem for peace and development and even a threat to international security, has begun to identify and explain contrasts between different locations. The explanations focus on men, their behaviour and ‘masculinities’, some of which, and even some military codes, may even proscribe such violence. By contrast, research on the mental health of male former combatants, and possibly other male survivors of war trauma, suggests that there is a strong risk of them perpetrating violence specifically against women, even in cases where the highest standard of veteran care is expected, but without much explanation. This article considers what potential there is in this topic for lessons in peacebuilding policy and identifies areas for future research.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender, war, peacebuilding, masculinity, men, ex-combatants, veterans, soldiers

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Mental Health, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women

Year: 2016

Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka

Citation:

Takamatsu, Kana. 2020. "Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka." In Recent Social, Environmental, and Cultural Issues in East Asian Societies, edited by Mika Markus Merviö, 213-23. Hershey: IGI Global. 

Author: Kana Takamatsu

Abstract:

This chapter identifies the post-conflict social barriers to the social reintegration of female ex-combatants. This study refers to the case of Sri Lanka concerning the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in 2009. During the conflict, the LTTE actively recruited female combatants, and women consisted of a significant number of the entire LTTE combatants. However, after the end of the conflict and even today, many of them are rejected by the community. First of all, the LTTE was fighting for Tamil's independence, but Tamil's community has expressed mixed opinions toward the LTTE. Second, female ex-combatants were then and are now a divergence from the gender norms of their society. Third, from their roles in the conflict, female ex-combatants experienced an indelible change in their ideas through the conflict and observed themselves as capable of being independent women. Consequently, they felt a high level of resistance to returning to traditional gender roles.

Annotation:


 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Gender Roles, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2020

The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict

Citation:

Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala, Naomi Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji, eds. 2018. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Authors: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, ed., Naomi Cahn, ed., Dina Francesca Haynes, ed., Nahla Valji, ed.

Abstract:

The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict brings together leading interdisciplinary scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to address a complex range of challenges, contexts, geographies, and issues that arise for women and men in the context of armed conflict. The Handbook addresses war and peace, humanitarian intervention, countering violence and extremism, the United Nations Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, sexual violence, criminal accountability, autonomous weapons, peacekeeping, refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) status, the political economy of war, the economics of conflict, as well as health and economic security. It begins with theoretical approaches to gender and conflict, drawing on the areas of international, peace and conflict, feminist, and masculinities studies. The Handbook explores how women and men’s pre-war societal, economic, and legal status relates to their conflict experiences, affecting the ways in which they are treated in the post-conflict transitional phase. In addition to examining these conflict and post-conflict experiences, the Handbook addresses the differing roles of multiple national and international actors, as well as the UN led Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Contributions survey the regulatory framework and gendered dimensions of international humanitarian and international human rights law in situations of conflict and occupation as well as addressing, and critiquing, the gendered nature and content of international criminal law. The Handbook also includes grounded country case studies exploring different gendered experiences of conflict in various regions. As a whole, this Handbook seeks to critically examine the contemporary gender-based challenges that emerge in conflict and post-conflicts contexts.

Keywords: gender, conflict, post-conflict, sexual violence, feminism, United Nations, women, Peace and Security agenda, International actors, peace, war

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Mapping the Terrain: Gender and Conflict in Contemporary Perspective
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

2. Theories of War
Laura Sjoberg

3. From Women and War to Gender and Conflict?: Feminist Trajectories
Dubravka Žarkov

4. The Silences in the Rules that Regulate Women during Times of Armed Conflict
Judith Gardam

5. How should we Explain the Recurrence of Violence Conflict, add What Might Gender Have to do with it?
Judy El-Bushra

6. The Gendered Nexus between Conflict and Citizenship in Historical Perspective
Jo Butterfield and Elizabeth Heineman

7. Violence Conflict and Changes in Gender Economic Roles: Implications for Post-Conflict Recovery
Patricia Justino

8. Victims Who are Men
Chris Dolan

9. Women, Peace, and Security: A Critical Analysis of the Security Council's Vision
Dianne Otto

10. Participation and Protection: Security Council Dynamics, Bureaucratic Politics, and the Evolution of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins

11. A Genealogy of the Centrality of Sexual Violence to Gender and Conflict
Karen Engle

12. 1235 + 17 = ?: Filling in the Blanks of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Kimberly Theidon

13. Complementary and Convergence?: Women, Peace, and Security and Counterterrorism
Naureen Chowdhury Fink and Alison Davidian

14. Unlocking the Potential of CEDAW as an Important Accountability Tool for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Pramilla Patten

15. The Promise and Limits of Indicators on Women, Peace and Security
Pablo Castillo Díaz and Hanny Cueva Beteta

16. Humanitarian Intervention and Gender Dynamics
Gina Heathcote

17. (Re)Considering Gender Jurisprudence
Patricia Viseur Sellers

18. Complementarity as a Catalyst for Gender Justice in National Prosecutions
Amrita Kapur

19. Forced Marriageduring Conflict and Mass Atrocity
Valerie Oosterveld

20. Advancing Justice and Making Amenda Through Reparations: Legal and Operational Considerations
Kristin Kalla

21. Colonialism
Amina Mama

22. Conflict, Displacement, and Refugees
Lucy Hovil

23. Gender and Forms of Conflict: The Moral Hazards of Dating the Security Council
Vasuki Nesiah

24. The Martial Rape of Girls and Women in Antiquity and Modernity
Kathy L. Gaca

25. "Mind the Gap": Measuring and Understanding Gendered Conflict Experiences
Amelia Hoover Green

26. Intersectionality: Working in Conflict
Eilish Rooney

27. Agency and Gender Norms in War Economies
Patti Patesch

28. Risk and Resilience: The Physical and Mental Health of Female Civilians during War
Lauren C. Ng and Theresa S. Betancourt

29. The Gender Implications of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Conflict Situations
Barbara A. Frey

30. Unmanned Weapons: Looking for the Gender Dimensions
Christof Heyns and Tess Borden

31. Gender and Peacekeeping
Sabrina Karim and Marsha Henry

32. Peacekeeping, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Martina E. Vandenberg

33. Women, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges
Christine Bell

34. Women's Organizations and Peace Initiatives
Aili Mari Tripp

35. Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration: Reviewing and Advancing the Field
Dyan Mazurana, Roxanne Krystalli, and Anton Baaré

36. Decolonial Feminism, Gender, and Transitional Justice in Latin America
Pascha Bueno-Hansen

37. Gender and Governance in Post-Conflict and Democratizing Settings
Lisa Kindervater and Sheila Meintjes

38. Who Defines the Red Lines?: The Prospects for Safeguarding Women's Rights and Securing Their Future in Post-Transition Afghanistan
Sari Kouvo and Corey Levine

39. "That's Not My Daughter": The Paradoxes of Documenting Jihadist Mass Rape in 1990s Algeria and Beyond
Karima Bennoune

40. Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence on Post-Conflict Society: Case Study of Reparations in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lejla Hadzimesic

41. Colombia: Gender and Land Restitution
Donny Meertens

42. Knowing Masculinities in Armed Conflict?: Reflections from Research in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern

43. Northern Ireland: The Significance of a Bottom-Up Women's Movement in a Politically Contested Society
Monica McWilliams and Avila Kilmurray

44. Gendered Suffering and the Eviction of the Native: The Politics of Birth in Occupied East Jerusalem
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

45. Rwanda: Women's Political Participation in Post-Conflict State-Building
Doris Buss and Jerusa Ali

46. Sri Lanka: The Impact of Militarization on Women
Ambika Satkunanathan

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Economies, War Economies, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Health, Mental Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Livelihoods, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Terrorism, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence

Year: 2018

Feminists Building Peace and Reconciliation: Beyond Post-Conflict

Citation:

Porter, Elisabeth. 2016. “Feminists Building Peace and Reconciliation: Beyond Post-Conflict.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 210–25.

Author: Elisabeth Porter

Abstract:

Many feminists find the concept of ‘post-conflict’ troubling for two main reasons. First, the discursive space of post-conflict is contestable with fuzzy lines around when the conflict period becomes post-conflict. Second, for women, the period following the cessation of armed aggression continues to be one of insecurity, where intimate partner violence often remains high, particularly when male ex-combatants return from fighting. In the so-called post-conflict period, a culture of gendered violence, gendered insecurity and militarisation remains. I argue that the transition from conflict provides opportunities for transformation from a culture of violence to one of peace, from insecurity to security and from antagonism to reconciliation. This article outlines a four-fold conceptualisation of reconciliation as a spectrum, reconciling relationships, processes and cultures of reconciliation. To move beyond gender-blind notions of post-conflict, the article seeks to decipher what is uniquely feminist about these ideas in affirming feminist peacebuilding and reconciliation.

Keywords: feminist peacebuilding, gendered violence, insecurity, post-conflict, reconciliation

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, Violence

Year: 2016

Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State's War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics

Citation:

Sjoberg, Laura. 2017. "Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State’s War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics." Conflict Management and Peace Science 35 (3): 296-311.

Author: Laura Sjoberg

Abstract:

Decades ago, Cynthia Enloe called for a research agenda looking for where women are in war and conflict. Enloe recognized that women play active roles in and are affected by wars and conflicts, but are often ignored in news coverage, policy analysis, and scholarship. The current conflict in Syria and Iraq appears as a counterexample: hundreds of millions of Google results mention women and the Islamic State (IS). Subjects vary widely: the stories cover female victims of IS, female recruits to IS, and women who fight IS. This article explores the hypervisibility of women in this conflict, looking for lessons about sex, gender, and conflict. The first part analyses discourses in a sample of major news reports, evaluating how different women around IS are represented. It finds that agency is removed from both female victims and female IS partisans, while it is exaggerated for women who fight against IS. This corresponds with emphasis on different gendered traits for differently positioned women. After tracing these gendered representations, the article applies theories of gender and conflict to understand how women have become central to the fighting and coverage of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. It concludes that paying attention both to the empirical presence of women and to the co-constitution of gender, war, and conflict augments understanding of this war, and across conflicts.

Keywords: feminist theory, gender, Islamic state, media coverage, terrorism, violence, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

Middle Eastern Women between Oppression and Resistance: Case Studies of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish Women of Turkey

Citation:

Khodary, Yasmin, Noha Salah, and Nada Mohsen. 2020. "Middle Eastern Women between Oppression and Resistance: Case Studies of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish Women of Turkey." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (1): 204-26.

Authors: Yasmin Khodary, Noha Salah, Nada Mohsen

Abstract:

Wars and conflicts have had a profound impact on women and gender in the Middle East. In this article, we aim to highlight the various ways in which the ongoing oppression and conflict in the Middle East shape the responses of the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey and the object of their struggles. We go beyond the 'Orientalist' discourse, which depicts Middle Eastern women in armed conflicts as solely vulnerable and helpless victims, to discuss the resisting roles played by the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey. Middle Eastern women have played and continue to play major roles in responding to society, gender and state oppression. While the Iraqi women in this study voice their resistance through conventional actions and wide civil-society activism that transcends the local level, the Palestinian women engage in unconventional unarmed or peaceful resistance through Sumud and cultural resistance as well as armed/non-peaceful acts of resistance. Finally, in the face of Turkish state oppression, the Kurdish women of Turkey also deploy non-peaceful resistance through becoming active fighters and engaging leadership positions in the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Keywords: Iraqi women, Palestinian women, Kurdish women, resilience, resistance, oppression

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Turkey

Year: 2020

Crossing the Gender Boundaries or Challenging Masculinities? Female Combatants in the Kenya Defense Forces' (KDF) War Against Al-Shabaab Militants

Citation:

Ombati, Mokua. 2015. "Crossing Gender Boundaries or Challenging Masculinities? Female Combatants in the Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) War against Al-Shabaab Militants." Masculinities and Social Change 4 (2): 163-85.

Author: Mokua Ombati

Abstract:

Few institutions have historically presented more defined gender boundaries than the military. This study examines gender and war through the lens of military combat roles. Military combat roles have traditionally relied on and manipulated ideas about masculinity and femininity. Women arrive in the army with different types of capital and bring with them a shared cultural ‘tool kit’ (womanhood). Following the military’s labour allocation process, they are assigned combat roles, which is at variance to their gendered character. Assignment in non-traditional feminine roles means crossing gender boundaries. Ethnographic studies of the Kenya Defence Forces operations in Somalia reveal the different gendered characteristics of the military roles as reflected in the women’s soldiery experiences. The encounter with military power and authority challenges the women soldiers to redefine their feminine capital, to interpret the military reality via a gendered lens and, therefore, to critically (re)examine the patriarchal order. Grounded on the twin theoretical frameworks of socio-cultural capitals and cultural scripts, and structured on a gender framing of women’s military roles, the study illustrates the complex and contradictory realities of women in the army. The study unpacks the relationship between masculinity and femininity, and, war and the military. It underpins the value of the female soldier as a figurative illustration of the complex interrelations between the gendered politics of masculinity and femininity. It considers what the acts, practices and performances constitutive of female soldiering reveal about particular modes of governance, regulation and politics that arise from the sacrifices of soldiers in combatant.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Somalia

Year: 2015

Ex-Combatants, Gender, and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience

Citation:

Wahidin, Azrini. 2016. Ex-Combatants, Gender and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Azrini Wahidin

Annotation:

Summary:
This book explores the contours of women's involvement in the Irish Republican Army, political protest and the prison experience in Northern Ireland. Through the voices of female and male combatants, it demonstrates that women remained marginal in the examination of imprisonment during the Conflict and in the negotiated peace process. However, the book shows that women performed a number of roles in war and peace that placed constructions of femininity in dissent. Azrini Wahidin argues that the role of the female combatant is not given but ambiguous. She indicates that a tension exists between different conceptualisations of societal security, where female combatants both fought against societal insecurity posed by the state and contributed to internal societal dissonance within their ethno-national groups. This book tackles the lacunae that has created a disturbing silence and an absence of a comprehensive understanding of women combatants, which includes knowledge of their motivations, roles and experiences. It will be of particular interest to scholars of criminology, politics and peace studies.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Femininity/ies, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Security Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2016

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