War and Climate Change

Dr. Neta Crawford

October 18, 2023

Hybrid - Ballroom A (U03-3550A Campus Center), University of Massachusetts Boston. For in-person attendance:

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Gendered Violence and Neocolonialism: Indigenous Women Confronting Counterinsurgency Violence


Castillo, R. Aída Hernández, and Mariana Mora. 2008. “Gendered Violence and Neocolonialism: Indigenous Women Confronting Counterinsurgency Violence.” Latin American Perspectives 35 (1): 151–54.

Authors: R. Castillo, Aída Hernández, Mariana Mora


The first months of the Calderón administration in Mexico have been characterized by the militarization of indigenous regions throughout the country and the continued criminalization of social movements?the perpetration of state violence and repression in the name of "social peace." The April 26 reforms of the Federal Penal Code designed to "punish terrorism," which impose severe sentences on those who threaten the peace and tranquility of the population "by any violent method," have been denounced as yet another strategy for criminalizing social movements. The Fox administration's "neoliberal multiculturalism," which appropriated and trivialized indigenous peoples' demands (see Hernández, Paz, and Sierra, 2005), has been replaced by neoconservative policies and actions that treat organized indigenous peoples as delinquents. The rhetoric of cultural recognition has similarly been exchanged for a developmental discourse against poverty. In this new content, indigenous women are suffering the consequences of militarization in a special way. A climate of insecurity and intimidation has emerged in regions known historically for the presence of indigenous and peasant organizations.

Topics: Conflict, Indigenous, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Terrorism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2008

Women in Peacebuilding: A Criticism of Gendered Solutions in Postconflict Situations


Erzurum, Kemal and Berna Eren. 2014. “Women in Peacebuilding: A Criticism of Gendered Solutions in Postconflict Situations.” Journal of Applied Security Research 9 (2): 236–56.

Authors: Kemal Erzurum, Berna Eren


Women are the most suffering part of populations in conflicts. They are required to fulfill different responsibilities during and after conflicts. Considering this fact, participation of women at peacebuilding efforts in postconflict areas has been considered as sine qua non requirement. However, active participation of women at these efforts, particularly decision-making activities, has been hampered due to diverse reasons. The barriers that block women involved in peacebuilding processes as decision-makers should be reexamined and eliminated by eradicating inequalities. In this article, gender-based violence, underestimated plight of women in conflicts, gendered approach of peacebuilding efforts, and the barriers in front of women's active participation in decision-making processes are examined.

Keywords: women, peace, peacebuilding, conflict, decision making, gender

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras


Mollett, Sharlene. 2018. “The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras.” In Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice. Routledge.

Author: Sharlene Mollett


This chapter aims to rethink the relationship between “parks and people” by making visible mundane and spectacular forms of violence inside the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. In spite of landmark territorial legislation awarded to Miskito Territorial Councils beginning in 2013, the Miskito peoples continue to face impending colono land invasions inside ancestral customary territories. Drawing from ongoing research in Honduras, this chapter blends ethnographic data collection with news media, archival documents, development reports and secondary literatures to examine the violent challenges to Miskito territorial autonomy. Such violence extends beyond the Reserve and is emplaced on the bodies of land and territorial defenders mobilized against a growing extractivist Honduran state. With a focus on a coloniality of power and postcolonial intersectional thinking, this chapter maintains that biodiversity conservation and extractive development are linked, imbued with past logics of race and gender employed in the dehumanization of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in the present. Thus, in Honduras, I argue, contemporary Indigenous struggles over land and territory are simultaneously historical contests that work to disrupt state and elite practices of Indigenous peoples’ dehumanization, in the name of modernity and development.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Indigenous, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2018

The Gendered Criminalization of Land Defenders in Ecuador: From Individualization to Collective Resistance in Feminized Territories


Venegas, Melissa Moreano, and Karolien van Teijlingen. 2021. “The Gendered Criminalization of Land Defenders in Ecuador: From Individualization to Collective Resistance in Feminized Territories.” In Environmental Defenders. Routledge.

Authors: Melissa Moreano Venegas, Karolien van Teijlingen


This chapter reflects upon two features of the violence against land and environmental defenders, anti-extraction activists, and communities that oppose extractive activities in Ecuador. The first aspect is the gendered character of this violence, which produces feminized territories; the second aspect is the perils of individualization of struggles in relation to this violence, and the benefits of its collectivization. We use a critical feminist geography perspective and base this reflection on various interviews and long-term fieldwork in the Amazon region, particularly with communities affected by extractive activities, and on the analysis of the political action of the collective Mujeres Amazónicas (Amazonian Women).

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Indigenous Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2021

'A Walk with the Lads’: Masculinities’ Perspectives, Gender Dynamics and Resilience in Soacha, Colombia


Gutierrez, D. José Antonio, and Pat Gibbons. 2020. “‘A Walk with the Lads’: Masculinities’ Perspectives, Gender Dynamics and Resilience in Soacha, Colombia.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 49 (October). 

Authors: D. José Antonio Gutierrez, Pat Gibbons


Soacha is a municipality in the periphery of Colombia's capital Bogotá, whose population has soared over the past two decades with a constant influx of people displaced by conflict all over the country. The result is a fragile municipality with a majority of highly vulnerable settlements due to: high levels of tenure insecurity; generalised lack of protection and territorial control by gangs; normalised violence; and high levels of intra-urban displacement. Disenfranchisement and lack of rights set the backdrop in which the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people transcur. As part of the Horizon 2020 project, the ‘Preparedness and Resilience to address Urban Vulnerability’ (PRUV) Consortium employed the Urban Vulnerability Walk methodology to understand the vulnerabilities of both men and women in a gender-segregated research in one locality –Altos de Florida. While the methodology was useful to identify vulnerabilities and risks, it proved equally useful to better understand the resources of the community, both of the women and the men, in order to overcome the difficulties in which they are immersed and to build a sustainable future.

Keywords: masculinities, insecure tenure, resilience, Colombia, urban vulnerability walk

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Urban Displacement, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Land Tenure, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Gender Roles in Nigeria’s Non-Violent Oil Resistance Movement


Munir, Laine. 2020. “Gender Roles in Nigeria’s Non-Violent Oil Resistance Movement.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 55 (1): 79–97.


Author: Laine Munir


Since the 1980s, Nigerians have engaged in non-violent protests against oil exploitation polluting their lands. This qualitative case study asks why Niger Delta women came to engage in seemingly separate, all-female protests starting in 2002, mobilizing in a long-standing resistance previously led by men. Using grounded theory methods, this multi-site ethnography draws on one-on-one interviews, participant observations, and university and non-governmental organization archival data. It finds that although women were indeed aggrieved by oil, their protests from 2002 to 2012 did not emerge autonomously from those of men, as described in scholarship elsewhere. Rather, these findings indicate that male elites may have had a role in initiating women’s collective action in response to their own failed prior negotiations, to increase the number of protesters, and to bolster men’s dialogue. This study provides a nuanced corrective to the Niger Delta narrative and expands our understanding of gender dynamics in social movements.

Depuis les années 80, les nigérians se sont engagés dans des protestations non-violentes contre l’exploitation pétrolière qui pollue leurs terres. Cette étude de cas qualitative examine pourquoi les femmes du delta du Niger en sont venues, à partir de 2002, à s’engager dans des protestations apparemment distinctes, entièrement féminines, en se mobilisant dans une résistance de longue date menée par des hommes auparavant. Fondée sur des méthodes de théorie ancrée, cette ethnographie multi-sites s’appuie sur des entretiens individuels, des observations participantes et des données d’archives universitaires et d’organisations non-gouvernementales. Elle révèle que si les femmes ont effectivement été lésées par l’exploitation pétrolière, leurs protestations de 2002 à 2012 n’ont pas émergé de celles des hommes de manière autonome, comme l’a décrit une autre étude. Ces résultats indiquent plutôt que les élites masculines ont peutêtre joué un rôle dans le lancement de l’action collective des femmes, en réaction à l’échec de leurs propres négociations préalables, pour augmenter le nombre de manifestants et renforcer le dialogue entre hommes. Cette étude apporte une correction nuancée au récit du delta du Niger et élargit notre compréhension de la dynamique des genres dans les mouvements sociaux.

Keywords: women, protest, Nigeria, environmental conflict, femmes, protestation, conflit environnemental, théorie ancrée, Grounded Theory

Topics: Conflict, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Nonviolence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2020

Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC


Bashwira, Marie-Rose and Gemma van der Haar. 2020. “Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 54 (1): 79-99.

Authors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Gemma van der Haar


Women have long remained invisible in representations of artisanal mining in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on original field data, this paper seeks to fill that gap. It shows how women come to mining sites with the hope of finding a degree of security, economic possibilities and the start of a new life. Contrary to what dominant discourses on the “resource curse” and sexual violence towards women have suggested, women may find a degree of protection in mining areas. We take the analysis beyond the “push” and “pull” factors with which migration is usually explained, to understand women’s motivation to move into mining areas as complex and changing. The study situates women’s movement to the mines within their life trajectories which are shaped by violence and various forms of insecurity. The notion of social navigation is brought in to understand how they cope with gender discrimination, challenges and risks in the mining economy. The paper shows how push and pull factors merge over time and how some women succeed in creating new sources of revenue and manage to mitigate the situation of vulnerability in which they find themselves.

Les femmes sont restées longtemps invisibles dans les représentations de l’exploitation minière artisanale dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Fondé sur des données originales de terrain, cet article vise à combler cette lacune. Il montre comment les femmes arrivent sur les sites miniers avec l’espoir d’y trouver un degré de sécurité, des opportunités économiques et le début d’une nouvelle vie. Contrairement à ce que les discours dominants sur la « malédiction des ressources naturelles » et la violence sexuelle à l’égard des femmes ont laissé entendre, les femmes peuvent trouver un certain degré de protection dans les zones minières. Nous poussons l’analyse au-delà des facteurs attractifs et répulsifs par lesquels la migration est habituellement expliquée pour comprendre les motivations des femmes à s’installer dans les zonesminières comme quelque chose de complexe et changeant. L’étude situe le déplacement des femmes vers les mines dans leurs trajectoires de vie, qui sont déterminées par la violence et diverses formes d’insécurité. La notion de navigation sociale est introduite pour comprendre comment les femmes font face à la discrimination, aux difficultés et aux risques dans l’économie minière. L’article montre comment les facteurs attractifs et répulsifs fusionnent au fil du temps, et comment certaines femmes réussissent à créer de nouvelles sources de revenu et parviennent à atténuer la situation de vulnérabilité dans laquelle elles se trouvent.

Keywords: migration, mobility, social navigation, women, artisanal mining, violent conflict, eastern DRC, mobilité, navigation sociale, femmes, exploitation minière artisanale, conflit violent, Est de la RDC

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Indigenous Women’s Anti-Mining Activism: A Gendered Analysis of the El Estor Struggle in Guatemala


Deonandan, Kalowatie, Rebecca Tatham, and Brennan Field. 2017. “Indigenous Women’s Anti-Mining Activism: A Gendered Analysis of the El Estor Struggle in Guatemala.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 405–19. 


Authors: Kalowatie Deonandan, Rebecca Tatham, Brennan Field


Focusing on the struggle against the Fenix mine in El Estor Guatemala, this article argues that women are disproportionately affected by resource development; and that women’s activism against mining is also gendered, in the sense that they are often distinct from men’s strategies and are rooted in women’s experiences as women, and as indigenous women within a particular socioeconomic and historical context. We draw on original data gathered from interviews with indigenous women activists in the El Estor communities in Guatemala.

Centrándose en la lucha contra la mina Fénix en El Estor, Guatemala, el presente artículo sostiene que las mujeres son afectadas de manera desproporcionada por la explotación de recursos naturales. Asimismo, en el activismo de las mujeres contra las mineras pueden identificarse elementos vinculados al género en el sentido de que muchas veces las actividades que promueven se diferencian de las estrategias impulsadas por los hombres y se encuentran arraigadas en las vivencias de las mujeres en tanto mujeres y en tanto mujeres indígenas en un contexto socioeconómico e histórico particular. Las autoras del artículo basan sus conclusiones en datos de primera mano recabados de entrevistas realizadas con mujeres indígenas activistas habitantes de comunidades de El Estor en Guatemala.

Cet article porte sur la lutte contre la mine Fenix à El Estor, au Guatemala, et soutient que les femmes sont touchées de manière disproportionnée par le développement de l’exploitation des ressources et que l’activisme des femmes contre l’exploitation minière est aussi sexo-spécifique, dans la mesure où il est souvent distinct des stratégies des hommes et ancré dans les expériences des femmes en tant que femmes, mais aussi en tant que femmes autochtones dans un contexte socio-économique et historique particulier. Nous nous basons sur des données originales recueillies dans le cadre d’entretiens menés avec des femmes activistes autochtones dans les communautés d’El Estor au Guatemala.

Keywords: women, gender, mining, effects, activism, Guatemala

Topics: Conflict, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2017

Women, Peace and Security in Zimbabwe - The Case of Conflict in Non War Zones


Chabikwa, Rutendo. 2021. "Women, Peace and Security in Zimbabwe - The Case of Conflict in Non War Zones." Journal of African Conflicts and Peace Studies 4 (2).

Author: Rutendo Chabikwa


The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is the United Nation’s (UN) key policy instrument for addressing gender violence in conflict zones. However, the agenda has been preoccupied with “hot” conflicts, and its application and relevance to sustained, but “low level” conflict situations is poorly conceptualized. This research considers this issue through a case study of Zimbabwe since 2000. I make the case for broadening the understanding of conflict as found in the WPS agenda.

This paper addresses the question: ‘How does the case of Zimbabwe exemplify the need for a broader understanding of conflict within the WPS agenda as it applies to non-war settings?’

I first consider the nature of non-war zones, adopting a feminist international relations theory perspective, incorporating elements of postcolonial feminist theory and critical race theory. We then review Zimbabwe’s recent history and situate it as a country in non-war conflict zone. We situate Zimbabwe’s recent history clearly within the concept of non-war zones and discuss the nature of gender violence in this setting.

My analysis adds to the body of literature and research on non-war zones and argues for broadening the WPS agenda to encompass a broader understanding of conflict, specifically arguing for the centrality of gender-based violence in non-war situations, as exemplified in Zimbabwe’s recent history.

Keywords: WPS agenda, Zimbabwe, conflict

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Race, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2021


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