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Conflict

Women Transcending 'Boundaries' in Indigenous Peacebuilding in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Border Conflict

Citation:

Ombati, Mokua. 2015. “Women Transcending ‘Boundaries’ in Indigenous Peacebuilding in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Border Conflict.” Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, 4 (1): 637–61.

Author: Mokua Ombati

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Opinion and understanding on the consequences of violent conflict on women, and the importance of their participation in peacebuilding processes is varied. What exactly are women’s roles in violent conflict transformation and peacebuilding? What can be done to enhance women's role and contribution to peacebuilding processes? This study addresses these and other questions concerning women’s experiences of and responses to violent conflict. Drawing from the human needs approach, the study explores grassroots women’s engagement of peacebuilding through the promotion of social capital as both a public and private good. Based on an ethnographic case study of Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu cross-border conflict, the study explores how women have (re)discovered, (re)formulated, (re)framed and (re)adapted their traditional gender roles for peacebuilding, empowerment and development. The adopted indigenous conflict resolution approaches, knowledge and citizen peacekeeping are playing a prominent role in reappraising and building sustainable peace. Individually and collectively, women contribute to peacebuilding in many ways; though their contributions are often neglected because they take avant-garde forms, occur outside formal peace processes or are considered extensions of women’s existing gender roles.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT: 
La opinión y comprensión de las consecuencias de los conflictos violentos entre las mujeres y la importancia de su participación en los procesos de paz es variada. Este estudio aborda las experiencias de las mujeres y sus respuestas ante conflictos violentos. A partir del enfoque de las necesidades humanas, el estudio explora el compromiso de las mujeres de base en la construcción de la paz a través de la promoción del capital social. A partir del estudio etnográfico del conflicto transfronterizo Sotik/Borabu (Kenia), se explora cómo las mujeres han (re)descubierto, (re)formulado, (re)enmarcado y (re)adaptado sus roles tradicionales de género para la consolidación de la paz, el empoderamiento y desarrollo. El enfoque, conocimientos y mantenimiento de la paz ciudadana tomados en la resolución del conflicto indígena adoptado están desempeñando un papel destacado en la nueva valoración y la construcción de una paz sostenible. Individual y colectivamente, las mujeres contribuyen a la consolidación de la paz en muchos aspectos; aunque sus contribuciones a menudo no se toman en cuenta porque toman formas vanguardistas, realizan procesos formales de paz o se consideran parte de su rol de género.

Keywords: women, cross border conflicts, peacebuilding

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict

Citation:

Kvakhadze, Aleksandre. 2020. “Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict.” Perspectives on Terrorism 14 (2): 69-79.

Author: Aleksandre Kvakhadze

Abstract:

According to media reports, hundreds of women from the North Caucasian republics, Georgia and Azerbaijan have migrated to jihadi-controlled territories. This article has a threefold aim: to discuss the motivational features of female volunteers from the Caucasus region, to describe their functional role, and to explain their limited involvement in the hostilities. The findings indicate that the motivation for most women volunteers from the Caucasus has involved family relationships; further, rather than participating in combat, they have served in various supportive positions.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Religion, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria

Year: 2020

From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer

Citation:

Shakhsari, Sima. 2012. “From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer.” Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 8 (3): 14-40.

Author: Sima Shakhsari

Abstract:

In this essay, I argue that during the post-September 11th “war on terror,” the Iranian homosexual became transferred from the position of the abject to the representable subject in transnational political realms. This shift involves Iranian opposition groups, transnational media, the “gay international” (in the words of Joseph A. Massad), and some Iranian diasporic queers who willingly insert themselves into national imaginations of the opposition in diasporic reterritorializations. This hypervisibility is enabled by massive mobilizations of universalized sexual identities on the Internet, discourses of protectorship, valorizations of mobility in cyberspace and diasporic imaginations, and the political and economic opportunities for neoliberal entrepreneurship and expertise during the war on terror. In this process, the normative Iranian homosexual is produced as a victim of backward homophobic Iranian-ness, awaiting representation and liberation by new media technologies, while the Iranian citizen is disciplined through cybergovernmentality as a heterosexual subject who is expected to reject tradition, tolerate or defend homosexuals, and avoid perversion.

Topics: Conflict, Ethnicity, Media, LGBTQ, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2012

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

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

Lebanon, UNSCR 1325, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Zaiter, Manar. 2018. "Lebanon, UNSCR 1325, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Al-Raida Journal 42 (1): 39-50.

Author: Manar Zaiter

Abstract:

The Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1325 (31 October 2000) constitutes an advancement in the international protection of women and girls in times of conflict. It is the first public, legal instrument issued by the Security Council, calling warring parties to respect women’s rights and support their participation in all stages and contexts of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace talks, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response, and post-conflict reconstruction. In view of the situation in the Arab region and of the political, security, economic, cultural, and social context that affects women, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda is of great importance to the entire Arab region.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2018

Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam

Citation:

Ray, Sawmya. 2015. "Of Vulnerability and Coercion: A Study of Sex Trafficking in Assam." Sociological Bulletin 64 (3): 305-24.

Author: Sawmya Ray

Abstract:

This paper discusses the political, economic, and socio-cultural context within which trafficking of women and girls take place for commercial sexual exploitation in Assam. Specifically, it examines the relation between existing gender norms, prevailing conflict, and sex trafficking. It is based on data collected from rescued trafficked women, state and non-state anti-trafficking personnel, and case studies collected from NGOs. It argues that gendered norms intersect with existing political economy factors to doubly disadvantage women vis-à-vis trafficking, both during times of normalcy and conflict.

Keywords: Assam, gender norms, sex trafficking, sex work, violence

Topics: Economies, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

(Re)Productive Discourses: Media Coverage of Children Born of War in Colombia

Citation:

Parra, Tatiana Sanchez, and Sergio Lo Iacono. 2019. "(Re)Productive Discourses: Media Coverage of Children Born of War in Colombia." Bulletin of Latin American Research 39 (1): 22–36.

Authors: Tatiana Sanchez Parra, Sergio Lo Iacono

Abstract:

Children born as a result of wartime sexual violence have not gained a place in the stories covered by the Colombian media. Based on an extensive content analysis (using the software MAXQDA 12) of newspaper articles published between 1990 and 2015, ethnographic content analysis, and drawing upon feminist critical discourse analysis, this paper explores how information about these children is presented as part of storylines that use the explanatory framework of sexual violence as a weapon of war. In those storylines, children emerge not as independent subjects but as part of social representations of female victims of wartime sexual violence and male perpetrators.

Keywords: children born of war, content analysis, Colombia

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind

Citation:

Agius, Christine, and Anu Mundkur. 2020. “The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74 (3): 282-300.

Authors: Christine Agius, Anu Mundkur

Abstract:

After a 14-year gap, Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper advanced a ‘comprehensive framework to advance Australia’s security and prosperity in a contested and competitive world’ (Australian Government 2017a, “2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.” https://www.fpwhitepaper.gov.au/., v). Focused on regional stability, partnerships and global cooperation, it identifies ‘risks and opportunities’ in an altered external environment. In this article, we argue that the neglect of gender and conflict prevention in the White Paper has implications for its stated aspirations with regard to peace and security. This is striking considering the attention that gender—particularly in the context of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda—has received in other policy areas and documents. Building on feminist security scholarship, conflict prevention approaches, and bringing in civil society voices, we argue that the White Paper contains a gendered, masculinist logic, separating domestic and international issues and paying insufficient attention to the structural and systemic causes of conflict. This article pursues a gender analysis in order to illuminate the gaps present in the White Paper and its limited vision of security and makes the case that conflict prevention from a gender perspective is key to sustainable peace, security and national interests.

Keywords: conflict prevention, Foreign Policy White Paper, Australia, gender, foreign policy, women, peace and security (WPS)

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Peace and Security, Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article

Citation:

Arnot, Madeline. 2011. “Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article.” Ethnicities 11 (3): 373-77.

Author: Madeleine Arnot

Annotation:

Summary:
"Islah Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement has historical specificity as a result of Palestine’s political history as a transitional/provisional state that has experienced devastating interventions by Israel into its allocated territory, and exceptional levels of international attention. Yet Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement also resonates in an uncannily familiar way with other histo-ries of the women’s movements internationally. In Gramscian terms, there are a variety of forms of hegemonic power and different counter-hegemonic strategies that can affect women’s movements. In this account, male hegemony (inflected by social class, ethnicity and sexuality) plays a crucial role in the interfaces between international hegemony over economic development, and religious hegemony. When women are symbolically constructed as the epitome of the nation, there is more at stake in the liberation of women than just gender politics. Gender is the lens through which we can understand the battles over citizenship, national identity and power (c.f. Fennell and Arnot, 2007).
 
We are at a critical moment in social science particularly in the North, where we are being called upon to rethink our categories, assumptions, interpretations and agendas to let in the realities of different worlds. Challenging the assumptions of ‘methodological nationalism’ (Beck, 2000), southern feminists from Africa and India have argued that the framing of gender theory in northern contexts has often imposed inappropriate gender categorizations, concepts of motherhood and sexual embodiments, whilst neglecting the different communal cultures, family structures and gender identities found in southern cultures (Fennell and Arnot, 2008).
 
One aspect of this hegemonic gender theory has been the denial of the role of spirituality and religion; indeed, Jad argues that northern forms of the women’s movement are secular (if not atheist!). Within Jad’s article lies a fundamental issue – how can northern gender theorists understand the role of religious conflict between nations and the religious shaping of the women’s movement within national struggles? I think it is fair to say that gender studies has constructed religions as obstacles to the achievement of gender equality not least because of their enforcement or reinforcement of male superiority and power. As a result, it is hard to envisage religion as anything but an impediment to the advancement of female citizenship.
 
In this response, I highlight three relevant themes: 1. gender and education in transitional states; 2. the universalism and secularization of human rights; and 3.national gender identities, religion and militarization" (Arnot 2011, 373).

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Development, Conflict, Education, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Human Rights, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

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