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Domestic Violence

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services during Humanitarian Crises: A Systematic Review


Singh, Neha S., James Smith, Sarindi Aryasinghe, Rajat Khosla, Lale Say, and Karl Blanchet. 2018.  “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services during Humanitarian Crises: A Systematic Review.” PLoS One 13 (7): 1-19.

Authors: Neha S. Singh, James Smith, Sarindi Aryasinghe, Rajat Khosla, Lale Say, Karl Blanchet



An estimated 32 million women and girls of reproductive age living in emergency situations, all of whom require sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. This systematic review assessed the effect of SRH interventions, including the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) on a range of health outcomes from the onset of emergencies.

Methods and findings

We searched EMBASE, Global Health, MEDLINE and PsychINFO databases from January 1, 1980 to April 10, 2017. This review was registered with the PROSPERO database with identifier number CRD42017082102. We found 29 studies meet the inclusion criteria. We found high quality evidence to support the effectiveness of specific SRH interventions, such as home visits and peer-led educational and counselling, training of lower-level health care providers, community health workers (CHWs) to promote SRH services, a three-tiered network of health workers providing reproductive and maternal health services, integration of HIV and SRH services, and men’s discussion groups for reducing intimate partner violence. We found moderate quality evidence to support transport-based referral systems, community-based SRH education, CHW delivery of injectable contraceptives, wider literacy programmes, and birth preparedness interventions. No studies reported interventions related to fistulae, and only one study focused on abortion services.


Despite increased attention to SRH in humanitarian crises, the sector has made little progress in advancing the evidence base for the effectiveness of SRH interventions, including the MISP, in crisis settings. A greater quantity and quality of more timely research is needed to ascertain the effectiveness of delivering SRH interventions in a variety of humanitarian crises.




“In relation to the typology of humanitarian crisis, 24 studies (82.8%) were conducted in areas affected by armed conflict, and the two multi-site studies (6.9%) were conducted in areas affected by both armed conflict and natural disasters. The remaining three studies (10.3%) were conducted in areas affected by a natural disaster: the first study focused on the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan; the second study focused on the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines; and the third study was conducted in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti” (Singh et al. 2018, 5).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Education, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Haiti, Pakistan, Philippines

Year: 2018

Rethinking Masculinity in Disaster Situations: Men's Reflections of the 2004 Tsunami in Southern Sri Lanka


Dominelli, Lena. 2020. "Rethinking Masculinity in Disaster Situations: Men's Reflections of the 2004 Tsunami in Southern Sri Lanka." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 48: 1-9. 

Author: Lena Dominelli


The role of men in disasters is rarely discussed in depth and research on this topic is scarce. Yet, masculinity is an important dimension of disasters, whether considering men's active roles in disasters, their position within family relations pre- and post-disasters, or during reconstruction. The research project, International Institutional and Professional Practices conducted in 12 southern Sri Lankan villages sought to understand men's experiences of supporting their families after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It highlighted the importance of patriarchal relations and men's roles as providers throughout the disaster cycle. However, the picture is complicated. While most humanitarian aid is aimed at the generic person, a man, men do not have their needs as men specifically addressed during the receipt of humanitarian aid. Men who receive nothing post-disaster can become desperate, and misuse substances such as alcohol and drugs. This creates situations where men fight each other and abuse women and children within intimate relationships because the tsunami has destroyed their livelihoods and nothing has replaced these. In this article, I examine the complexities men navigate to understand their position when seeking to re-establish their connections to family and community life. I conclude that their specific needs as men require targeted interventions throughout all stages of the disaster cycle, and especially during the delivery of humanitarian aid if they are to fulfil their provider and protector roles and be steered away from behaviour that is abusive of close members of their families: wives, children, and other men.

Keywords: men, masculinity(ies), breadwinner/provider, protector, humanitarian aid, Disasters, differentiated disaster experiences, family relations, domestic violence, abusive relations

Topics: Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2020

Feminists Building Peace and Reconciliation: Beyond Post-Conflict


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

Author: Elisabeth Porter


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

Gendering the ‘Post-Conflict’ Narrative in Northern Ireland’s Peace Process


Gilmartin, Niall. 2018. "Gendering the ‘Post-conflict’ Narrative in Northern Ireland’s Peace Process." Capital & Class 43 (1): 89-104. 

Author: Niall Gilmartin


The Good Friday Agreement negotiations gave a unique opportunity for the insertion of women’s rights and equal formal representation in the new post-conflict Northern Ireland. Notwithstanding the robust and unambiguous commitments in the text of the agreement, the primary architects of the peace process, however, situated gender and women’s position as peripheral to the main priorities of ‘guns and government’. While conventional forms of peacebuilding claim to be beneficial for all, evidence from the so-called ‘post-conflict’ period around the world demonstrates a continuity of violence for many women, as well as new forms of violence. This article explores the position of women in Northern Ireland today across a number of issues, including formal politics, community activism, domestic violence and reproductive rights. By doing so, it continues feminist endeavours seeking to problematise the ‘post-conflict’ narrative by gendering peace and security. While the Good Friday Agreement did undoubtedly provide the potential for a new era of gender relations, 20 years on Northern Irish society exhibits all the trademarks and insidious characteristics of a patriarchal society that has yet to undergo a genuine transformation in gender relations. The article argues that the consistent privileging of masculinity and the dominance of male power is a commonality that remains uninterrupted by the peace process.

Keywords: gender, Northern Ireland, peace, post-conflict, security

Topics: Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Armed Conflict, Alcohol Misuse, Decision-Making, and Intimate Partner Violence among Women in Northeastern Uganda: A Population Level Study


Mootz, Jennifer J., Florence Kyoheirwe Muhanguzi, Pavel Panko, Patrick Onyango Mangen, Milton L. Wainberg, Ilana Pinsky, and Kaveh Khoshnood. 2018. "Armed Conflict, Alcohol Misuse, Decision-Making, and Intimate Partner Violence among Women in Northeastern Uganda: A Population Level Study." Conflict and Health 12: 1-11.

Authors: Jennifer J. Mootz, Florence Kyoheirwe Muhanguzi, Pavel Panko, Patrick Onyango Mangen, Milton L. Wainberg, Ilana Pinsky, Kaveh Khoshnood


Background: Relations among and interactions between exposure to armed conflict, alcohol misuse, low socioeconomic status, gender (in)equitable decision-making, and intimate partner violence (IPV) represent serious global health concerns. Our objective was to determine extent of exposure to these variables and test pathways between these indicators of interest.

Methods: We surveyed 605 women aged 13 to 49 who were randomly selected via multistage sampling across three districts in Northeastern Uganda in 2016. We used Mplus 7.4 to estimate a moderated structural equation model of indirect pathways between armed conflict and intimate partner violence for currently partnered women (n = 558) to evaluate the strength of the relationships between the latent factors and determine the goodness-of-fit of the proposed model with the population data.

Results: Most respondents (88.8%) experienced conflict-related violence. The lifetime/ past 12 month prevalence of experiencing intimate partner violence was 65.3%/ 50.9% (psychological) and 59.9%/ 43.8% (physical). One-third (30.7%) of women’s partners reportedly consumed alcohol daily. The relative fit of the structural model was superior (CFI = 0.989; TLI = 0.989). The absolute fit (RMSEA = 0.029) closely matched the population data. The partner and joint decision-making groups significantly differed on the indirect effect through partner alcohol use (a1b1 = 0.209 [0.017: 0.467]).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that male partner alcohol misuse is associated with exposure to armed conflict and intimate partner violence—a relationship moderated by healthcare decision-making. These findings encourage the extension of integrated alcohol misuse and intimate partner violence policy and emergency humanitarian programming to include exposure to armed conflict and gendered decision-making practices.

Keywords: armed conflict, Uganda, alcohol use, domestic violence, Decision-making

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Economies, Poverty, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2018

The ‘War’/‘Not-War’ Divide: Domestic Violence in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative


Gray, Harriet. 2018. "The ‘War’/‘Not-War’ Divide: Domestic Violence in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative." The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 21 (1): 189-206.

Author: Harriet Gray


While recognising the importance of policy designed to tackle conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, scholars have increasingly critiqued such policies for failing sufficiently to apprehend the multiple forms of this violence – from rape deployed as a weapon of war to domestic violence – as interrelated oppressions located along a continuum. In this article, I explore a connected but distinct line of critique, arguing that sexual and gender-based violence policies are also limited by a narrow understanding of how gender-based violences relate to war itself. Drawing on an analysis of the British Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, I identify a key distinction which emerges between those types of sexual and gender-based violence which are considered to be part of war, and those which are not. This division, I suggest, closes down space for recognising how war is also enacted within private spaces.

Keywords: armed conflict, conflict-related SGBV, domestic violence, gender, preventing sexual violence initiative, private sphere, PSVI, public sphere, sexual and gender-based violence, war, Women Peace and Security agenda

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Households, Peace and Security, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2018

The Effects of Conflict and Displacement on Violence against Adolescent Girls in South Sudan: The Case of Adolescent Girls in the Protection of Civilian Sites in Juba


Murphy, Maureen, Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer, Junior Ovince, Mary Ellsberg, and Manuel Contreras-Urbina. 2019. "The Effects of Conflict and Displacement on Violence against Adolescent Girls in South Sudan: The Case of Adolescent Girls in the Protection of Civilian Sites in Juba." Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters 27 (1): 181-91. 

Authors: Maureen Murphy, Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer, Junior Ovince, Mary Ellsberg, Manuel Contreras-Urbina


There is a paucity of data on violence against women and girls (VAWG) during times of conflict in general and even less information specifically on violence against adolescent girls. Based on secondary analysis of a larger study on VAWG in South Sudan, this article highlights the specific experience of conflict-affected adolescent girls resident in the Juba Protection of Civilian sites. Quantitative data from a cross-sectional household survey shows that the prevalence of non-partner sexual violence (NPSV) (26.5%) and intimate partner violence (IPV) (43.1% of partnered respondents) was high among a cohort of girls who were of adolescent age during the 2013 crisis. Direct exposure to armed conflict increased the odds of respondents experiencing NPSV (AOR: 7.21; 95%CI: 3.94–13.17) and IPV (AOR: 2.37; 95%CI: 1.07–5.29). Quantitative and qualitative data also showed that patriarchal practices, compounded by poverty and unequal power relationships within the home, remain some of the primary drivers of VAWG even in conflict-affected settings. Prevention activities need to consider these wider underlying drivers of VAWG during times of armed conflict, as they remain key factors affecting violence against adolescent girls.

Keywords: violence against women and girls, conflict, non-partner sexual violence, Adolescent girls, Intimate partner violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Domestic Violence, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: South Sudan

Year: 2019

The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military


Woodward, Rachel, and Claire Duncanson, eds. 2017. The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Rachel Woodward, Claire Duncanson


Summary from Springer: 
The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military provides a comprehensive overview of the multiple ways in which gender and militaries connect.  International and multi-disciplinary in scope, this edited volume provides authoritative accounts of the many intersections through which militaries issues and military forces are shaped by gender.  The chapters provide detailed accounts of key issues, informed by examples from original research in a wealth of different national contexts.  This Handbook includes coverage of conceptual approaches to the study of gender and militaries, gender and the organisation of state military forces, gender as it pertains to military forces in action, transitions and transgressions within militaries, gender and non-state military forces, and gender in representations of military personnel and practices.  With contributions from a range of both established and early career scholars, The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military is an essential guide to current debates on gender and contemporary military issues. 
Table of Contents 
1. An Introduction to Gender and the Military
Rachel Woodward and Claire Duncanson
2. Liberal Feminists, Militaries and War 
Caroline Kennedy-Pipe
3. Anti-Militarist Feminist Approaches to Researching Gender and the Military 
Claire Duncanson
4. Critical Military Studies as Method: An Approach to Studying Gender and the Military 
Victoria M. Basham and Sarah Bulmer
5. Quantitative Approaches to Researching Gender and Militaries 
Lana Obradovic
6. Qualitative Approaches to Researching Gender and the Military 
Lauren Greenwood
7. Gendered Organizational Dynamics in Military Contexts 
Helena Carreiras
8. Ethnicity and Gender in Militaries: An Intersectional Analysis 
Orna Sasson-Levy
9. Theorizing Military Masculinities and National Identities: The Norwegian Experience 
Nina Rones and Kari Fasting
10. Sexualities in State Militaries 
Sarah Bulmer
11. Transgender Military Service: A Snapshot in Time 
M. Sheridan Embser-Herbert
12. The Civilian Wives of Military Personnel: Mobile Subjects or Agents of Militarisation? 
Alexandra Hyde
13. Military Families: Life, Social Organization and Remote Basing Experiences for Brazilian Military Families 
Cristina Rodrigues da Silva
14. Domestic Abuse and the Reproduction of the Idealised ‘Military Wife’ 
Harriet Gray
15. Violence in the Military and Relations Among Men: Military Masculinities and ‘Rape Prone Cultures’ 
Ben Wadham
16. Female Military Veterans with Disabilities 
Rachel Dekel and Miriam Goldberg
17. Gender, Mental Health and the Military 
Hilary Cornish
18. Gendered Military Identities: Army Deserters in Exile 
Godfrey Maringira
19. Gender and Close Combat Roles 
Anthony King
20. Gender and Counterinsurgency 
Synne L. Dyvik
21. Gender, Humanitarianism and the Military 
Ryerson Christie
22. Transitions and Transformation in Gender Relations in the South African Military: From Support in Warfare to Valued Peacekeepers 
Lindy Heinecken
23. Military Markets, Masculinities and the Global Political Economy of the Everyday: Understanding Military Outsourcing as Gendered and Racialised 
Amanda Chisholm and Saskia Stachowitsch
24. Gender, Militaries and Security Sector Reform 
Megan Bastick
25. Gender Mainstreaming and Integration in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 
Matthew Hurley
26. Gender and Terrorist Movements 
Katherine E. Brown
27. Gender Dynamics in Rebel Groups 
Zoe Marks
28. Women in Non-State Armed Groups after War: The (Non)Evolution of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration 
Christopher Hills and Megan MacKenzie
29. Gender and Visual Representations of Women Combatants 
Chava Brownfield-Stein
30. Military Women in Cinema: War Stories and Future Worlds 
Yvonne Tasker
31. (Re)Producing an (Anti)Military Masculinity: Popular Culture Representations of Gender and Military Dissent in the Figure of Ron Kovic 
Joanna Tidy
32. Gender and Military Memoirs 
Rachel Woodward, Claire Duncanson and K. Neil Jenkings
33. Gendered Representations of Soldier Deaths 
Katharine M. Millar

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Domestic Violence, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Mental Health, International Organizations, Intersectionality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Militarization, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Political Economies, Race, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexuality

Year: 2017

An Exploration of Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Myanmar in the Context of Political Transition: Findings from a Qualitative Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment


Tanabe, Mihoko, Alison Greer, Jennifer Leigh, Payal Modi, William W. Davis, Pue Pue Mhote, Conrad M. Otterness Jr., and Parveen Parmar. 2019. "An Exploration of Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Myanmar in the Context of Political Transition: Findings from a Qualitative Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment." Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters 27 (2): 112-25.

Authors: Mihoko Tanabe, Alison Greer, Jennifer Leigh, Payal Modi, William W. Davis, Pue Pue Mhote, Eh May Htoo, Conrad M. Otterness Jr. , Parveen Parmar


In March 2011, the Myanmar Government transitioned to a nominally civilian parliamentary government, resulting in dramatic increases in international investments and tenuous peace in some regions. In March 2015, Community Partners International, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and four community-based organisations (CBOs) assessed community-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in eastern Myanmar amidst the changing political contexts in Myanmar and Thailand. The team conducted 12 focus group discussions among women of reproductive age (18–49 years) with children under five and interviewed 12 health workers in Kayin State, Myanmar. In Mae Sot and Chiang Mai, Thailand, the team interviewed 20 representatives of CBOs serving the border regions. Findings are presented through the socioecological lens to explore gender-based violence (GBV) specifically, to examine continued and emerging issues in the context of the political transition. Cited GBV includes ongoing sexual violence/rape by the military and in the community, trafficking, intimate partner violence, and early marriage. Despite the political transition, women continue to be at risk for military sexual violence, are caught in the burgeoning economic push–pull drivers, and experience ongoing restrictive gender norms, with limited access to SRH services. There is much fluidity, along with many connections and interactions among the contributing variables at all levels of the socioecological model; based on a multisectoral response, continued support for innovative, community-based SRH services that include medical and psychosocial care are imperative for ethnic minority women to gain more agency to freely exercise their SR rights.

Keywords: conflict, Intimate partner violence, sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health, Trafficking, early marriage, gender-based violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence, Rape, Trafficking Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar, Thailand

Year: 2019

The Elusive Peace: Ending Sexual Violence during and after Conflict


Atuhaire, Pearl Karuhanga, Nicole Gerring, Laura Huber, Mirgul Kuhns, and Grace Ndirangu. 2018. The Elusive Peace: Ending Sexual Violence during and after Conflict. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace. 

Authors: Pearl Karuhanga Atuhaire, Nicole Gerring, Laura Huber, Mirgul Kuhns, Grace Ndirangu


"The consequences of sexual violence during armed conflict include trauma, social stigma, cyclical poverty, health issues, and unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, the impacts of sexual violence during armed conflict last generations, disrupting societies and making peace elusive. Recognizing the scale of the problem, the United Nations Security Council in 2008 adopted Resolution 1820, which condemned sexual violence as a tool of war and offered specific actions to address the causes and consequences of wartime sexual violence. The implementation of Resolution 1820 has primarily focused on sexual violence committed by armed actors, but ten years of programming and research demonstrate clear connections between conflict and sexual violence that extend beyond wartime. Other forms of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, domestic sexual violence, and violence targeted at women in politics, are often exacerbated by armed conflict and increase insecurity. This report defines this violence as conflict-associated sexual violence. Conflict-associated sexual violence contributes to the normalization of violence, undermines social cohesion, and worsens structural inequalities. The harmful impacts of conflict-associated sexual violence threaten the security of women, communities, and states, and disrupt peace processes. The United Nations and its member states, civil society organizations, media outlets, the private sector, and academia must recognize and address the detrimental impacts of conflict-associated sexual violence. The policy community must consider conflict-associated sexual violence as both a public health and a security concern” (Atuhaire et al 2018, 1).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Economies, Poverty, Domestic Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Peace Processes, Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1820, Violence

Year: 2018


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