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Ethnic/Communal Wars

Kurdish Women as Political Agents: Kurdish Political Movement, Gender Equality, and Women’s Freedom

Citation:

Çağlayan Handan. 2020. "Kurdish Women as Political Agents: Kurdish Political Movement, Gender Equality, and Women’s Freedom." In Women in the Kurdish Movement: Mothers, Comrades, Goddesses. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Handan Çağlayan

Annotation:

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkarên Kurdistan, PKK) was founded in 1978 with the goal to establish an independent socialist Kurdistan state. The party has since changed radically ideologically, politically, programmatically, and organizationally. In this process, one of the most significant axes of continuity during the PKK’s history is the principle of gender equality. The PKK’s approach to this offered opportunity spaces for women’s political participation while being simultaneously transformed through their participation. It had already included women members before becoming a political party, similar to the socialist youth organizations of the 1970s. Women, although in small numbers, participated in the PKK’s founding congress in 1978 and remained involved in its subsequent activities.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Secessionist Wars, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2020

The Challenges of Gendering Genocide: Reflections on a Feminist Politics of Complexity

Citation:

Helms, Elissa. “The Challenges of Gendering Genocide: Reflections on a Feminist Politics of Complexity.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 463–69.

Author: Elissa Helms

Keywords: genocide, Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia

Annotation:

"When feminists and activists tackle the gendered dynamics of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and contemporary armed conflict, it seems safe to assume that their analyses and interventions are rooted in solidarity with the victims and survivors, in a desire to understand in order to contribute to the eradication of such violence and suffering. Yet some feminist or women-centered positions have sparked serious anxiety and anger among women war survivors and their advocates, rifts in feminist alliances, as well as disturbing political and material consequences for survivors and for the wider societies in which they live. The very collective nature of genocide and ethnicized violence makes them resistant to feminist critique – to scrutiny of the ways in which (ethno-) national collectivities create, and mask, power hierarchies within purported unity (McClintock, 1993) (...) This essay is a reflection on some of the issues and challenges for feminist scholarship and activism that emerge out of critical study of gendered war violence and the politics of collective ethnic and gender victimhood in a postwar setting" (Helms 2015, 463).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2015

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

Women-to-Women Diplomacy in Georgia: A Peacebuilding Strategy in Frozen Conflict

Citation:

Cárdenas, Magda Lorena. 2019. “Women-to-Women Diplomacy in Georgia: A Peacebuilding Strategy in Frozen Conflict.” Civil Wars 21 (3): 385–409.

Author: Magda Lorena Cárdenas

Abstract:

This research explores strategies led by women's grassroots organisations and discusses how they can offer opportunities for peacebuilding in frozen conflict settings such as Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These conflicts are related to separatist aspirations which are based, on the surface, on ethnic differences. However, the precedent of inter-ethnic dialogue shows that there is not an inherent ‘us-against-them’ narrative separating Georgia from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Therefore, it is possible to create alternative arenas for dialogue and mutual understanding among the parties. To this end, this study adopts a broad approach to peacebuilding as a process of social transformation of hostile attitudes and exclusive narratives. I argue that women-to-women diplomacy is a peacebuilding strategy with the potential to address the roots of polarisation by humanising the other and identifying common ground for cooperation and inter- ethnic dialogue. The empirical research based on the experiences of women’s organisations in Georgia illustrates the contribution of women-to-women diplomacy to peacebuilding as an alternative platform for coalition building based on the common goal of achieving equal rights.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, Central Asia, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Georgia

Year: 2019

Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict

Citation:

McGadney-Douglass, Brenda Faye, and William K. Ahadzie. 2008. “Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict.” Affilia 23 (4): 324–37.

Authors: Brenda Faye McGadney-Douglass, William K. Ahadzie

Abstract:

This article presents the findings of field research in Ghana in 2002 about internal displacement stemming from multiethnic violence in northern Ghana in 1994, known as the “Guinea Fowl War.” Indigenous, gender-specific knowledge from displaced Ghanaian women is presented in the context of feminist perspectives on the consequences of regional wars on noncombatants. The research generated indigenous material for social work education about interethnic peace building and conflict resolution. The discussion includes first-person responses about warning signs, origins of conflict, immediate and long-term responses, social consequences, and an integration of findings with feminist perspectives on conflict resolution and policies that are designed to aid internally displaced women.

Keywords: Africa, ethnic conflict, feminist social work, internally displaced women, social work education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2008

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

Gender-Based Vulnerability: Combining Pareto Ranking and Spatial Statistics to Model Gender-Based Vulnerability in Rohingya Refugee Settlements in Bangladesh

Citation:

Nelson, Erica L., Daniela Reyes Saade, and P. Gregg Greenough. 2020. “Gender-Based Vulnerability: Combining Pareto Ranking and Spatial Statistics to Model Gender-Based Vulnerability in Rohingya Refugee Settlements in Bangladesh.” International Journal of Health Geographics 19 (1): 1–14.

Authors: Erica L. Nelson, Daniela Reyes Saade, P. Gregg Greenough

Abstract:

Background: The Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh continues to outstrip humanitarian resources and undermine the health and security of over 900,000 people. Spatial, sector-specific information is required to better understand the needs of vulnerable populations, such as women and girls, and to target interventions with improved efficiency and effectiveness. This study aimed to create a gender-based vulnerability index and explore the geospatial and thematic variations in gender-based vulnerability of Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh by utilizing preexisting, open source data.

Methods: Data sources included remotely-sensed REACH data on humanitarian infrastructure, United Nations Population Fund resource availability data, and the Needs and Population Monitoring Survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration in October 2017. Data gaps were addressed through probabilistic interpolation. A vulnerability index was designed through a process of literature review, variable selection and thematic grouping, normalization, and scorecard creation, and Pareto ranking was employed to rank sites based on vulnerability scoring. Spatial autocorrelation of vulnerability was analyzed with the Global and Anselin Local Moran’s I applied to both combined vulnerability index rank and disaggregated thematic ranking.

Results: Of the settlements, 24.1% were ranked as ‘most vulnerable,’ with 30 highly vulnerable clusters identified predominantly in the northwest region of metropolitan Cox’s Bazar. Five settlements in Dhokkin, Somitapara, and Pahartoli were categorized as less vulnerable outliers amongst highly vulnerable neighboring sites. Security- and health-related variables appear to be the most significant drivers of gender-specific vulnerability in Cox’s Bazar. Clusters of low security and education vulnerability measures are shown near Kutupalong.

Conclusion: The humanitarian sector produces tremendous amounts of data that can be analyzed with spatial statistics to improve research targeting and programmatic intervention. The critical utilization of these data and the validation of vulnerability indexes are required to improve the international response to the global refugee crisis. This study presents a novel methodology that can be utilized to not only spatially characterize gender-based vulnerability in refugee populations, but can also be calibrated to identify and serve other vulnerable populations during crises.

Keywords: Rohingya, refugees, gender, open-source data, vulnerability index, spatial analysis, GIS, Pareto ranking, spatial autocorrelation

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Myanmar

Year: 2020

The Gender Dimensions of Violence and Conflict: The Case of Inter-Ethnic Land Conflict in Mt. Elgon, Kenya

Citation:

Kimkung, Pamela and Cristina Espinosa. 2012. "The Gender Dimensions of Violence and Conflict: The Case of Inter-Ethnic Land Conflict in Mt. Elgon, Kenya." International Journal of Development and Conflict 2 (3): 1-16.

Authors: Pamela Kimkung, Cristina Espinosa

Abstract:

The violence displayed during the inter-ethnic land conflicts in Mount Elgon–which started in 2005 and escalated in the midst of the nation-wide 2007 Post Election Violence–reveals not only the limits of post-colonial states to reverse the colonial expropriation of land that destroyed indigenous land tenure systems and accentuated inter-ethnic conflicts; it reveals the gender dimensions of the conflict, where men and women were differently affected before, during, and after the conflict. While gender and sexual based violence (GSBV) was not restricted to women there were important differences that confirms the subordinated status of women and the heavier cost they had to pay. While men were also subjected to GSBV in the form of torture and/or castration it was mostly some young men who were targeted for this abuse. By contrast, women raped and sexually abused ranged from little girls to old women, since women of all age were targeted for GSBV; while men experienced GSBV only during the conflict as inflicted either by enemies or the army, women experienced GSBV before, during, and after the conflict. Not only did they experience it from the militia, the army or the camp's guards but also from their own husbands in the form of domestic sexual violence; women also carried the stigma of rape and abuse forever after the episodes. While SGBV seriously challenged the masculinity of those individual men affected, it did not challenged the patriarchal hierarchies that keep women and girls subordinated, unable to find a nurturing environment to heal their wounds after the conflict. On the contrary, after the GSBV and abuse, women faced stigma and isolation and severe health issues in a context of social disruption of family, kin, and clan structures. The different ways men and women were affected by the conflict has severe implications for the post-conflict interventions which being gender-blind, have not been gender neutral, reinforcing female subordination and trauma among the survivors of the conflict. Some reflections on how to make post-conflict interventions more gender-sensitive are also presented.

Keywords: gender and sexual based violence, gender and post-conflict interventions, inter-ethnic land conflict and gender

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Torture Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2012

Reasoned Choice or Performative Care? Women’s Transformative Peacebuilding Identities in Manipur, India

Citation:

Riddle, Karie Cross. 2019. “Reasoned Choice or Performative Care? Women’s Transformative Peacebuilding Identities in Manipur, India.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 20 (1): 54–68.

Author: Karie Cross Riddle

Keywords: care ethics, gender, identity, India, agency, performativity

Annotation:

Summary:
Countering the inevitability of communal violence, Amartya Sen defines identities as the product of individual, reasoned choice. Although he acknowledges that such choices are constrained, I argue that Sen’s position overlooks (1) the relational character of identities which reflect caring responsibility rather than autonomous choice, and (2) the power structures that constrain agents’ choices. Using original ethnographic research conducted with women’s peacebuilding groups in India in 2014 and 2015, I develop a theory of identity as performative and grounded in care. Theorizing first from women’s peacebuilding practices and then adding insights from Sara Ruddick’s care ethics and Judith Butler’s theory of performativity, I demonstrate how relationships and structures circumscribe women’s choices, leading them to transform their relational identities rather than choose them after a process of reasoning. Women peacebuilders take up socially-ascribed responsibility for others, building peace relationally as mothers and conflict-affected widows. Post-structural feminism helps us to guard against essentializing these women’s experiences as natural, instead seeing their work as deeply constrained by gender norms even as their peace work transforms those norms. My understanding of identity as relational and performative thus illuminates new sources for and new constraints upon agency.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Economies, Care Economies, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

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