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Ethnic/Communal Wars

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).

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, Post-Conflict, Rights, Indigenous 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

Gender, Land Rights and Fragility in Northern Uganda: the Case of Amuru District

Citation:

Apecu, Laloyo Stella. 2018. "Gender, Land Rights and Fragility in Northern Uganda: the Case of Amuru District." Globe: A Journal of Language, Culture and Communication 6: 184-95.

Author: Laloyo Stella Apecu

Abstract:

Armed conflicts globally create social and economic shifts that affect women’s and men’s claims to land. Jacobs (2012) explains that land is crucial to the livelihoods and security of many rural women. Asiimwe (2001) and Tripp (1997) note that land rights in most parts of Africa are passed on from the male lineage and women who have lost their lineage ties through widowhood, divorce, not having sons, and separation become vulnerable and may be excluded. . This paper discusses struggles over access, control and ownership rights in relation to land among women and men in Amuru district Uganda. This article is a result of a qualitative study that conducted 10 focus group discussions with 40 women and 40 women in Pabbo, Amuru and Lamogi sub counties of Amuru Sub County and 4 focus group discussions with Area Land Committee members in the above sub counties. My findings indicate that ethnic based land tensions fostered insecurity and instability in the Amuru as people could not walk around freely, access their gardens, were displaced and this in turn affected their ability to make a living through accessing the land. I also found that many women had relational access to land through their marriage and relationship with male kin and this seemed to give them fragile land rights. Men on the other hand had firm control over land and made final decisions relating to sales and land use. 

Keywords: gender, land rights, livelihoods, fragility, Uganda

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2018

Gender Dimensions of (Non)Violence in Communal Conflict: The Case of Jos, Nigeria

Citation:

Krause, Jana. 2019. "Gender Dimensions of (Non)Violence in Communal Conflict: The Case of Jos, Nigeria." Comparative Political Studies: 1-34.

Author: Jana Krause

Abstract:

Peacebuilding is more likely to succeed in countries with higher levels of gender equality, but few studies have examined the link between subnational gender relations and local peace and, more generally, peacebuilding after communal conflict. This article addresses this gap. I examine gender relations and (non)violence in ethno-religious conflict in the city of Jos in central Nigeria. Jos and its rural surroundings have repeatedly suffered communal clashes that have killed thousands, sometimes within only days. Drawing on qualitative data collected during fieldwork, I analyze the gender dimensions of violence, nonviolence, and postviolence prevention. I argue that civilian agency is gendered. Gender relations and distinct notions of masculinity can facilitate or constrain people’s mobilization for fighting. Hence, a nuanced understanding of the gender dimensions of (non)violence has important implications for conflict prevention and local peacebuilding.

Keywords: communal violence, gender relations, nonviolence, peacebuilding, masculinities

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Religion, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

NGOs and Post-Conflict Recovery: The Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency, Bougainville

Citation:

Hakena, Helen, Peter Ninnes, and Bert Jenkins, eds. 2006. NGOs and Post-Conflict Recovery: The Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, Bougainville. Canberra: ANU E Press and Asia Pacific Press.

Authors: Helen Hakena, Bert A. Jenkins, Peter Ninnes

Annotation:

Summary:
When government services have broken down or when international nongovernment organisations are uninterested or unable to help, grassroots non-government organisations provide important humanitarian, educational and advocacy services. Yet, too often the story of the crucial role played by these organisations in conflict and post-conflict recovery goes unheard. The Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency provides many salutary lessons for grassroots non-government organisations undertaking peacemaking and peace-building work. In the thirteen years of its existence, it has contributed humanitarian assistance, provided education programs on peace, gender issues and community development, and has become a powerful advocate for women's and children's rights at all levels of society. Its work has been recognised through the award of a United Nations' Millennium Peace Price in 2000 and a Pacific Peace Prize in 2004. This book makes a unique contribution to understanding the role of nongovernment organisations in promoting peace and development and gender issues in the South West Pacific. (Summary from ANU Press)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Secessionist Wars, Development, Gender, Women, Conflict, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 2006

Gendering Ethnic Conflicts: Minority Women in Divided Societies – the Case of Muslim Women in India

Citation:

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet. “Gendering Ethnic Conflicts: Minority Women in Divided Societies – the Case of Muslim Women in India.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 40, no. 12 (September 26, 2017): 2115–34.

Author: Ayelet Harel-Shalev

Abstract:

This article explores the practical and theoretical significance and long-term consequences of the failure to incorporate women’s interests in post-conflict negotiations by examining the case of Muslim women in India. Analyses of deeply divided societies must recognize that political competition and political violence do not affect all citizens equally. Also, the “larger picture” depicted by inter-community conflicts should not overshadow the effects of intra-community conflicts, which are no less important. Evident within each community conflict are the winners and the losers of the political accommodation process, in which the marginalized and weaker sections of each “side” of the conflict may be the real “losers”. Gendered analysis of ethnic conflicts and ethnic conflict resolution demands a reorientation of the concepts of conflict and security – Whose conflict is being solved and who is being secured? (Abstract from original)

Keywords: Gendering conflict analysis; women; Muslim Women; India; family law; conflict resolution; minority rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2017

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner

Abstract:

In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

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