Forced Migration

Women Forced to Flee: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons


Giles, Wenona. 2012. “Women Forced to Flee: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.” In Women and Wars, edited by Carol Cohn, 80-101. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Author: Wenona Giles

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Justice, Reparations

Year: 2012

How the Crisis is Altering Women’s Roles in Syria


Haddad, Zerene. 2014. “How the Crisis Is Altering Women’s Roles in Syria.” Forced Migration Review, no. 47: 46-7.

Author: Zerene Haddad

Keywords: protracted displacement, refugees, Syria crisis, IDPs, forced migration, women's roles, Syria, FMR

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gender Roles, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2014

Zimbabwe's 'Fast Track' Land Reform: What about Women?


Goebel, Allison. 2005. “Zimbabwe’s ‘Fast Track’ Land Reform: What about Women?” Gender, Place & Culture 12 (2): 145–72. doi: 10.1080/09663690500094799.

Author: Allison Goebel


The wave of occupations of commercial farms in Zimbabwe starting in the year 2000 captured worldwide attention. By the end of that year, the government of Zimbabwe initiated the ‘fast track’ land reform process meant to formalize the occupations, and encourage further land appropriation and redistribution. Where are women in this process? The Women and Land Lobby Group (WLLG) was formed in 1998 by Zimbabwean women activists committed to the land issue. Since 1998 they have lobbied government to include women’s interests in the design of land reform, and have made some inroads in improving women’s formal rights to land as stated in policy documents. However, the current ‘fast track’ practices continue to privilege men as primary recipients of resettlement land, and the emerging role of traditional authorities in the land reform process marginalizes women. Other legal provisions that may help women struggle for changes remain weak. The contradiction between customary law, practices and attitudes and modern individual rights represents a complex battleground for women and land in Southern Africa, and calls for new feminist conceptualizations of the state as a vehicle for gender justice.

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, International Organizations, Justice, Land Grabbing, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2005

Where Asylum-Seekers Wait: Feminist Counter-Topographies of Sites between States


Mountz, Alison. 2011. "Where Asylum-Seekers Wait: Feminist Counter-Topographies of Sites between States." Gender, Place and Culture 18 (3): 381-99.

Author: Alison Mountz


This article examines topographies and counter-topographies of power operating transnationally across a range of sites inhabited by asylum-seekers en route between nation-states. In locations such as tunnels, detention centers and islands, journeys across time and space are truncated in myriad ways. For asylum-seekers, temporality is often conceptualized as waiting, limbo or suspension. These temporal zones map onto corresponding spatial ambiguities theorized here as liminality, exception and threshold. A feminist counter-topography of sites along time–space trajectories between states addresses both the architecture of exclusionary enforcement practices that capture bodies, and the transgressive struggles to map, locate, counter and migrate through the time–space trajectories between states. In outlining such counter-topography, the analysis enters into conversation with transnational feminist scholarship on politics of location and differentiation in order to challenge the universal dimensions of Giorgio Agamben’s zones of exception that leave the un-differentiated body always paradoxically outside of juridical order.

Keywords: asylum, refugee, detention, transnational feminism, migration, nation-state

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps

Year: 2011

A Fractured Mosaic: Encounters with the Everyday amongst Refugee and Asylum Seeker Women


Conlon, Deirdre.  2011.  "A Fractured Mosaic: Encounters with the Everyday amongst Refugee and Asylum Seeker Women." Population, Space and Place 17: 714-26.

Author: Deirdre Conlon


In his critique of everyday life, Henri Lefebvre called for an understanding of the everyday as a complex, fragmentary and dynamic constellation. Apprehending everyday life in this way complements the calls – from scholars of migration geography in particular – to ground meta-narratives of globalisation and mobility within the physical locales, material objects and social and spatial practices where the daily lives of migrants actually unfold. This paper takes up these issues by drawing on qualitative interview research conducted over an 11-month period with asylum seeker and refugee women living in contemporary Irish society. Drawing on some of Lefebvre’s ideas the paper examines how the presence and absence of material objects and textures of the everyday train and emplace participants in local contexts while simultaneously linking them in concrete and abstract ways to global transnationality. In this process, the ‘fractured mosaic’ that marks migrants’ social, material and cultural everyday lives becomes crystal clear while illustrating the value of Lefebvre’s perspectives for apprehending the intricate sociality and materiality of transnational migration.

Keywords: asylum seeker, everyday life, materiality, Henri Lefebvre, transnational mobility

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Households Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2011

Effects in Post-Conflict West Africa of Teacher Training for Refugee Women


Shepler, Susan, and Sharyn Routh. 2012. “Effects in Post-Conflict West Africa of Teacher Training for Refugee Women.” Gender & Education 24 (4): 429–41. doi:10.1080/09540253.2012.674493.

Authors: Susan Shepler, Sharyn Routh


This article draws data from an innovative research project tracing former refugee teachers who received teacher training from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) over a 17-year-long education programme in refugee camps in Guinea (1991–2008). The research traced repatriated refugee teachers who had returned to their homes in Sierra Leone and Liberia in an effort to determine the effects of the training they received – particularly whether they were still working as teachers in their post-repatriation lives, or whether they had made use of their training in other ways. Although the research in question focused on all of the former IRC teachers who the research team could trace, the present paper is about the female teachers and their specific situations. Focusing on the women’s responses yields the gender-specific conclusions about structural barriers to institutional and societal changes in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Keywords: refugee, teacher, education, Africa, gender

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

Conflict and Development: Challenges in Responding to Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Timor-Leste


Wayte, Kayli, Anthony B. Zwi, Suzanne Belton, Joao Martins, Nelson Martins, Anna Whelan, and Paul M. Kelly. 2008. “Conflict and Development: Challenges in Responding to Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Timor-Leste.” Reproductive Health Matters 16 (31): 83-92.

Authors: Kayli Wayte, Anthony B. Zwi, Suzanne Belton, Joao Martins, Nelson Martins, Anna Whelan, Paul M. Kelly


In April and May 2006, internal conflict in Timor-Leste led to the displacement of approximately 150,000 people, around 15% of the population. The violence was most intense in Dili, the capital, where many residents were displaced into camps in the city or to the districts. Research utilising in-depth qualitative interviews, service statistics and document review was conducted from September 2006 to February 2007 to assess the health sector's response to reproductive health needs during the crisis. The study revealed an emphasis on antenatal care and a maternity waiting camp for pregnant women, but the relative neglect of other areas of reproductive health. There remains a need for improved coordination, increased dialogue and advocacy around sensitive reproductive health issues as well as greater participation of the health sector in response to gender-based violence. Strengthening neglected areas and including all components of sexual and reproductive health in coordination structures will provide a stronger foundation through which to respond to any future crises in Timor-Leste.

Keywords: conflict and crisis settings, forced migration, reproductive health, maternity waiting camp, East Timor

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2008

Talking About Feminism in Africa


Salo, Elaine, and Amina Mama. 2001. "Talking About Feminism in Africa."  Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 16 (50): 58-63.

Authors: Elaine Salo, Amina Mama


Elaine Salo speaks to Professor Amina Mama, one of Africa's leading contemporary feminist activist scholars whose critical contribution to African feminism is drawn from her work across the academic-activist divide.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Globalization, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Economies, Political Participation Regions: Africa

Year: 2001

Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm


Lemaitre, Julieta, and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik. 2014. “Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm.” Feminist Legal Studies 22 (3): 243-61.

Authors: Julieta Lemaitre, Kristin Bergtora Sandvik


The growing literature on gender in armed conflict and the debates over post-conflict reparations for women, focus on the prevalence and harms of sexual violence. While this focus has recently been critiqued, there are few articulations of other types of gendered injuries. This article decentres the emphasis on sexual violence by examining the intersection between forced displacement and political insecurity. Based on extensive field research in Colombia, and using as an example a case study of an internally displaced women’s grassroots organization in Cartagena, Colombia, this article examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm. It reflects on the concrete circumstances of insecurity, on the relevance of traditional gender roles in the constitution of insecurity, and on the challenges for court-ordered remedies. This widening of the scope of attention also invites complex reflection on the possibility of transformative reparations in post-conflict situations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Security, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

The perils of being a borderland people: on the Lhotshampas of Bhutan


Evans, Rosalind. 2010. "The perils of being a borderland people: on the Lhotshampas of Bhutan." Contemporary South Asia 18 (1): 25-42.

Author: Rosalind Evans


This article responds to Baud and van Schendel’s call for research into the history of borderland people in order to redress ‘the imbalance of ‘‘state-centred’’studies’. It does so by providing a study of borderlands from the periphery, analysing the experiences of the Lhotshampas – a borderland people of Bhutan – who migrated there from Nepal and India a few generations ago. In response to the Bhutanese Government’s efforts to promote a homogeneous national identity during the 1980s, Lhotshampa political leaders campaigned for increased political and cultural rights. The suppression of their early protests by the Bhutanese authorities ushered in a period of instability and conflict in the south, eventually resulting in the exodus of tens of thousands of refugees who have been living in camps in Nepal since the early 1990s. Through the use of secondary literature and refugees’ memories, the article investigates the perspectives of ordinary villagers caught between the Bhutanese state and local elite political activists. It highlights the important role that oral histories can play in furthering our understanding of social and political dynamics in borderland areas.

Keywords: Bhutan, Nepal, refugees, borderlands, borders

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bhutan, Nepal

Year: 2010


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