Gender Analysis

Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones


Giles, Wenona M., and Jennifer Hyndman, eds. 2004. Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Authors: Wenona M. Giles, Jennifer Hyndman


In conflict zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to Guatemala and Somalia, the rules of war are changing dramatically. Distinctions between battlefield and home, soldier and civilian, state security and domestic security are breaking down. In this especially timely book, a powerful group of international authors doing feminist research brings the highly gendered and racialized dimensions of these changes into sharp relief. In essays on nationalism, the political economy of conflict, and the politics of asylum, they investigate what happens when the body, household, nation, state, and economy become sites at which violence is invoked against people. In particular, these hard-hitting essays move us forward in our understanding of violence against women--how it is perpetrated, survived, and resisted. They explore the gendered politics of ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka, the post-Yugoslav states, and Israel and Palestine. They consider "honor killings" in Iraqi Kurdistan, armed conflict in the Sudan, and geographies of violence in Ghana. This volume augments feminist analysis on conflict zones and contributes to transnational coalition-building and feminist organizing. (

Keywords: conflict zones, gendered politics, honour-killings, refugee, violence, gender


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Gender and Conflict in a Global Context / Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman --

2. The Continuum of Violence: A Gender Perspective on War and Peace / Cynthia Cockburn --

3. The Sounds of Silence: Feminist Research Across Time in Guatemala / Cathy Blacklock and Alison Crosby --

4. Like Oil and Water, With a Match: Militarized Commerce, Armed Conflict, and Human Security in Sudan / Audrey Macklin --

5. No "Safe Haven": Violence Against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan / Shahrzad Mojab --

6. From Pillars of Yugoslavism to Targets of Violence: Interethnic Marriages in the Former Yugoslavia and Thereafter / Mirjana Morokvasic-Müller --

7. Geographies of Violence: Women and Conflict in Ghana / Valerie Pretson and Madeleine Wong --

8. Gender, the Nationalist Imagination, War, and Peace / Nira Yuval-Davis --

9. Refugee Camps as Conflict Zones: The Politics of Gender / Jennifer Hyndman --

10. The "Purity" of Displacement and the Reterritorialization of Longing: Muslim IDPs in the Northwestern Sri Lanka / Malathi de Alvis --

11. Escaping Conflict: Afghan Women in Transit / Asha Hans --

12. War, Flight, and Exile: Gendered Violence among Refugee Women from Post-Yugoslav States / Maja Korac --

13. The Gendered Impact of Multilateralism in the Post-Yugoslav States: Intervention, Reconstruction, and Globalization / Edith Klein --

14. New Directions for Feminist Research and Politics / Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman --

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Households, Nationalism, Political Economies, Race, Security, Violence

Year: 2004

From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis


Cockburn, Cynthia. 2007. From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis. New York: Zed Books.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn


The product of 80,000 miles of travel by the author over a two-year period, this original study examines women's activism against wars as far apart as Sierra Leone, Colombia and India. It shows women on different sides of conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Israel refusing enmity and co-operating for peace. It describes international networks of women opposing US and Western European militarism and the so-called 'war on terror'. Women are often motivated by adverse experiences in male-led anti-war movements, preferring to choose different methods of protest and remain in control of their own actions. But like the mainstream movements, women's groups differ - some are pacifist while others put justice before non-violence; some condemn nationalism as a cause of war while others see it as a legitimate source of identity. The very existence of feminist antimilitarism proposes a radical shift in our understanding of war, linking the violence of patriarchal power to that of class oppression and ethnic 'othering'.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Class, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Race, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Colombia, India, Sierra Leone, United States of America

Year: 2007

Global South to the Rescue: Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries


Amar, Paul. 2012. "Global South to the Rescue: Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries." Globalizations 9 (1): 1-13.

Author: Paul Amar


The introductory essay offers a brief overview of current trends in critical globalization studies and international relations scholarship that shed light on three intersections: between imperialism and humanitarianism, between neoliberal globalization and "rescue industry", transnationalism, and between patterns of geopolitical hegemony and trajectories of peacekeeping internationalism. These research agendas have been generative and politically useful, but have tended to neglect the forms of humanitarian and peacekeeping agency emanating from the global south. In order to address this gap, this introduction lays out a new research agenda that combines interdisciplinary methods from global studies, gender and race studies, critical security studies, police and military sociology, Third World diplomatic history, and international relations. This introduction also theoretically situates the other contributions and case studies gathered here, providing a framework of analysis that groups them into three clusters: (I) Globalizing Peacekeeper Identities, (II) Assertive "Regional Internationalisms", and (III) Emergent Alternative Paradigms.

Keywords: globalization, humanitarianism, global south, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, transnationalism, security

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacekeeping, Security

Year: 2012

Gender, Property Rights, and Natural Resources


Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Lynn Brown, Hilary Sims Feldstein, and Agnes Quisumbing. 1997. “Gender, Property Rights and Natural Resources.” World Development 25 (8): 1303–15.

Authors: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Lynn R. Brown, Hilary Sims Feldstein, Agnes R. Quisumbing

Keywords: natural resources, intrahousehold, land tenure, water resources, trees



Attention to gender differences in property rights can improve the outcomes of natural resource management policies and projects in terms of efficiency, environmental sustainability, equity, and empowerment of resource users. Although it is impossible to generalize across cultures and resources, it is important to identify the nature of rights to land, trees and water held by women and men, and how they are acquired and transmitted from one user to another. The paper particularly examines how the shift from customary tenure systems to private property - in land, trees and water - has affected women, the effect of gender differences in property on collective action, and the implications for project design.


“The maximization of one output from a resource, for example fruits, may be in conflict with the maximization of another, for example logs, and thus hard choices may have to be made... there may be gender differentials if, for example, logs are marketed by men and fruits are gathered by women and provide a source of income and/or food” (p. 1305).

“Lastarria-Cornhiel’s paper in this issue points out how the spread of Islam and colonialism have eroded traditions of female inheritance in parts of Africa. But looking narrowly at inheritance patterns for one resource may be misleading. For example, in rural areas of the Philippines, transmission of land to men through inheritance is balanced by favoring the education of girls (Wuisumbing, 1997)” (p. 1308).
“The policy implication is that privatization programs need to be designed so that women can obtain title, but this may not be sufficient to allow women to intensify production. That requires access to credit and other inputs in support of resource utilization. Limited access to markets, credit, and inputs may be because they are not there at all; or skewed because of normative or legal gender bias restricting women’s access. This implies a need for complementary programs to provide credit and legal assistance along with appropriately designed rules” (p. 1309).
“A related question is whether women are better off by integrating into existing male-dominated groups or in setting up their own groups for resource management (e.g. nurseries, social forestry action, etc.)? Examples from other arenas tend to indicate that the different roles and responsibilities of women can prejudice their ability to integrate successfully in mixed groups” (p. 1311).
“Legal systems need to be developed and adapted to assist women in obtaining or protecting their rights. In many cases this requires moving beyond simple ownership, to a recognition of flexible, multiuser tenure arrangement” (p. 1312).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1997

Mind the Gap: Where Feminist Theory Failed to Meet Development Practice - A Missed Opportunity in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Walsh, Martha. 1998. "Mind the Gap: Where Feminist Theory Failed to Meet Development Practice - A Missed Opportunity in Bosnia and Herzegovina." European Journal of Women's Studies 5 (3): 329-43.

Author: Martha Walsh

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 1998

Women and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Issues and Sources


Sørensen, Birgitte R. 1998. Women and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Issues and Sources. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

Author: Birgitte R. Sørensen


This paper reviews the literature dealing with political, economic and social reconstruction from a gender perspective. The author tries to go beyond conventional images of women as victims of war, and to document the many different ways in which women make a contribution to the rebuilding of countries emerging from armed conflicts. The second part of the paper sheds light on how post-war reconstruction processes influence the reconfiguration of gender roles and positions in the wake of war, and how women’s actions shape the construction of post-war social structures.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 1998

The Women and War Reader


Lorentzen, Lois Ann, and Jennifer E. Turpin. 1998. The Women and War Reader. New York: New York University Press.

Authors: Lois Ann Lorentzen, Jennifer E. Turpin


War affects women in profoundly different ways than men. Women play many roles during wartime: they are "gendered" as mothers, as soldiers, as munitions makers, as caretakers, as sex workers. How is it that womanhood in the context of war may mean, for one woman, tearfully sending her son off to war, and for another, engaging in civil disobedience against the state? Why do we think of war as "men's business" when women are more likely to be killed in war and to become war refugees than men?

The Women and War Reader brings together the work of the foremost scholars on women and war to address questions of ethnicity, citizenship, women's agency, policy making, women and the war complex, peacemaking, and aspects of motherhood. Moving beyond simplistic gender dichotomies, the volume leaves behind outdated arguments about militarist men and pacifist women while still recognizing that there are patterns of difference in men's and women's relationships to war.

The Women and War Reader challenges essentialist, class-based, and ethnocentric analysis. A comprehensive volume covering such regions as the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, Iran, Nicaragua, Chiapas, South Africa, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and India, it will provide a much-needed resource. The volume includes the work of over 35 contributors, including Cynthia Enloe, Sara Ruddick, V. Spike Peterson, Betty Reardon, April Carter, Leila J. Rupp, Harriet Hyman Alonso, Francine D'Amico, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, and Carolyn Nordstrom. (Amazon)


Table of Contents:

Many faces : women confronting war / Jennifer Turpin --
The truth about women and peace / Jodi York --
After feminist analyses of Bosnian violence / Darius M. Rejali --
Should women be soldiers or pacifists? / April Carter --
Gendered nationalism : reproducing "us" versus "them" / V. Spike Peterson --
All the men are in the militias, all the women are victims : the politics of masculinity and femininity in nationalist wars / Cynthia Enloe --
Surfacing gender : reconceptualizing crimes against women in time of war / Rhonda Copelon --
Girls behind the (front) lines / Carolyn Nordstrom --
Gender, militarization and universal male conscription in South Korea / Seungsook Moon --
Militarization, conflict and women in South Asia / Anuradha M. Chenoy --
Militarism and Cypriot women / Ninetta Pourou-Kazantzis --
Feminist perspectives on women warriors / Francine D'Amico --
Women munitions makers, war and citizenship / Angela Woolacott --
Women warriors/women peacemakers : will the real feminists please stand up! / Ilene Rose Feinman --
The expanding role of women in United Nations peacekeeping / Janet Beilstein --
War and gender : what do we learn from Israel? / Uta Klein --
Broken dreams in Nicaragua / Diana Mulinari --
Zapatismo : gender, power and social transfromation / Mariana Mora --
Domestic activism and nationalist struggle / Monica E. Neugebauer --
Torture as text / Irene Matthews --
Women's prison resistance : Testimonios from El Salvador / Lois Ann Lorentzen --
Imagining peace / Elaine R. Pgnibene --
"Women of peace" : a feminist construction / Sara Ruddick --
Maternal thinking and the politics of war / Nancy Scheper-Hughes --
War, nationalism and mothers in the former Yugoslavia / Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović --
Drafting motherhood : maternal imagery and organizations in the United States and Nicaragua / Lorraine Bayard de Volo --
Moral mothers and stalwart sons : reading binaries in a time of war / Malathi de Alwis --
Parenting troops : the summons to acquiescence / Rela Mazali --
Women or weapons? / Betty A. Reardon --
Dissension in the ranks : the New York branch of WILPF vs. the National Board, 1914-1955 / Harriet Hyman Alonso --
Solidarity and wartime violence against women / Leila J. Rupp --
Making connections : building an East Asia-U.S. women's network against U.S. militarism / Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey --
Afghan women in the peace process / Pamela Collett --
The impact of women in black in Israel / Gila Svirsky --
Israeli and Palestinian women working for peace / Ronit Lentin --
Silent or silenced? / Lynne M. Woerhle --
The psychology of societal reconstruction and peace : a gendered perspective / Susan R. McKay --

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Combatants, Female Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacebuilding, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Violence

Year: 1998


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