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Gender-Based Violence

Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition


Serrano-Amaya, José Fernando. 2018. Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: José Fernando Serrano-Amaya


This book argues that homophobia plays a fundamental role in disputes for hegemony between antagonists during political transitions. Examining countries not often connected in the same research—Colombia and South Africa—the book asserts that homophobia, as a form of gender and sexual violence, contributes to the transformation of gender and sexual orders required by warfare and deployed by armed groups. Anti-homosexual violence also reinforces the creation of consensus around these projects of change. The book considers the perspective of individuals and their organizations, for whom such hatreds are part of the embodied experience of violence caused by protracted conflicts and social inequalities. Resistance to that violence are reason to mobilize and become political actors. This book contributes to the increasing interest in South-South comparative analyses and the need of theory building based on case-study analyses, offering systematic research useful for grass root organizations, practitioners, and policy makers. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillian)

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction

2. Sex, Violence and Politics: The Research Problem

3. Armed Conflict and Sexual Para-politics in Colombia

4. Homophobia in Apartheid and Post-apartheid South Africa

5. The Chiaroscuro of Sexual Politics

6. Telling Truths About Violence

7. Gender and Sexual Orders Making the New Society

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Colombia, South Africa

Year: 2018

Colombian People's Willingness to Forgive Offenses against Women Perpetrated during the Armed Conflict


Pineda-Marín, Claudia, María Teresa Muñoz-Sastre, Diana Gutiérrez Villamarín, Carolina Espitia M., and Etienne Mullet. 2019. "Colombian People's Willingness to Forgive Offenses against Women Perpetrated during the Armed Conflict." Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología 51 (3): 226-35.

Authors: Claudia Pineda-Marín, María Teresa Munoz Sastre, Diana Gutiérrez Villamarín, Carolina Espitia M, Etienne Mullet


We examined the Colombian people’s positions on forgiving perpetrators of offenses against women during the armed conflict, and the relationship between willingness to forgive and attitudes towards the peace process. The majority of participants (61%) were quite unwilling to forgive. Among participants who were not completely hostile, three positions were found. For 18%, forgiving mainly depended on the type of crime, for 8%, it depended on the subsequent apologetic behaviour, and for 8%, forgiving was unconditional. Participants who did not reject the possibility of forgiveness expressed significantly more positive views regarding the current peace process than participants who expressed rejection.
Este estudio examinó la disposición a perdonar de personas comunes colombianas frente a los crímenes en contra de las mujeres, durante el contexto del conflicto armado colombiano. También estudió las relaciones entre la disposición a perdonar y las actitudes frente al proceso de paz. Se observó que la mayoría de los participantes (61%) tienen muy baja disposición a perdonar. Entre los participantes que no fueron completamente hostiles, se observaron tres posiciones: un 18% estaba dispuesto a perdonar en función del tipo de crimen, para el 8% su disposición a perdonar dependía de la conducta de disculpas por parte del ofensor, y para el 8% el perdón fue incondicional. Los participantes que no rechazaban la posibilidad de perdonar, expresaron de manera significativa perspectivas más positivas frente al actual proceso de paz que los aquellos quienes expresaron rechazo.

Keywords: Colombia, armed conflict, FARC, Violence against women, forgiveness, Conflicto Armado, perdón, violencia contra las mujeres

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peace Processes Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South


Samuel, Kumudini, Claire Slatter, and Vagisha Gunasekara, eds. 2019. The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South. Zed Books.

Authors: Kumudini Samuel, Claire Slatter, Vagisha Gunasekara


The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women shows how political, economic, social and ideological processes intersect to shape conflict related gender-based violence against women. Through feminist interrogations of the politics of economies, struggles for political power and the gender order, this collection reveals how sexual orders and regimes are linked to spaces of production. Crucially it argues that these spaces are themselves firmly anchored in overlapping patriarchies which are sustained and reproduced during and after war through violence that is physical as well as structural.
Through an analysis of legal regimes and structures of social arrangements, this book frames militarization as a political economic dynamic, developing a radical critique of liberal peace building and peace making that does not challenge patriarchy, or modes of production and accumulation. 
This book brings together the work of a group of feminists from the global South. The authors are diverse in their backgrounds, experience, and academic and disciplinary orientations. They work in different political, economic, social and cultural contexts and some have approached writing about the political economies of violence against women in their own countries as much (or more) from lived experience and experiential insights as from formal or scholarly research, which we consider entirely valid and in keeping with feminist epistemology. (Summary from DAWN)
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Framing a South Feminist Analysis of War, Conflict and Violence against Women: The Value of a Political Economy Lens by Kumudini Samuel and Vagisha Gunasekara
The Construction of the ‘Responsible Woman’: Structural Violence in Sri Lanka’s Post-war Development Strategy by Vagisha Gunasekara and Vijay K. Nagaraj
Ending Violence against Women in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands Region: The Role of the State, Local Civil Society and Extractive Industries by Elizabeth
Box 6.1 Lessons from the Bougainville Experience by Michelle Kopi
Rural Women in Colombia: From Victims to Actors by Cecilia López Montaño and MaríA-Claudia Holstine
Contesting Territoriality: Patriarchy, Accumulation and Dispossession. “Entrenched Peripherality”: Women, Political Economy and the Myth of Peacebuilding in North East India by Roshmi Goswami
Re-Imagining Subversion: Agency and Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda by Yaliwe Clarke and Constance O’Brien
The Prism of Marginalisation: Political Economy of Violence against Women in Sudan and South Sudan by Fahima Hashim

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Economies, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2019

A Feminist Perspective and the Challenge of Post Conflict Development in Africa


Omotosho, Mashood, and Mariam Adebola Ogunleye. 2018. "A Feminist Perspective and the Challenge of Post Conflict Development in Africa." International Journal for Empirical Education and Research. doi:10.35935/edr/22.3619.

Author: Mashood Omotosho


In the last two decades, Africa has witnessed series of wars and ethno-religious conflicts with devastating impact on women. Various atrocities against women have been recorded during these conflicts and these developments have created a dangerous dimension against non-combatant women in the continent. In an attempt to resolve the conflict and armed conflict on women in the areas of sexual and gender-based violence, series of peace missions and peace building mechanism were put in place. Despite the various peace negotiations, evidence has shown that women are largely absent from formal peace negotiations and their voices are not heard both at local and continental levels especially within the modern-day challenges and post conflict development. In fact, the transformation agenda of post-conflict peace negotiations routinely failed to consider the gendered causes and consequences of armed conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. It is against this backdrop that this paper attempts to reassess the ambivalent role of women in conflict management in Africa. More importantly, the paper argues that there is need to increase women’s participation in peace talks, planning of demilitarisation, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and determining governance and security structures, especially in conflict prone areas. Ultimately, the paper seeks to also identify challenges hindering the role and the participation of women in post conflict development in Africa.

Keywords: feminist, post conflict, gender, violence, womanism, conflict escalation

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Challenges in Women’s Mental Health: Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations


Niaz, Unaiza, and Qudsia Tariq. 2020. "Challenges in Women’s Mental Health: Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations." In Mental Health and Illness of Women, edited by Pradha S. Chandra, Helen Herman, Jane Fisher, and Anita Riecher-Rössler, 109-24. Singapore: Springer, Singapore.

Authors: Unaiza Niaz, Qudsia Tariq


Women usually do not pledge wars, but they do suffer profoundly from the penalties. Conflict spurs much higher rates of violence and traumas. It renders women acutely vulnerable to sexual abuse, poverty, and the loss of employment and the destruction of assets such as homes. Essential health services crumble, underlined by high mortality rate in conflict and post-conflict countries.
This chapter focuses on the challenges faced by women in the underdeveloped countries who had experienced war and terror for a long time and are at present struggling through their economic crisis and survival. It would be addressing the gender-based violence issues, the role of women in politics, and their rights to justice, education, and health-care services. It would also be addressing the biggest concern or aftermath of war like sexual violence and mental health and the stigmas attached with it.

Keywords: gender based violence, healthcare services, mental health stigma, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Poverty, Conflict, Education, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Justice, Political Participation, Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence

Year: 2020

Feminism in the Humanitarian Machine. Introduction to the Special Section on ‘The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender-based Violence’


Veit, Alex. 2019. "Feminism in the Humanitarian Machine. Introduction to the Special Section on ‘The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender-based Violence.’" Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 13 (4): 401-17.

Author: Alex Veit


The prevention and mitigation of sexual and gender-based violence in (post-) conflict societies has become an important humanitarian activity. This introductory article examines the analytical discourses on these interventions, the institutionalization of SGBV expertise in international politics, and the emancipatory potential of anti-SGBV practices. It argues that the confluence of feminist professional activism and militarized humanitarian interventionism produced specific international activities against SGBV. As part of the institutionalization of gender themes in international politics, feminist emancipatory claims have been taken up by humanitarian organizations. The normal operating state of the humanitarian machine, however, undercuts its potential contribution to social transformation towards larger gender equality in (post-) conflict societies.

Keywords: conflict-related sexual violence, humanitarian intervention, post-conflict, liberalism, feminism, governance

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence

Year: 2019

Gender-Based Violence after a Natural Disaster


Reddy, Himabindu, and Annekathryn Goodman. 2019. "Gender-Based Violence after a Natural Disaster." Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 34 (1).

Authors: Himabindu Reddy, Annekathryn Goodman


Introduction: Gender-based violenceis endemic across theworld. The current evidence suggests that gender-based violence increases after natural disasters. Factors leading to this increase following natural disasters include physical displacement, loss of community supports and protections, economic hardship, and gendered differences in coping. Multiple agencies are mobilized in response to natural disasters, however, personnel are often not adequately trained to recognize or address gender-based violence.

Aim: To identify challenges faced by disaster responders in recognizing and responding to gender-based violence in disaster settings, and to advocate for gender-sensitive training prior to deployment by responding personnel. Methods: The world’s literature was reviewed to identify challenges for disaster teams in recognizing and responding to gender-based violence, and to identify principles of training which may be applicable for pre-deployment competency building by disaster response personnel. 

Results: Disaster response programs should ensure:
• Collection of data to identify vulnerable populations
• Establishment of procedures for monitoring and reporting
• Inclusion of female staff at all levels of planning and response
• Implementation of holistic services including physical and psychosocial care and legal response
• Safety in designing accommodations and distribution centers

Pre-Deployment training should include:
• Gender-sensitive approach, knowledge of prevalence and impact of gender-based violence
• Familiarity with behaviors and conditions associated with gender-based violence
• Non-judgmental, supportive, and validating approach to inquiry and response
• Familiarity with risk assessment tools • Mobilization of social supports
• Knowledge of resources, including medical and legal services

Discussion: Natural disasters are destabilizing events which expose vulnerable populations, particularly women, to increased violence. Disaster response teams should be adequately trained on the prevalence and impact of gender-based violence to ensure gender-sensitive interventions. Standard training of response personnel can ensure adequate identification of victims of gender-based violence and referral to appropriate services.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence

Year: 2019

Covid-19 and Feminism in the Global South: Challenges, Initiatives and Dilemmas


Al-Ali, Nadje. 2020. "Covid-19 and Feminism in the Global South: Challenges, Initiatives and Dilemmas."' European Journal of Women's Studies: 1-15. doi: 10.1177/1350506820943617. 

Author: Nadje Al-Ali



The article addresses the gendered implications of Covid-19 in the Global South by paying attention to the intersectional pre-existing inequalities that have given rise to specific risks and vulnerabilities. It explores various aspects of the pandemic-induced ‘crisis of social reproduction’ that affects women as the main caregivers as well as addressing the drastic increase of various forms of gender-based violence. Both, in addition to growing poverty and severely limited access to resources and health services, are particularly devastating in marginalized and vulnerable communities in the Global South. The article looks at specific regions and countries to illustrate wider challenges faced by LGBTQ populations, ethnic minorities, domestic workers, migrants and sex workers. Against the background of these gendered intersectional challenges, the article then moves to discuss feminist initiatives and mobilizations to deal with the crisis in specific local contexts as well as nationally, regionally and transnationally. It concludes by highlighting a number of visions, tensions and dilemmas faced by feminists in the Global South that will need to be taken into consideration in terms of transnational feminist solidarities.

Keywords: africa, Asia, Covid-19 pandemic, crisis in social reproduction, Global South feminism, accumulation by dispossession, middle east, transnational feminism

Topics: Domestic Violence, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2020

Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities during and after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Data


Bista, Sapana Basnet, and Shaurabh Sharma. 2019. "Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities during and after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Data." Lancet Global Health 7 (S45).

Authors: Sapana Basnet Bista, Shaurabh Sharma


Background: Disasters affect people with disabilities disproportionately. Violence against women and girls, including sexual and psychological violence, has been reported to increase during and after natural disasters. Despite worldwide attention on the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the risk of violence against women and girls with disabilities and their experiences during the crisis and recovery phases remain under-researched. In this study, we aim to explore the experiences of violence against disabled women and girls immediately after the earthquake and during the post-earthquake recovery period. 
Methods: We undertook a thematic analysis of qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with women and girls with disabilities from the districts worst affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquake: Kathmandu valley (n=16), Dhading (n=8), Sindhupalchok (n=8), and Gorkha (n=8). These qualitative data were a part of two larger studies; one that explored the experiences of people with disabilities during the 2015 Nepal earthquake and another that studied the effect of post-earthquake mental health and psychosocial support in women with disabilities. All participants for this part of the study were recruited through a snowball sampling technique. 
Findings: We analysed data from interviews with 40 participants conducted between May, 2015, and February, 2018. Five focus group discussions each with eight participants lasted between 1 h and 1·5 h. Semi-structured interviews lasted between 30 mins and 45 mins. By comparison with their pre-earthquake experiences, women and girls with disabilities reported increased psychological, physical, and sexual violence immediately after the earthquake mostly in and around temporary shelters. Physical and psychological violence were reported to be committed by partners, family members, relatives, and sometimes by people who lived in the same community; sexual violence against girls with disabilities were reported to be committed by close relatives, family members, or an opportunist stranger. 
Interpretation: Our findings highlight that being female with a disability, having limited rights and independence, and having limited access to financial resources lead to increased longer-term violence, even during the recovery and reconstruction phase of a natural disaster. We recommend that emergency responders undertake gender and disability sensitisation training to remove barriers and stigma against women and girls with disabilities. Government, national, and international humanitarian agencies should work together with local-level organisations to strengthen gender and disability-inclusive preventative, reporting, and justice mechanisms.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Violence Against Women and Children Following the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster: Making the Invisible Visible Through Research


Yoshihama, Mieko, Tomoko Yunomae, Azumi Tsuge, Keiko Ikeda, and Reiko Masai. 2019. "Violence Against Women and Children Following the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster: Making the Invisible Visible Through Research." Violence Against Women 25 (7): 862-81.

Authors: Mieko Yoshihama, Tomoko Yunomae, Azumi Tsuge, Keiko Ikeda, Reiko Masai


This study reports on 82 unduplicated cases of violence against women and children after the Great East Japan Disaster of March 2011. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire from informants who worked with the disaster-affected populations. In addition to domestic violence, reported cases involved sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact, including quid pro quo assault perpetrated by nonintimates. Perpetrators often exploited a sense of fear, helplessness, and powerlessness and used threats to force compliance with sexual demands in exchange for life-sustaining resources. Findings point to the urgent need to develop measures to prevent and respond to postdisaster gender-based violence.

Keywords: domestic and sexual violence, gender-based violence, disaster and humanitarian emergencies

Topics: Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019


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