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Gendered Discourses

Discursive Frictions: The Transitional Justice Paradigm, Land Restitution and Gender in Colombia


Meertens, Donny. 2015. “Discursive Frictions: The Transitional Justice Paradigm, Land Restitution and Gender in Colombia.” Papel Politico 20 (2): 353–81.

Author: Donny Meertens


The transition towards a ‘post-peace agreements’ state of affairs in Colombia creates special scenarios in which a universal model of Transitional Justice policy –in our case that of land restitution– meets with the local. We should understand  the ‘local’ not only in a material sense –as land and territory– but also as a perspective that brings into circulation different discourses on peasant society, family, gender, justice and development. The following text analyzes the (dis) encounters between different gender discourses and practices, for the purpose of assessing the transformative capacity of the law for gender justice. In this analysis we use the concept of frictions through which we hope to better understand complex interactions, hidden conflicts, ambiguous outcomes, and also new possibilities for agency.
En la transición hacia un Estado ‘pos-acuerdos de paz’ en Colombia, se crean unos escenarios particulares en los cuales el modelo universal de la justicia transicional, implementado a través de la política pública, en este caso la de la restitución de tierras, se encuentra con diversos elementos de lo local. Esto es entendido no solo en su acepción material de tierra y territorio, sino como una perspectiva desde la cual se conjugan discursos sobre la sociedad campesina, la familia, el género, la justicia y el desarrollo. En el siguiente texto analizamos los (des)encuentros entre los diferentes discursos de género, con miras a la capacidad transformadora de la Ley de Víctimas y Restitución de Tierras, en materia de justicia de género. Para el análisis se emplea el concepto de fricciones, que nos permitirá ver las interacciones complejas, los conflictos ocultos y los resultados ambiguos, pero también las nuevas posibilidades de agencia.

Keywords: justicia transicional, gênero, política pública, restitución de tierras, transitional justice, gender, public policy, land restitution

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Justice, Transitional Justice, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India


Malaviya, Ritambhara. 2020. "Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India." In Citizenship, Nationalism and Refugeehood of Rohingyas in Southern Asia, edited by Nasreen Chowdhory and Biswajit Mohanty, 171-88. Singapore: Springer, Singapore.

Author: Ritambhara Malaviya


History shows how female bodies have been the site of contestation in violent conflicts across the world. There are innumerable instances of the use of rape as a systematic weapon for proving the superiority of one’s own race during conflicts, for instance, during the Bosnian crisis, or even earlier during the 1971 war of independence of Bangladesh. While conflicts impact women and children especially because of their vulnerability, the very understanding of why and how the conflict happened is deeply gendered. The Rohingya crisis is a case in point. This chapter attempts to understand the gendered discourse underpinning the discussion on the Rohingya crisis in India through a study of some major news websites in India. As per the framework used by Galtung (The Missing Journalism on Conflict and Peace and the Middle East, 2005), news reporting in India on the Rohingya is split into two camps, the war/victory-oriented journalism and the alternative peace-oriented approach. This chapter notes that while war journalism draws upon concepts which are masculinist, the softer peace journalism resembles the approach of feminists towards conflicts and cooperation. Feminism has analysed how the categories like state, sovereignty, security and militarization are deeply gendered. The patterns of reporting, however, are seen to follow the mainstream masculinist framework. These masculinist lenses are seldom questioned, and how power operates through these categories is rarely the subject of reporting. Therefore, through a careful study of the news portals, the chapter tries to understand how the discourse on the Rohingya encompasses within it gendered stereotypes and power equations.

Keywords: Rohingya, gender, power, control, state, conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2020

Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan


Koikari, Mire. 2019. "Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan." Japan Forum, 31 (2): 143-64.

Author: Mire Koikari


Following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquakes, Japan has entered into a new phase of cultural production where discourses on risks, dangers, and calamities mobilize varieties of individuals and institutions for the purpose of maintaining the nation's safety and security. In this phase, masculinity plays a salient role, leading to a series of discourses and practices that have to do with manhood and nationhood. Drawing on insights from Masculinity Studies, Disaster Studies, and Cultural Studies, this article examines the workings of masculinity in post-disaster Japanese culture by analyzing ‘national resilience’, a leading national initiative that demands a sweeping transformation of the nation. Calling for the revitalization of the nation, national resilience also insists on the need to re-strengthen men and manhood, providing a gendered vision of national security in post-disaster Japan. Unlike other, more politicized sites of controversies on nation and nationhood, i.e. constitutional revision, Yasukuni Shrine, and comfort women, national resilience is a yet-to-be marked domain of contestation where the public concern with safety frequently overrides and obscures its political intentions and implications. Yet, national resilience constitutes a potent site of politics, where discourses about men, the military, nation, and empire are repeatedly mobilized to promote the revitalization of Japan.

Keywords: masculinity, safety and security, Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster resilience

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Revealing the Patriarchal Sides of Climate Change Adaptation through Intersectionality: a Case Study from Nicaragua


Gonda, Noémi. 2017. “Revealing the Patriarchal Sides of Climate Change Adaptation through Intersectionality: a Case Study from Nicaragua.” In Understanding Climate Change through Gender Relations, edited by Susan Buckingham and Virginie Le Masson, 173-190. London: Routledge.


Author: Noémi Gonda


Nicaragua is the third most climate change-affected country in the world and its government identifies climate change adaptation as one of its key priorities. Since the early 2010s, this national priority is translated into measures that support rural populations to adapt to climate change impacts. This chapter explains how a discursive construction of nature as 'our own Mother' in post-neoliberal Nicaragua has contributed to giving women a primary place in climate change discourses and projects while the mainstream masculinist and science-oriented discourse is underlying the way climate change adaptation interventions are conceived. It also presents an argument that feminist scholars and practitioners need to engage more systematically with gendered climate change politics, in particular by mobilizing the intersectional perspective that simultaneously addresses the multifaceted oppressions climate change politics may reproduce, even though they include 'gender concerns'.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Masculinism Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2017

The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict


Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala, Naomi Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji, eds. 2018. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Authors: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, ed., Naomi Cahn, ed., Dina Francesca Haynes, ed., Nahla Valji, ed.


The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict brings together leading interdisciplinary scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to address a complex range of challenges, contexts, geographies, and issues that arise for women and men in the context of armed conflict. The Handbook addresses war and peace, humanitarian intervention, countering violence and extremism, the United Nations Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, sexual violence, criminal accountability, autonomous weapons, peacekeeping, refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) status, the political economy of war, the economics of conflict, as well as health and economic security. It begins with theoretical approaches to gender and conflict, drawing on the areas of international, peace and conflict, feminist, and masculinities studies. The Handbook explores how women and men’s pre-war societal, economic, and legal status relates to their conflict experiences, affecting the ways in which they are treated in the post-conflict transitional phase. In addition to examining these conflict and post-conflict experiences, the Handbook addresses the differing roles of multiple national and international actors, as well as the UN led Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Contributions survey the regulatory framework and gendered dimensions of international humanitarian and international human rights law in situations of conflict and occupation as well as addressing, and critiquing, the gendered nature and content of international criminal law. The Handbook also includes grounded country case studies exploring different gendered experiences of conflict in various regions. As a whole, this Handbook seeks to critically examine the contemporary gender-based challenges that emerge in conflict and post-conflicts contexts.

Keywords: gender, conflict, post-conflict, sexual violence, feminism, United Nations, women, Peace and Security agenda, International actors, peace, war


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Mapping the Terrain: Gender and Conflict in Contemporary Perspective
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

2. Theories of War
Laura Sjoberg

3. From Women and War to Gender and Conflict?: Feminist Trajectories
Dubravka Žarkov

4. The Silences in the Rules that Regulate Women during Times of Armed Conflict
Judith Gardam

5. How should we Explain the Recurrence of Violence Conflict, add What Might Gender Have to do with it?
Judy El-Bushra

6. The Gendered Nexus between Conflict and Citizenship in Historical Perspective
Jo Butterfield and Elizabeth Heineman

7. Violence Conflict and Changes in Gender Economic Roles: Implications for Post-Conflict Recovery
Patricia Justino

8. Victims Who are Men
Chris Dolan

9. Women, Peace, and Security: A Critical Analysis of the Security Council's Vision
Dianne Otto

10. Participation and Protection: Security Council Dynamics, Bureaucratic Politics, and the Evolution of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins

11. A Genealogy of the Centrality of Sexual Violence to Gender and Conflict
Karen Engle

12. 1235 + 17 = ?: Filling in the Blanks of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Kimberly Theidon

13. Complementary and Convergence?: Women, Peace, and Security and Counterterrorism
Naureen Chowdhury Fink and Alison Davidian

14. Unlocking the Potential of CEDAW as an Important Accountability Tool for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Pramilla Patten

15. The Promise and Limits of Indicators on Women, Peace and Security
Pablo Castillo Díaz and Hanny Cueva Beteta

16. Humanitarian Intervention and Gender Dynamics
Gina Heathcote

17. (Re)Considering Gender Jurisprudence
Patricia Viseur Sellers

18. Complementarity as a Catalyst for Gender Justice in National Prosecutions
Amrita Kapur

19. Forced Marriageduring Conflict and Mass Atrocity
Valerie Oosterveld

20. Advancing Justice and Making Amenda Through Reparations: Legal and Operational Considerations
Kristin Kalla

21. Colonialism
Amina Mama

22. Conflict, Displacement, and Refugees
Lucy Hovil

23. Gender and Forms of Conflict: The Moral Hazards of Dating the Security Council
Vasuki Nesiah

24. The Martial Rape of Girls and Women in Antiquity and Modernity
Kathy L. Gaca

25. "Mind the Gap": Measuring and Understanding Gendered Conflict Experiences
Amelia Hoover Green

26. Intersectionality: Working in Conflict
Eilish Rooney

27. Agency and Gender Norms in War Economies
Patti Patesch

28. Risk and Resilience: The Physical and Mental Health of Female Civilians during War
Lauren C. Ng and Theresa S. Betancourt

29. The Gender Implications of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Conflict Situations
Barbara A. Frey

30. Unmanned Weapons: Looking for the Gender Dimensions
Christof Heyns and Tess Borden

31. Gender and Peacekeeping
Sabrina Karim and Marsha Henry

32. Peacekeeping, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Martina E. Vandenberg

33. Women, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges
Christine Bell

34. Women's Organizations and Peace Initiatives
Aili Mari Tripp

35. Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration: Reviewing and Advancing the Field
Dyan Mazurana, Roxanne Krystalli, and Anton Baaré

36. Decolonial Feminism, Gender, and Transitional Justice in Latin America
Pascha Bueno-Hansen

37. Gender and Governance in Post-Conflict and Democratizing Settings
Lisa Kindervater and Sheila Meintjes

38. Who Defines the Red Lines?: The Prospects for Safeguarding Women's Rights and Securing Their Future in Post-Transition Afghanistan
Sari Kouvo and Corey Levine

39. "That's Not My Daughter": The Paradoxes of Documenting Jihadist Mass Rape in 1990s Algeria and Beyond
Karima Bennoune

40. Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence on Post-Conflict Society: Case Study of Reparations in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lejla Hadzimesic

41. Colombia: Gender and Land Restitution
Donny Meertens

42. Knowing Masculinities in Armed Conflict?: Reflections from Research in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern

43. Northern Ireland: The Significance of a Bottom-Up Women's Movement in a Politically Contested Society
Monica McWilliams and Avila Kilmurray

44. Gendered Suffering and the Eviction of the Native: The Politics of Birth in Occupied East Jerusalem
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

45. Rwanda: Women's Political Participation in Post-Conflict State-Building
Doris Buss and Jerusa Ali

46. Sri Lanka: The Impact of Militarization on Women
Ambika Satkunanathan

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Economies, War Economies, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Health, Mental Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Livelihoods, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Terrorism, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence

Year: 2018

Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women from Brown Men in Syria


Kuntz, Blair. 2019. "Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women From Brown Men in Syria." Paper presented at International Conference on Gender Research, April.

Author: Blair Kuntz


This paper extracts the phrase "white women saving brown women from brown men" from Gita Spivak's celebrated essay " Can the Subaltern Speak?" and applies it to the various Western interventions that have used "crisis initiation" (i.e. false flags) using the theme of gender injustice to initiate "humanitarian interventions" in the Middle East, Libya and the Former Yugoslavia. The paper analyzes the hoax of the social media blog "Gay Girl of Damascus", which appeared at the beginning of the so-called "Syrian Uprising" of 2011 and examines how the hoax advanced the Western project for regime change in Syria. The blog purported to record the experiences of Amina Arraf who described herself as a Syrian-American lesbian living in Damascus. Eventually, on June 6, 2011, Amina's cousin claimed that Amina had been abducted by the Syrian government, sparking popular outrage in the Western LGBT community and widespread coverage within the Western mainstream media. In the end, the blog post was revealed to be a complete hoax and "Amina" was revealed to be Tom McMaster, a heterosexual American man living in Edinburgh. The paper discusses how Western "humanitarian interventions" have been used as a cynical justification for war and the theft of resources and how Western "imperial feminists" (who in turn transform into "white women saving brown women from brown men") have colluded in the endeavor. Rather than improving the circumstances for women and sexual minorities in the region, Western governments and their allies have worsened the situation as they have nurtured, encouraged and supported various jihadist rebels. The jihadist victims include the Yezidi women of Iraq taken as sex slaves; women killed for adultery; and gay men thrown off tall buildings, stoned to death or shot for allegedly practicing same-sex relations.

Keywords: imperial feminism, humanitarian intervention, Sexual minorities, middle east, Arab Spring

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Media, Humanitarian Assistance, LGBTQ, Race, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

Inhabiting Difference across Religion and Gender: Displaced Women's Experiences at Turkey's Border with Syria


Dagtaș, Seçil. 2018. "Inhabiting Difference across Religion and Gender: Displaced Women’s Experiences at Turkey’s Border with Syria." Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees 34 (1): 50-59. 

Author: Seçil Dagtaș


The global refugee crisis gives new urgency to questions of gender and religion in contexts of displacement. This article adopts and contributes to an intersectional feminist reading of gendered displacement by examining the daily lives of a diverse group of displaced Syrian women at the southern borderlands of Turkey, a country hosting the world’s largest population of refugees today. I argue that the vernaculars of hospitality and border crossings surrounding these women’s lives assemble gendered practices and religious discourses in ways that rework and transcend their citizenship and identity-based differences. These assemblages, moreover, derive significant insight from women’s labour and everyday networks at the local level, which often go unnoticed in public debates. Research that shifts focus from institutional governance to women’s everyday sociality allows intersectional feminists to capture the nuances of displaced women’s agency and the contingencies of their dwelling and mobility in the Middle East against the de-historicized representations of victimized refugee women. 
La crise mondiale des réfugiés confère une nouvelle urgence aux questions de genre et de religion dans les contextes de déplacement. Cet article adopte, et alimente, une lecture féministe intersectionnelle des déplacements sexospécifiques en étudiant la vie quotidienne d’un groupe divers de femmes syriennes déplacées dans les territoires transfrontaliers du sud de la Turquie, pays qui accueille aujourd’hui la plus grande population de réfugiés au monde. J’argumente que les particularités de l’accueil et des passages de frontières qui rythment la vie de ces femmes conjuguent des pratiques sexospécifiques et des discours religieux d’une façon qui repense et transcende leur citoyenneté et leurs différences identitaires. De plus, ces particularités conjuguées permettent de dégager de nombreuses informations sur le travail des femmes et les réseaux quotidiens au niveau local, qui passent souvent inaperçues dans les débats publics. Les travaux de recherche qui déplacent leur intérêt de la gouvernance institutionnelle à la vie sociale quotidienne des femmes permettent aux féministes intersectionnelles de saisir les nuances des actes posés par les femmes déplacées et les imprévus concernant leur logement et leur mobilité au Moyen-Orient, les uns et les autres étant à mettre en perspective avec les représentations hors contexte historique des femmes réfugiées victimisées.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria, Turkey

Year: 2018

A Political Culture of Feminist Resistance: Exploring Women's Agency and Gender Dynamics in Yemen's Uprising (2011-15)


Strzelecka, Ewa K. 2018. "A Political Culture of Feminist Resistance: Exploring Women’s Agency and Gender Dynamics in Yemen’s Uprising (2011-15)." In Yemen and the Search for Stability: Power, Politics and Society after the Arab Spring, edited by Marie-Christine Heinze, 47-70. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 

Author: Ewa K. Strzelecka


"...The purpose of this chapter is to address the gender dynamics of power in Yemen's revolutionary struggle for change. The discussion is carried out from the perspective of a new feminist scholarship, which shifts the focus of attention 'from a theoretical figure of patriarchy and exclusion to an analysis of the dynamic processes of women's participation in civil society and in public political life' (Siim 2000:2). This process must be contextualized. Therefore, my argument starts from a critical analysis of mechanisms of oppression and repression against women in Yemen and later explores the ways in which Yemeni activists respond and resist that oppression, producing what I call a 'political culture of feminist resistance.' It is my premise that resistance not only implies 'acting in opposition' but also reflects the 'potential for subversion and contestation in the interstices of establishes of established orders' (Kandiyoti 1998: 141). Feminist resistance, in particular, aims at subverting the dominant patriarchal structures of power. It implies collective and individual actions that promote social change in advancement of equality and justice for women. Although consolidation of feminist gains and the successful implementation of women's rights and freedoms in the aftermath of the Yemeni uprising have yet to be determined, my intention is to highlight the role of women's rights activists as agents of change, capable of influencing socio-political transformation and challenging gender power relations.
My study focuses on specific groups of revolutionary female activists who are highly motivated and actively dedicated to improving women's rights and gender justice, within a broader goal of seeking social change towards a new culture of democracy and human rights in Yemen. Most of them are urban and well-educated, middle or upper class women, who became women's rights activists as a result of the strength of their feminist consciousness. In their journey of personal and collective empowerment, they rebelled against patriarchal culture and enhanced their own strategies and actions for change, which went beyond the reductive oppositions of religious/secular, Islamist/liberal, traditional/modern, but were still struggling to deal effectively with different forms of violence that contributes substantially to the oppression of women in Yemen..." (Strzelecka 2018, 48).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2018

“Without Land You Are Nobody”: Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa


Verma, Ritu. 2007. Without Land You Are Nobody': Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa. International Development Research Centre. 

Author: Ritu Verma


Table of Contents:
1. Dedication & Acknowledgements
2. List of Acronyms 
3. Introduction 
4. Conceptual and Methodological Points of Departure 
5. Common Themes and Issues Across Country Contexts
6. Country Specific Issues and Differences 
7. Conclusions: Identifying Gaps, Gender-Positive Action & the Way Forward 
8. Bibliography

Topics: Caste, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2007

Women's Lived Landscapes of War and Liberation in Mozambique


Katto, Jonna. 2020. Women’s Lived Landscapes of War and Liberation in Mozambique. New York: Routledge. 

Author: Jonna Katto


This book tells the history of the changing gendered landscapes of northern Mozambique from the perspective of women who fought in the armed struggle for national independence, diverting from the often-told narrative of women in nationalist wars that emphasizes a linear plot of liberation. 
Taking a novel approach in focusing on the body, senses, and landscape, Jonna Katto, through a study of the women ex-combatants’ lived landscapes, shows how their life trajectories unfold as nonlinear spatial histories. This brings into focus the women’s shifting and multilayered negotiations for personal space and belonging. This book explores the life memories of the now aging female ex-combatants in the province of Niassa in northern Mozambique, looking at how the female ex-combatants’ experiences of living in these northern landscapes have shaped their sense of socio-spatial belonging and attachment. It builds on the premise that individual embodied memory cannot be separated from social memory; personal lives are culturally shaped. Thus, the book does not only tell the history of a small and rather unique group of women but also speaks about wider cultural histories of body-landscape relations in northern Mozambique and especially changes in those relations. 
Enriching our understanding of the gendered history of the liberation struggle in Mozambique and informing broader discussions on gender and nationalism, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of African history, especially the colonial and postcolonial history of Lusophone Africa, as well as gender/women’s history and peace and conflict studies. (Summary from Amazon)
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Gendered Bodies, Moving Landscapes, and Spatial Histories
1. FRELIMO Nationalism, Female Bodies, and the Language of Gender
2. Female Combatants and Gendered Styles of Being
3. Guerilla Life and the Haptics of the “Bush"
4. Body Feelings and Violent Memories
5. Living Landscape
6. Rhythmic Beauty
7. Home, (Be)longing, and the Beautiful
Epilogue: Spatial Movements, Relations, and Representations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2020


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