Gender Roles in Nigeria’s Non-Violent Oil Resistance Movement


Munir, Laine. 2020. “Gender Roles in Nigeria’s Non-Violent Oil Resistance Movement.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 55 (1): 79–97.


Author: Laine Munir


Since the 1980s, Nigerians have engaged in non-violent protests against oil exploitation polluting their lands. This qualitative case study asks why Niger Delta women came to engage in seemingly separate, all-female protests starting in 2002, mobilizing in a long-standing resistance previously led by men. Using grounded theory methods, this multi-site ethnography draws on one-on-one interviews, participant observations, and university and non-governmental organization archival data. It finds that although women were indeed aggrieved by oil, their protests from 2002 to 2012 did not emerge autonomously from those of men, as described in scholarship elsewhere. Rather, these findings indicate that male elites may have had a role in initiating women’s collective action in response to their own failed prior negotiations, to increase the number of protesters, and to bolster men’s dialogue. This study provides a nuanced corrective to the Niger Delta narrative and expands our understanding of gender dynamics in social movements.

Depuis les années 80, les nigérians se sont engagés dans des protestations non-violentes contre l’exploitation pétrolière qui pollue leurs terres. Cette étude de cas qualitative examine pourquoi les femmes du delta du Niger en sont venues, à partir de 2002, à s’engager dans des protestations apparemment distinctes, entièrement féminines, en se mobilisant dans une résistance de longue date menée par des hommes auparavant. Fondée sur des méthodes de théorie ancrée, cette ethnographie multi-sites s’appuie sur des entretiens individuels, des observations participantes et des données d’archives universitaires et d’organisations non-gouvernementales. Elle révèle que si les femmes ont effectivement été lésées par l’exploitation pétrolière, leurs protestations de 2002 à 2012 n’ont pas émergé de celles des hommes de manière autonome, comme l’a décrit une autre étude. Ces résultats indiquent plutôt que les élites masculines ont peutêtre joué un rôle dans le lancement de l’action collective des femmes, en réaction à l’échec de leurs propres négociations préalables, pour augmenter le nombre de manifestants et renforcer le dialogue entre hommes. Cette étude apporte une correction nuancée au récit du delta du Niger et élargit notre compréhension de la dynamique des genres dans les mouvements sociaux.

Keywords: women, protest, Nigeria, environmental conflict, femmes, protestation, conflit environnemental, théorie ancrée, Grounded Theory

Topics: Conflict, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Nonviolence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2020

The Dark Underbelly of Land Struggles: The Instrumentalization of Female Activism and Emotional Resistance in Cambodia


Hennings, Anne. 2019. “The Dark Underbelly of Land Struggles: The Instrumentalization of Female Activism and Emotional Resistance in Cambodia.” Critical Asian Studies 51 (1): 103–19.

Author: Anne Hennings


Facing land grabs and eviction in the name of development, women worldwide increasingly join land rights struggles despite often deeply engrained images of female domesticity and conventional gender norms. Yet, the literature on female agency in the context of land struggles has remained largely underexplored. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, my findings suggest that land rights activism in Cambodia has undergone a gendered re-framing process. Reasoning that women use non-violent means of contestation and are less prone to violence from security personnel, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) push women affected by land grabs and eviction to the frontline of protests. Moreover, female activists are encouraged to publicly display emotions, such as the experienced pain behavior that sharply contrasts with Cambodian norms of feminine modesty. I critically question this women-to-the-front strategy and, drawing on Sara Ahmed’s politics of emotions approach, show the adverse risks for female activists. Furthermore, I demonstrate that the instrumentalization of female bodies and emotions in land rights protests perpetuate gender disparities instead of strengthening female agency in the Cambodian society and opening up political space for women.

Keywords: dispossession, land grabbing, gendered eviction, politics of emotion, Cambodia

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Land Grabbing, NGOs, Nonviolence, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2019

Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations


Moghadam, Valentine M. 2018. "Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations." Politics, Groups, and Identities 6 (4): 666-81.

Author: Valentine Moghadam


The Arab Spring has been extensively analyzed but the presence or absence of violent protests and the divergent outcomes of the uprising that encompassed the Arab region have not been explained in terms of the salience of gender and women’s mobilizations. I argue that women’s legal status, social positions, and collective action prior to the Arab Spring helped shape the nature of the 2011 mass protests as well as the political and social outcomes of individual countries. I compare and contrast two sets of cases: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, which saw non-violent protests and relatively less repression on the part of the state; and Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, where states responded to the protests, whether violent or non-violent, with force and repression, and where women and their rights have been among the principal victims. I also show why women fared worse in Egypt than in Morocco and Tunisia.

Keywords: Arab Spring, women's rights, women's mobilizations, outcomes, violence, democratization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Nonviolence, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Year: 2018

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


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

Author: Jana Krause


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

Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday


Eschle, Catherine. 2016. “Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday.” Globalizations 13 (6): 912-14.

Author: Catherine Eschle


"In what ways is ‘the everyday’ reproduced and reconfigured at protest camps? I pursue this question in my current research project, in which protest camps are defined as a ‘place-based social movement strategy that involves both acts of ongoing protest and acts of social reproduction needed to sustain everyday life’ (Feigenbaum, Frenzel, & McCurdy, 2013, p. 12). My interest in the domestic arrangements of camps is common among observers, appearing prurient and disproportionate to those actually living them. As one interviewee from Faslane Peace Camp put it, ‘D’you know, I am actually here to try and stop the end of the world . . . and all you want to talk about is the bloody toilets!’ (‘Anna’, interview 22/10/2014). Nonetheless, buttressed by a feminist curiosity about the interconnections between the personal and political, I cling to the view that the reconfiguration of the everyday in protest camps is intrinsic rather than irrelevant to their political effect. In this short piece, I examine how daily life at Faslane Peace Camp, in Scotland, depends upon and fosters the critical interrogation of economic norms" (Eschle 2016, p. 912).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Conflict, Peace and Security, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nonviolence Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2016

Revisiting the United Nations Decade for Women: Brief Reflections on Feminism, Capitalism and Cold War Politics in the Early Years of the International Women’s Movement


Ghodsee, Kristen. 2010. “Revisiting the United Nations Decade for Women: Brief Reflections on Feminism, Capitalism and Cold War Politics in the Early Years of the International Women’s Movement.” Women’s Studies International Forum 33 (1): 3–12. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.11.008.

Author: Kristen Ghodsee


Between 1975 and 1985, there were three U.N. conferences on women held in Mexico City, Copenhagen and Nairobi. This article is a brief reflection on the tensions that informed these first 10 years of the international women's movement seen from the point of view of the American women who believed that their leadership of that movement was being challenged by the strident anti-imperialist rhetoric of the Soviet Union and its allies. Soviet support for the international women's conferences was instrumental in forcing otherwise reticent American politicians to take the emerging international women's movement seriously. Fearing that socialist women would hijack the deliberations with their anti-capitalist “peace” agenda, U.S. congressmen became actively involved in constructing a definition of “appropriate” women's issues for the U.S. delegates attending the conferences, laying the bedrock of what would later become the relatively hegemonic, internationalized form of Western feminism that would ironically be exported to Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism in 1989.

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2010

Gender, Dissenting Subjectivity and the Contemporary Military Peace Movement in Body of War


Tidy, Joanna. 2015. “Gender, Dissenting Subjectivity and the Contemporary Military Peace Movement in Body of War.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (3): 454–72. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.967128.

Author: Joanna Tidy


This article considers the gendered dynamics of the contemporary military peace movement in the United States, interrogating the way in which masculine privilege produces hierarchies within experiences, truth claims and dissenting subjecthoods. The analysis focuses on a text of the movement, the 2007 documentary film Body of War, which portrays the antiwar activism of paralyzed Iraq veteran Tomas Young, his mother Cathy and wife Brie. Conceptualizing the military peace movement as a potentially counter-performative reiteration of military masculinity, drawing on Butler's account of gender, subjectivity formation and contestation, and on Derrida's notion of spectrality (the disruptive productivity of the “present absence”), the article makes visible ways in which men and women who comprise the military peace movement perform their dissent as gendered subjects. Claims to dissenting subjecthood are unevenly accorded within the productive duality that constitutes the military peace movement, along gendered lines that can reproduce the privileges and subordinations that underpin militarism.

Keywords: dissent, performativity, Body of War, masculinity, injured veterans

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Nonviolence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2015

Naga Women Making a Difference: Peace Building in Northeastern India


Manchanda, Rita. 2005. “Naga Women Making a Difference: Peace Building in Northeastern India.” Institute for Inclusive Security


Author: Rita Manchanda

Keywords: conflict prevention, negotiation, mediation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2005

Domestic Violence Prevention through the Constructing Violence-Free Masculinities Programme: An Experience from Peru


Mitchell, Rhoda. 2013. “Domestic Violence Prevention through the Constructing Violence-Free Masculinities Programme: An Experience from Peru.” Gender and Development 21 (1): 97-109

Author: Rhoda Mitchell


This paper examines work undertaken with male perpetrators of violence in the Construction of Violence-free Masculinities, a project run by the Centro Mujer Teresa de Jesus, a Women’s Centre located in a poor peri-urban district of Lima, Peru, in conjunction with Oxfam-Quebec. Centre staff faced the challenge of how to work with men who are violent towards their intimate partners. They use a community education approach, to challenge powerful stereotypes about gender roles, to question men’s assumed dominance over women, and support men to construct new forms of masculinity, without violence. Ultimately, the programme seeks to modify and change the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviours of men who are aggressors.

Keywords: masculinity, Intimate partner violence, domestic violence, men's groups

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Domestic Violence, Education, Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Masculinism, Households, NGOs, Nonviolence, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013


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