SheMurenga: The Zimbabwean Women’s Movement 1995-2000


Essof, Shereen. 2013. SheMurenga: The Zimbabwean Women’s Movement 1995-2000. African Books Collective. http://www.africanbookscollective.com/books/shemurenga-the-zimbabwean-womens-movement-1995-2000.

Author: Shereen Essof


This book demonstrates the place of women's movements during a defining period of contemporary Zimbabwe. The government of Robert Mugabe may have been as firmly in power in 2000 as it was in 1995, but the intervening years saw severe economic crisis, mass strikes and protests, the start of land occupations, intervention in the war in the DRC, and the rise of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Shereen Essof shows how Zimbabwean women crafted responses to these and other events, and aimed for a feminist agenda that would prioritise the interests of the rural and urban poor. Rejecting both the strictures of patriarchy and the orthodoxies of established feminism, she demands that Zimbabwe's women be heard in their own voices and in their own contexts. In doing so she writes a book that combines scholarly integrity with a wild, joyous cry for liberation.

(African Books Collective)

Keywords: social sciences, gender & women's studies, history, Southern Africa

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2013

On Living with Negative Peace and a Half-Built State: Gender and Human Rights


Azarbaijani-Moghaddam, Sippi. 2007. “On Living with Negative Peace and a Half-Built State: Gender and Human Rights.” International Peacekeeping 14 (1): 127–42. doi:10.1080/13533310601114335.

Author: Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam


This article examines the double standards associated with a precarious international peacebuilding strategy in Afghanistan based on impunity and half-truths rather than accountability and transitional justice. Many international organizations have turned a blind eye to past and current human rights atrocities through forms of rationalization based on an empowerment of cultural differences, relativization of progress and ‘policy reductionism’. Consequently, and in the absence of consistently applied rights instruments, societal divisions along gender, ethnic and other lines have intensified Afghanistan’s culture of intolerance to human rights, thereby violating the very principles the international community purports to uphold. Drawing on first-hand experiences, personal interviews and a sober analysis of trends, this article challenges some of the conventional assumptions held about the perception and knowledge of human rights among Afghans. It concludes by identifying possible areas of future study to better understand both the prospects for transitional justice and how ordinary Afghans continue to cope with widespread injustice and inequality.


Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Civil Society, Corruption, Ethnicity, Gender, International Organizations, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Paramilitaries, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Violence Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2007

Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel


Kagan, Michael, and Anat Ben-Dor. 2008. Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University’s Public Interest Law Program.

Authors: Michael Kagan, Anat Ben-Dor


In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, some gay men face torture and potentially lethal violence at the hands of PA security forces, members of their own families, and armed militant groups. Brutal repression of homosexuality by a wide array of actors in Palestinian society puts an unknown number of people at risk, and represents an important violation of human rights for people living in the Occupied Territories.

Meanwhile, Israel prohibits these people from even filing asylum applications, simply because of their nationality. The United Nations has intervened in a few cases to promote resettlement of gay Palestinian men to third countries, but the UN refugee office in Jerusalem has generally cooperated with Israel in excluding Palestinians from the asylum system.

Israel has increasingly recognized equal rights for gays, lesbians and trans-gendered people and has taken substantial steps in recent years to implement the right to seek asylum. Asylum claims based on sexual orientation are becoming increasingly routine in international refugee law. If respect for the rights of gay men in the Occupied Territories does not improve, and if the State of Israel’s current refusal to receive Palestinian asylum-seekers does not change, innocent people will be put in mortal danger. Israel’s continued refusal to consider asylum claims from gay Palestinians violates the general rule of international law – recognized by Israel’s High Court – against returning a foreigner to a territory where his or her life or freedom may be in danger. Under international law, no state may discriminate by nationality with regard to refugee protection.

This report analyzes evidence that gay Palestinians are at risk of severe human rights violations in PA-controlled areas and analyzes Israel’s obligations to asylum-seekers under international law. It then makes recommendations as to how Israel and the United Nations can better protect gay Palestinian asylum-seekers.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, LGBTQ Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

The Soldier and the Terrorist: Sexy Nationalism, Queer Violence


Kuntsman, Adi. 2008. “The Soldier and the Terrorist: Sexy Nationalism, Queer Violence.” Sexualities 11 (1-2): 142–70. doi:10.1177/1363460707085468.

Author: Adi Kuntsman


An Israeli soldier, praised for killing terrorists in their homes, and adored as a gay prince charming; a Palestinian gay man called either a lying terrorist or a cute Arab boy with an almond ass; an Abu-Ghraib prisoner, whose naked body, pornographically mediated and distributed by the media generates a homosexual rape fantasy of all Arabs in-the-name-of- Israeli-security. These images were collected during my ethnography of a Russian-Israeli GLBT community, in the community’s website. My analysis of the website’s publications and discussions focuses on the ways violence, sexuality and nationhood intertwine in immigrants’ sense of belonging to the country that is officially defined by the state policy – and indeed perceived by many immigrants themselves – as their home. I examine how masculinities become synecdoches of nation, and how homosexual fantasies work to create attachment to one’s national home and hatred towards those defined as its enemies.

Keywords: immigration, masculinities, nationalism, queer studies, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Terrorism, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Russian Federation

Year: 2008

UNSCR 1325 and Women’s Peace Activism in the Occupied Palestinian Territory


Farr, Vanessa. 2011. “UNSCR 1325 and Women’s Peace Activism in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13 (4): 539–56. doi:10.1080/14616742.2011.611661.

Author: Vanessa Farr


Palestinian women's organized resistance to the Israeli occupation is decades old and has been well-documented and analyzed by feminists in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and outside. Some of the most recent attempts to formulate and shape this resistance make reference to UNSCR 1325. The application of the Resolution in the work of three women's organizations in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Palestinian-Israeli peace-making attempts are analysed in this paper. However, the paper concludes that the disconnects between women's activism on the ground and in academia, the intentions stated in the UNSCR 1325, and the Israel-Palestine peace process are so vast that there is little evidence that the Resolution offers an effective mechanism for women to make their voices heard.

Keywords: occupied Palestinian territory, West Bank, Gaza Strip, women's peace activism, state-building, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Discourses, NGOs, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence


Peteet, Julie. 1994. “Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence.” American Ethnologist 21 (1): 31–49.

Author: Julie Peteet


This article examines ritualized inscriptions of bodily violence upon Palestinian male youths in the occupied territories. It argues that beatings and detention are construed as rites of passage into manhood. Bodily violence is crucial in the construction of a moral self among its recipients, who are enabled to juxtapose their own cultural categories of manhood and morality to those of a foreign power. Ritual as a transformative experience foregrounds a political agency designed to reverse relations of domination between occupied and occupier. Simultaneously, it both reaffirms and transforms internal Palestinian forms of domination.

Keywords: middle east, masculinity, ritual performance, violence, body, construction of self

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1994

The Quest for Masculinity in a Defeated France, 1940-1945


Capdevila, Luc. 2001. "The Quest for Masculinity in a Defeated France, 1940-1945." Contemporary European History 10 (3, Theme Issue: Gender and War in Europe c. 1918-1949): 423-45.

Author: Luc Capdevila


This article provides a detailed analysis of the individuals who enrolled in Vichy fighting units at the end of the German occupation. Those groups were mostly created in late 1943 and early 1944, and acted as effective subsidiaries to German troops, treating civilians and partisans with extreme violence. The enrolment of those men was a consequence of their political beliefs, notably strong anti-communism. But the fact that their behaviour seems born of desperation (some were recruited after D-Day) is a hint that it was shaped according to other cultural patterns, especially an image of masculinity rooted in the memory of the First World War and developed, among others, according to fascist and Nazi ideologies: a manhood based on strength, the violence of warfare and the image of the soldier. This article provides an analysis based on judiciary documents from the time of the purge, with a careful reconstruction of personal trajectories and self discourse in order to understand the masculine identity these sometimes very young men tried to realise through political engagement in the guise of warriors. (Cambridge Journals)




Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: France

Year: 2001

Where Have All the Women (and Men) Gone? Reflections on Gender and the Second Palestinian Intifada


Johnson, Penny, and Eileen Kuttab. 2001. “Where Have All the Women (and Men) Gone? Reflections on Gender and the Second Palestinian Intifada.” Feminist Review, no. 69, 21–43. doi:10.1080/014177800110070102.

Authors: Penny Johnson, Eileen Kuttab


The authors ground their reflections on gender and the complex realities of the second Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation in the political processes unleashed by the signing of the Israeli–Palestinian rule, noting that the profound inequalities between Israel and Palestine during the interim period produced inequalities among Palestinians. The apartheid logic of the Oslo period – made explicit in Israel's policies of separation, seige and confinement of the Palestinian population during the intifada and before it – is shown to shape the forms, sites and levels of resistance which are highly restricted by gender and age. In addition, the authors argue that the Palestinian Authority and leadership have solved the contradictions and crisis of Palestinian nationalism in this period through a form of rule that the authors term 'authoritarian populism', that tends to disallow democractic politics and participation. The seeming absence of women and civil society from the highly unequal and violent confrontations is contrasted with the first Palestinian intifada (1987–91), that occurred in a context of more than a decade of democratic activism and the growth of mass-based organizations, including the Palestinian women's movement. The authors explore three linked crises in gender roles emerging from the conditions of the second intifada: a crisis in masculinity, a crisis in paternity and a crisis in maternity.

Keywords: national liberation, nationalism, military occupation, maternity, masculinity

Topics: Age, Armed Conflict, Occupation, Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, NGOs Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2001

Women and Human Rights in the Rebuilding of East Timor


Charlesworth, Hilary, and Mary Wood. 2002. “Women and Human Rights in the Rebuilding of East Timor.” Nordic Journal of International Law 71: 325–48.

Authors: Hilary Charlesworth, Mary Wood


This article considers how the discourse of women's human rights has been employed in the lead up to independence in East Timor. It describes the way that the United Nations' temporary administration responded to the situation of women after the Indonesian occupation and assesses the adequacy of its attempts to 'mainstream' gender in the independence process.

Keywords: globalization, human rights, United Nations, gender mainstreaming

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Occupation, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2002


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