Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Political Participation

Women’s Experiences of Peacebuilding in Violence-Affected Communities in Kenya

Citation:

Mueller-Hirth, Natascha. 2019. “Women’s Experiences of Peacebuilding in Violence-Affected Communities in Kenya.” Third World Quarterly 40 (1): 163–79.

Author: Natascha Mueller-Hirth

Abstract:

Despite the attention to gender and conflict in empirical positivist peace research, and the interest in local agency in recent peacebuilding literature, women’s understandings and lived experiences of peacebuilding are not necessarily well accounted for. This article, drawing on interviews, focus groups and observation research with 57 female victims/ survivors of post-election violence in Kenya, provides an ethnographic study of women’s largely informal peacebuilding activities, ranging from mediation and dialogue to economic empowerment. It analyses women’s constructions and ways of making sense of being peacebuilders, demonstrating that, while participants employed dominant gender frames, they exerted considerable transformative agency in their communities. It argues that their ‘gendered responsibility for peace’ at community level is simultaneously empowering and disempowering. The research aims to increase understanding of the gendered nature of peacebuilding and the ways in which women exercise peacebuilding agency through a focus on their own voices and lived experiences.

Keywords: gender, peacebuilding, women, Kenya, political violence, post-election violence

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Governance, Elections, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

Surviving Juntas (Together): Lessons of Resilience of Indigenous Quechua Women in the Aftermath of Conflict in Peru

Citation:

Suarez, Eliana Barrios. 2015. “Surviving Juntas (Together): Lessons of Resilience of Indigenous Quechua Women in the Aftermath of Conflict in Peru.” Intervention 13 (1): 6-18.

Author: Eliana Barrios Suarez

Abstract:

Research into survivors of war has largely focused on suffering, rather than on the resilience, of survivors. This paper presents a cross-sectional survey that examined the factors contributing to the resilience of indigenous Quechua women (n = 151) in the aftermath of Peruvian armed conflict (1980-2000). Regular participation in civic associations, and the migratory status of returnees after the conflict, were associated with higher resilience. In contrast, low levels of education, unpaid occupations and experience of sexual violence during the conflict were all associated with lower resilience. These findings suggest that social policies that revitalise civic society and reduce gender inequalities within education and employment are crucial to enhance women's resilience in post war zones. In this study, the resilience of Quechua women, in particular their association with political activism, offers an unambiguous example of courage and active resistance to extreme adversity.

Keywords: Peru, Quechua women, resilience

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2015

Islamist Women’s Feminist Subjectivities in (R)Evolution: The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings

Citation:

Biagini, Erika. 2020. “Islamist Women’s Feminist Subjectivities in (R)Evolution: The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (3): 382–402.

Author: Erika Biagini

Abstract:

This article draws attention to a young generation of Islamist women activists and to how these women have reacted to the patriarchal tendencies of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement following the January 25, 2011 revolution in Egypt. Although women’s support was central to the ability of Islamists to win power, after the uprising Islamists failed to grant women significant political rights and autonomy. While the existing literature on gender and nationalism demonstrates that practical gains for women are frequently sidelined by their movements in a post-revolutionary era, there is increasing recognition of the need to examine the relationship between feminism and nationalism in relation to the particular context in which this evolves. This article substantiates this claim with new evidence. Based on a feminist ethnographic study of the Muslim Sisterhood, the female members of the Egyptian MB movement, conducted in Cairo between 2013 and 2018, the article demonstrates that a new gender politics has emerged among Islamist women activists as a result of their engagement in revolutionary struggle. This gender politics has explicit feminist overtones, which have become evident as women begin to challenge men’s position of privilege within the sphere of the family.

Keywords: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Uprisings, Islamist women, feminism, activism, Subjectivity

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2020

Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics

Citation:

Erel, Umut, and Necla Acik. 2020. “Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (4): 479–501.

Authors: Umut Erel, Necla Acik

Abstract:

Focusing on the institutional aspects of the Kurdish women’s movement in Turkey since the 1990s the article shows how it established a consciousness within the Kurdish national movement that gender equality is a cornerstone of democracy and ethnic rights. We frame this through theories of enacting intersectional multilayered citizenship and identify three key interventions: autonomous women’s assemblies, women’s quotas in pro-Kurdish rights parties and the cochair system where all elected positions within the pro- Kurdish parties are jointly occupied by a male and female. These have achieved a better representation of women in formal politics, rendered gender equality and sexual violence legitimate subjects of politics and contributed to establishing an aspiration for a more dialogic political ethos. While the women’s movement’s close affiliation with the Kurdish national movement has been highly effective, it also in part circumscribes gender roles to fit its agendas.

Keywords: gender politics, Kurds, Kurdish national movement, Co-chair system, middle east, women's movement, women's quota, women's political representation

Topics: Citizenship, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2020

Giving Women a Voice on Decision-Making about Water: Barriers and Opportunities in Laikipia, Kenya

Citation:

Coulter, Janna E., Rebecca A. Witinok-Huber, Brett L. Bruyere, and Wanja Dorothy Nyingi. 2019. “Giving Women a Voice on Decision-Making about Water: Barriers and Opportunities in Laikipia, Kenya.” Gender, Place & Culture 26 (4): 489–509.

Authors: Janna E. Coulter, Rebecca A. Witinok-Huber, Brett L. Bruyere, Wanja Dorothy Nyingi

Abstract:

In more than 75% of households around the world in which water needs are fulfilled by retrieving water, women are typically tasked with this critical responsibility. This is true in Kenya, and the challenges women in rural areas of the country face are compounded by a lack of reasonable access to safe water by 56.5% of rural households. More than 25% of the population must travel at least 30 minutes to collect water, and 70% of all diseases in the country are water-borne (Kameri-Mbote and Kariuki 2015). Given their role as the primary household decision-maker about water, women have an astute understanding of water availability, access, quality and household use, and women’s perspectives would enhance decision-making in groups that address water resource management. However, women have historically been marginalized from participation in such processes for numerous reasons related to lack of empowerment, leadership, and voice, and the practicalities of the demands on her time that prevent her from having discretionary time to devote to civic processes. In this study, we interviewed 153 women living in three different watersheds in the Laikipia region of central Kenya about their views on water resource management, and interest in participation in water resource user associations (WRUAs) as members and leaders. Our results are consistent with prior research in that marginalization of women from WRUA participation is steeped in entrenched normative beliefs and behaviors about women’s roles and her domestic responsibilities, a lack of money to participate, and a lack of time given her other responsibilities.

Keywords: governance, Kenya, marginalization, women, water

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance

Citation:

Gilbert, Victoria. 2020. “Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance.” Politics & Gender, 1–28. doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000136.

Author: Victoria Gilbert

Abstract:

In the rich literature on women and conflict, many scholars have assumed that the outbreak of civil war suppresses women’s political involvement. However, during Syria’s civil war, there was significant subnational and temporal variation in the involvement of women in the institutions established by armed groups and civilians in rebel-held areas. Why were some Syrian women able to secure a place for themselves in insurgent governance? How were they able to influence the form of local institutions to secure a role for women? Bringing together the scholarship on social movements and rebel governance, this article argues that two factors determine whether women were able to mobilize politically during conflict: the organizational capacity of women and the strength and ideology of locally active armed groups. The article leverages data on local organizations and institutions in Syria, Syrian news sources, and correspondence with several women’s organizations operating in Syria in 2017. By doing so, this article strives to bring attention to the role of gender in the expanding literature on rebel governance. It also highlights the significance of armed groups’ ideologies, an aspect often dismissed in the literature in favor of a focus on material factors.

Keywords: gender, rebel, rebel governance, insurgent governance, civil war, conflict, institutions, Syria, conflict processes, comparative politics, women, middle east, institutional design

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security

Citation:

Wagnsson, Charlotte, Eva-Karin Olsson, and Isabella Nilsen. 2020. “Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security.” Gender & Society. doi: 10.1177/0891243220946029.
 

Authors: Charlotte Wagnsson, Eva-Karin Olsson, Isabella Nilsen

Abstract:

Gender differences have been observed regarding many political and social issues, yet we lack comprehensive evidence on differences in perceptions on a wide range of security issues increasingly important to voters: military threats, criminality, and terrorism. Previous research suggests that when women are highly politically mobilized, as they are in Sweden, gender differences in political opinion are large. On the other hand, Swedish politicians have worked hard to reduce gender stereotypical thinking. This prompts the question: Are there gender differences in attitudes on security issues in Sweden, and if so, in what ways do the attitudes differ? This study is based on comprehensive data from focus groups and a large-scale survey. The results show that women were more prone to respond with an “ethic of care,” across security issues. Women were more inclined to understand security problems as structural, explained by macho culture, segregation, and injustice. Women tend to support preventive measures that provide individuals with opportunities to choose “the right path,” such as education and economic investment in deprived areas. When asked about national security, women believe more in diplomacy and dialogue. In general, women are less inclined to support various repressive solutions.

Keywords: crime, law & social control, politics/state/nationalism, violence, war & conflict

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Political Participation, Security Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

Sectores campesinos, mujeres rurales y estado en Colombia

Citation:

Villarreal, Norma. 2005. “Sectores campesinos, mujeres rurales y estado en Colombia.” PhD diss., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Author: Norma Villarreal

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This research studies the beginining and development of the rural women movement in Colombia. The rural women organizations have adquired a great influence in the economical and social rural life. This gender empowerment has a framework complex because there is poverty, rural modernization and crisis, violence and sociopolitical changes. The rural women organizations resulted of public political to recognize the role of the peasants women in the rural economy.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El presente trabajo estudia el proceso de surgimiento y desarrollo de un movimiento de mujeres rurales con capacidad de influencia en los espacios de decisión de las políticas sectoriales. El aumento de la influencia de las mujeres en la economía y en la sociedad rural se da en un complejo proceso de pobreza, crisis y modernización rural, conflicto social y cambios sociopolíticos. La organización de mujeres rurales es el resultado de políticas públicas para reconocer el papel de las mujeres campesinas en la economía rural.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2005

Violations of Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights: A Report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Citation:

Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), MADRE, and Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, CUNY School of Law. 2019. Violations of Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights: A Report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Cali: PCN; New York: MADRE and HRGJ Clinic.

Authors: Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), MADRE, Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, CUNY School of Law

Annotation:

Summary:
"This report, prepared for the List of Themes in advance of the review of Colombia’s human rights record by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, describes a widespread pattern of human rights violations committed against Afro-Colombian women and their communities, a pattern which in turn underscores entrenched systemic racial and gender discrimination in Colombia. Part II details ways in which Afro-descendant women are excluded from meaningful participation in peace implementation, and relatedly, the Government’s failure to adequately implement racial and gender justice provisions of its 2016 Peace Accord with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Part III describes the consistent attacks on Afro-descendant human rights defenders, including women, the lack of meaningful state protection for them, and the environment of impunity in which the attacks occur. The following section provides information on the disproportionate vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence that Afro-descendant communities face, and the lack of services, protection and justice for victims. Lack of access to adequate, appropriate, and timely health services for Afrodescendant survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is described in more detail in Part V. Part VI discusses the Government’s failure to uphold the collective territorial rights of AfroColombian women and their communities, placing their very existence as Peoples at risk. Each section is followed by suggested questions and recommendations to the Colombian government" (PCN et al. 2019, 4).

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Justice, Impunity, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

Transitional Justice in Colombia—Insights from Postcolonial Feminist Theory

Citation:

Lasota, Josephine. 2020. “Transitional Justice in Colombia—Insights from Postcolonial Feminist Theory.” TLI Think! Paper 13/2020, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, London.

Author: Josephine Lasota

Abstract:

In 2016, Colombia’s biggest Guerrilla group, the FARC, and the government under president Santos reached a breakthrough in the lasting peace negotiations after the decades-long armed conflict and established a comprehensive transitional justice system. Although the accord is described as relatively progressive, the peace process is currently fraying. This paper aims to address some of the deficits of the Colombian peacebuilding, focusing on insights from postcolonial feminist theory. Building on experiences of past transitional justice processes, the essay examines the Colombian example with regard to women in decision-making positions and the lack of an intersectional approach. Moreover, the paper challenges the capacity of TJ as a tool to address the root causes of conflicts and to achieve a transformation of the society which is necessary in order to accomplish sustainable peace.

Keywords: transitional justice, peacebuilding, Colombia, FARC, Postcolonial Feminist Theory, intersectionality, women, structural inequalities

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Justice, Transitional Justice, Intersectionality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Pages

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Political Participation