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Feminisms in the Aftermath of September 11


Eisenstein, Zilliah. 2002. Feminisms In The Aftermath Of September 11. Social Text 20 (3): 79-99.

Author: Zilliah Eisenstein


This essay is about how women's rights as a complicated discourse, and the burkha as a complex symbolic, are the sites from which to understand the complexity of global power struggles at this moment. But first a note of context is necessary to clear some space for thinking—openly, critically, historically—in terms of a before and after of September 11. September 11 has not changed everything. It has just made clear how much context and perspective and location matter. Ask the people of Chile about September 11—when their beloved president, Salvador Allende, was gunned down in a coup d'état supported by the United States. Ask them the meaning of trauma and grief. Think back to the Gulf War and U.S. militarist terrorism of its smart bombs. Think across and beyond to the children of Iraq, today, this minute, who need cancer drugs or textbooks for their schools and cannot have them because of the economic sanctions imposed on their country. Do what women always do—multitask, so that you are not simply concentrated on yourself, or the United States, or this moment.

Keywords: gender analysis, gender and conflict, middle east, iran, September 11, constructivism and gender, feminism, Iraq, MENA

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Health, PTSD, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran, Iraq

Year: 2002

War, Gender and Culture: Mozambican Women Refugees


Sideris, Tina. 2003. "War, Gender and Culture: Mozambican Women Refugees." Social Science & Medicine 56 (4): 713-24.

Author: Tina Sideris


Analyses of the psychological sequelae of war-related violence for women tend to rely on the concepts developed in research on male combatants. Post-traumatic stress disorder or varying combinations of its symptoms are identified as the principal outcomes of war-related events for women. By and large, the dominant literature does not examine possible outcomes which could be specified by gender. This paper refers to the war in Mozambique during the 1970s and 1980s as a typical illustration of how women are an integral part of the battlefield. It draws on research on African women and uses testimony of Mozambican women refugees who settled in South Africa to explore how gender is linked to psycho-social outcomes of massive social conflict. The paper argues that a richer understanding of the psycho-social outcomes of war and the needs of survivors is promoted by investigating gender in specific historical situations and how this frames the responses people have to experiences of violence and social destruction.



Keywords: women refugees, gender, PTSD, war, South Africa

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Health, PTSD, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2003

Posttraumatic Resilience in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers


Klasen, Fionna, Judith Daniels, Gabriele Oettingen, Manuela Post, Catrin Hoyer, and Hubertus Adam. 2010. “Posttraumatic Resilience in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers.” Child Development 81 (4): 1096–1113.

Authors: Fionna Klasen, Judith Daniels, Gabriele Oettingen, Manuela Post, Catrin Hoyer, Hubertus Adam


The present research examines posttraumatic resilience in extremely exposed children and adolescents based on interviews with 330 former Ugandan child soldiers (age = 11-17, female = 48.5%). Despite severe trauma exposure, 27.6% showed posttraumatic resilience as indicated by the absence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinically significant behavioral and emotional problems. Among these former child soldiers, posttraumatic resilience was associated with lower exposure to domestic violence, lower guilt cognitions, less motivation to seek revenge, better socioeconomic situation in the family, and more perceived spiritual support. Among the youth with significant psychopathology, many of them had symptoms extending beyond the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, in keeping with the emerging concept of developmental trauma disorder. Implications for future research, intervention, and policy are discussed.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: Africa, East Africa

Year: 2010

Women, War, and Violence: Surviving the Experience


Usta, Jinan, Jo Ann M. Farver, and Lama Zein. 2008. “Women, War, and Violence: Surviving the Experience.” Journal of Women’s Health 17 (5): 793-804.

Authors: Jinan Usta, Jo Ann M. Farver, Lama Zein


OBJECTIVES: To investigate how Lebanese women were affected by the July 2006 conflict that erupted between the Hezbollah and the State of Israel, with a specific focus on their personal violence exposure and how they coped with these circumstances.

METHODS: Participants were 310 women at Ministry of Social Affairs Centers (MOSA) located in six geographic areas with varying exposure to the conflict. A questionnaire was administered in interview format to collect information about the participants' demographic characteristics, experiences of the conflict, perceived psychological functioning, exposure to violence associated with the conflict, exposure to domestic violence during and after the conflict, and their coping strategies.

RESULTS: Of the women, 89% had to leave their homes during the conflict because of fear or worry about safety. Of the 310 participants, 39% reported at least one encounter with violence perpetrated by soldiers, 27% reported at least one incident of domestic abuse during the conflict, and 13% reported at least one incident after the conflict perpetrated by their husbands or other family members. Women's self-reported negative mental health scores were positively correlated with the violence associated with the conflict and with domestic violence during and after the conflict. Women who reported that they did not know how to cope or had just tried to forget about their experiences reported more frequent domestic violence exposure during the conflict and had higher negative mental health outcomes associated with the conflict than did those who reported using active strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: During armed conflict, domestic violence is also likely to increase. Therefore, when investigating the psychological impact of war on women, both forms of violence exposure should be considered. The use of active coping strategies may help in reducing psychological distress.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Violence

Year: 2008

The NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Military Intervention Facing New Civilian Challenges


Skjelsbæk, Inger. 2004. "The NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Military Intervention Facing New Civilian Challenges." In Gender Aspects of Conflict Interventions: Intended and Unintended Consequences, 25-38. Oslo: International Peace Research Institute

Author: Inger Skjelsbæk


Sexual violence can be conceptualized as a security issue, and thereby a matter of concern for a military conflict intervention such as SFOR. A potential increase in the number of inter-ethnic rapes in Bosnia ought to be regarded as a security threat. It is therefore recommended that as a part of an overall security assessment, SFOR headquarters and the three multinational brigades (MNBs) should include statistics on the number of inter-ethnic rapes in the regions in which SFOR operates. If the SFOR leadership is to implement the above recommendation, a number of practical issues need be considered. The following further recommendations should therefore be read as ways of reaching the  primary goal outlined above: CIMIC officers must be given basic education on the causes and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in particular the forms it may take among victims of sexual violence; CIMIC units should establish close contact with women’s NGOs, psychosocial centres and social centres in their areas in order to create a network through which potential victims can receive adequate help; Gender Officers should be appointed at a minimum at the MNB level; and Gender Officers ought be part of the Gender Coordinating Group (GCG) or similar associations in the area.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Health, PTSD, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, NGOs, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2004

Child Sexual Abuse in Lebanon during War and Peace


Usta, Jinan, Jo Ann M. Farver, and Lama Zein. 2010. “Child Sexual Abuse in Lebanon during War and Peace.” Child: Care, Health and Development 36 (3): 361–68. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01082.x.

Authors: Jinan Usta, Jo Ann M. Farver, Lama Zein


Purpose Child sexual abuse (CSA) is rarely addressed in the Arab world. This study examined the prevalence, risk factors and consequences associated with CSA in Lebanese children before, during and after the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli war.
Method A total of 1028 Lebanese children (556 boys; 472 girls) were administered an interview questionnaire that included the International Child Abuse Screening Tool, the Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Family Functioning in Adolescence Questionnaire.
Results In total, 249 (24%) children reported at least one incident of CSA; 110 (11%) occurred before the war, 90 (8%) took place in the 1-year period after the war to the time of the data collection and 49 (5%) occurred during the 33-day war. There were no gender differences in CSA reports before or after the war, but boys reported more incidents during the war than did girls. Girls who reported CSA had higher trauma-related symptoms for sleep disturbance, somatization, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety than did boys. There were geographic differences in the reports of abuse that may be associated with poverty and living standards. Logistic regression analyses correctly classified 89.9% of the cases and indicated that children’s age, family size, fathers’ education level and family functioning significantly predicted CSA during the period following the war.
Conclusions The prevalence of CSA in the current study is within the reported international range. Given the increase in the incidents of CSA during the war and the significant findings for family-related risk factors, there is an urgent need to provide multi-component culturally appropriate interventions that target the child and the family system in times of peace and conflict.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, family functioning, Lebanon, trauma symptoms, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2010

Male-Perpetrated Violence Among Vietnam Veteran Couples: Relationships With Veteran’s Early Life Characteristics, Trauma History, and PTSD Symptomatology


Orcutt, Holly K., Lynda A. King, and Daniel W. King. 2003. “Male-Perpetrated Violence Among Vietnam Veteran Couples: Relationships With Veteran’s Early Life Characteristics, Trauma History, and PTSD Symptomatology.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 16 (4): 381–90. doi:10.1023/A:1024470103325.

Authors: Holly K. Orcutt , Lynda A. King, Daniel W. King


Using structural equation modeling, we examined the impact of early-life stressors, war-zone stressors, and PTSD symptom severity on partner's reports of recent male-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) among 376 Vietnam veteran couples. Results indicated that several variables demonstrated direct relationships with IPV, including relationship quality with mother, war-zone stressor variables, and PTSD symptom severity. Importantly, retrospective reports of a stressful early family life, childhood antisocial behavior, and war-zone stressors were indirectly associated with IPV via PTSD. One of our 2 war-zone stressor variables, perceived threat, had both direct and indirect (through PTSD) relationships with IPV. Experiencing PTSD symptoms as a result of previous trauma appears to increase an individual's risk for perpetrating IPV. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.

Topics: Combatants, Domestic Violence, Gender, Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2003

Mental Health Consequences in Men Exposed to Sexual Abuse During the War in Croatia and Bosnia


Loncar, Mladen, Neven Henigsberg, and Pero Hrabac. 2010. “Mental Health Consequences in Men Exposed to Sexual Abuse During the War in Croatia and Bosnia.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25 (2): 191–203.

Authors: Mladen Loncar, Neven Henigsberg, Pero Hrabac


In the research project on sexual abuse of men during the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, detailed information from 60 victims of such crimes was gathered. The aim of the research was to define key attributes of sexual abuse of men in war as well as consequences it had on the victims. A method of structured interview was used. Also, the statement of each victim was recorded. Victims were exposed to physical torture of their genitals, psycho-sexual torture and physical abuse. The most common symptoms of traumatic reactions were sleep disturbances, concentration difficulties, nightmares and flashbacks, feelings of hopelessness, and different physical stress symptoms such as constant headaches, profuse sweating, and tachycardia. In addition to rape and different methods of sexual abuse, most of the victims were heavily beaten. The conclusion is made that the number of sexually abused men during the war must have been much higher than reported.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Men, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against Men, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia

Year: 2010

Gender Differences in Mental Health Diagnoses Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Enrolled in Veterans Affairs Health Care


Maguen, Shira, Li Ren, Jeane O. Bosch, Charles R. Marmar, and Karen H. Seal. 2010. “Gender Differences in Mental Health Diagnoses Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Enrolled in Veterans Affairs Health Care.” American Journal of Public Health 100 (12): 2450–56.

Authors: Shira Maguen, Li Ren, Jeane O. Bosch, Charles R. Marmar, Karen H. Seal


We examined gender differences in sociodemographic, military service, and mental health characteristics among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans. We evaluated associations between these sociodemographic and service characteristics and depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnoses.

Methods: In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, we used univariate descriptive statistics and log binominal regression analyses of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data on 329049 OEF and OIF veterans seeking VA health care from April 1, 2002, through March 31, 2008.

Results: Female veterans were younger and more likely to be Black and to receive depression diagnoses than were male veterans, who were more frequently diagnosed with PTSD and alcohol use disorders. Older age was associated with a higher prevalence of PTSD and depression diagnoses among women but not among men.

Conclusions: Consideration of gender differences among OEF and OIF veterans seeking health care at the VA will facilitate more targeted prevention and treatment services for these newly returning veterans.

Topics: Age, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries

Year: 2010

Improving Nurse Practitioner Assessment of Woman Veterans


Fitzgerald, Cynthia E. 2010. “Improving Nurse Practitioner Assessment of Woman Veterans.” Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 22 (7): 339–45.

Author: Cynthia E. Fitzgerald


PURPOSE: To provide nurse practitioners (NPs) with brief screening tools that can be used to identify postmilitary healthcare concerns common among women veterans.

DATA SOURCES: Existing screening tools for posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Women represent more than 10% of military veterans who have served in combat settings during the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result of their military service, women veterans may present in community healthcare settings with one or more of a variety of functional health problems, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or other evidence of significant physical or psychiatric stress. Their families may be temporarily or permanently unstable as a result of the disruption caused by their military service, deployment, or health status.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: NPs who are aware of the unique healthcare needs of women veterans returning from combat will be better prepared to assess and intervene when these patients present with symptoms or health consequences of military service. Simple, straightforward assessments can determine the extent to which women veteran patients require intervention during wartime and/or referral.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence

Year: 2010


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