A Gendered Uprising: Political Representation and Minority Ethnic Communities


Burlet, Stacey, and Helen Reid. 1998. “A Gendered Uprising: Political Representation and Minority Ethnic Communities.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 21 (2): 270-87.

Authors: Stacey Burlet, Helen Reid


This article explores the interface between gender and ethnicity in a microlevel study of a conflict which involved members of a minority ethnic community. Focusing on gender reactions to the unfolding conflict, it explores arguments raised by women in its aftermath. These arguments concern who has the right to define and represent them in public spaces in the future. The specific conflict examined took place in Bradford, UK, in 1995, and involved male Pakistani Muslim youths and the police. In the aftermath, public debate on the issue has centered on community representation in general and the role of male youth in particular. It is argued that the conflict also accelerated a process whereby Pakistani Muslim women are (re)defining intra- and inter-community relationships in the public sphere. This article affirms that the gender analysis being employed by these women to understand the events of 1995 has wider implications for the future management of plural societies, and poses a challenge to the dominance of men in creating, maintaining and managing public spaces.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Analysis Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 1998

Does War Beget Child Aggression? Military Violence, Gender, Age and Aggressive Behavior in Two Palestinian Samples


Qouta, Samir, Raija-Leena Punamäki, Thomas Miller, and Eyad El-Sarraj. 2008. “Does War Beget Child Aggression? Military Violence, Gender, Age and Aggressive Behavior in Two Palestinian Samples.” Aggressive Behavior 34 (3): 231–44.

Authors: Samir Qouta, Raija-Leena Punamäki, Thomas Miller, Eyad El-Sarraj


[Qouta et al] examined, first, the relations between children's exposure to military violence and their aggressive behavior and the role of age and gender in that relation in two Palestinian samples. Second, [Qouta et al] tested parenting practices as a moderator of the relation between exposure to military violence and aggressive behavior, and third, whether exposure to military violence of different nature (direct victimization versus witnessing) has specific associations with different forms of aggression (reactive, proactive and aggression-enjoyment). Study I was conducted in a relatively calm military-political atmosphere in Palestine-Gaza, and included 640 children, aged 6–16 years whose parents (N=622) and teachers (N=457) provided reports. Older children (≥12 years) provided self-reports (N=211). Study II included 225 Palestinian children aged 10–14-year, who participated during a high-violence period of the Al Aqsa Intifada characterized by air raids, killing and destruction. Results showed that witnessing severe military violence was associated with children's aggressive and antisocial behavior (parent-reported) in study I, and with proactive, reactive and aggression-enjoyment (child-reported) in the study II. As hypothesized, good and supporting parenting practices could moderate the link between exposure to military violence and aggressive behavior.

Keywords: trauma, military violence, aggression, Palestinians, children

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, Trauma Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

You'll Learn Not to Cry: Child Combatants in Colombia


Brett, Sebastian. 2003. You’ll Learn Not to Cry: Child Combatants in Colombia. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Author: Sebastian Brett


More than 11,000 children fight in Colombia's armed conflict, one of the highest totals in the world. Both guerrilla and paramilitary forces rely on child combatants, who have committed atrocities and are even made to execute other children who try to desert. The first comprehensive report published on this issue, "You'll Learn Not to Cry" documents how Colombia's illegal armies have recruited increasing numbers of children in recent years. Only Burma (Myanmar) and the Democratic Republic of Congo are believed to have significantly larger numbers of child combatants than Colombia. The 150-page book, based on interviews with 112 former child combatants, documents how both guerrillas and paramilitaries exploit the desperation of poor children in rural combat zones. Many join up for food or physical protection, to escape domestic violence, or because of promises of money. Some are coerced to join at gunpoint, or join out of fear. Others are street children with nowhere to go. Children as young as thirteen are trained to use assault rifles, grenades and mortars. Human Rights Watch urged guerrilla and paramilitary forces to end all recruitment of children under the age of eighteen and to demobilize the children in their ranks. Pending complete demobilization, the group urged the following immediate and unconditional steps: firmly prohibit forcible recruitment; allow those who wish to leave without reprisals; cease executions of children; and provide proper medical care for the sick or wounded. (Human Rights Watch)

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Domestic Violence, Gender, Girls, Boys, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Paramilitaries Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2003

Policy and Practice: Non-Governmental Organisations and the Health Delivery System for Displaced Children in Khartoum, Sudan


Abdelmoneium, Azza O. A. 2010. “Policy and Practice: Non-Governmental Organisations and the Health Delivery System for Displaced Children in Khartoum, Sudan.” Child Abuse Review 19 (3): 203–17.

Author: Azza O. A. Abdelmoneium


The civil war in Sudan and natural disasters have led to the displacement of many people of whom 2.2 million live in and around Khartoum, half of whom are under the age of 18. These children, living in barren, remote areas, must find ways to survive and meet their basic needs of food, shelter, health and education.

This article focuses on the work of an international organisation working in health services for displaced people in one of the camps in Khartoum in order to argue the case for a rights-based approach to health care, for separate provision of services to adolescent mothers, for education on sexual and reproductive health for children before they become sexually active, and for sexual and reproductive health services and education for adolescent boys and men.

This article concentrates on health education, in particular sexual and reproductive rights and how gender-based differences impact on the health and well-being of children. By concentrating almost exclusively on pregnant and lactating women and children under five, the organisation may reduce the possibility of successful outcomes for women and may not contribute to the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases, early pregnancy and related morbidity and mortality.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, International Organizations, NGOs, Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2010

Growing up in Guerrilla Camps: The Long-Term Impact of Being a Child Soldier in El Salvador’s Civil War


Dickson-Gómez, Julia. 2002. “Growing up in Guerrilla Camps: The Long-Term Impact of Being a Child Soldier in El Salvador’s Civil War.” Ethos 30 (4): 327–56.

Author: Julia Dickson-Gómez


Many recent wars are characterized by high levels of civilian casualties, a large proportion of whom are women and children. Furthermore, an estimated 300,000 children are actively participating in 36 ongoing or recently ended conflicts around the world. However, there is a dearth of reseearch on the long-term effects of war trauma experienced in childhood or children's active participation in armed conflicts. This article explores the long-term effectives of children's active participation in the war in El Salvador by examining four young adults who fought with the guerrilla army as children and adolescents. Comparing these four cases with member of the community who joined and fought with the guerrilla as adults, it will be argued that traumatic experiences were even more devestating when they occurred in early childhood as they destroyed the ability to establish basic trust in competent and nurturing caretakers. Becoming a soldier created additional conflicts as these adolescent soldiers behaved in ways they felt were morally incorrect. Adolescent soldiers were also not given the opportunity to develop autonomy and learn adult peace-time roles. Both the psychological trauma suffered as children as well as continued economic scarcity and violence contribute to these campesinos' difficulties in creating meaningful lives as adults.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2002

Girls and Small Arms in Sierra Leone: Victimization, Participation, and Resistance


Denov, Myriam, and Richard Maclure. 2005. “Girls and Small Arms in Sierra Leone: Victimization, Participation, and Resistance.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Honolulu, March 5.

Authors: Myriam Denov, Richard Maclure


Despite the protections provided to children under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the issue of child soldiers has become a major global concern. More than 300,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in 41 countries around the world. During Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war, close to 20,000 children were actively engaged as participants in armed struggle. While there is ample descriptive evidence of the conditions and factors underlying the rise of child soldiery in Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the developing world, most of the literature has portrayed this as a uniquely male phenomenon. Yet in Sierra Leone an estimated 30 percent of child soldiers in oppositional forces were girls. So far, however, there is little empirical information that distinguishes the experiences of these girls from those of boys. In particular, very little is known about the forces that propelled girls into armed conflict, about their experiences and perceptions of war, or about their unique psycho-social needs. Likewise, while demobilization and reintegration have been recognized as essential to sustainable peace-building in Sierra Leone, there are clear risks that implementation of such programmes will proceed according to conditionalities that fail to acknowledge gender distinctions and the ideal of 'empowering' female and male youth. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 32 Sierra Leonean girls formerly in fighting forces, this paper traces girls' perspectives and experiences with small arms and the implications of their involvement in armed conflict. It highlights the multi-faceted world that girls were forced to contend with - one in which the realities of victimization, perpetration, and resistance were experienced in a shifting and dialectical fashion.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Girls, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2005

Girls with Guns: Narrating the Experience of War of Frelimo’s ‘Female Detachment'


West, Harry G. 2000. “Girls with Guns: Narrating the Experience of War of Frelimo’s ‘Female Detachment.’” Anthropological Quarterly 73 (4): 180-94.

Author: Harry G. West


This article examines the way in which female guerrillas both appropriated and contributed to the FRELIMO narrative of women's participation in the struggle for Mozambican liberation. The author argues that ideological commitment to the cause was essential to defining the experience of violence for these girls and young women and that, concurrent with their convictions, they felt empowered rather than victimized by the war. The article contributes to an emerging literature suggesting that the culturally-specific meanings given to the social category of youth as well as to experiences of violence are essential to understanding the impact upon Africa's youth of the continent's many armed conflicts.

Keywords: child soldiers, violence, guerrilla war, women's emancipation, ideology, narrative

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2000

Writing Women Out, Folding Gender in: The European Union ‘Modernises’ Social Policy


Jenson, Jane. 2008. “Writing Women Out, Folding Gender in: The European Union ‘Modernises’ Social Policy.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 15 (2): 131-53.

Author: Jane Jenson


Over the last fifteen years, most of the countries with liberal and social democratic welfare regimes have redesigned their social policy. This trajectory can be labeled the LEGO policy paradigm. In it, the definition of the best policy mix often targets children and youth and redeploys policy instruments to achieve goals for the future. There is a growing commitment by the European Union to this supply-side understanding of social policy. Thus, while the machinery of gender mainstreaming and equality remains in place, nonetheless, two mechanisms are at one work in the social policy field: one of writing women out of the plot and folding gender into other stories.

Topics: Age, Youth, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations Regions: Europe

Year: 2008

The Creation of Job/Work Opportunities and Income Generating Activities for Youth in Post-Conflict Countries


Chigunta, Francis. 2006. “The Creation of Job/Work Opportunities and Income Generating Activities for Youth in Post-Conflict Countries.” Paper presented at the Expert Group Meeting on Youth in Africa: Participation of Youth as Partners in Peace and Development in Post-Conflict Countries, Windhoek, November 14-16.

Author: Francis Chigunta

Topics: Age, Youth, Economies, Gender, Girls, Boys, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights

Year: 2006

Psychosocial Assistance for Youth: Toward Reconstruction for Peace in Angola


Wessells, Michael, and Carlinda Monteiro. 2006. “Psychosocial Assistance for Youth: Toward Reconstruction for Peace in Angola.” Journal of Social Issues 62 (1): 121–39.

Authors: Michael Wessells, Carlinda Monteiro


Following decades of war, Angolan youth are at risk of continuing cycles of violence and need support in developing positive behaviors and social roles. Accordingly, a community-based program, conducted in Angola 1998–2001, taught youth life skills, provided peer support and peace education, educated adults about youth, and engaged youth as workers on community development projects. The main results included increased adult awareness of the situation and needs of youth, improved youth-adult relations, reduced perceptions of youth as troublemakers, reduced fighting between youth, increased community planning, and increased perceptions that youth make a positive contribution to the community. The results suggest that a dual focus on youth and community development contributes to peacebuilding and the disruption of cycles of violence.

Topics: Age, Youth, Development, Education, Gender, Girls, Boys, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2006


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