Sunday, August 8, 2010

Read On! Women in armed conflict

(Read On! ... occasional posts on writing we're reading) While doing some summer research on gender issues in international criminal law, I was pleased to see that the International Review of the Red Cross has recently published an entire volume focused on women in armed conflict. Here is how the Review describes the theme of the volume:

Over the centuries, our perception of the main actors in warfare has been shaped by stereotypes of men as the aggressors and women as peace-loving and passive bystanders. However, the reality is women also take an active role in armed conflicts and in their aftermath; as politicians, combatants, leaders of non-governmental organisations, social and political groups and peace campaigners. Appropriate action requires a greater understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and the particular vulnerabilities they face.
Each of the articles in the volume are available in pdf format on the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross and through Cambridge Journals. Here is a list of the articles, all of which I can commend to you, as they bring different perspectives to the discussion of women and girls in war– and men and boys, through the excellent piece at the end:
► Editorial, Toni Pfanner
► Interview with Mary Robinson
► "Between Amazons and Sabines: a historical approach to women and war," Irène Herrmann and Daniel Palmieri
► "The dialogue of difference: gender perspectives on international humanitarian law," Helen Durham and Katie O'Byrne
► "Women fighters and the ‘beautiful soul’ narrative," Laura Sjoberg
► "Women's participation in the Rwandan genocide: mothers or monsters?," Nicole Hogg
► "From helplessness to agency: examining the plurality of women's experiences in armed conflict," Medina Haeri and Nadine Puechguirbal
► "Women in detention," Julie Ashdown and Mel James
► "Women, armed conflict and language – Gender, violence and discourse," Laura J. Shepherd
► "Women, economy, war," Carolyn Nordstrom
► "‘They came with two guns’: the consequences of sexual violence for the mental health of women in armed conflicts," Evelyne Josse
► "The Security Council on women in war: between peacebuilding and humanitarian protection," Alain-Guy Tachou-Sipowo
► "UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820: constructing gender in armed conflict and international humanitarian law," Amy Barrow
► "Between rhetoric and reality: exploring the impact of military humanitarian intervention upon sexual violence – post-conflict sex trafficking in Kosovo," Samantha T. Godec
► "Lost in translation: UN responses to sexual violence against men and boys in situations of armed conflict," Sandesh Sivakumaran.

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