Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones

Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones

Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones

Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones

Synopsis

"Insightfully and lucidly maps the gendered contours of militarized conflict, from war zones to refugee camps, and across continents as diverse as Africa, South Asia, Central America and Europe. This exciting book provides a variety of incisive feminist critiques of ethnic-nationalism, disputes over oil rights, and discourses about religious fundamentalism. This work not only explores and interrogates conflict, but also seeks to provide a feminist framework for moving beyond the violence of war."--Kumari Jayawardena, author of "Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World

"Offers a broad range of essays on gender, identity and conflict. What makes this collection exceptional is its critical stance, which draws from political geography as well as scholarship on feminisms, nationalisms and identities. The resulting analysis is both original and provocative. Moreover, the breadth and currency of its coverage renders the collection particularly useful for students and scholars alike."--Julie Mertus,author of "Kosovo: How Myths and Truths Started a War

"An important contribution to one of the most significant new fields in both women's studies and international politics--the study of post-conflict societies. Giles and Hyndman have brought together gritty, subtle case studies from Iraq, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and the former Yugoslavia to pose edgy questions about what subverts genuine national reconstruction and what thwarts real demilitarization. Anyone interested in international feminist organizing, nationalism, democratization, and the workings of modernized patriarchy will want to read this book cover to cover."--Cynthia Enloe, author of "Maneuvers: The International Politicsof Militarizing Women's Lives

Excerpt

The events and aftermath of September 11 ineluctably dissolved the already precarious distinction between domestic sovereign space and more global space where transnational networks, international relations, multilateral institutions, and global corporations operate. Feminists have long argued that private/public distinctions serve to depoliticize the private domestic spaces of “home” compared to more public domains. the attacks have exposed the limits of understanding the United States as a “domestic” space, somehow bounded and separated from the processes and politics of economic, cultural, and political integration. Likewise, boundaries between combatants and civilians, battlefronts and civilian spaces, cease to have much meaning in light of 9/11. Such distinctions, however, have long ceased to exist in conflict zones beyond U. S. borders.

Throughout much of the world, war is increasingly waged on the bodies of unarmed civilians. Where it was once the purview of male soldiers who fought enemy forces on battlefields quite separate from people's homes, contemporary conflict blurs such distinctions, rendering civilian women, men, and children its main casualties. the violence of such conflict cannot be isolated from other expressions of violence. in every militarized society, war zone, and refugee camp, violence against women and men is part of a broader continuum of violence that transcends the simple diplomatic dichotomy of war and peace. This continuum of violence resists any division between public and private domains. Battering and wife beating occur in the homes of Canadian soldiers (Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre and Resolve Violence and Abuse Research Centre 2000), while the so-called “honor killing” of female family members continues in Iraqi homes, despite laws to the contrary (see Mojab, Chapter 5 of this volume). While “home” was once demarcated as a “private” space beyond the purview of public . . .

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