Violence and Resilience: Women, War and the Realities of Everyday Life in Sudan

By Jok, Madut Jok | Ahfad Journal, December 2006 | Go to article overview

Violence and Resilience: Women, War and the Realities of Everyday Life in Sudan


Jok, Madut Jok, Ahfad Journal


Abstract

In his article Violence and Resilience, Dr. Jok Madut explores the insidious effect that militant opposition to the Sudanese government and that the Sudanese government's counter-insurgency tactics has had on Sudanese women. Madut begins his article by highlighting and criticizing the majority of media attention and academic scholarship on gender in Sudan, which myopically focuses on Sudanese women as helpless victims of warfare. Madut's article illustrates how gender-based violence has been an unquestionable trait of Sudanese warfare used by all parties of the conflict to dehumanize and devastate enemy populations. Madut argues, however, that the militarization of Sudanese society has led to the continuous reproduction and entrenchment of gender-based violence throughout Sudanese society resulting in widespread gender-based violence and marginalization within communities and families. Moreover, Madut's article illuminates a complex subculture of "expanded self-reliance" created by Sudanese women relying on newly found and traditional methods of resisting gender-based violence and marginalization. Madut warns that development programs often fail to address women's rights in Sudan in an attempt to return Sudanese women to their traditional female roles.

[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

Introduction

At the mention of war in Sudan, an image of women and children as hapless victims immediately comes to mind. For two decades since the start of the north-south second round of conflict in 1983, these images of the impact of war on women and children have featured .in mass media, documentary films, human rights reports and aid-related research literature, much of which has accomplished the task of exposing the sheer tragedy of Sudan's wars. But there is only scant scholarly writing that focuses specifically on the lived-experiences of these women that moves beyond the tropes associated with women as war victims. Such close investigation, particularly to gain their own perspective on the tragedies that befall them, would reveal the humanity of the victim; it would highlight some moments when they feel defeated along with the resilience it takes to rise above the daily challenges of living with war. Here we employ basic ethnographic research methods in an attempt to give room to the women's own efforts to explain things to the outside world in their own words; in a way that avoids the nearly pornographic representation of war victims now in vogue, especially in the visual media. Because of this kind of physical depiction, it has been possible for their suffering to be used by the Sudan's warring parties as mere tools of propaganda, each trying to show up the other in a bad light as the abuser of basic rights. Pandering to the media in order to promote political cause and gain sympathy has been an important practice used by both the state and non-state actors, and the suffering of women, which they are primarily responsible for, has been the object of campaigns. Rarely do the warring parties use the international media coverage as part of an effort to bring awareness and to minimize such gendered violence. In other words, the pictures of suffering also have negative uses, i.e. political uses in favor of the belligerents. The tale and picture of women as passive victims of wartime violence has been a part of the popular story of Sudan's war, and as such, it has obfuscated some of the women's notable struggles and coping strategies that must be highlighted and applauded. Without a doubt, the adverse conditions of such prolonged wars have forged a subculture of expanded self-reliance among women that is usually missed by reporters or quick assessment missions that are characteristic of humanitarian aid activities. Of course, these media representations cannot be dismissed or condemned in their entirety, for they arouse the sympathy of the world community, which people still hope could bring relief to these war-stricken societies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Violence and Resilience: Women, War and the Realities of Everyday Life in Sudan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.