Sunday, September 30, 2012

Women Fighters in the EPLF and SPLA

The International Journal of Conflict and Violence (volume 5, issue 2, 2011) contains an article titled "Women without Arms: Gendered Fighter Constructions in Eritrea and Southern Sudan." The author is Annette Weber, senior associate, Middle East/Africa Division, German Institute for International Security Affairs in Berlin. Her focus is the Eritrean People's Liberation Movement (EPLF) and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The author assumes that armed groups and societies construct gendered fighter images.

She concludes:
--Women have restricted access to power positions during conflict because they are not fully acknowledged as fighters.
--Women can act as fighters but not become "real fighters."
--Masculine fighter images are idealized by men and women alike.
--Women actively participate in the construction of the masculine fighter ideal.
--There seems to be no apparent difference between men and women in the use of violence.

Click here to read the study.

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