Gender and Conflict
International Studies Dept, Ohio University, USA
Keywords: Conflict, Gender.
Violent conflicts come with a high level of wreckage on lives, property, and survival networks. Armed conflict terrorizes and kills large numbers of people, creates economic dislocation, human and capital flight, massive impoverishment and social breakdown. Thus, making the challenges faced by post-conflict countries more severe than those faced by poor but peaceful developing countries. During a war, women are considered vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, sexual slavery, disease, and forced recruitment into armed groups. As survivors of violent conflict, they bear the burden of reconstruction. This kind of stereotypical connotation associated with women has led to gender inequality regarding who is considered as weak and victim during a war. It is contended that men are the ones who engage in war and when they are killed, disappear, or dislocated, women are left behind with the burden of ensuring family livelihood. Women and their roles in society have become more and more prominent not only in the scientific discussions of conflict but also post-conflict reconstruction and sustenance of peace. This work, therefore, sought to discuss how the discourse about war is gendered and throwed light on gendered violence in contemporary warfare and the gendered role played during war/conflict. Besides, it discusses the impact of conflict on women as well as the role women played in post-conflict reconstruction to enhance development. I do not try to base my arguments on a bias male perspective but the available literature and contend that though women suffer violence in war-torn societies, they are not only victims of war but also engage in war.