Sondra Hale. "Course Sillabus: Women in Conflict Zones". Reprint permission granted by Sondra Hale.
How do our views of conflicts change when we are (1) taking gender into account and/or (2) when we are not only thinking of women as victims? In other words, while we often view women as victims in conflicts, can these women simultaneously be “something else” or many “other things”. In this article, Hale seeks to address these questions, and challenges the prevailing notions emanating from long-standing dichotomies of Western thought about women’s traditional roles in conflicts.
Maria B. Olujic. "Embodiment of Terror: Gendered Violence in Peacetime and Wartime in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina". In Medical Anthropology Quarterly: Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 31-50. The American Anthropological Association: March 1998. Reprint permission granted by publisher. Gendered violence is not a special type of torture used only in war. Olujic, in her article, explains that its roots are well established in peacetime. This article discusses parallels between the patterns of everyday domination and aggression during times of peace and war. Further, it discusses how metaphors and acts of rape in peacetime are transformed into symbols and acts of rape for wartime purposes. During peacetime the individual body, especially its essences--sexuality and reproduction--becomes the symbol of everyday domination and aggression. Wartime transforms individual bodies into social bodies as seen, for example, in genocidal rapes or ethnic cleansing. Olujic's article presents the confronting truth about gendered violence and conflict, as she explores the transformation of the individual as it is being manipulated and dominated by the society.
Haleh Afshar. "Women and Wars: Some Trajectories Towards a Feminist Peace". In Development in Practice: Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 178-188. Oxfam: May 2003. Reprint permission granted by publisher. Haleh Afshar's article seeks to explode a number of myths about women's absence from wars and conflict; it considers some problems about their vulnerabilities in these circumstances; and offers some feminist perspectives for addressing these problems. This paper considers the conflicting demands made on women in periods of war and revolution, and argues that differing historical processes result in different post-conflict policies towards women. Afshar also argues that the insistence on locating women within the domestic sphere in the post-war era ma be counter-productive and located in the historical construction of nationalism as masculine in terms of its character and demands. With the dawn of the twenty-first century and the long history of women's participation in wars, revolutions, and policy making, it may now be possible to use the symbolic importance given to them in times of conflict to articulate a different perception of nationhood and belonging.
Simona Sharoni. "Homefront as Battlefield: Gender, Military Occupation and Violence Against Women". IN Women and the Israeli Occupation: The Politics of Change. London: Routledge, 1994. Reprint permission granted by Simona Sharoni.
In this article, Sharoni explores the complex relationship between sexism, militarism, and violence against women. Using the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the author highlights the connections between the social construction of gender identities and gender relations in Israel on the one hand, and the use of violence in the Occupied Territories and on the Israeli ‘homefront’ on the other. The author seeks to show that violence against women is intrinsically linked to other forms and practices of violence. She moves beyond the traditional literature on women’s ways of coping, and instead, highlights the diverse range of strategies women employ to resist and manage violence in their daily lives.
.Anne McClintock. "No Longer in a Future Heaven: Women and Nationalism in South Africa". In Transition: No. 51, pp. 104-123. Reprint permission granted by author. Anne McClintock sheds light to some subtle, yet profound truth about nationalisms, while also revealing the implications women have within such nationalisms. She captures the position women were in during the early nation-building times of South Africa and utilizes it to portray how "all nationalisms are dependent on powerful constructions of gender difference". McClintock explains the idea of nationalism as it is viewed as a gendered discourse, only to be fully understood by theories of gender power. By using the histories and struggles of South African women, she solidifies her ideas and ultimately speaks to the transformation of the South African nation through these experiences.
Lila Abu-Lughod, "Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others". In the American Anthropologist, New Series. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, September 2002, pp. 783-790. Reprint permission granted by Lila Abu-Lughod. In her article, Lila Abu-Lughod explores the ethics of the current "War on Terrorism," questioning whether Anthropology, the discipline devoted to understanding and dealing with cultural difference, can provide us with a critical understanding on the justifications made for American intervention in Afghanistan in terms of liberating, or saving, Afghan women. Lila ultimately calls to attention the contemporary discourses on equality, freedom, and rights in regards to Muslim women. Her analysis brings together the importance of appreciating the difference between women of the world, especially those that come from different histories and circumstance. Her article challenges a different perspective not only into the Muslim world but also into the responsibilities of the international community, and how those responsibilities can be manifested in terms of equality rather than superiority, and along with great regard to other cultures.
Sondra Hale. "Memory Work as Resistance: Eritrean and Sudanese Women in Conflict Zones". In Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East: Vol. 32, No. 2. Duke University Press: 2012. Reprint Permission by Sondra Hale. Using field data from Eritrea and Sudan, Hale's essay interprets women's political memory work in contemporary conflict situations as forms of resistance. Few approaches are more epistemologically generative in analyzing conflict than the politics of memory in which, by recounting conflict situations through various renderings, those engaged try to override, cancel out, and morally supersede their adversaries' renditions. People try to colonize each other's pasts, and men try to colonize women's stories of conflict through strategies such as: annihilating culture, dislocating people from their homeland, and try to shape and control their lives, bodies, and voices. Hale's article ultimately portrays the resistance that various women, in this case Eritrean and Sudanese, endure as they have to replace the everyday, with a politics, polemics, and poetry that allow them to resist.
Nadje Al-Ali. "Reconstructing Gender: Iraqi Women Between Dictatorship, War, Sanctions and Occupation". In the Third World Quarterly. Taylor and Francis, Vol. 26 No. 4/5, 2005, pp. 739-758. This article explores the role of Iraqi women in reconstruction processes by contextualizing the current situation with respect to changing gender ideologies and relations over the past three decades. Nadje Al-Ali encompasses her points with a brief theoretical background about the significance of gender in reconstruction and the nation building processes, as well as a historical background to shed light on Iraq's changing gender ideologies during the regime of Saddam Hussein. The article focuses particularly on the impacts of the early developmental-modernist discourses of the state and the impacts of war (Iran-Iraq war 1980-88, Gulf war 1991, 2003). It is against this historical background that contemporary developments related to ongoing conflict, occupation and political transition affect women and gender relations.
Revolution, war, crisis, and many more aspects of conflict, are expressions that are familiar to us through the endured, past decades of violence. These are experiences that are relevant around the world, and in different walks of life. Often circulated images of men covered in blood and women wailing are either our reality, or a close reality through the international media. But what is truly the reality of an individual, a woman in a crisis region? There is a different perspective of conflict to be understood here, especially in relation to women, apart from the circulated media. Sondra Hale one of the leading feminist scholars in the field, presents the situation of women in various crisis regions, such as Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. in order to fulfill and represent these realities. The solemn truth is that these past decades have been filled with crisis and conflict beyond comprehension, but with the insight of Sondra Hale these narratives and experiences of war can be understood with a different perspective.