Specht, Irma. “Gender, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Violent Masculinities”. Gender Violence in Armed Conflict. Instituto da Defesa Nacional, October, 2013.
This chapter explores how gender roles change during and after conflict, with particular attention to the importance of masculine and feminine identities and how these can change in conflict contexts, as well as the influence of DDR on changing or cementing these identities. This exploration of changing gender roles in conflict and post-conflict settings is crucial for helping us to understand the prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in much conflict but also post-conflict societies. This chapter is analysing the following ideas, namely that: (1) the level of engagement of women in conflict is linked to pre-war gender roles; (2) that in some circumstances conflict can actually create opportunities for women’s empowerment but that this creates additional challenges in gender dynamics; and (3) that the identity loss experienced by demobilized men is a crucial factor in explaining the prevalence of GBV after Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programmes. Whilst it is inevitably difficult to make conclusions about global trends, this chapter uses a range of pertinent case study examples, from Liberia to Afghanistan, to analyse and illustrate these concepts.
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