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Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures

Carol Cohn (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-7456-4244-4
256 pages
December 2012, Polity
Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures (0745642446) cover image
Where are the women? In traditional historical and scholarly accounts of the making and fighting of wars, women are often nowhere to be seen. With few exceptions, war stories are told as if men were the only ones who plan, fight, are injured by, and negotiate ends to wars. As the pages of this book tell, though, those accounts are far from complete. Women can be found at every turn in the (gendered) phenomena of war. Women have participated in the making, fighting, and concluding of wars throughout history, and their participation is only increasing at the turn of the 21st century. Women experience war in multiple ways: as soldiers, as fighters, as civilians, as caregivers, as sex workers, as sexual slaves, refugees and internally displaced persons, as anti-war activists, as community peace-builders, and more. This book at once provides a glimpse into where women are in war, and gives readers the tools to understood women’s (told and untold) war experiences in the greater context of the gendered nature of global social and political life.
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Boxes and Tables vi

Abbreviations viii

Contributors xiii

Foreword by Cynthia Enloe xv

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Women and Wars: Toward a Conceptual Framework 1
Carol Cohn

2 Women and the Political Economy of War 36
Angela Raven-Roberts

3 Sexual Violence and Women’s Health in War 54
Pamela DeLargy

4 Women Forced to Flee: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 80
Wenona Giles

5 Women and Political Activism in the Face of War and Militarization 102
Carol Cohn and Ruth Jacobson

6 Women and State Military Forces 124
Jennifer G. Mathers

7 Women, Girls, and Non-State Armed Opposition Groups 146
Dyan Mazurana

8 Women and Peace Processes 169
Malathi de Alwis, Julie Mertus, and Tazreena Sajjad

9 Women, Girls, and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) 194
Dyan Mazurana and Linda Eckerbom Cole

10 Women "After" Wars 215
Ruth Jacobson

Notes 242

References 250

Index 279

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  • A groundbreaking textbook examining the complex relationship between women, gender and war, from the home front to the battlefront.
  • Gives a rich account of the previously untold stories which make up the female experience of war.
  • Provides readers with the analytical tools to situate women’s war experiences within the global context of gendered social life.
  • Includes contributions from the very best scholars working in the field.
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Book of the month on Intercross

"If I were to deliver a course or module focused on the topic of 'women and wars', this is without a doubt the textbook I would choose.

"To my mind, the very best academic work makes its reader sit up and take notice, either because the ideas are unfamiliar or because familiar ideas have been articulated in a new and engaging way. The individual chapters in this volume do both."
Gender and Development

"A valuable collection for everyone interested in learning some of the ways feminist (IR) analysis is currently formulating, studying, and presenting its war questions."
LSE Review of Books

"A comprehensive and highly readable collection, which is thematically and conceptually coherent."
Resilience

"Too often, women remain invisible in times of war. With contributions from scholars, activists, and policymakers, Women and Wars uncovers stories about women’s multiple roles as warriors, war victims, and peacebuilders. An important text for anyone concerned with the tragic consequences of today’s wars. And a reminder that wars are always gendered."
J. Ann Tickner, School of International Relations, University of Southern California

"With its diverse, thoughtful, and theoretically rich perspectives on gender, conflict and violence this book stands out from the crowd as an exceptional and interdisciplinary contribution to the field. This will be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners and should be treated as a 'go to' resource giving an exciting perspective on the state of the field in gender and war."
Megan Mackenzie, University of Sydney

"The book provides a comprehensive picture of the current scholarship on women and war as well as detailed and disturbing accounts of the lives of women during and after many recent wars. It would be an ideal text for a variety of courses on international and human security."
Craig Murphy, Wellesley College
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