Author: Shoma A Chatterji
Publisher: UBS Publishers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8174765522
Conflict’ is a two-edged word with razor-sharp edges that cuts both ways. Add ‘gender’ to it and you have a veritable atom bomb ticking away, ready to explode. In this book, conflict is defined to mean the striving of different people or groups towards goals that are difficult to reconcile. Conflict linked to gender in this context is an evolving term and its manifestations and textualities keep changing from place to place and from one group of women to another, from one political and historical context to another. It covers a broad spectrum of people, issues, questions and incidents, beginning from the birth of the girl-child within a patriarchal society till the day she dies.
Though gender attaches itself to both sexes, over time, it has exclusively been used in association with the female of the human species. Exclusion, discrimination and marginalization based on ethnicity, gender, caste, class, religion and geographic location underpin different kinds of conflicts, resulting in unequal access to resources, opportunities, justice, citizenship, basic needs and rights to women across the world.
Widespread access to weapons restricts women’s freedom of movement, access to education and other development resources. There is an increase in psycho-social stress with the narrowing of traditional and social spaces woman occupy.
The book has raised more questions than tried to answer them. One conflict branches out to more conflicts, raising more questions, problems, debates and discussions. An astounding 24,000 women were deployed in the Gulf on Operation Desert Storm out of a formidable total of 415,000 American troops. The US law dictates that women members of the armed forces should not be allowed to engage in offensive action against the enemy and should be trained only for defence, on a ‘gender-neutral’ basis without, however, defining what this gender neutral basis is supposed to mean.
CHAPTER I: GENDER VERSUS POWER-THE BASIS OF CONFLICT
What is Gender?
Concept and Identity of Woman
Notions of Power
Power vis-à-vis Gender
Man as Holder of Power
CHAPTER II: CONFLICT, ITS DEFINITION AND ANALYSIS
Definition of Conflict
Trends in conflict
Patriarchy and Its constructs
Conflict and violence
Causes of conflict
A Gender perspective on Levels of Analysis
Conflicts within Conflicts-Examples of Focused Action
Women as Signifiers of Conflict
Women, War, Violence and Conflict
CHAPTER III: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON WOMEN AND CONFLICT: CASE STUDIES FROM ACROSS THE WORLD
CHAPTER IV: WOMEN AND THE PEACE MOVEMENT
Women and the Peace Movement
The Bradford University Paper by Donna Pankhurst
Visibility and Invisibility of women in the Peace Process