Currently viewing the tag: "gender"

The sexual abuse allegations against Oxfam staff came to light because Oxfam has one the best reporting systems in the aid industry. Sexual harassment, exploitation and assault is commonplace in the entire aid business, from the smallest voluntary agencies to the biggest United Nations organizations. The claims about orgy parties in Oxfam compounds, hiring of sex workers, and sexual assault of children in Oxfam’s British charity shops are sadly very credible. What they point to is a system-wide problem, which needs a radical change in institutional culture—not a vindictive scapegoating of one particular agency.

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special edition of the journal Disasters (2018, 42(1)) on ‘Gender, sexuality and violence in humanitarian crises,’  includes essays by several authors with WPF connections: edited by Holly Porter, who we brought to Fletcher last semester, it includes contributions by Roxanne Krystalli and Allyson Hawkins, both former WPF Research Assistants, and Rebecca Tapscott, who worked […]

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WPF Senior Fellow, Dyan Mazurana just published a review of  Shekhawat, Seema (ed), Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace: Challenging Gender in Violence and Post-Conflict Reintegration  (2015, Palgrave Macmillan) in the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy. Below is an excerpt, the full review is available on the journal’s site.

Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace: […]

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I have been studying young men in youth gangs in Latin America and Caribbean, mainly in the poor neighborhoods of Medellín, Colombia, for the better part of a decade. I have sat down and talked to lots of young men in gangs, some whom had left gangs, and even their girlfriends and mothers. I have also spoken to young men who didn’t join gangs that came from the very same neighbourhoods and conditions of poverty. Is it possible to trace their trajectories to male adulthood and the processes of socialisation that led some into the gang whist not others? Yes, I think it is. Is it possible to draw up a neat list of causal factors to explain these processes? Well, that is a little more difficult, but it is something we should debate.

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Scientific evidence from a range of disciplines confirms the close connections between early developmental processes and subsequent behavior. Thus, traumatic stress in early childhood can have enduring effects, that in extreme cases may be irreversible despite later remedial or attenuating behavior (Shonkoff et al). A well known example of this coupling between experience and conduct is the case of Romanian orphans, so severely neglected and deprived of sensory stimulation in very early childhood that later intense nurturing failed to reverse serious cognitive and affective deficits (Nelson). Profound neglect is one form of traumatic stressor; violence is another. Research on early childhood confirms the statistical correlation between early exposure to violence, and enduring, often life long, violent subsequent behavior. (Kagitcibasi) Children subjected at home to physical child abuse are more likely to be abusers than those not so exposed; the same is true of children exposed to familial sexual abuse, or of street children who endure police brutality or the violence of gang members from an early age (Rizzini).

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Mainly it is the militaries, intelligence agencies, media and political scientists that guide our understanding of global terrorism and militant Islamism. Sustainability focused academic disciplines allow deeper analysis and can provide holistic answers to difficult questions such as what are the causes of escalating violence among (Muslim) men and to what extent can de-radicalization and other interventions really be treated as solutions etc. It is very important to let development studies and anthropology influence our understanding of militancy and terrorism. Gender theory that has not quite informed or formed our strategies and/or perspectives on issues of militancy, terrorism and counterterrorism, can in reality play a much greater role in proposing practical and effective solutions.

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