Wars, Bodies, and Development

TitleWars, Bodies, and Development
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHolzner, Brigitte M.
EditorSylvester, Christine
Book TitleExperiencing War

In this chapter, the author writes about gender-based violence in the Bosnian and Liberian wars as the backdrop or prelude to UN actions to recognize gender-particular challenges in war zones. UN resolutions 1325 and 1888 endeavor, in effect, to render women more human, more rights-bearing, before wars, in wars, and in post-conflict deliberations. The resolutions endeavor to bring experiences that have been habitually subsumed in the term "civilian" into clear view and thereby into the politics of war and recovery. In effect, the UN authorizes a new inclusion to the sovereign-like passion for protecting "passive" women in wartime, namely an emphasis on women's participation and in wars and in peace. However, the author's own observations in the field indicate that the UN has not nuanced the identity "women" in ways that escape the usual dichotomous associations with victimhood and war prey. At issue for the author is how to deal with the reinstatement of old gender ideas in war by institutions that are mandated to reject war or pacify it.

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