Towards a New Theorizing of Women, Gender, and War

TitleTowards a New Theorizing of Women, Gender, and War
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsŽarkov, Dubravka
EditorDavis, Kathy, Mary Evans, and Judith Lorber
Book TitleHandbook of Gender and Women's Studies

This chapter presents a search for new theoretical and analytical approaches to gender and violent conflict by investigating feminist analyses of two specific issues: sexual violence against women as a gender-specific war strategy and women's participation in war and violence. These two issues most aptly reflect recent debates about the limits and biases of classical feminist approaches to violent conflict and militarism and offer possibilities for innovative thinking. This chapter is not written as a review of feminist studies of war and violent conflict. One could even question the existence of a field, as war and different types of violent conflict are studied by feminists in many different disciplines. The chapter will first reflect on some of the main theoretical premises of the classical feminist studies of war and challenges they faced in the 1990s. Then studies of sexual violence against women and women's participation in violent conflicts will be discussed by juxtaposing different perspectives and bringing in debates that challenge classical approaches and engage in alternative theorizing.

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