The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women: Perspectives from Nigerian Women
6 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011
Many countries in sub-Saharan region in Africa have been plagued with ethnic and religious conflicts. Nigeria has not been immune to such conflicts. The country has and continues to witness high levels of ethnic and anti-state violence. Ever since independence from Britain in 1960 the African nation of Nigeria has been torn apart by wars, violence and ethnic conflicts. This paper centers on the effect of such conflicts on Nigerian women with a focus on the conflict in Jos, the capital city of Plateau State. The city has continually been rocked by brutal and relentless riots in 1994, 2001, 2008 and most recently in January 2010. These conflicts have brought about extensive destruction of lives and properties. Most significantly, the conflicts have brought about gross human rights violations perpetrated against civilian populations, particularly women and children who apparently make up the most vulnerable group.
Considerable work has been done regarding women and armed conflicts. Much of this work has been done by institutions concerned with human rights violations, particularly violations against women. Unfortunately, much of this work has focused on sexual violence against women and has largely ignored other important aspects of violations against women.
The purpose of this paper is to consider and highlight a range of ways in which women are affected by armed conflicts (in addition to sexual violence). Using responses from interviews conducted with women who have experienced the most recent conflict in the capital city of Jos in Nigeria, we argue that there is a wide range of ways in which women are affected by armed conflict. For example, armed conflict exacerbates inequalities. These inequalities continue even after the conflicts cease. Our findings show that women experience economic hardships during and after conflict. Furthermore, women are excluded from peace building initiatives that take place during and after armed conflict.
Keywords: Armed Conflicts, Ethnic Conflicts, Human Rights Violations, Religious Conflicts, Women’s Rights
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