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Sites of ViolenceGender and Conflict Zones$
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Wenona Giles

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230729

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230729.001.0001

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The Continuum of Violence

The Continuum of Violence

A Gender Perspective on War and Peace

Chapter:
(p.24) 2 The Continuum of Violence
Source:
Sites of Violence
Author(s):

Cynthia Cockburn

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520230729.003.0002

This chapter suggests that a gender perspective on the successive moments in the flux of peace and war is not an optional extra but a stark necessity. It shows what some of features of conflict and conflict resolution are and describes relations between them that suggest a continuum of violence. Gender power is seen to shape the dynamics of every site of human interaction, from the household to the international arena. A gender analysis reveals imbalanced sex distributions. The economic distress, militarization, and divisive shifts in ideology are considered. It then explores the three manifestly gendered elements of war: mobilization into the armed forces; the catastrophic disruption of everyday life; and brutalization of the body. The three aspects of postconflict situations are explored: displacement; economic and social reconstruction; and aid, justice, and reconciliation. The power imbalance of gender relations in most societies generates cultures of masculinity prone to violence.

Keywords:   violence, gender power, war, sex distributions, economic distress, militarization, power imbalance, brutalization, justice

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