Fused in combat: gender relations and armed conflict

Do gender relations change through conflict? How might conflict itself be fuelled by aspects of gender identity? A recently completed research project that combined oral testimony with more conventional research methods concluded that conflict has undoubtedly given women greater responsibilities, and with them the possibility of exerting greater leverage in decision making and increasing their political participation. The research sheds light on the role of ordinary citizens as 'actors' responding to crisis, and describes how gender identities are woven into a complex web of cause and effect in which war can be seen as a 'conflict of patriarchies'. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives