This is the 13th Online Guest Lecture by members of the SCID Panel of Experts. Dr Punam Yadav presents a lecture entitled Impacts of Armed Conflict on Women: Lived Experiences of Women in Nepal.
Punam’s lecture considers the impact of armed conflict on women, with specific regard to the lived experiences of women in Nepal. The lecture also looks at the changing role of women after the recent conflict in Nepal and concludes that despite sufferings and hardships, women have benefited from the civil war in Nepal. The lecture also argues that programmes to support post-conflict societies need to focus on the emerging needs of people, not just on a narrow definition of recovery – as can been seen when looking at the case of women in post-conflict Nepal.
Punam is a new member of the SCID Panel of Experts and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the new Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics (LSE). Punam has conducted research widely in the field of gender, peace and security, and her book Social Transformation in Post Conflict Nepal: A Gender Perspective is being published by Routledge in May (2016).
Click on the link below to access Punam’s Lecture. NB Should the presentation not run automatically or the audio not work, please click ‘Save As’ (and then open once you have saved on your computer) rather than ‘Open’. Alternatively try a different browser (Firefox rather than Internet Explorer).
Women and Armed Conflict – February 2016
Please submit any questions or comments within the next two weeks for Punam’s attention and/or discussion by other SCID Panel members, students and staff.
Thank you very much Dr Yadav for this lecture, which I found to be extremely interesting and very enlightening. In common discussion, the People’s War in Nepal doesn’t seem to be especially prolific, so it was great to be able to learn more about it’s impacts (most notably the surprisingly positive ones). A few questions came to mind whilst I was listening;
1) Did the violence inflicted by the Maoists, nominally fighting for greater equality, impede or harm the progress towards bettering equality for Nepalese women? Did victimised people ever oppose the growth of the prominence of women as a result of post-war grievance?
2) Was the experience of Nepalese women during and after the conflict generally typical for women in other, similar conflicts? Do women in other conflict afflicted regions also feel a combination of negative but also positive social effects?
3) Does Nepal highlight the importance of good education initiatives for future peacebuilding efforts? With Nepalese women benefiting from the necessity of gaining new skills and, subsequently, becoming more confident and independent actors (particularly economically), would other unstable regions benefit from pre-emptive (rather than as a requirement due to war) training/teaching for women as a way to promote equality and stabilise economies?
Again, many thanks for taking the time to produce this lecture!
Thank you so much for your comments and questions.
My answer to your first question would be Yes and No. In some cases, women have benefitted from the war but in other cases they were victimized (raped or sexually abused). Likewise, in some cases, even though they were victimized, such as IDP women, they still benefitted from the process of displacement as they are empowered through their lived experiences. As far as I know, there hasn’t been any post-war grievances in relation to women’s growth.
2) I think women in conflict zones may feel victimized but they may also feel empowered. It is difficult to generalize though as each individual will have difference experience but I do think that the experience of women in Nepal is, too some extend, be applicable in other contexts.
3) Some efforts have been made by the government and non-governmental agencies but women are seen as victims of war and that has a big consequence in peacebuilding. The peacebuilding efforts are still very much focussed on recovery rather than addressing the new needs of people.
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