Feminists Under Fire is about women living and working in conflict zones. Focusing on the civil wars in Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia, diverse authors face the problems of nationalism, ethnic conflict, and militarized violence. They explore commonalities and differences between the two regions, and consequences for women, their societies, and feminist politics.
Women are neither simply victimized nor empowered by war; their experiences are more complicated. While they suffer from war-related violence and upheaval, some women living in traditional societies find that war releases them from constricting hierarchies. Others find it reinforces conventional gender roles. This ambivalence needs to be examined and understood.
In addition to such concerns the collection addresses issues of domestic violence, rape, intermarriage, victimization, feminist organizing and anti-war activism, women’s self-help organization, and political resistance.
This vibrant collection emerges from The Women in Conflict Zones Network, an international collaboration of activists and scholars.
Through [the authors’] lucid overviews, engaging stories, and insightful analyses, even the most “complicated” conflicts start making sense–political sense, historical sense, and, most importantly, feminist sense! But this book is not just about making sense of what is/was going on in these conflict zones, it is also about finding hope and the right channels to do something about them.
– Ayse Gul Altinay, The Women’s Review of Books
|Introduction||Feminist Exchanges and Comparative Perspectives Across Conflict ones
|Chapter 1||Reflections on Gender and Ethnicity in Sri Lanka
Malathi de Alwis
|Chapter 2||Women Organizing against Ethnic Nationalism and War in the Post-Yugoslav States
|Part I||Ethnic Nationalism and the Militarization of Women|
|Introduction||by Neluka Silva|
|Chapter 3||Women in Black Against War (Belgrade)
|Chapter 4||"Bosnian, Albanian, and Roma Women Are Our Sisters": Feminist Politics in Serbia
|Chapter 5||Agent or Victim? The Sri Lankan Woman Militant in the Interregnum
Neloufer de Mel
|Chapter 6||Gender and Nationalism in the Croatian Media War
|Part II||Gendered Violence in Times of Conflict|
|Introduction||by Malathi de Alwis|
|Chapter 7||A Question of Honour: Women, Ethnicity, and Armed Conflict
|Chapter 8||War Rape and the Political Manipulation of Survivors
|Chapter 9||Psychological Suffering, "Trauma," and PTSD: Implications for Women in Sri Lanka's Conflict Zones
|Chapter 10||The Other Victims of Terror: Households in Chaos
|Part III||Politics and Cultures of Resistance|
|Introduction||by Edith Klein|
|Chapter 11||The Politics of Intermarriage in Sri Lanka in an Era of Conflict
|Chapter 12||Feminist Politics in the Anti-war Movement in Belgrade: To Shoot or Not To Shoot?
|Chapter 13||Activism, Motherhood, and the State in Sri Lanka's Ethnic Conflict
|Chapter 14||Gender Essentialisms and Women's Activism in Post-War Bosnia-Herzegovina
|Chapter 15||The Women's Movement in Sri Lanka: An Interview with Kumari Jayawardena|
|Afterword||Future Directions–Sri Lanka and the Post-Yugoslav States
Malathi de Alwis, Wenona Giles, and Edith Klein