n Commonwealth Youth and Development - A cry in the wilderness : women in armed African conflicts




The growing number of armed conflicts in Africa has impacted adversely on women who fall victims to violence, sexual abuse and harassment. Women play a minimal role as combatants during the armed conflicts and as peace negotiators after the armed conflicts. This article looks at the role women play in the pre-armed and post-armed conflict phases in an African context. Data for this article were gathered through questionnaires distributed to twenty women officers who participated in the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme (JSCSP) at the South African National War College. The findings make it evident that women often participate unwillingly as combatants in an armed conflict; they face social changes in the post-armed conflict phase that make their roles change in both their families and communities, and often neglected in the post-armed conflict negotiations and conflict resolution processes.


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