Gender, violence and cultures of silence: young women and paramilitary violence

Siobhan McAlister, Gail Neill, Nicola Carr, Clare Dwyer

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Abstract

Despite a growth in analysis of women and conflict, this has tended to overlook the specific experiences of young women. Likewise, in research on youth, conflict and peace, the term ‘youth’ is often shorthand for young men. Young women’s experiences are regularly absent from research and policy discourse, and as a consequence, also absent from public understanding and practice responses. In this paper we prioritise the views of and on young women to forefront their experiences of one specific form of conflict-related violence – paramilitary violence. We demonstrate that forefronting young women’s experiences, and adopting an understanding of violence beyond that which privileges physical violence, unearths the multiple ways in which conflict-related violence is experienced. We further demonstrate how adopting an intersectional lens that prioritises age and gender can surface the specific experiences of young women, and the various ways in which these become silenced by cultures that omit, coerce, reduce and minimise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Early online date19 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • young women
  • violence
  • conflict
  • paramilitaries
  • silence
  • sensory

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