War, Gender and Culture: Mozambican Women Refugees

Sunday, August 31, 2003
Southern Africa

Analyses of the psychological sequelae of war-related violence for women tend to rely on the concepts developed in
research on male combatants. Post-traumatic stress disorder or varying combinations of its symptoms are identified as
the principal outcomes of war-related events for women. By and large, the dominant literature does not examine
possible outcomes which could be specified by gender. This paper refers to the war in Mozambique during the 1970s
and 1980s as a typical illustration of how women are an integral part of the battlefield. It draws on research on African
women and uses testimony of Mozambican women refugees who settled in South Africa to explore how gender is linked
to psycho-social outcomes of massive social conflict. The paper argues that a richer understanding of the psycho-social
outcomes of war and the needs of survivors is promoted by investigating gender in specific historical situations and how
this frames the responses people have to experiences of violence and social destruction.

Document PDF: 

Gender War Culture Mozambican Women Refugees, Social Science & Medicine, 2003