Women, Violence, and Social Change in Northern Ireland and Chiapas: Societies Between Tradition and Transition

SPIRe’s Dr. Melanie Hoewer compares the experiences of women in the post-conflict peace processes in Northern Ireland and Chiapas in a new paper at the International Journal of Conflict and Violence.


Violence against women occurs in peacetime, intensifies during wartime, and continues in the aftermath of armed conflict. Women sometimes make gains during
conflict and their efforts to break the pattern of violence have led to a greater awareness of gender-based violence. However, a lack of acknowledgement
of transformations in gender identity at the macro-level during peace processes may create conflict in intimate partnerships. This study brings to light the
complexity of changes occurring during peace processes in a multi-level analysis of women’s perceptions and positioning towards the state, their community,
and their intimate partnership. This comparative analysis of fifty-seven female activists’ narratives from Chiapas and Northern Ireland demonstrates how a
one-dimensional peace process (Northern Ireland) can limit the space for addressing women’s concerns, while peace processes that transcend the ethnonational
dimension of conflict (Chiapas) can open a dialogue on issues of contention in male-female relationships.

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