In contexts of armed conflict and war, women are predominantly depicted as civilians if not victims, whereas men are conceived as active participants; those engaged in violent action. This three-year PhD study challenges such dichotomous representations and explores how protracted armed conflict transforms gender roles and relations. Building on a previous project about women in conflict, the study inquires into how women negotiate and maneuver the entangled relationship between family life and armed conflict that characterizes the Muslim insurgency in Mindanao. The study explores the varying roles of women as social actors in complex social and political realities that play out around violent conflicts and inform how women maneuver and negotiate these realities. Questions about how women’s agency and mobility is altered in the light of, as well by conflict and war, constitute the overall focus of the study. The project’s empirical foundation will be based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in several parts of the Philippines from winter 2016.
PhD project title: Gender dynamics, family life and violent conflict: Women’s everyday maneuvering within the Muslim insurgency in the Philippines