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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes shifts in gender roles and agency during times of conflict, noting that the changes men and women experience are interdependent and arguing that a conflict period may offer a window of opportunity to speed up normative social change. The chapter describes how qualitative data from multiple conflict sites illustrate that while women may experience an increase in economic agency during a conflict period, many men feel emasculated or disempowered when their livelihoods are disrupted during conflict. Two case studies, from the Gaza Strip and Liberia, illustrate this dynamic of female empowerment and male emasculation. The Gaza example shows a community where these dynamics are present, but changes to the underlying gender norms are limited. Liberia offers an example of a post-conflict society where gender roles have not only been relaxed but have undergone a normative change, as women have begun participating in political, economic, and civic life.

Keywords: gender roles, conflict, empowerment, social change, economic agency, Gaza, Liberia, gender norms

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