This project examines how masculinity and gender norms are contested, manipulated, and influence the conflict economy in Iraq. The survival needs of individuals (both men and women) and families, the activities of military and insurgent groups, and the profit-seeking behaviours prevalent in environments of weak regulation all produce gendered outcomes. These include pushing women into household roles; pushing men to either flee or join armed groups; reducing the avenues for men to improve their livelihoods; increasing the number of female-led households; raising the levels of prostitution and trafficking of women and girls; and the specific targeting of women by armed groups.
The project investigates how armed groups take advantage of gendered vulnerabilities in order to gain new recruits, engage in activities, and govern populations in the areas under their control. This involves identifying the gendered processes, vulnerabilities and norms that become utilised during conflict. The project seeks to apply a gender lens to the long-term institutionalised social and political practices and values that provide the context for specific forms of gendered violence, abuse and trafficking during conflict.
This project forms part of the Conflict Research Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions.
Zeynep Kaya | Principal Investigator
Zeynep is Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security.