Megan Stewart

Megan Stewart–Lunch Research Talk “Civil War, Women and Social Development”

Megan StewartWed, April 26
12:00pm – 1:30pm
142 Nau Hall

What is the effect of women’s participation in civil wars? In contemporary domestic conflicts, insurgent groups approach women and women’s issues in vastly different ways: some rebel organizations allow women to hold only secondary, support positions within the insurgency, others insurgencies fully integrate women into all positions, including combat roles, while some insurgencies exclude women altogether. In this paper, we argue that how rebel groups approach women and choose to integrate them, or not, into the conflict has serious implications for civil war dynamics as well as social development both during and after fighting subsides. This effect, however, is mitigated by the roles women hold within an insurgency, the level of social services insurgents provide, and whether a conflict is ongoing. We test our argument using a combined dataset on insurgent social services and women in combat, and we find preliminary evidence in support of our claim. These results underscore the importance of insurgent social service institutions, as well as the importance of women in conflict settings.