Accepted paper:

Bringing women's voices back in: gender and oil conflict in the Niger Delta

Authors:

Zainab Mai-Bornu (University of Bath)

Paper short abstract:

Grievances expressed by women in the Delta region are typically concerned with environmental degradation and underdevelopment. The roles played by women to address oil-related environmental issues need to be brought at the fore of discussions on development in the Niger Delta.

Paper long abstract:

Conflicts in the Niger Delta have reached a political brink that has attracted significant concerns and responsiveness at both local and international levels. Women in the Niger Delta have played a key role in organising important protests and are referred to continuously in relation to the adoption of nonviolence. Grievances expressed by women in the Delta region are typically concerned with environmental degradation and underdevelopment. Ogoni women, for example, have experienced, first-hand, the violent reprisals instigated by the Nigerian security forces. Yet, the women's' voices within the context of the nonviolent aspect of the conflict are absent in the literature. This paper addresses two questions: What are the conflict related experiences of the Ijaw and Ogoni women? What future roles could the women in the Niger Delta play to advance the nonviolence agenda? It highlights the comparative roles of the women in conflict settings. The roles played by women to address oil-related environmental issues need to be brought at the fore of discussions on development in the region. Specifically, these gendered implications are important for development particularly in explaining the 'how' and 'why' within the differing trajectories of the movements in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

panel I6
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