Accepted paper:

Paths of war and peace: perception of women who fought in the civil war in Angola

Author:

Susana Mendes

Paper short abstract:

The communication presents the perceptions of the armed conflict and post-war experiences of women who joined the ranks of UNITA military during civil war in Angola. Their testimonies evidences perceptions not always linear among contexts considered adverse vs favorable at the aftermath of civil war.

Paper long abstract:

This communication presents the perceptions of the armed conflict and post-war experiences of women who joined the ranks of UNITA military during the civil war in Angola. Their testimonies reveal particulars about social components, ideological and political-military organization of the guerrilla; exalt the role that a woman took, the difficulties they faced during the conflict and in the process of reintegration with the end of military conflict. Data collection was made following a qualitative research conducted in Luanda, between 2006 and 2007, about the processes of empowerment of women ex-combatants. New interviews were conducted both in Luanda and Huambo in January 2009, noting the perception of the female ex-combatants returning to urban and rural areas and the prospect of some political leaders, based on life stories. In these surveys were highlighted controversial feelings that did not meet peacetime and perceptions that characterize a greater access to basic needs during war, compared with levels of extreme poverty experienced in post-war period reintegration process. Rural and urban contexts have also determined different requisites and personal skills to this transition process. The following presentation will expose the different testimonies by the most hidden faces of the civil war, evidencing a relationship that is not always linear between contexts considered adverse versus favorable, through a case study that is part of the interdisciplinary project "Reconciliation and Social Conflict in the Aftermath of large-scale Violence in Southern Africa: the cases of Angola and Namibia."

panel P035
Angola in the aftermath of civil war: overcoming the impacts of protracted violence