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Women and Girls at War:  Wives , Mothers, and Fighters in the Lord s Resistance Army

  • Jeannie Annan


    (International Rescue Committee)

  • Christopher Blattman


    (Yale University)

  • Dyan Mazurana


    (Tufts University)

  • Khristopher Carlson


    (Tufts University)

Data from Uganda challenge conventional notions about the role of females during and after war. Women and girls recruited by the LRA play active roles and are not passive victims. We show how LRA treatment of females especially strict rules against civilian rape and the use of forced marriage serves an instrumental purpose, enhancing control of the forces and protection from HIV. Finally, in contrast to conventional beliefs, we find that only a minority of females exhibit serious psychosocial reintegration difficulties, whether psychological distress or persistent community and family rejection. Abduction also has little adverse impact on their education and economic activity, although this is largely because of the tragic dearth of opportunities for all females. Evidence from a growing set of cases suggests that these patterns may be of general relevance, and imply need for a shift in post-conflict policy towards females in war.

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Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 63.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:63
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist, 1998. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
  2. Fischbach, Ruth L. & Herbert, Barbara, 1997. "Domestic violence and mental health: Correlates and conundrums within and across cultures," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1161-1176, October.
  3. Bernd Beber & Christopher Blattman, 2010. "The Industrial Organization of Rebellion: The Logic of Forced Labor and Child Soldiering," HiCN Working Papers 72, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Joshua D. Angrist, 1989. "Why do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," NBER Working Papers 2991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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