The impact of war on Somali men: feminist analysis of masculinities and gender relations in a fragile context

Publication date

09 Nov 2016

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This article describes findings from a research project on the impact of war on Somali men. It asked what are the expectations associated with masculinity and manhood, how they have been affected by war and state collapse, and what implications does this have for women and children and for society more widely. The study found that the core ideals of Somali manhood are both highly exacting and largely unachievable in the current economic and political climate, with implications for a wide variety of relationships. The findings do not challenge the patriarchal nature of Somali society, but do suggest that patriarchy works differently for different groups of men. The article places these findings in the context of feminist understandings of men, power, and violence, and argues for a policy shift towards a gendered political economy approach to the transformation of gender relations in conflict settings. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.