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Via Eldis


The Impact of Conflict on Women's Education, Employment and Health Care

Authors: McDevitt, A.
Produced by: Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (2009)

Conflict restricts women's freedom of movement. The subsequent impact on education, employment and health care is hard, therefore, to dispute but are these effects universal? This brief focuses on the Middle East, Latin America, and central and east Asia.

The paper states that the extent to which conflict restricts women's freedom of movement depends on a number of factors including the stage of conflict, whether the women are displaced, whether they are directly or indirectly affected by the conflict, and the cultural norms of the conflict-affected area. Forced displacement, for example, may in some cases lead to greater mobility, where women assume additional responsibilities such as taking on the role of primary breadwinner.

Nevertheless, the author continues, it is generally accepted that the fear of violence more often than not restricts women's freedom of movement. In times of political, economic and social uncertainty, there is a strong tendency to revert to traditional values which appear to offer protection for women and girls but which restrict their mobility.

Some of the negative impacts of conflict on women's health and education include:

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