IIAS Newsletter 48 Summer 2008

The aftermath for women warriors: Cambodia and East Timor

Susan Blackburn

Former combatants are usually dealt with through the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) processes. Historically the emphasis has been on the disarmament and demobilisation of male soldiers, since armed men are regarded as a potential threat to peace and security. In developing countries, however, women play multiple roles in armed conflict, including as armed combatants. Yet women who have carried arms are rarely included in DDR arrangements, and they tend to just disappear at the end of a war, deriving no benefit from processes intended to care for the needs of ex-combatants and ensure national security.

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