Mon, Apr 15, 2024

1 PM – 2 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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Presented by Dr. Keshab Giri, Lecturer in International Relations at The University of St Andrews and Research Fellow at Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Extant research links forced marriage and sexual violence in rebel groups with their respective political projects, social control, and group cohesion. However, forced marriage and sexual violence are rare in many rebel groups, including the Maoists in Nepal who claimed to have a ‘progressive,’ scientific,’ and ‘modern’ framework for governing marriage and sexuality. In the light of this puzzle, I ask, what does a non-coercive/non-violent rebel governance of marriage and sexuality mean for a rebel group’s political project of social control and power? What is the gendered impact of such governance? Importantly, how does it impact female combatants at the intersection of multiple oppressions? Using abductive analysis of extensive interviews with female ex-combatants and their leaders, I build a theoretical explanation about the non-coercive/non-violent governance of marriage and sexuality that is not just linked to the formation, consolidation, and legitimation of political agendas, but also enabled social control and political power for the Maoists. However, this further marginalized those female combatants who were already disadvantaged. I employ a feminist intersectional framework while critically reflecting on my own positionality. The implications of these findings extend beyond Nepal, illuminating dynamics of rebel governance and the complexity of war and post-war social organization.

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Economic and Political Development Concentration | Website | View More Events
Co-hosted with: South Asia Association (SAA), Gender and Public Policy Specialization

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