Svallfors, Signe, "Gender Dynamics During the Colombian Armed Conflict," Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Summer2024, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p298-320

This article investigates gender dynamics during the Colombian armed conflict, where the ongoing peace process has had a unique focus on gender equality. Using a lens of militarized masculinity and original expert interviews with Colombian stakeholders in peacebuilding and human rights, the study analyzes how gender norms have been upheld and sanctioned in the context of conflict. Gender essentialisms have been reinforced by armed actors, with women’s and LGBT people’s bodies as central channels for reproducing traditional sociobiological roles. Expressions not conforming to the heterocisnormative gender order have been sanctioned with violence. While men have been disproportionally affected by combat violence, women and sexual and gender minorities have been more vulnerable to sexual violence and forced displacement. This militarization of gender norms in Colombia has constructed women’s and queer bodies as battlefields of war, severely undermining their safety, dignity, and autonomy.