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Where are the Women in Cattle Raiding? A Gendered Analysis of Militarized Cattle Culture in South Sudan. Women in south sudan. W omen in South Sudan are “the poorest of the poor and the marginalized of the marginalized.” - John Garang http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCg3wFVwtXE.

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Where are the Women in Cattle Raiding? A Gendered Analysis of Militarized Cattle Culture in South Sudan

women in south sudan
Women in south sudan

Women in South Sudan are “the poorest of the poor and the marginalized of the marginalized.”

- John Garang

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCg3wFVwtXE

pastoralism in sudan
Pastoralism in Sudan
  • Cattle have been the primary source of income in (Southern) Sudan for hundreds of years.
  • Cows used for many purposes, including bridal dowries and taking care of families
  • Men were only allowed to have so much wealth until they were expected to “spend” some of it
militarization in sudan
Militarization in Sudan
  • Since Independence in 1956, Sudan has been at war for all but ten years
  • This war was often fought in pastoralist areas and involved/effected pastoralist people
  • Militarization and its role in Sudan
significance of cattle raiding
Significance of Cattle Raiding
  • Has been commonly done among tribes since the time of the first colonial anthropologist
  • Not considered bad
  • Often used to replace lost resources from other tribes
effects of militarization in cattle raiding
Effects of militarization in cattle raiding
  • Ak-47s are common
  • This power struggle for resources often ruins existing resources
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncg056mSrB8
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rUSfionc40
internship experience
Internship experience
  • AECOM International
  • July-August 2011
  • Juba, South Sudan
  • Conflict mitigation
internship duties
Internship duties
  • Planned annual conference and various other events
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Helped start a project in the cattle camps
why women why cattle raiding
Why Women? Why cattle raiding?
  • Field journal focusing on my experiences with gender
  • Cattle raiding as an unexplored academic medium

ACTIVITY: Go to http://www.sudantribune.com/

initial research question
Initial Research Question

Has the perpetuation of cattle raiding in a now-militarized culture further commoditized women, while simultaneously leaving women more vulnerable?

initial sub questions
Initial Sub-questions
  • What role do women play in perpetuating cattle raiding?
  • Has the militarization of South Sudan made women structurally more vulnerable?
  • Has the commoditization of women gotten worse since the culture became militarized?
methodology
Methodology
  • Ethnographic research
  • Participant observation
  • Informal interviews
  • Field Notes
  • Articles about issues in the cattle camps supplemented my field notes
analysis
Analysis
  • Grounded Theory
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Atlas.ti
  • Utilized open and in-vivo coding
  • Removed or merged codes that appeared less than nine times
five themes of my research
Five themes of my research
  • Bridal Dowries correlate to cattle raiding
  • Ideas of manhood/young men also correlate to cattle raiding
  • Women are considered commodities in South Sudan
  • Women have become increasingly vulnerable in Sudan’s militarized society
  • Militarization has led to violent cattle raids
theme one
Theme One
  • Bridal dowries correlate to cattle raiding.

“A surge in “bride price” has fueled cattle raids in which more than 2,000 people are killed each year.”

theme two
Theme Two
  • Ideas of Manhood/young men also correlate to cattle raiding.

“Cattle theft is driven by underemployment of youth who have a lot of time on their hands and a human desire to use their youth energy in accumulating wealth.”

theme two1
Theme Two
  • The ability to give men access to resources and other ways to define manhood may diminish cattle raiding
  • Government and organization initiatives are attempting to provide access to other resources and livelihoods.
theme three
Theme Three
  • Women are often commoditized in South Sudanese culture.

“Girls are precious. They are seen as sources of wealth.”

theme four
Theme Four
  • Women have become increasingly vulnerable in Sudan’s militarized society

“Women don’t necessarily support bride price and (at least some) say it leads to increased poverty. “More and more, bride price is seen as cementing gender inequality, giving women little power and turning them into commodities to be passed from family to family.”

theme five
Theme Five
  • Militarization has led to violent cattle raids.

“In 2009, about 2,500 people were killed in cattle raids. The casualties from cattle raids are often owners who resist or villagers who get caught in the line of fire.”

role of women in cattle raiding
Role of women in Cattle Raiding
  • They have increased duties and decreased decision-making abilities in militarized culture.
  • “You either get married and please your parents or you don’t. So she did it. She said that if a man wants another wife, he will come to the woman and tell her it is done. She gets no say in the matter. They just have to live with it. She said that the woman can’t decide to get a divorce, either. The man can, but not the woman.”
not just victims
Not just victims
  • Women, while hindered by gender structures, are not just victims
  • They use the roles they have to convince or shame men, sometimes even to raid cattle

“Men say that ‘women are women’ but men do a lot of listening to us! Women are good at persuasion; we can convince them in a quiet way.”-Nuer Woman

secondary findings
SECONDARY FINDINGS
  • Patriarchal Structural Violence
    • Violence built into structure
  • ACTIVITY: Does patriarchal structural violence affect your country? If so, how?
ways women experience structural violence
Ways women experience Structural Violence
  • Access to resources
  • Childbearing duties during the war
  • Health (Problems with pregnancy, “miscarriages”
  • Increase in duties when combined with militarization
ways women work around structural violence
Ways women work around structural violence
  • Not fulfilling their duties as women—role of cooking especially
  • Shaming men through using ideas of manhood

“Both men and women cited women’s failure to prepare food as both cause and result of marital conflict in Sudan.”

-Holtzman 2002

findings
Findings

Women experience structural violence, which manifests itself in many forms. They still have agency, however, and use the same structures to get their own agendas heard.