Women’s anti-violence activism relations in post-conflict Namibia and Northern Ireland

Mukungu, Kate (2022) Women’s anti-violence activism relations in post-conflict Namibia and Northern Ireland. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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This thesis argues forms of relational agency can help anti-VAWG (Violence against Women and Girls) activists to challenge division and aspects of oppressive political cultures in post-conflict places and spaces. Focusing on Namibia and Northern Ireland, this research seeks to understand how anti-VAWG activists navigate through deep ethnic and ethnonational post-conflict division, to work together to bring about change. Life history interviews with twenty women activists, in 2015 and 2016, explore their activism biographies and relationships. Critical feminist analysis of these interviews reveals how solidarities formed between activists of different ages and ethnicities/ethnonationalities, can shape the development of different forms of relational agency. This thesis shows how solidarities can emerge from activists learning from each other’s situated knowledges and experiences and how benefits of this learning can be retained in activism groups and networks that have continuity. However, when solidarity is strained or not fully formed in relationships between activists, they have a repertoire of practices they carry out to help safeguard activism. These practices include avoidance of contentious topics and potentially problematic encounters, as well as focusing on the high-level goals of activism. Recognising activists’ concerns that addressing contentious VAWG issues, such as VAWG perpetrated by conflict actors, risks damaging relations in post-conflict contexts, helps us understand activism addressing conflict-related harms. Therefore, it is important to understand the complex legacies of conflict to be able to contextualise the relational dynamics in activism addressing these legacies. This thesis contributes to an expanded understanding of relational agency, including the features and practices of relational agency in activism and how relational agency is shaped by forms of solidarities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: activism on violence against women and girls, solidarity in activism relations, relational agency, feminist activists as post-conflict development actors, complex legacies of conflict and division
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 07:23
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 15:41
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50361

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