It is a very common belief to perceive women as more peaceful than men.  Female stereotypes are connected to care, communication, tolerance and compassion.  The first wave of feminists promoted this ideal of not only peace loving but peace bringing women.[1]  These very traditional attributes of the female role model became even more politically relevant during the current COVID-19 crisis.  Female heads of state were commended for their female crisis management, for showing compassion and extraordinary sympathy with their people while managing the pandemic.  The media described German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other female leaders as caring and motherly, wondering whether women are the better leaders and crisis managers.[2]  The connection of women to everything peaceful and pacifying has long prevailed.

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Gendering Global Conflict coverLaura Sjoberg’s important book, Gendering Global Conflict, engages a wealth of both traditional and contemporary ‘war studies’ (as Sjoberg phrases them) to lay bare the theoretical gaps caused by omitting gender from our explanations of why individuals and collectivities fight.   As Sjoberg convincingly argues, scholars cannot understand the causes and consequences of conflict and violence without also understanding how both are gendered.

 

 

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