PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF CONFLICT/VIOLENCE ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life”.2 It encompasses, but is not limited to, “physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to
Exploitation; physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere; trafficking
in women and forced prostitution; and physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, wherever it occurs.”
1.1 Background of the Study
There is no doubt that war affects women and men differently. Whenever there has been conflict, women and children have been known to receive the hard end of the stick. Women and children are often the most vulnerable and prone to being hit the hardest. Throughout history we see examples of terrible abuses against women and children. From the 1.1 million children killed during the Holocaust. To the many women and children raped or killed during the Rwandan Genocide. Women who survive these atrocities often have to live with the vivid and terrifying images of rape, war and death for the rest of their lives. Women also suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, stigmatization and sometimes unwanted pregnancies. They are faced with the daunting task of keeping families together after displacement, providing food, clothing and shelter in what is in most instances, destroyed infrastructure, for their children and their families. Effects of domestic violence on children, result from witnessing domestic violence in a home where one of their parents are abusing the other parent, plays a tremendous role on the well-being and developmental growth of children witnessing the violence. In 2009 in the Philippines, it was estimated that as many as 7 to 14 million children were exposed to domestic violence with about 3.3 million children exposed to domestic violence in their homes every year. Children who witness domestic violence in the home often believe that they are to blame, live in a constant state of fear and are 15 times more likely to be victims of child abuse. Close observation during an interaction can alert providers to the need for further investigation and intervention, such as dysfunctions in the physical, behavioral, emotional, and social areas of life, and can aid in early intervention and assistance for child victims. The research seek to investigate the Psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Violent conflict is one of the most important development challenges facing the world today. Although the incidence of civil wars has decreased in recent years (Harbom and Wallensteen 2009), the legacy of violence persists across many countries around the world, especially in Africa, Caucasia, the Balkans, and the Middle East. The economic, political and social consequences of civil wars are immense. War displaces population, destroys capital and infrastructure, disrupts schooling, damages the social fabric, endangers civil liberties, and creates health and famine crises. Almost 750,000 people die as a result of armed conflict each year (Geneva Declaration Secretariat 2008), and more than 20 million people were internally displaced by civil wars at the end of 2007 (UNHCR 2008). Any of these effects will have considerable consequences for long-term development outcomes, including the educational attainment of populations exposed to violence. Yet while there is a growing consensus that development interventions and the promotion of democracy worldwide cannot be disassociated from the restrictions caused by violent conflict, we have limited rigorous evidence on the consequences of violent conflict on the lives of people exposed to violence. The microeconomic impact of war on civilian populations can be substantial and persistent. Not only do people living in war zones suffer injuries, death and have their property destroyed, they may also be displaced from their homes and lose their means of survival. Children are especially adversely affected by the destruction of physical capital and the deterioration of economic conditions given the age-specific aspects of many human capital investments. Civil wars and associated physical destruction can interrupt the education of children through the damage to schools, absence of teachers, fears of insecurity and changes in family structures and household income. Children can also be negatively affected by the worsening of their health due to the association of violent conflict with famines, widespread malnutrition, and outbreaks of infectious diseases, post-war trauma, and the destruction of health facilities. The destruction of human capital during childhood is a well-documented mechanism leading to poverty traps, given the severe long-
run effects it can have on individual and household welfare via the future labor market outcomes and economic performance of affected children (see Mincer 1974, Shultz 1961 and Becker 1962). These micro-level effects of civil wars remain largely under-researched. The problem confronting this research therefore is to investigate the psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children.
1.3 Objective of the Study
1 To determine the nature of conflict and violence on women and children
2 To determine the psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children.
1.4 Research Questions
1 What is the nature of conflict and violence on women and children?
2 What is the psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study proffer a framework for the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at eliminating conflict and violence against women and children
1.6 Statement of Hypothesis
1 Ho The level of conflict and violence against women and children is low
Hi The level of conflict and violence against women and children is high
2 Ho The psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children is low
Hi The psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children is high.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The research focuses on the appraisal of the psychological effect of conflict and violence on women and children.
1.8 Definition of Terms
. Sustainable peace must be the priority of global society where state actors and non-state actors do not only seek for the profits in a near future that might violate the stable state of peace.
Johan Galtung's conflict triangle works on the assumption that the best way to define peace is to define violence, its opposite. It reflects the normative aim of preventing, managing, limiting and overcoming violence.
Direct (overt) violence, e.g., direct attack, massacre.
Death by avoidable reasons such as malnutrition. Structural violence is indirect violence caused by an unjust structure and is not to be equated with an act of God.
Cultural violence occurs as a result of the cultural assumptions that blind one to direct or structural violence. For example, one may be indifferent toward the homeless, or even consider their expulsion or extermination a good thing.
Each corner of Galtung's triangle can relate to the other two. Ethnic cleansing can be an example of all three.
Cost of conflict
Cost of conflict is a tool which attempts to calculate the price of conflict to the human race. The idea is to examine this cost, not only in terms of the deaths and casualties and the economic costs borne by the people involved, but also the social, developmental, environmental and strategic costs of conflict. The approach considers direct costs of conflict, for instance human deaths, expenditure, destruction of land and physical infrastructure; as well as indirect costs that impact a society, for instance migration, humiliation, growth of extremism and lack of civil society.
The normative aims of peace studies are conflict transformation and conflict resolution through mechanisms such as peacekeeping, peace building (e.g., tackling disparities in rights, institutions and the distribution of world wealth) and peacemaking (e.g., mediation and conflict resolution). Peacekeeping falls under the aegis of negative peace, whereas efforts toward positive peace involve elements of peace building and peacemaking.
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