How is War Gendered

As is known, war affects all population segments, from the old and young, men, women and children and across the existing social strata. Thus as Alison (2004) avers, human conflict and war can be deemed as ‘gendered’, given the historical and current influences it has had on society as a whole. Not only is the effect present on those who directly engage in armed conflict, but more so, on those populations that are directly affected by the conflict. These are unfortunately the populations that face grave danger, given the lack of optimal measures for protection. Historically, while the male gender has often been associated with direct engagement in human conflict vis-à-vis the female gender’s auxiliary role in the war, contemporary contexts have reshaped this ideal (Alison 2004:447).Smihula (2013) portrays that human conflict and war has and continues being influenced by a variety of aspects, ranging from political, social, economic, cultural and religious dimensions. Humanity comprises of different individuals, each a separate entity on his/ her own, possessing a dynamism that is ever changing. Accordingly, each human being shares some commonalities but these are often based on personal discovery. Everyone possesses individual interests, personality, disposition, and perception. However, each human being somehow, also establishes a social field within a society, within which s/he can interact in. thus, individuals portray a dynamic psychological importance to society, through the establishment of both commonality and understanding between the existing subjective social contexts (Smihula 2013:12). Accordingly, as Gat (2006) portrays, Conflict theory encompasses the best presentation of the foundational basis upon which human conflict and war may be discussed. Theories of conflict as perspectives of sociology emphasize on the prevailing socio-economic and political inequalities within a social setup. The presence of such inequalities results in misunderstandings and disagreement, eventually leading to conflict and violence.