Northern Ireland's recent history of violent civil unrest creates a particular set of social and cultural circumstances which shape gender roles and relations and, from that, public attitudes to sexual violence. Even a cursory survey of scholarship and reportage on gender-based violence in Northern Ireland reveals it as a wide-spread problem that has historically been largely marginalized as a minor, private issue in comparison to the urgency of sectarian and military/paramilitary violence during the 'Troubles'. Tina Sideris argues that 'the institutions of war constitute exclusive male clubs, which are defined by hierarchy, authoritarian control, aggression and violence' (2002: p.151) -- that is, by the most stereotypical features of masculine identity. Women, in contrast, may draw on traditional gender roles as those that keep the hearth (the private sphere) together while the men are away fighting. The relegation of women to the domestic sphere, hwoever, and the strict definitions imposed upon male and female behaviour, can result in social tolerance for the violent imposition of controls and the punishment of perceived gender-inappropriate behaviour.
|Publisher||International Conflict Research Institute|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jun 2012|