Militarism, gender and reproductive suffering: The case of abortion in Western Dinka

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24 Scopus citations


Studies of reproductive risk under war conditions pay a great deal of attention to statistics of sexual violence inflicted by one warring party upon women of the other. While such attention is justified, it mystifies the risk contained within families and local communities. This article examines the effects of the militarisation of youth in southern Sudan on women's reproductive well-being. The war has caused families to desire many children to make up for the high wartime infant mortality rate. The resultant social breakdown has prompted men to breach the rules of sexuality and sexual taboos to such an extent that women have lost much control over sexual and reproductive decisions. Women in Western Dinka, therefore, agree to conceive unwillingly. They also regard pregnancy as a difficult ordeal. Many, however, terminate pregnancy with unsafe techniques that risk infertility, infection or death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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