Bringing Women’s Voices Back In: Gender and Oil Conflict in the Niger Delta
This event is a film screening and discussion of a 30 minute film that highlights the comparative role of women in conflict settings; the film was put together using interview data with women participants in various locations in Bayelsa and Rivers states, including sights and sounds of the area. Conflicts in the Niger Delta have reached a political brink that has attracted significant concerns and responsiveness at both local and international levels. Women in the Niger Delta have played a key role in organising important protests and are referred to continuously in relation to the adoption of nonviolence. Grievances expressed by women in the Delta region are typically concerned with environmental degradation and underdevelopment. Ogoni women, for example, have experienced, first-hand, the violent reprisals instigated by the Nigerian security forces. Yet, the women's' voices within the context of the nonviolent aspect of the conflict are absent in the literature. This project addresses two questions: What are the conflict related experiences of the Ijaw and Ogoni women? What future roles could the women in the Niger Delta play to advance the nonviolence agenda? It highlights the comparative roles of the women in conflict settings. The roles played by women to address oil-related environmental issues need to be brought at the fore of discussions on development in the region. Specifically, these gendered implications are important for development particularly in explaining the 'how' and 'why' within the differing trajectories of the movements in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.
Dr. Zainab Mai-Bornu is a Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Leicester.
- Dr. Zainab Mai-Bornu