War, Flight, and Exile: Gendered Violence among Refugee Women from Post-Yugoslav States

Authored by: Maja Korac

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2004
Citation: Korac, Maja. "War, Flight, and Exile: Gendered Violence among Refugee Women from Post-Yugoslav States." In Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones, edited by Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman, 249-272. Berkley: University of California Press, 2004.

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This chapter analyzes changes in the gender roles and responsibilities of refugee women in the post-Yugoslav states caused by their forced displacement. It begins by addressing the ‘logic’ of the exclusionary politics of ethnic nationalism in the region, and the social and political implications of women’s forced migration. In documenting the experiences of women I interviewed as they became refugees, the chapter examines changes in their roles and social relations caused by the gendered violence of war, flight and exile. The women are of different ethnic-nationalities and have varied experiences of becoming refugees. Nevertheless, the interviews reveal that these women have much in common. The hardships of their survival in exile and the development of successful coping strategies through which they confront their victimization are both the potential spaces for the creation of new narratives of belonging and multiple identities.