Expanding upon the gendered continuum of violence: do gender norms in peacetime play a role in exacerbating armed conflict and violence against women during armed conflict? The cases of the Former Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Congo
This thesis aims to expand on the gendered continuum of violence to include gender norms. In other words, do gender norms have a role in exacerbating the likelihood of an armed conflict, and how are these directly linked to the gender-based violence (GBV) women face during armed conflict? The gendered continuum of violence provides an understanding of the gender-inequality conflict link, however, ignores that gender inequality is tightly intertwined with gender norms. Therefore, by hypothesising and researching the root causes of the gendered continuum of violence, a greater understanding of it can be achieved. Firstly, a systematic review was conducted in order to understand whether this newly hypothesised continuum has theoretical underpinnings and can be supported within the current literature. Secondly, the cases of the former Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Congo were analysed to see if this hypothesis holds up in real-world settings. It is concluded that there is a link between gender norms, armed conflict, and GBV in armed conflict, and therefore the gendered continuum of violence was successfully expanded upon. However, this continuum plays out differently dependent on different contexts, and other factors, such as nationalism and poverty, are deeply intertwined in this continuum.