Women's and War in the Southern Sudan: Dinka Women's Stories
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History is often written by men with little thought to the perspectives of women, particularly in patriarchal societies. Consequently female narratives about war, notions of nationhood, the state, identity and marginalization may be absent from the historical record. The absence of women’s voices has meant that there is an inability to define their needs and to provide the appropriate assistance. Silence also denies women a public voice and reduces their ability to contribute to discussion about conflict. This thesis uses the recent conflict in Sudan as a model to illustrate the unique insights of women in historical reportage. Specifically, the oral narrative of South Sudanese women is used to document the perspectives, challenges, and insights of women concerning war and displacement. The oral narrative approach was selected because it provides a significant process to gather knowledge about people’s lives and worldview, and is a powerful tool for the reclamations of women’s voices in history and literature. By collecting and recording black African women’s war and refuge narratives, this research will contribute to increased understanding of issues of war and gender, not only in Sudan but also on an international level. These narratives will bring to light experiences specific to women of the Sudan but also illuminate similar experiences shared by women living and working in conflict zones. Finally, by comparing historical accounts with and without the female perspective, the study will help quantify how male bias in historical reporting may influence our perception of past events and development of society.