International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen
Chapter 11: Gender and the economic impacts of war
What are the possible economic impacts on humans of war, and why and how might they vary by gender? This interesting topic has actually been explored very little by either economists or other social scientists. This chapter develops a framework for considering this topic. War, which inevitably involves destruction of both human and physical assets, has lasting economic effects. It can take many years for a devastated society to return to the level of gross domestic product that it had before the war. However, war also often involves a wholesale reinvention of the affected society or societies. The chapter first examines the types of destruction that can occur and considers how they can affect women and men (and girls and boys) differently. It then considers historical cases whereby the reinvention of society following conflict has led to very different outcomes for women (generally considered relative to men) than they had experienced before hostilities began. The chapter explores the currently available research in this area, highlighting throughout where more research is needed.
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