International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen
Chapter 12: The war comes home: the toll of war and the shifting burden of care
War takes a toll, yet the human toll of war is often underspecified. This chapter traces the gendered impacts of deployments, not only for returning service-members, but also for their families and communities. Focusing on the long-term effects of US deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the chapter traces several key issues, including: homicide and violent crime; violence in military families; impacts on children; suicide; divorce; mental health and resilience, and the ways in which these issues are individualized within military cultures and economies. The result is that women are often required to carry out the affective labour required in wartime, in a gendered political economy of military care work. The chapter updated a version of a report published by the Costs of War project, which traces the human and economic costs of militarized responses to 9/11.
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