WOMEN AND WAR: DECONSTRUCTING THE NOTION OF VICTIMS AND RECONSTRUCTING THEIR ROLE AS PEACE BUILDERS
Ever since the Iliad, women at war have been displayed mostly in various passive roles: whether the cause of fighting –the fair Helen– or victims of its aftermath –the weeping mothers and widows– women remained at the periphery of war, which has been typically a patriarchal enterprise. Sanctioned by centuries of religious and secular literature, from Egyptian hieroglyphics and reliefs to Sun-Tzu or von Clausewitz, the relationships between women and war allocated those two functions: women are either identified as ominous origin of conflict and imbalance (causa efficiens), or the ultimate receptors (causa finalis) of war. Of course, that imagery had to be deconstructed just like it had been erected: not just by narrative means but also as whole social construct, and so that is the aim of Fatuma Ahmed Ali in her Mujeres y guerra (Women and war).
Key words: Women, war, peace