Effects of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act on Gender: Influence of Social Ecology on Psychological well-being of Women in Nagaland
The study examines the effects of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on gender in Nagaland. The AFSPA is an extra judicial legislation enforced in 1958 to fight insurgency in several states in India including Nagaland. From its initiation, the Act has invited great controversy because it authorized the military, paramilitary and police to arrest, detain and shoot to death any person who is suspected of being an insurgent. Under the AFSPA, Indian army soldiers are protected by the law against court proceedings for their actions. The law has resulted in many deaths, and the female relatives of the victims bear the brunt of military violence as they struggle with psychological trauma, and the added burden of economic responsibility for the household. The study focuses on how women’s voices are utilized to validate their experiences. It investigates the assumption that women tap into resources in their social environment -the church and the Naga Mothers Association- to help them cope with psychological trauma. The findings indicate that the church and the NMA did not have a significant impact on the women, rather, their coping process was influenced by the village community, individual resilience, their personal faith in God and by a notion of collective identity. The findings also reveal cases that contradict the assumption that such factors helped women cope with trauma.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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