The Unequal Burden of War

The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Monday, 06 February 2006 14:00-15:30
Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 7, Oslo

Eric Neumayer, of the London School of Economics and Political Science, is visiting the Centre for the Study of Civil War at PRIO, and held a seminar on the indirect consequences of war, and how these affect women more than men. Around 40 people attended this seminar. For a joint article by Thomas Plümper & Eric Neumayer on this topic, see this document. If you want to take part in this seminar, please register with The seminar will be chaired by Agnete Schjønsby, PRIO. Discussants: Christin M. Ormhaug, CSCW and Helga Hernes, PRIO Most combatants in armed conflict are men, so naturally men are the major direct victims of military operations. However, armed conflicts have important indirect negative consequences on agriculture, infrastructure, public health provision and social order. These indirect consequences are often overlooked and under-appreciated. They also affect women - and arguably more so than men. In a recent article (see below), Thomas Plümper & Eric Neumayer provide the first rigorous analysis of the impact of armed conflict on the relative life expectancies of men and women. The authors find that, over the entire conflict period studied, interstate wars, civil wars and internationalized civil wars on average affect women more adversely than men. In times of peace, women typically live longer than men; hence, armed conflict tends to decrease the gap between female and male life expectancy. In relation to civil war, we also find that ethnic wars and wars in ‘failed’ states are much more damaging to women than other civil wars. The authors' findings challenge policymakers, as well as international and humanitarian organizations, to develop policies that tackle the large indirect and long-term negative health impacts of armed conflicts.