The Effects of Internal Armed Conflict on Women’s Labour Rights

Master thesis

Dyvesether, Natalie M. (2019) The Effects of Internal Armed Conflict on Women’s Labour Rights. MA thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo.

There is no consensus in the literature as to whether internal armed conflict enhances or impedes women’s labour rights in the aftermath of conflict. Several case studies demonstrate how pervasive conflicts may induce social upheavals with beneficial ripple effects for women’s employment opportunities in the aftermath of conflict. Other studies, however, report a post-conflict backlash in women’s newfound rights and that post-conflict conditions are devastating for the advancement of women’s labour rights. I specify and systematize theoretical mechanisms indicating that the impact of internal conflict on women’s post-conflict labour rights is either positive or negative. Using panel data from 128 countries in the 1981-2011 period, this study provides the first large-n quantitative investigationof the effects of internal armed conflict on women’s labour rights. Estimating ordered probit analyses, I find that ongoing conflict and a post-conflict period of up to five years are associated with a negative change in women’s labour rights in the aftermath of conflict. The results hold when controlling for country-specific factors and are also robust to alternative model specifications and operationalizations of the post-conflict period. However, the findings are somewhat sensitive to the countries included in the sample. Overall, internal armed conflict seems to induce a net negative change in women’s post-conflict labour rights.

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