Traumatic Masculinities: The Gendered Geographies of Georgian IDPs from Abkhazia (Research Summary)
Traumatic masculinities refer to the changing gender roles, decreased ability for men to be breadwinners, and processes of demasculinization that Georgian IDPs (internally displaced people) are experiencing. INGO and NGO policies and programs, in many situations, paradoxically exacerbate these conditions by not incorporating men into their programs and activities, further isolating them. Failure to take both genders into account, or else simply ignoring men, renders both men and women even more vulnerable while living in displacement. Thus, programs must be designed for men as well as for both men and women. These programs must utilize a nuanced approach that avoids simply reproducing traditional gender roles in order to empower people and transform gender relationships. The longer that IDP communities remain vulnerable, the greater the opportunities for political mobilization by the IDP population, as well as for opposition leaders to politicize the IDP issue, thereby highlighting the need to fund programs for IDPs that limit the possibility of repeated demonstrations and social unrest.
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Peter Kabachnik, of the College of Staten Island (City University of New York), was a 2011 Regional Policy Symposium participant.