Women Confronting Death: War Widows' Experiences in the South Caucasus

TitleWomen Confronting Death: War Widows' Experiences in the South Caucasus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsZiemer, Ulrike, and Nona Shahnazarian
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Date Published2018

Widowhood is an under-recognized, albeit significant, aspect of life all over the world. The scant literature on contemporary narratives of widowhood among women as a consequence of conflicts indicates that this aspect of lived experience is relatively underexplored. Although loss is integral to life in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus, it has been overlooked because of the unsettled politics in the region. Since the end of the full-scale war in 1994, the self-declared, internationally unrecognized republic has been locked in a protracted conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This longstanding conflict has had severe consequences for society in this region. Sporadic clashes along the border of Nagorno-Karabakh are not a rare occurrence. Thus, for women married to soldiers, confronting death is not rare in the everyday life of the region. The purpose of this article is to examine the everyday experiences, understanding and reworking of widowhood there. The article is intended to open up the hitherto neglected subject of widowhood as affected by violent fighting in this part of the world and to create awareness of the importance of the topic.

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