chapter  2
The Political Economy of War: What Women Need to Know
Pages 13

This chapter explores the psychosocial dynamics of war-related, sexualized violence in African contexts. The feminist analysis that sexual violence has roots in societal structures and is caused by male-female power imbalance seems to apply to African conflicts where women are frequent targets. Sexualized violence in the context of war can be used to terrorize and dominate communities by targeting sections of the population, mainly women and children. Attending to issues of safety and security is therefore paramount for adaptation and survival in the aftermath of sexualized violence. The Adaptation and Development after Trauma and Persecution (ADAPT) model is an integrative psychosocial framework for connecting the multiple issues, stressors, and resources facing war-affected individuals. The psychosocial framework outlines the capacity for normal adaptation in response to threats to psychosocial pillars but recognizes barriers that prevent communities from addressing and redressing sexualized violence. Acts to redress psychosocial pillars and receive compensation for emotional and physical pain are paramount for psychological healing.