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Effects of violent conflict on women and children: Sexual behavior, fertility, and infant mortality in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Demography Unit)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the relationship between violent conflicts and sexual and reproductive health in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The aim of the thesis is to investigate how war affects demographic outcomes across individual life courses. The thesis contributes to the research field by linking macro level conflict data measuring the intensity and frequency of violent conflict with micro level data on women’s sexual and birth histories and infant deaths across time and place.

The results show that war affects infants’ survival and women’s sexual and reproductive health and behavior. The first study finds an increase of premarital first sexual intercourse during the violent conflicts in Rwanda. The second study finds evidence of a delay in the fertility transition due to the Congolese war and the lingering conflicts in East DRC. The third study suggests that the Congolese war affects infant mortality, but only post-neonatal mortality.

Despite consistent evidence that conflict affects the everyday life of women and children, the mechanisms that explain this relationship are largely unknown. This thesis identifies important gaps in the research that limit our understanding of the mechanisms at work. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2016.
Series
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 15
Keyword [en]
Violent conflict, war, premarital first sexual intercourse, fertility transition, infant mortality, Rwanda, the DRC
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128977ISBN: 978-91-7649-397-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128977DiVA: diva2:919704
Public defence
2016-06-10, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Violent Conflict and Sexual Behavior in Rwanda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Violent Conflict and Sexual Behavior in Rwanda
2016 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8444, E-ISSN 1544-8452, Vol. 22, no 3, 241-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Early and premarital sexual intercourse can be linked to a host of problems in a sub-Saharan African context including unwanted pregnancies and exposure to sexually transmitted infections. This study explores the relationship between violent conflict and premarital first sexual intercourse in Rwanda, a country that experienced violent conflicts leading up to the genocide in 1994, alongside high HIV prevalence. The study makes use of unique data on violent conflict at the regional level that are linked to the sexual histories of individual women across time and place. The study employs indirect and direct conflict indicators to estimate the risk of premarital first sexual intercourse. The method used was piece-wise constant hazard models, which reveal an increased risk of premarital first sexual intercourse during the conflict years of 1993 and 1994. Both the indirect and the direct conflict indicators provided strong evidence of a conflict effect in Rwanda.

Keyword
violent conflict, civil war, premarital first sexual intercourse, Rwanda
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128970 (URN)10.1002/psp.1881 (DOI)000373801600003 ()
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
2. War effect on fertility behavior in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Open this publication in new window or tab >>War effect on fertility behavior in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Congolese war, fertility transition, first birth, parity-specific fertility, the DRC
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128973 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-04-14Bibliographically approved
3. The effect of war on infant mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effect of war on infant mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Keyword
Congolese wars, violent conflict, infant morality, neonatal mortality, post-neonatal mortality, maternal behavior, infant's frailty, mother's frailty, the DRC
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128975 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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