This article examines gendered aspects of women’s lives in a hill village in central Nepal during the decade-long civil war (1996-2006). The predominantly middle aged and elderly women discussed in the paper were not directly influenced by Maoist equality agendas, nor have they been – as yet – significantly empowered by the recent post-conflict gender reservations. Rather, the paper argues that it was via the unintended consequences of the conflict – their unexpected leadership of a village development project – that these women forged an alternative path towards gender transformation.

Author Biography

Judith Pettigrew, an anthropologist and senior lecturer at the University of Limerick, Ireland has published widely on Nepal’s Maoist movement. Her research on the everyday impacts of violence on rural people examines the interrelationships between space, gender, violence, emotional life and psychosocial well-being. She is the co-editor of Windows into a Revolution: Ethnographies of Maoism in India and Nepal. Her monograph Ethnography and Everyday Life in Nepal’s Civil War is forthcoming with University of Pennsylvania Press.