Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Ross Burkhart, Ph.D.


Nisha Mukherjee Bellinger, Ph.D.


Isaac M. Castellano, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of conflict on the sociopolitical status of women in several affected countries. The conflicts analyzed within this work are both violent and non-violent. I infer that conflict acts as an impetus to propel gender equity. I utilize the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) dataset to determine which movements in women’s equality have been made over the preceding twelve years and reinforce that data analysis with qualitative information through case analysis to add context and meaning to the quantitative findings.

This work focuses on two of the four primary indicators of the GGGI, political participation and economic equality, versus that of those countries’ male counterparts. The statistics provided by the GGGI are of central focus to this work; where statistics are missing or not available, qualitative sources supplement where data is lacking. The purpose of the data analysis is to show whether conflict is a driving force in empowering women throughout the world, and through conflict that gender equality profits from global political uncertainty. When viewed as a potential naturally occurring rebalance as a result of internal state tension, could civil conflict within the state be the driving force for political change? My analysis reveals that both Nicaragua and Rwanda are reaching new heights of gender equity, both resulting from violent conflicts. My results add to the literature that conflict can be highly beneficial to gender equity post-conflict.