Women and the Nigeria-Biafra War

An International Conference in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the War
May 8-9, 2018
Ambassador Inn, Marquette, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Call for Papers

We welcome panels, papers and poster presentations that will contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of women’s experiences in the Nigeria-Biafra War.

Wars, conflicts of social identities and resource-control are recurrent themes that pose serious challenges to state building in Africa. Nigeria—Africa’s most populous and diverse state followed the trajectory of the postcolonial crises, instability and dysfunctional governments. The climax of its post-independent conflicts came with the Nigeria-Biafra war (1967 to 1970). The war provoked global humanitarian concerns and countless number of literatures. The Nigeria-Biafra war narratives captured its enormous humanitarian consequences and ethno-political issues that led to the war. Typical of war chronicles, there is a void on the impact and experiences of women in the Nigeria-Biafra war.

Fifty years after the Nigeria-Biafra War, the complex experiences of women affected by the conflict are yet to be told and adequately recorded. Fictional and nonfictional accounts of the war, especially those written by men, embody the protectionists and hyper-masculine ideologies. These generalize gender and gender roles disproportionately. The politics of sexing war, warrior and victim has far-reaching consequences that transcends gender to human rights and criminal accountability.

The female invisibility in the Nigeria-Biafra war stories makes this international conference imperative. The international conference reflects the core principles of the United Nation’s Resolution 1325 on women’s active participation in peace and security. It serves as an important platform to discuss women’s vulnerable experiences, remarkable resilience, agencies, initiatives and roles at war, conflicts and national struggles.
This international conference is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war and to highlight the cost of the conflict on Nigerian women and their contributions to the hostility and to the survival of their families, communities and country.


  • Women and Wartime Experiences: Theorizing Gender, Conflicts and Human Rights
  • Sub-themes for the conference include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Women, war and conflict in Nigeria: the Biafra experiences
  • War, gender and ethnic politics in Nigeria
  • Women and the military/paramilitary institutions in Nigeria
  • Women and war theories: the ideologies of combatants and non-combatants
  • War, hunger and trauma: women’s psychological and health consequences
  • Women, maternal and child health at war and conflict times
  • Effects of war and conflicts on women and girls’ education
  • Starvation, infant and child mortality at wartimes
  • War, genocide and international humanitarian law: the Biafra stories past and present
  • War, International Law and the Jurisprudence of crime
  • Gender, war crimes and criminal accountability
  • War, conflicts and women’s rights
  • War, myth, gender and representation
  • War, conflicts, memories and counter-memories
  • Women, war, and humanitarian services
  • Women and wartime agencies
  • Women, hunger, nutrition and improvisation at war
  • Women in diplomatic services
  • Women and the Biafra technology
  • Women and the attack trading narratives
  • Women and Biafra war songs and poetry
  • Girls and childhood memories of the war
  • Impact of women in the Nigeria-Biafra economy during the war
  • Conflict and postconflict Nigeria: the women’s stories of rehabilitation and restoration?
  • Women, the Nigeria-Biafra war, migration and diaspora
  • Women’s postconflict experiences: 50 years after
  • War and effects on families and marriages
  • Women’s roles in peace and conflict resolution
  • Comparative evaluation of African women’s writing on the Nigeria-Biafra war
  • Women and postconflict reconstruction
  • Women, war, displacement and refugee experiences

Papers presented at the conference will be peer-reviewed, and those assessed to be of high quality will be included in an edited book. Interested persons should send a 250-word paper or roundtable abstracts and proposals no later than Wednesday, March 24th, 2018. The Local Organizing Committee will review the abstracts as they are submitted, and you will be promptly notified of the decision on your submission. If your proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your paper should be submitted by Monday, April 16, 2018. Abstracts should be submitted with the following information and in this order: (a) title of paper or presentation, (b) author(s), (c) affiliation, (d) email address, (e) phone numbers, (f) abstract of maximum of 250 words, and (g) 5 keywords of your proposed presentation. Abstracts should be submitted to the Local Organizing Committee at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Conference Website:  https://www.conflictsandgenderights.com.

The conference registration fee is as follows:

Participants ---- $100
Students --------- $50

Those who need accommodations should reserve their rooms at:
Ambassador Inn, Marquette, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Keynote Speaker:
Akachi Ezeigbo, PhD, FNAL, FLSN, FESAN, FANA, Professor of English, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Title of Keynote Speech:
Creativity and War: Narratives and Counter-narratives in the Gendered Writings on the Nigeria-Biafra War

Co-Organizers: Igbo League, United States

Conference Organizing Chair:
Sr. Dr. Carol Ijeoma Njoku, CODESRIA Fellow
University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
Visiting Professor, Marquette University, Milwaukee


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