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Women during the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines

April 27, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Sakamaki A201

Professor Vina A. Lanzona (History, Philippine Studies) will be presenting "Engendering Counterinsurgency: The Battle to Win 'Hearts and Minds' of Women during the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines" as part of the History Workshop series "War and Society: Considering Justice, Violence, and the Military in History."

A major rationale for the United States war on Afghanistan in 2001 was to free Afghan women from their brutal oppression under the Taliban regime. According to correspondent Ann Jones, however, in the ensuing counterinsurgency (COIN) war against the Taliban, the women of Afghanistan "whom George W. Bush claimed to have liberated so many years ago, are still mostly oppressed, impoverished, malnourished, uneducated, ... and mad as hell." A similar rationale, and a similar failure, characterized the Huk rebellion in the Philippines, the first major communist rebellion defeated by US counterinsurgency operations in the postwar era. COIN's "success" in the Philippines partly explains its potency and persistence as a war strategy. This talk revisits the success of COIN in the Philippines by looking closely at its three core wars: the propaganda war, psychological warfare, and the war against communities, focusing on how women and notions of gender and sexuality shaped counterinsurgency against the Huks. Despite its professed desire to win "hearts and minds," counterinsurgency wars continue to marginalize at least half of the population then and now.

Event Sponsor
History and the Center for Philippine Studies, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Suzanna Reiss and Matt Romaniello, 956-7407,

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