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War and Mothers

  • By: Cayo Gamber
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mothers experience warfare on many fronts: as mothers of soldiers, camp followers, caregivers, spies, auxiliary workers, correspondents, soldiers (at times disguised as men), and as victims. A study of the role that mothers have played during times of war challenges the conventional image of mothers who passively and quietly suffer. Women have played a part in war throughout history.

In Support of War and Soldier Sons

Conventionally, it has been understood that women—and mothers in particular—are not directly involved in the waging of war. Mothers stand on the periphery; and in some cultures, the most glorious of mothers are those who are willing to sacrifice their children to war. The duty of mothers is seen as producing the warriors who valiantly will go to war; to that ...

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