The representation of women in Ugandan war narratives
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This study is an examination of Mary Karooro Okurut, Goretti Kyomuhendo and Julius Ocwinyo’s novels: The Invisible Weevil (1998) Waiting: A Novel of Uganda at War (2007) and Fate of the Banished (1997) respectively. The study analyses the construction of female characters based on their interactions with other characters in the novels; shaped by war. It surveys the roles played by female characters as agents of peace in the novels during war atrocities. The study further examines the impact of war on the female characters in war which effect spills over in homes and weighs heavily on women. The study proposes that literature has been used by the writers to portray the active participation of women in war, which historically has been relegated as the business of men. Although war tries to suppress the voices of women and their active participation in the war, the women in the texts come out as active agents in protecting their families and the entire society from getting wounded by war effects. While Kyomuhendo and Okurut craft women who are active participants in the war, those who come face to face with war, in The Invisible Weevil (1998) or those to whom war come to like in Waiting: A Novel of Uganda at War (2007), Ocwinyo in Fate of the Banished (1997) portrays women victims in the novel. Ocwinyo crafts female characters who are the backbone of families left behind by warriors like Apire. The study cuts across the images of women in such war currents, their role in the war, and the impact of war on innocent characters. A conclusion is drawn that both male and female authors of war narratives employ female characters in the novels in order to bring out their roles in aiding their families and community survive during conflict.