War Is Not Over When It's Over Women Speak Out from the Ruins of War

Ann Jones




Trade Paperback

288 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

In 2007, the International Rescue Committee, which brings relief to countries in the wake of war, wanted to understand what really happened to women in war zones. Answers came through the point and click of a digital camera. On behalf of the IRC, Ann Jones, the renowned authority on domestic violence, spent two years traveling through Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East, giving cameras to women who had no other means of telling the world what war had done to their lives.

The photography project—which moved from Liberia to Syria and points in between—quickly broadened to encompass the full consequences of modern warfare for the most vulnerable. Even after the definitive moments of military victory, women and children remain blighted by injury and displacement and are the most affected by the destruction of communities and social institutions. And along with peace often comes worsening violence against women, both domestic and sexual.

Dramatic and compelling, animated by the voices of brave and resourceful women, War Is Not Over When It's Over shines a powerful light on a phenomenon that has long been cast in shadow.


Praise for War Is Not Over When It's Over

"Harrowing and important . . . What Jones brings to the fore here is sadly often overlooked in discussions of the world politic."—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Gripping . . . This searing exposé on war's remnants convincingly makes the case that gender inequality may be one of the greatest threats to peace."—Kirkus Reviews

"While hoping to document postwar violence against women in war-torn regions like Afghanistan, parts of Africa, and the Middle East, the International Relief Committee project unexpectedly provoked a loaded question about the injustice of their lives: 'Why can't a man bathe a child?' With this question, and armed with IRC cameras, a group of African women started the dialogue in the hope of ending their abuse by and harsh subservice to men. A shy young girl in Sierra Leone elicits cheers from her schoolmates when she tells elders that teachers 'should stop impregnating schoolgirls.' Jones (Kabul in Winter) recounts her observations of the Global Crescendo Project in this concise travelogue praising women's fortitude in the direst of circumstances while decrying the continuing 'post-conflict zone' of violence against women, including in American-bombed ruins of Iraq, which cracks her sense of detachment. Underfunded and undoubted in First and Third World countries, the project reveals the link between misplaced rage by depressed former soldiers and the women who suffer culturally sanctioned violence, while the U.N.'s antirape resolutions are ignored . . . Jones provides glimpses of hard-won triumphs, including separate bathing areas in Burmese refugee camps and the promise of peace for women by a thoughtful local chief."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

War Is Not Healthy

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year 2008, as BBC TV presenters wearing crisp red paper poppy boutonnieres interview the last survivors of the Great War in Flanders...

Read the full excerpt


  • Ann Jones

  • Ann Jones, writer and photographer, is the author of seven previous books, including War Is Not Over When It's Over, Kabul in Winter, Women Who Kill, and Next Time She'll Be Dead. Since 9/11, Jones has worked with women in conflict and post-conflict zones, principally Afghanistan, and reported on their concerns. An authority on violence against women, she has served as a gender adviser to the United Nations. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times and The Nation.

  • Ann Jones Irene Young