Dr Yoana Fernanda Nieto Valdivieso

Birmingham Law School
Research Fellow in Gender and Transitional Justice

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Yoana F. Nieto Valdivieso joined Birmingham Law School in September 2017. Her research interests are in Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants from a Gender Perspective, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence in war and armed conflict, and Feminist Theories of War and Armed Conflict. Yoana is currently working with Dr Janine N. Clark on a five-year project funded by the European Research Council. The project is entitled "A Comparative Study of Resilience in Survivors of War Rape and Sexual Violence: New Directions for Transitional Justice" (CSRS).


  • PhD Sociology, Anthropology and Gender (University of Hull, UK)
  • Dual MA Women and Gender Studies (University of Hull, UK and University of Granada, Spain)
  • MA in History (Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Medellín, Colombia)
  • BA Social Communication and Journalism (Antioquia University, Colombia)


Dr Yoana F. Nieto Valdivieso has conducted both academic and applied research in areas such as Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants in Colombia, processes of reconciliation between surviving communities and perpetrators, Transitional Justice, and memory studies from a gender perspective. She has worked as a practitioner in the areas of peace building and conflict resolution, children and young adult’s rights, and women’s rights. In 2012 she worked at the office of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Delegate for Children, Youth and Women in Colombia coordinating a project directed to prevent Sexual Violence and forced recruitment among children and young adults in three highly militarised areas in the country.

Her PhD Thesis, (Ex)guerrilleras: women waging war in Colombia, 1964-2012, was awarded the prize of the best PhD Thesis on Colombia from the Asociacion de Colombianistas (University of San Diego) in 2017. 


Yoana co-authored with Luz Maria Londoño Mujeres no Contadas: Procesos de Desmobilisacion y retorno a la vida civil de mujeres excombatientes en Colombia. 1990-2003, a ground-breaking study of insurgent female ex-combatants’ experiences of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) in Colombia and the long lasting consequences that the lack of a gender perspective on the DDR programs had on demobilised women’s lives. During the last ten years, Yoana has centred her academic research on working with former guerrilla and paramilitary combatants in Colombia in topics such as women’s lived experiences of mobilisation into insurgent and paramilitary organisations, women’s experiences as combatants and actors of proscribed violence, Colombia’s DDR processes, and female ex-combatants’ memory work. She has conducted applied research in the field of transitional justice in relation to reconciliation processes between victims of war crimes and perpetrators in different communities. Yoana has worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migrants in Colombia and for different Colombian NGOs.

Currently Yoana is working with Dr Janine N. Clark on a five year comparative study of resilience in survivors of war and sexual violence in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Colombia, and Uganda. The project is being funded through a European Research Council Consolidator Grant.

 Her research interests are Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants, Sexual Violence in war and armed conflict, transitional justice, and feminist theory/ies of war. 

Other activities

  • Member of the University of Birmingham Fieldwork Group
  • Member of the Society for Latin American Studies - SLAS



  • Mujeres no Contadas: Procesos de Desmobilisación y retorno a la vida civil de mujeres excombatientes en Colombia. 1990-2003 (La Carreta, 2006).


  • The Joy of the Militancy: Happiness and the Pursuit of Revolutionary Struggle. Journal of Gender Studies. Special Issue Gendering Happiness: the Power of Pleasure, 26 (1), 78 -90 (2017).
  • Using a Multi-Methodological Approach to Women’s Lived Experiences as Female Combatants and their Return to Civilian Life. Postgraduate Perspectives in History, 1(1), 20-37 (2014).


  • Hull Center of Women and Gender Studies Biennial Conference, Gendering Happiness: The Power of Pleasure, University of Hull, 26 November 2014. Paper: The Joy of the Militancy: Happiness and the Pursuit of Revolutionary Struggle.
  • International Conference Cultural politics of Memory at the Conference, Cardiff University,14th to 16th of May 2014. Paper: Exploring Women Ex-combatants Unusual Archives.
  • Conference Beyond Experience. Rethinking Violence and Trauma. An Interdisciplinary Conference on Women’s Memories of Political Violence, University of Warwick, United Kingdom, 3rd March 2011. Paper: On Becoming, Being and Leaving Colombia’s Revolutionary Struggle.
  • International Seminar on Reconciliation and Civic Trust-Building. CONCIUDADANIA/GTZ, Medellín, Colombia, 4-6 September 2008. Talk: Reconciliation between Victims, Receptor Communities and the Demobilised Population. Case Studies and Learned Lessons for the Design of Public Policies on Reconciliation and Reparation in Colombia.
  • ‘XIV Congreso de Historia de Colombia’ conference, Universidad Pedagogica y Tecnologica de Colombia and Asociación Colombiana de Historiadores, Tunja, Colombia, 12-16 August 2008.

View all publications in research portal



Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of combatants from a gender perspective

Transitional justice

Sexual Violence in war and armed conflict

Feminist Theories of War and Armed Conflict