Women, Peace and Security: Moving Beyond Feminist Pacifism

Citation:

Aroussi, Sahla. 2009. “Women, Peace and Security: Moving Beyond Feminist Pacifism.” Paper presented at Political Studies Association (UK) Annual Conference, Manchester, April 7-9.

Author: Sahla Aroussi

Abstract:

Many feminists have long rejected the argument of women's inherent pacifism as problematic and counterproductive. Yet, this notion has noticeably resurfaced within the current literature on women in conflict and peacebuilding especially after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Feminists writing within these areas have represented women as mythical peacebuilders and romanticised their contributions to peace. They have also overemphasisied the existence of a common, feminist, socialist, pacifist agenda and overstated accounts of women's victimisation at the hands of violent and bellicose masculinity. The perisistence of such concepts arguably reinforces the hierarchical gender dichotomies regarding masculinity and femininity and as such sustains militarism, violence against women, inequality and the exclusion of women from the area of peace and security.

This paper will critique examples of current literature where the stereotype of feminist pacifism is to be found and explore some of the reasons behind the continued adherence to such idea. The paper argues that if we disconnect femininity from peace we would dismantle a major source of militarism. Deconstructing the stereotypes surrounding femininity and masculinity and the rejection of all kinds of biological explanations for gender behavioural differences in war and peace are necessary conditions for achieving equality and possibly peace.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Peace Processes, Security

Year: 2009

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