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Civil Society

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU's Security Policy

Citation:

Muehlenhoff, Hanna L. 2017. “Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU’s Security Policy.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (2): 153–67.

Author: Hanna L. Muehlenhoff

Abstract:

Feminist scholars praise and criticize the UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security for its considerations of women and gender in conflicts. Poststructuralist feminists show how gender is constructed in the UN’s security policies and how these constructions reproduce gendered dichotomies between women and men and representations of women as victims, part of civil society and neoliberal subjects. Although the UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are implemented by the EU, there is no literature on how the EU is taking up the UN’s discourse. Scholars studying gender policies in and of the EU mainly analyze the (in)effectiveness of EU gender mainstreaming but rarely interrogate its discursive foundations. Using a governmentality perspective, I argue that on the one hand the EU produces a binary and stereotypical understanding of gender, and on the other hand constitutes women as neoliberal subjects responsible for their own well-being, ignoring broader structures of (gender) inequality and war and making gender equality solely an instrument to achieve more security and development.

Keywords: governmentality, EU, gender, security, neoliberal

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820

Year: 2017

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Basu, Soumita, and Laura J. Shepherd. 2018. "Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Global Affairs 3(4-5): 441-453.

Authors: Soumita Basu, Laura J. Shepherd

Abstract:

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is often operationalized across three priority areas: the participation of women in peace and security governance; the protection of women’s rights and bodies (specifically, but not limited to, conflict-related sexual violence); and the prevention of conflict. In this short paper, we explore violence prevention in more detail, and argue that it is of critical importance to define conflict as well as prevention. We draw on the illustrative examples of Australia, the UK and India to explain how this definitional work happens within the machinery of the state and the networks of civil society. Understanding how conflict is theorized by different actors in different locations not only gives insight into the tendency towards militarization in the WPS agenda but also can be interpreted as a manifestation of contestation over ownership of the WPS agenda and its location between the state and civil society.

Keywords: women, peace and security, UNSCR 1325, National Action Plans

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, India, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Building Inclusive Cities

Citation:

Whitzman, Carolyn, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath eds. 2013. Building Inclusive Cities. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Carolyn Whitzman, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath

Annotation:

Summary:
“Building on a growing movement within developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia–Pacific, as well as Europe and North America, this book documents cutting-edge practice and builds theory around a rights-based approach to women’s safety in the context of poverty reduction and social inclusion. Drawing upon two decades of research and grass-roots action on safer cities for women and everyone, this book is about the right to an inclusive city. The first part of the book describes the challenges that women face regarding access to essential services, housing security, liveability and mobility. The second part of the book critically examines programmes, projects and ideas that are working to make cities safer. Building Inclusive Cities takes a cross-cultural learning perspective from action research occurring throughout the world and translates this research into theoretical conceptualizations to inform the literature on planning and urban management in both developing and developed countries. This book is intended to inspire both thought and action” (Whitzman 2013, i).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2013

Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development

Citation:

Pandey, Shanta. 1998. “Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development.” International Social Work 41 (3): 339-55. 

Author: Shanta Pandey

Annotation:

Summary:
“In developing countries, poor populations, especially women and children, are disproportionately concentrated in ecologically degraded, fragile, and marginal lands (Durning, 1989). A wide range of development programs have been launched to promote social and economic development of rural areas. These programs are in the form of reforestation, irrigation and drinking water improvement, innovative farming techniques, primary health care facilities and health education, and training and human capital development. People’s participation, especially women’s, in these development programs is crucial for their success. Much has been written on the failure of states and development projects to engage rural people, especially rural women, in these rural development initiatives (Mayoux, 1995). This paper reviews several case studies conducted in Nepal and identifies some of the factors that contribute to the participation of rural people, especially rural women, in forest resources management programs. The paper also discusses social workers’ role in promoting participation and sustainable development” (Pandey, 1998, 339).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 1998

Social Participation and Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviors in Tsunami Prone Areas

Citation:

Witvorapong, Nopphol, Raya Muttarak, and Wiraporn Pothisiri. 2015. “Social Participation and Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviors in Tsunami Prone Areas.” PLoS ONE 10 (7): 1–20.

Authors: Nopphol Witvorapong, Raya Muttarak, Wiraporn Pothisiri

Abstract:

This paper examines the relationships between social participation and disaster risk reduction actions. A survey of 557 households in tsunami prone areas in Phang Nga, Thailand was conducted following the 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes. We use a multivariate probit model to jointly estimate the likelihood of undertaking three responses to earthquake and tsunami hazards (namely, (1) following disaster-related news closely, (2) preparing emergency kits and/or having a family emergency plan, and (3) having an intention to migrate) and community participation. We find that those who experienced losses from the 2004 tsunami are more likely to participate in community activities and respond to earthquake hazards. Compared to men, women are more likely to prepare emergency kits and/or have an emergency plan and have a greater intention to migrate. Living in a community with a higher proportion of women with tertiary education increases the probability of engaging in community activities and carrying out disaster risk reduction measures. Individuals who participate in village-based activities are 5.2% more likely to undertake all three risk reduction actions compared to those not engaging in community activities. This implies that encouraging participation in community activities can have positive externalities in disaster mitigation.

Topics: Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2015

Segregation, Exclusion and LGBT People in Disaster Impacted Areas: Experiences from the Higashinihon Dai - Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster)

Citation:

Yamashita, Azusa, Christopher Gomez, and Kelly Dombroski. 2017. “Segregation, Exclusion and LGBT People in Disaster Impacted Areas: Experiences from the Higashinihon Dai - Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster).” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 24 (1): 64–71.

Authors: Azusa Yamashita, Christopher Gomez, Kelly Dombroski

Abstract:

English Abstract:
The Great East-Japan Disaster, which began with the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, prompted discussions throughout the Japanese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the vulnerabilities that LGBT people face during disaster because of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This short essay shares some of the post-disaster experiences, challenges and discussions of the LGBT community in Japan. Reports coming out of the LGBT community have stressed that pre-disaster discrimination and fears of discrimination and repression among LGBT people have hampered their recovery. There is a real fear of being discriminated against and having their family and friends discriminated against. This situation has led to the isolation and vulnerability of LGBT individuals. Despite the majority being reluctant to come out publically, the disaster forced numerous individuals to reveal their gender identity, particularly when confronted with life in shelters, the lack of supply of medication and so on. In turn, this has resulted in instances of discrimination and bullying. These accounts reveal that the main aims of disaster policies and disaster ethics – based on addressing the greatest good of the majority – largely fail to cater for LGBT people, who are not only victims of the disaster but can also be valuable contributors in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) process.

Spanish Abstract:
El Gran Desastre del Este de Japón, que comenzó con el terremoto y tsunami de marzo de 2011, desató discusiones en toda la comunidad lesbiana, gay, bisexual y transgénero (LGBT) sobre las vulnerabilidades que las personas LGBT enfrentan durante un desastre debido a su orientación sexual, identidad de género y expresión de género. Este breve ensayo comparte algunas de las experiencias, desafíos y discusiones post-desastre de la comunidad LGBT en Japón. Informes que surgen de la comunidad LGBT han enfatizado que la discriminación pre-desastre y los miedos a ésta y de la represión entre las personas LGBT han obstaculizado su recuperación. Hay un miedo real a ser discriminadxs, ellxs o sus familias y amigxs. Esta situación ha llevado a individuos LGBT al aislamiento y la vulnerabilidad. A pesar de que la mayoría son reacios a salir públicamente, el desastre forzó a numerosos individuos a revelar su identidad de género, particularmente cuando enfrentan la vida en los refugios, la falta de medicamentos y así sucesivamente. A su vez, esto resultó en instancias de discriminación y bullying. Estos relatos revelan que los objetivos principales de las políticas y éticas de desastre – basados en abordar el mayor beneficio de la mayoría – no tienen en cuenta a las personas LGBT, quienes no sólo son víctimas del desastre sino que pueden también ser valiosas contribuyentes en el proceso de Reducción del Riesgo de Desastre (RRD).

Chinese Abstract:
2011年三月,随着地震与海啸而来的东日本大灾难,刺激了全日本的男女同性恋、双性恋与跨性别(LGBT)社群对于LGBT人们因为性向、性别身份认同与性别表现,在灾难中所经历的脆弱性之探讨。此一简要文章,分享日本有关LGBT社群的若干灾后经验,挑战与探讨。来自LGBT社群的研究报告,强调灾害前对LGBT人们的歧视,以及LGBT人们对歧视与压迫的恐惧,伤害了他们的復原。对于自身受到歧视,及其亲友遭受歧视,存在着真实的恐惧。此一境况导致LGBT个人的孤立和脆弱性。尽管大多数人不情愿公开出柜,但灾难却迫使无数的个人揭露自身的性别身份认同,特别是当经历生活在避难所以及缺乏医药供给等,而此般境况回头导致了歧视和霸凌事件。这些说法揭露了灾难政策和灾难伦理的主要目标 – – 以应对大多数人的最大利益为根据 – – 多半无法照料LGBT人们,而他们不仅是灾难的受害者,亦可能同时是灾难风险降低(DRR)过程中宝贵的贡献者

Keywords: vulnerability, Inequalities, disaster management, LGBT, Great East Japan Disaster, social exclusion

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, LGBTQ, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2017

Gender in International Trade and Investment Policy

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2001. “Gender in International Trade and Investment Policy.” In Financing for Development: Proposals from Business and Civil Society, edited by Barry Herman, Federica Pietracci and Krishnan Sharma, 63-70. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“Of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less then US$2 a day, and 1.2 billion on less than a US$1 a day (World Bank, 2000). Most of these people are women, who today constitute the backbone of the unpaid, and a growing pool of the paid workforce that is directly affected by trade liberalization and foreign direct investment, as in export processing zones, agri-business and services. Women are also over-represented in the informal economy, sex tourism/trafficking, poverty and destitution. Women are the major cushion for domestic structural adjustment, as has been well documented in numerous case studies of structural adjustment programmes (see, for example, Afshar and Dennis, 1992; Brown, 1995; and Sparr, 1995). Thus, there are important reasons for integrating a gender perspective into the themes of financing for development, especially foreign direct investment, other private capital flows and trade. We see these as inextricably intertwined with the topics of debt and systemic reform. (Williams, 2001, p.63)”

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2001

Pages

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