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Democracy / Democratization

Gender and Post-War Relief: Support for War-Widowed Mothers in Occupied Japan (1945-52)

Citation:

Takenaka, Akiko. 2016. “Gender and Post-War Relief: Support for War-Widowed Mothers in Occupied Japan (1945-52).” Gender & History 28 (3): 775–93. 

Author: Akiko Takenaka

Abstract:

This article analyses the gender implications that emerged through welfare support for the war‐bereaved in post‐Asia‐Pacific War Japan. It follows the foundation, activities and dissolution of the Federation of Bereaved War Victims, the first support group for the war‐bereaved that initially began as an organisation for military widows. After its dissolution, members of the Federation went on to create two separate groups – the Victims’ Federation and Widows’ Federation – whose members, scope and objectives presented stark gendered divisions. By examining this divide, and by analysing the earlier histories of the organisations, this article explores the relationships among gender, military, death and bereavement, and post‐war relief. The article pays particular attention to the tensions and negotiations among various interest groups, including military widows, women widowed from other causes, feminist activists, male lawmakers, bereaved fathers and the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. I place the dissolution of the Federation in its social and political contexts and analyse its relationship to the contemporaneous discussions on female citizenship. In particular, I focus on two areas mobilised by Japanese feminist activists since the early twentieth century: suffrage and motherhood. The short history of the Federation provides a means to examine the reconfiguration of the connection between gender and citizenship during the demilitarisation and democratisation processes that occurred in occupied Japan.

Topics: Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2016

Formulating Japan's UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the "Comfort Women"

Citation:

Motoyama, Hisako. 2018. “Formulating Japan’s UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the ‘Comfort Women.’” International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (1): 39–53.

Author: Hisako Motoyama

Abstract:

In September 2015, the Japanese government announced its first national action plan (NAP) to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, just ten days after forcefully legislating controversial security bills that would effectively lift the constitutional restrictions on overseas exercise of military force. Why did the conservative administration embrace Resolution 1325 while propelling militarization? This paper examines the formulation process of Japan’s NAP, focusing on gendered struggle over remilitarization and war memory, especially that of the “comfort women,” or Japanese imperial military sexual slavery during World War II. I will examine how post–Cold War remilitarization in Japan was closely intertwined with the struggle over war memory and the gender order of the nation, and how the conservative administration embraced international gender equality norms in an attempt to identify itself as a powerful liberal democracy engaged in maintaining the international security order, and to erase the memory of imperial military sexual violence in the past. By doing so, I attempt to critically reconsider the framework of the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda, which constructs powerful developed nations “not in conflict” as innocent supporters of women in conflict zones.

Keywords: Security Council Resolution 1325, women, peace and security, military sexual violence, imperialism, militarization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2018

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie, Ballif-Spanvill, Bonnie, Caprioli, Mary, and Emmett, Chad F. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York City: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Summary:

Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2012

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

Gender Mainstreaming in the Multilateral Trading System

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2003. Gender Mainstreaming in the Multilateral Trading System. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“This reference manual is intended to serve as an information and training tool for policy-makers and inter-governmental and civil society organisations interested in building and enhancing their knowledge of the important linkages between trade and investment policy and gender equality objectives and priorities. It also presents recommendations on the key issues as well as the identification of strategies that could be utilised by different stakeholders (Williams, 2003, p. xv)."
 
Summary:
"The social dimension of trade policy and trade liberalization is now a common topic in many official trade fora. This discussion is proceeding with little or no attention to the different needs, constraints and interests of women. This handbook provides an integrated framework for a sustainable, propoor and gendersensitive approach to trade policymaking. It is an information and training tool for policymakers and intergovernmental and civil society organisations interested in building and enhancing their knowledge of the important linkages between trade and investment policy and gender equality objectives and priorities. It also presents recommendations on the key issues as well as the identification of strategies that could be utilized by different stakeholders. Each section includes case studies from Commonwealth countries." (Summary from Google Books)

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

Year: 2003

Gender, the Doha Development Agenda, and the Post-Cancun Trade Negotiations

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2004. “Gender, the Doha Development Agenda, and the Post-Cancun Trade Negotiations.” Gender & Development 12 (2): 73-81.

Author: Mariama Williams

Abstract:

The intensification of trade liberalisation has increasingly led women's organisations and other civil society groups to pay close attention to the impact of trade liberalisation on economic and social development. At the last Ministerial meeting of the WTO in Cancun, gender and trade advocates developed empirical and policy-oriented positions on the WTO trade agenda. Though critical of the previous Doha Development Agenda (DDA) of 2001, the groups are concerned that even its minimal pro-development stance might be reduced in the post-Cancun period leading up to the next meeting in Hong Kong. This would be detrimental to economic development and to the well-being of men and women in the South.(Abstract from original)

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Gender, International Organizations, Multi-national Corporations

Year: 2004

How Fair is Free Trade?

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 1999. “How Fair is Free Trade?” Development and Gender in Brief, no. 8, 1-11.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

Quotes:
“As research reveals far-reaching gender implications of liberalisation, women's organisations are seeking to influence trade negotiations through the WTO. They argue that both trade-related measures and complementary policies are required for equitable and sustainable development" (Williams, 1999, p. 1).

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico, United States of America

Year: 1999

We are the face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements

Citation:

Stephen, Lynn. 2013. We Are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Lynn Stephen

Annotation:

Lynn Stephen uses the Oaxaca social movement of 2006 to illustrate how oral testimony is central to rights-claiming, participatory democracy, knowledge creation, and the production of new political subjects in contemporary social movements. (Summary from WorldCat)

Table of Contents:

1. Testimony: human rights, and social movements

2. Histories and movements: antecedents to the social movement of 2006

3. The emergence of the APPO and the 2006 Oaxaca social movement

4. Testimony and human rights violations in Oaxaca

3. Community and indigenous radio in Oaxaca: testimony and participatory democracy

4. The women's takeover of media in Oaxaca: gendered rights "to speak" and "to be heard"

5. The economics and politics of conflict: perspectives from Oaxacan artisans, merchants, and business owners

6. In indigenous activism: the triqui autonomous municipality, APPO Juxtlahuaca, and transborder organizing in APPO-L.A.

7. From barricades to autonomy and art: youth organizing in Oaxaca.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2013

Invigorating Democracy in Turkey: The Agency of Organized Islamist Women

Citation:

Aksoy, Hürcan Aslı. 2015. “Invigorating Democracy in Turkey: The Agency of Organized Islamist Women.” Politics & Gender 11 (01): 146–70. doi:10.1017/S1743923X1500001X.

Author: Hürcan Aslı Aksoy

Abstract:

The Islamist Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, henceforth AKP) came to power in 2002 with the promise of consolidating democracy and strengthening civil society to further Turkey's bid to join the European Union (EU). To this end, in its first term in the parliament (2002–2007), the AKP implemented a set of political reforms that lifted the restrictions on political and civil rights such as the freedom of assembly, associations, and expression and improved the rule of law (Kubicek 2005; Müftüler-Baç 2005). The AKP, as it has promised in its election campaigns, also engaged civil society into policy-making processes. In the initial years of the AKP, diverse civil society actors gathered on broad civil society platforms and worked with the AKP government to consolidate Turkish democracy (Keyman 2010; Kubicek 2005). Although the Islamist segments of civil society began to integrate into the secular political sphere and to voice their demands more freely, Islamist women's civil society organizations (CSOs) have not fully benefited from this transforming political atmosphere under the AKP.

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Transitional Justice, Political Participation Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2015

Huda, Rihab, and Jessica: Orientalism and the Construction of Gender in Representations of the War on Iraq

Citation:

Riley, Robin. 2009. “Huda, Rihab, and Jessica: Orientalism and the Construction of Gender in Representations of the War on Iraq.” Presented In Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada: International Studies Association. 

Author: Robin Riley

Abstract:

The volume of news coverage generated around Jessica Lynch's capture by the Iraqis, her rescue, and her subsequent return to the US, hid from view not only other US American women who were similarly situated like Native American, Lori Piestewa, and African American Shoshona Johnson, but it also obscured the peril and devastation that first sanctions, then the war, imposed on Iraqi women. Instead, the Iraqi women westerners were made familiar with were the ominously nicknamed, Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax. The suffering of Iraqi women due to sanctions, was not a part of Western consciousness, and in the build-up to the war, women were not the focus of the western press who were obsessed with the detailing of Saddam Hussein's sins and predictions of his future actions. Even as the war commenced, we, in the US were rarely treated to images of ordinary Iraqi women who attempted to go about their lives while the bombs dropped around, and sometimes on, them. Today, we still have little knowledge about whether Iraqi women were imprisoned by US American or British troops as they swept across Iraq, or how many Iraqi women were killed as a result of American aggression. Consequently, Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, two evil women who worked in Saddam Hussein's administration came to represent all Iraqi, indeed, all Arab women. The news stories about Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash were used in US American popular culture to buttress Orientalist ideas about the West and its relationship to Iraq and the Arab world, and to reinforce old ideas about mysterious, often sinister woman of color. These narratives work not only to support the Bush administration's foreign policy and aggression against Iraq, but they also reinforce male supremacy and white supremacy. This research is an analysis of popular news accounts of the time including newspapers, magazines and television news stories. These stories reveal how the US thinks of itself in relation to the rest of the world and how enforcement of the proper practice of gender is always the subtext of these accounts.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2009

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