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Military Forces & Armed Groups

Commander Arian: A Story of Women, War and Freedom

"On the front line of the Syrian war, 30-year-old Commander Arian guides a female battalion towards the city of Kobane to release its people from the grip of ISIS in Alba Sotorra’s empowering tale of emancipation and freedom. When the war in Syria broke, a group of women from the Kurdish resistance assembled the YPJ—Women Protection Units. Arian, who witnessed at a young age the nefarious treatment of sexual assault victims, leads the unit and dedicates her life to battling ISIS.

First They Killed My Father

"Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered as a child under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge." 

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4882376/ 

Djamilah

"Egyptian historical film about one of the most important figures in the history of Algeria, Djamila Bouhired. This film is regarded as not only highlighting the story of an important female revolutionary, but also showing the struggle of the Algerian people against the French occupation."

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051539/

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

Military Socialization, Disciplinary Culture, and Sexual Violence in UN Peacekeeping Operations

Citation:

Moncrief, Stephen. 2017. “Military Socialization, Disciplinary Culture, and Sexual Violence in UN Peacekeeping Operations.” Journal of Peace Research 54 (5): 715-30.

Author: Stephen Moncrief

Abstract:

The sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of civilians by international peacekeepers is a form of post-conflict violence that is pernicious and understudied, but far from inevitable. However, there are very few cross-mission analyses of the phenomenon. This article considers whether the socialization experiences of troops in two environments, the contributing state military and the peacekeeping mission itself, help to explain the observed variation in SEA. Drawing on a dataset of SEA allegations between 2007 and 2014, as well as the first publicly available data from the United Nations that identify the nationalities of alleged perpetrators, this article analyzes the layered nature of socialization through the lens of SEA. Specifically, this article presents evidence that SEA is positively associated with disciplinary breakdowns at the peacekeeping mission’s lower levels of command, and argues that a peacekeeping mission may carry its own norms and socializing processes that either constrain or facilitate the emergence and endurance of SEA.

Keywords: peacekeeping, sexual violence, Socialization

Topics: International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence

Year: 2017

From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2015. “From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia.” In Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, edited by Alexander Wilde, 443–76. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter draws on field research with former combatants from the paramilitaries Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Since January 2005 I have been conducting anthropological research on the individual and collective demobilization programs. To date my Colombian colleague Paola Andrea Betancourt and I have interviewed 236 male and 53 female former combatants. In addition, we have interviewed representatives of state entities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the military, the Catholic and Evangelical churches, and various sectors of the 'host communities' to which former combatants are sent or to which they return. I sought to understand the local dynamics between victims and victimizers and the experiences of those individuals and communities the UNDPKO rightly describes as lying somewhere in between" (Theidon 2015, p. 445). 
 
“I begin with an overview of Colombia’s current DDR program and its impact on Urabá, located in the region with the highest concentration of demobilized combatants. I then explore how evangelical pastors manage memory and the past, issues of great relevance in the lives of former combatants and those around them. This leads to a discussion of repertoires of justice and the elaboration of local theologies of redemption and reconciliation. I conclude by analyzing the role these churches play in providing a space for the development of alternative masculinities and the much-desired personal transformations that may allow these former combatants to forge una nueva vida” (p. 446).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Religion Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

Private Security and Gender

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2015. “Private Security and Gender.” In Routledge Handbook of Private Security Studies, edited by Rita Abrahamsen and Anna Leander, 158-67. London: Routledge.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

In recent years, a new set of scholarship that focuses on gender and private security in global politics has emerged. This feminist and feminist-informed critical gender scholarship examines private security processes, practices, and actors through the lens of gender. It uncovers how private security shapes and is shaped by masculinities, femininities, and gendered relations of power. While gender has become established as analytical category in the study of private security, the treatment of gender in industry and policy discourses continues to be problematic. It is therefore necessary to distinguish critical from problem-solving approaches to gender and private security. A problem-solving approach frames gender issues as problems which can be solved by adding more female employees or including language on gender-based violence into regulatory frameworks. But such an approach underestimates the extent to which gender matters in private security.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security

Year: 2015

Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia

Citation:

Schwitalla, Gunhild, and Luisa Maria Dietrich. 2007. “Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Forced Migration Review 27: 58–9.

Authors: Gunhild Schwitalla, Luisa Maria Dietrich

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Among the millions of Colombian IDPs one group is particularly invisible – women and girls associated with illegal armed groups. The current demobilisation process does not adequately address the consequences of the sexual violence they have suffered before, during and after conflict" (Schwitalla and Dietrich 2007, 58).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Non-state armed groups, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

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

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

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