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Security

Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps

Citation:

Rosenow-Williams, Kerstin, and Katharina Behmer. 2015. “Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 27: 188–95.

Authors: Kerstin Rosenow-Williams, Katharina Behmer

Annotation:

Summary:
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its Executive Committee have long stressed that situations of flight and displacement affect men and women differently and that effective programming must recognize these differences. In the mid-1980s UNHCR, and various other humanitarian actors, began incorporating a gender perspective into their humanitarian activities. Since then a large variety of handbooks, guidelines, and toolkits have been developed. The 2008 UNHCR Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls, for example, notes that gender mainstreaming has been adopted as a United Nations (UN)–wide policy, recognizing that centralizing the differing needs of women and men into the design of programs, policies, and operations is necessary to fundamentally improve the position of gender equality.
 
"To monitor and advance this policy approach, this essay advocates the use of a gendered human security perspective as an analytical tool to disentangle the gendered dimensions of security for individuals and groups during displacement. It places a special focus on the interrelation between gender categories, their social construction, and the intersectionality of individual characteristics. An intersectional focus on gender-specific dimensions of displacement means taking into account other factors that can cause vulnerability and insecurities (such as age, sexuality, race, religion, class, and ethnicity), thus, also acknowledging the different security situations of individuals within the same gender group. Fusing the concepts of gender mainstreaming and human security proves to be a useful approach to conceptualize and address the multilayered and interrelated security needs of men, women, boys, and girls while providing evidence of the importance of making both sexes the key referents for human security" (Rosenow-Williams and Behmer 2015, 188). 

Topics: Age, Clan, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Race, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality

Year: 2015

Pacific Women Building Peace: A Regional Perspective

Citation:

George, Nicole. 2011. “Pacific Women Building Peace: A Regional Perspective.” The Contemporary Pacific 23 (1): 37–71.

Author: Nicole George

Abstract:

Contemporary analysis of Pacific Islands regionalism is commonly focused on the institutional realm and examines how frameworks of regional governance have evolved and been strengthened. This article, by contrast, provides insight into the less well understood political content of more informal modes of Pacific Islands regional integration. In particular, it examines Pacific women's regional peacebuilding collaborations since the 1960s and 1970s. It demonstrates the political impact of Pacific women's collective responses to conflict in the region during the past forty years while also discussing the varying nature of this activity over time. Consideration is therefore given both to Pacific women's differing conceptual approaches to peacebuilding and to the differing geopolitical scope of their regional peacebuilding networks. The significance of this discussion is two-fold. First, this research provides insight into the history of "bottom-up" forms of regional engagement in the Pacific, a realm of political activity that might, if more broadly recognized, positively complement existing programs that aim to secure future security in the Pacific through regional institutional consolidation. Second, it challenges conventional perspectives on women and peacebuilding that tend to suggest that women respond to conflict in ways that are singular, homogenous, and marginal to the political mainstream.

Keywords: pacific regionalism, women, peacebuilding, pacific security, advocacy

Topics: Gender, Women, conflict, Governance, Peacebuilding, Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Year: 2011

The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security

Citation:

Engle, Karen. 2014. “The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security.” In Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, edited by Gina Heathcote and Dianne Otto, 23–47. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Karen Engle

Abstract:

The issue I would like to pose in this chapter is about the grip of sexual violence on human security discourse. I do not want to address the violence itself, but to consider why many feminist — and even non-feminist — discussions about human rights and security have become inextricably connected to concerns about sexual violence, primarily but not exclusively against women. I consider here the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions on what is termed ‘human security’, and debates and media around them. I do so because I believe they are representative of an escalating emphasis on the horrors of sexual violence more generally within international human rights and humanitarian law, discourse and advocacy.

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2014

Inclusive Security and Peaceful Societies: Exploring the Evidence

Citation:

O’Reilly, Marie. 2016. “Inclusive Security and Peaceful Societies: Exploring the Evidence.” Prism : A Journal of the Center for Complex Operatioton 6 (1): 20–33.

Author: Marie O'Reilly

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The full impact of women's participation on peace and security outcomes remains poorly understood. But a recent increase in quantitative and qualitative research has the potential to transform the status quo. In outlining the existing data, this article shows how women's inclusion helps prevent conflict, create peace, and sustain security after war ends" (O'Reilly 2016, 21-2). 

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Development, Gender, Women, conflict, peace and security, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Security

Year: 2016

Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings

Citation:

Otto, Dianne. 2004. “Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings.” Legal Studies Research Paper 92, Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

Author: Dianne Otto

Abstract:

Recent feminist efforts to engage with the UN Security Council might well be dismissed as a futile attempt to employ the master's tools to dismantle the master's house. That these efforts have born fruit, was evidenced by the Council's unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000. Since its adoption, the Resolution has been the focus of continuing engagement between women's peace advocates and the Council. 
 
The Resolution can be understood as one of a range of measures adopted by the Council in an effort to tackle its legitimacy deficit; specifically, its gender legitimacy. While the Resolution's promotion of the increased involvement of women in decision-making opens the possibility of clawing back some of the ground lost to military ways of thinking, and legitimating emancipatory understandings of peace based on gender equality and social justice, it also runs the risk of lending a renewed legitimacy to the old ways of getting things done, just as women's participation in the colonial civilizing mission helped to make imperialism possible.  
 
The examples of Afghanistan and East Timor, reveal that there has been slow but measured progress towards increasing the participation of women in formal decision-making processes, and that the progress that has been made has depended in large part on the extensive mobilization of local and trans-national women's peace networks. At the same time, most Afghan and East Timorese women were unaffected by the increased formal participation of women, as they faced heightened levels of gendered violence and economic insecurity. This experience confirms the need use the Resolution to move beyond issues of participation, important as they are, to changing the militarized and imperial gender stereotypes that have played such a central role in maintaining militarism and the secondary status of women. Only then will the Council's deficit in gender legitimacy be reversed in an emancipatory way. (Abstract from Social Sciences Research Network) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Militarism, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2004

Text and Context: Evaluating Peace Agreements for Their 'Gender Perspective'

Citation:

Bell, Christine. 2015. Text and Context: Evaluating Peace Agreements for Their ‘Gender Perspective'. New York: UN Women.

Author: Christine Bell

Annotation:

Summary:
Since approximately 1990, peace processes involving the negotiation of formal peace agreements between the protagonists to conflict have become a predominant way of ending violent conflicts, both within and between States. Between 1990 and 2015 1,168 peace agreements have been negotiated in around 102 conflicts, on a wide definition of peace agreements to include agreements at all stages of the negotiations.
 
Peace agreements are therefore important documents with significant capacity to affect women’s lives. However, a range of obstacles for women seeking to influence their design and implementation persists. These include difficulties with accessing talks, achieving equal influence at talks, raising issues of concern for women, and achieving material gains for women as an outcome of the peace process.
 
This report examines what ‘a gender perspective’ in peace agreements might mean, assesses numerous peace agreements from between 1 January 1990 and 1 January 2015 for their ‘gender perspective, and produces data on when women have been specifically mentioned in those peace agreements. (Summary from UN Women)

Topics: Gender, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security

Year: 2015

Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality

Citation:

Gordon, Eleanor, Anthony Cleland Welch, and Emmicki Roos. 2015. “Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality.” Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 4 (1).

Authors: Eleanor Gordon, Anthony Cleland Welch, Emmicki Roos

Abstract:

This article analyses the tension or conflict that can exist between the principles of local ownership and gender equality that guide Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes when gender discrimination and patriarchal values characterise the local environment (and ‘locals’ do not value gender equality). In these situations, international actors may be reluctant to advocate gender equality, regarding it as imposing culturally alien values and potentially destabilising to the SSR process. It is argued, however, that the tension between local ownership and gender equality is deceptive and merely serves to protect the power of dominant groups and disempower the marginalised, often serving to disguise the power relations at play in post-conflict environments and avoid addressing the security needs of those who are often at most risk. The paper concludes that rather than a tension existing between the two principles, in fact, local ownership without gender equality is meaningless. Moreover, failing to promote gender equality undermines the extent to which SSR programmes result in security and justice sector institutions that are representative of and responsive to the needs of both men and women. It can also perpetuate structural inequalities and conflict dynamics and, ultimately, limit the success of SSR and broader peacebuilding processes.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2015

You Just Don’t Understand: Troubled Engagements Between Feminists and IR Theorists

Citation:

Tickner, J. Ann. 1997. “You Just Don’t Understand: Troubled Engagements Between Feminists and IR Theorists.” International Studies Quarterly 41 (4): 611–32.

Author: J. Ann Tickner

Abstract:

This article reconstructs some conversational encounters between feminists and IR theorists and offers some hypotheses as to why misunderstandings so frequently result from these encounters. It claims that contemporary feminist perspectives on international relations are based on ontologies and epistemologies that are quite different from those that inform the conventional discipline. Therefore, they do not fit comfortably within conventional state-centric and structural approaches to IR theorizing, nor with the methodologies usually employed by IR scholars. As an illustration of how these differences can cause misunderstandings, the article offers some feminist perspectives on security, a concept central to the discipline. It also suggests how feminist approaches can offer some new ways to understand contemporary security problems. In conclusion, it suggests how feminist/IR engagements might be pursued more constructively.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Security

Year: 1997

Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process

Citation:

Bouvier, Virginia M. 2016. Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process. New York: UN Women.

Author: Virginia M. Bouvier

Abstract:

The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one such case.
 
Through desk research, literature review, and personal interviews, this paper provides an overview of the Colombian internal armed conflict and the peace process currently underway to transform it. It begins with an historical overview of the conflict, and then explores some of its gender dimensions. It analyzes the differential impact of the internal armed conflict on the lives of women and men, LBGTI persons, and boys, girls and adolescents, as well as the intersectionality between multiple components of identity, including gender, class, age, ethnicity, and region. The paper then turns to the peace process. It explores the roles of women in preparing the ground for a political solution to Colombia’s internal armed conflict. It considers women’s official, semi-official, and unofficial roles at, around, and outside the peace talks that were launched in late 2012 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP). This paper underscores the essentially gendered nature of both war and peace. It assesses shifting gender roles and ideologies, and the ways that they intersect with a peace process and transitions in a post-Accord period, particularly in relation to issues of transitional justice. Finally, my paper explores how greater consideration of gendered dynamics, as well as increased participation of women in the peace process and all commissions and bodies created to implement peace accords, will better equip Colombia to address the challenges ahead and will help ensure a more sustainable peace. 

Topics: Age, Armed Conflict, Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women

Citation:

Hudson, Natalie Florea. 2009. Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women. New York: Routledge.

Author: Natalia Florea Hudson

Annotation:

Summary: 
This book examines the relationship between women, gender and the international security agenda, exploring the meaning of security in terms of discourse and practice, as well as the larger goals and strategies of the global women's movement.
 
Today, many complex global problems are being located within the security logic. From the environment to HIV/AIDS, state and non-state actors have made a practice out of securitizing issues that are not conventionally seen as such. As most prominently demonstrated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2001), activists for women's rights have increasingly framed women's rights and gender inequality as security issues in an attempt to gain access to the international security agenda, particularly in the context of the United Nations. This book explores the nature and implications of the use of security language as a political framework for women, tracing and analyzing the organizational dynamics of women's activism in the United Nations system and how women have come to embrace and been impacted by the security framework, globally and locally. The book argues that, from a feminist and human security perspective, efforts to engender the security discourse have had both a broadening and limiting effect, highlighting reasons to be sceptical of securitization as an inherently beneficial strategy.
 
Four cases studies are used to develop the core themes: (1) the campaign to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325; (2) the strategies utilized by those advocating women's issues in the security arena compared to those advocating for children; (3) the organizational development of the UN Development Fund for Women and how it has come to securitize women; and (4) the activity of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and its challenges in gendering its security approach.
 
The work will be of interest to students of critical security, gender studies, international organizations and international relations in general. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2009

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