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Violence

'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Renzulli, Isobel. 2017. "'Women and Peace': A Human Rights Strategy for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 35 (4): 210-29.

Author: Isobel Renzulli

Abstract:

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the successive thematic resolutions together with a variety of reports have shaped the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The ensuing policies and institutional responses try to deal with a variety of issues including women’s participation in peace-making initiatives and protection from sexual violence during armed conflict and in its aftermath. As such these responses are underpinned by a reactive approach with a focus on conflict and post-conflict gender-sensitive areas of intervention. While these remain worthwhile interventions, the WPS agenda, in spite of its name, inadequately addresses gender-sensitive areas in peace situations, regardless of the existence of conflicts. Building on feminist critiques of the WPS agenda and the findings and recommendations of the 2015 UN Global study on the implementation of Resolution 1325, the article argues that the WSP agenda and its prevention limb need to elaborate and integrate more explicitly and comprehensively a human rights strategy that shifts the focus from a reactive to a proactive model, one which pursues gender equality and women’s human rights in its own right, irrespective of whether conflicts erupt or not. A human rights infused WPS preventive agenda should be premised, on the one hand, on a clear understanding and endorsement of the meaning of gender equality, on the other hand, on the creation of mechanisms and process bolstering the role of international and regional human rights regimes. In particular, robust regional human rights systems have the potential to create fora for the participation of and interaction with domestic constituencies in the region. This in turn could lead to the elaboration of context sensitive, participatory solutions, grounded in international human rights law, to existing forms of discrimination against women, which during conflicts may be exacerbated, for example, in the form of sexual enslavement and abductions as reported in recent and less recent conflicts.

Keywords: women, peace and security, feminist activism, human rights, UN, African Union, Arab League

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2017

Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars

Citation:

Potter, Antonia. 2008. “Women, Gender and Peacemaking in Civil Wars.” In Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction, edited by John Darby and Roger Mac Ginty, 2nd ed., 105–19. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Antonia Potter

Annotation:

Summary: 
"While this chapter is located in Part II (Negotiations) of this book, the issues it addresses are cross cutting, therefore it will briefly scan the spectrum of the broadly defined peace process ‘stages’, namely violence, pre-negotiations, negotiations, peace accords, and peacebuilding. Across these it examines two strands: first, the presence or representation of women as actors in these stages from conflict to peace; second, the approaches to addressing gender issues and perspectives that are employed by those that have a hand in peace processes, together with successes and failures in implementing them.
 
"It draws attention to changed perceptions of women’s roles in these phases, and to the special challenges and opportunities which armed conflict and its resolution can present for women. It suggests where there are gaps in research, literature, and actual practice arguing that much of this is due to ongoing problems of women’s exclusion from agency and decision making at certain levels (especially the more senior or official ones) of peacemaking and peace- building, and a continuing failure of those at the highest levels to understand properly and take seriously the implications of that exclusion. Throughout, it draws on recent or contemporary examples of peace agreements and processes including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Sudan, and Timor–Leste.
 
"The chapter concludes by reiterating that reality lags far behind rhetoric on women’s involvement in peace processes, to the great detriment of both. It argues that the process and substance of peace negotiations and agreements would be richer, subtler, stronger, and more firmly rooted in the societies whose problems they aim to solve with increased participation of women and the issues which are important to them; but that until those that organize these processes actually make this happen, it will be obviously be hard to make this case with empirical evidence. Thus it calls for political leaders, especially the most visible and powerful, to stop talking and start acting on this issue. Finally, it stresses the basic but often forgotten fact that gender is a concept which embraces both women and men, and exhorts more men to swell the ranks of those working at all levels of peacemaking in the causes of equality and practical sensitivity to gender issues" (Potter 2008, 105-6).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Violence

Year: 2008

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

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

Authors: Valerie M. 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 Columbia University Press)
 
Table of Contents
1. Roots of National and International Interests
2. What Is There to See
3. When We Do See the Global Picture
4. The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States
5. Wings of National and International Relations
6. Wings of National and International Relations 
7. Taking Wing 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?

Citation:

Zalewski, Marysia. 2017. “What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 200-5.

Author: Marysia Zalewski

Abstract:

This think piece queries the value of the concept of military masculinities. This overly familiar and comfortable concept is perhaps falling short of its intended ambitions. Masculinized and militarized violence is rampant and no amount of ‘adding women’ (or other ‘others’) seems to make a difference. This begs the question of how much work we imagine concepts can do, as well as how much control we think we have over them.

Keywords: concepts, masculinities, violence, gender

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence

Year: 2017

Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence

Citation:

Millar, Katharine M., and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 142-60.

Authors: Katharine M. Millar, Joanna Tidy

Abstract:

This article problematizes the conceptualization and use of ‘combat’ within critical scholarship on masculinities, militaries, and war. We trace, firstly, how combat appears as an empirical category within traditional war studies scholarship, describing an ostensibly self-evident physical practice. We then examine how feminist and gender approaches – in contrast – reveal ‘combat’ as a normative imagination of martial violence. This imagination of violence is key to the constitution of the masculine ideal, and normalization of military force, through the heroic soldier myth. We argue, however, that despite this critical impulse, much of feminist and gender analysis exhibits conceptual ‘slippage’: combat is still often treated as a ‘common-sense’ empirical category – a thing that ‘is’ – in masculinities theorizing. This treatment of gendered-imaginary-as- empirics imports a set of normative investments that limit the extent to which the heroic soldier myth, and the political work that it undertakes, can be deconstructed. As a consequence, whilst we know how masculinities are constituted in relation to ‘combat’, we lack the corollary understanding of how masculinities constitute combat, and how the resulting imagination sustains military authority and the broader social acceptance of war. We argue that unpacking these dynamics and addressing this lacuna is key to the articulation of a meaningfully ‘critical’ gender and military studies.

Keywords: combat, military masculinities, critical, soldiers, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Violence

Year: 2017

Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia

Citation:

Giraldo, Saridalia. 2012. “Demobilized Women Combatants: Lessons from Colombia.” Paper presented at the Thinking Gender Conference, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Los Angeles, February 3.

Author: Saridalia Giraldo

Abstract:

In Colombia, a country with one of the longest civil wars in the world, women combatants return to civil society in the midst of ongoing tension. In this transition, women suffer triple difficulties: the reaction of their home communities; hostility from armed illegal groups still engaged in conflict, and disregarding from the government itself. What accounts for these obstacles? First, in a patriarchal society such as Colombia, demobilized women face the denigration of their community which views women’s participation in armed conflict as an infringement on traditional female roles. Second, in the midst of continued conflict, demobilized women are also in danger of being rerecruited, tortured, killed or displaced from their home towns by their former peers in combat who perceive them as traitors, or by active criminal groups who consider them as enemies. Third, public policy designed to demobilize and reintegrate combatants gives little attention to women´s special needs as victims of gender violence. Recognizing that women and their needs remain invisible, this paper proposes that formal and informal post-conflict measures in Colombia must be gendersensitized in order to effectively reintegrate women and men into civilian life.
 

Keywords: women combatants, demobilization, reintegration, DDR, peace-building, Colombia, civil war, guerrillas, FARC, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries

Citation:

Dietrich Ortega, Luisa Maria. 2012. “Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries.” In Understanding Collective Political Violence, 84–104. Conflict, Inequality and Ethnicity. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Author: Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega

Abstract:

Over the past decades a feminist perspective on international relations, security studies and conflict has broadened the scope of the field.1 Troubled by the absence of women as research objects and subjects, feminist scholars have started to ask different questions and to employ alternative methodologies in order to unveil gendered distortions, namely, male bias and gender-neutral appearance. Both are inherent in the study of political violence and mobilization research. Male bias is deeply rooted in the study of political violence, which centres on male-connoted concepts such as nation-states, war, military and armed groups and predominantly male actors, such as presidents, soldiers, rebel leaders, presuming a connection between violence and masculinities. Thus, a worldview that equates male experiences to the norm continually reproduces a male value system that excludes women from conventional accounts of political violence and constructs a symbolic ‘woman’ as deviant from or in respect to male-as-norm criteria (Ackerly et al. 2006: 4; Peterson and True 1998: 15). Due to the absence of women from conflict narratives, the invisibility of gender regimes operating in the context of conflict, mainstream scholars maintain the normative fiction that conflicts are gender-free (Ní Aoláin and Rooney 2007: 342). (Abstract from Springer)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America

Year: 2012

Women, Resistance, and Extractive Development: The Case Study of the Marlin Mine

Citation:

Tatham, Rebecca. 2016. “Women, Resistance, and Extractive Development: The Case Study of the Marlin Mine.” Master's thesis, Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan.

Author: Rebecca Tatham

Abstract:

Women’s activism in response to large-scale mining is a topic largely unexplored in the existing social movement literature. This oversight is significant for the Global South, particularly in Latin American where mining expansion has been occurring since the 1990’s and is leading to increasing numbers of conflicts between mining companies and the communities hosting them. The strategies that anti-mining activists employ and the responses of their opponents (i.e., community members, mining and state authorities) are influenced by a wide range of factors, and one of these is gender. Using a case study analysis of Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Western Guatemala and drawing on extensive field work conducted in the communities near the mine, this thesis examines women’s resistance strategies (categorized here as blockades and protests, legal complaints, and everyday activisms) and counterstrategies (violence, criminalization and cooptation) employed by the mine and its supporters against them. The thesis demonstrates that in both the strategies and counterstrategies, gender is a salient component in the tactics of both groups.

Topics: Civil Society, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Conflict, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2016

Structural Change and Wife Abuse: A Disaggregated Study of Mineral Mining and Domestic Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1999–2013

Citation:

Kotsadam, Andreas, Gudrun Østby, and Siri Aas Rustad. 2017. “Structural Change and Wife Abuse: A Disaggregated Study of Mineral Mining and Domestic Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1999–2013.” Political Geography 56: 53–65. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.11.004.

Authors: Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad

Abstract:

Mineral mining may be a mixed blessing for local communities. On the one hand, extractive industries can be a positive economic driver, generating considerable revenues, and opportunities for growth. On the other hand, mining is often thought to be associated with negative effects, such as pollution, and violent conflict. Existing research has shown that mine openings trigger a structural change in employment patterns in Africa, whereby women shift from agricultural work to the service sector, or leave the labor force. However, few if any systematic studies have addressed whether this structural shift may impact the level of violence within the household. Drawing on various versions of resource theory, we argue that mining – through such structural change – may increase women's risk of being abused by their partners. Recent advances in the literature on domestic violence (DV) suggest that prevailing gender norms moderate effects of resources. We test this empirically by matching georeferenced data on openings and closings of 147 industrial mines to individual data on abuse for up to 142,749 women from the Demographic and Health Surveys in 15 sub-Saharan African countries. We find no overall statistically significant effect of mine openings on the risk of partner abuse, although there are heterogeneous effects across countries. Furthermore, mining is associated with increased DV in areas with higher general acceptance of such abuse.

Keywords: structural change, domestic violence, GIS, DHS, Mineral mining, africa

Topics: Domestic Violence, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Violence Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Introduction to Conflict and Violence

Citation:

Green, Caroline, and Caroline Sweetman. 2013. “Introduction to Conflict and Violence.” Gender & Development 21 (3): 423-431.

Authors: Caroline Green, Caroline Sweetman

Annotation:

"Here you will find articles from a wide range of practitioners, researchers and activists, focusing on the complicated and context-specific relationships between gender inequality, violence and conflict, and debating ways to end gender-based violence (GBV) in its many pernicious forms" (Green and Sweetman, 2013, p. 423).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Violence

Year: 2013

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