Afghanistan: Are Human Security and Gender Justice Possible?


Valentine Moghadam. 2011. “Afghanistan: Are Human Security and Gender Justice Possible?” Works and Days 29: 81–96.


Author: Valentine Moghadam


It has been nearly a decade since the U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan. What are the origins of the conflict? And what are the prospects for conflict resolution, peace-building, reconstruction, and development? In this paper, a conceptual framework drawing on world-system theory, feminist insights, and the economics of war lit- erature is applied toward an explanation of the structural roots of the ongoing conflict. I argue that U.S. intervention in Afghanistan should be seen as a key element in the building of a post-Cold War world order predicated on the (re)assertion of U.S. hegemony and the global spread of neoliberal democracy, justified by the so-called global war on terror. But the conflict also unveils the injurious ef- fects of hyper-masculinities, whether on the part of the occupiers or the insurgents. Next, the paper describes the humanitarian actions of transnational feminist networks, which have mobilized to oppose militarism and neoliberalism and to promote economic and gender justice in Afghanistan (among other conflict zones). Finally, the paper offers a (gendered) human security policy framework as an alterna- tive to the U.S. preference for a military solution. Such an approach would replace the current focus on privatization, national security, and military escalation with a virtuous cycle of people-oriented eco-nomic development, regional cooperation, social protection, and gender justice. 


Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Development, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2011

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