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The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress

Citation:

Burrelli, David F. 2012. The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Author: David F. Burrelli

Abstract:

On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed P.L. 111-321 into law. It calls for the repeal of the existing law (Title 10, United States Code, §654) barring open homosexuality in the military by prescribing a series of steps that must take place before repeal occurs. One step was fulfilled on July 22, 2011, when the President signed the certification of the process ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which was repealed on September 20, 2011. However, in repealing the law and the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, a number of issues have been raised, but were not addressed by P.L. 111-321. This report considers issues that Congress may wish to consider as the repeal process proceeds.

Keywords: military, human rights, Don't Ask Don't Tell

Annotation:

This report examines such issues as “congressional oversight of the repeal process, differences in benefits and privileges some individuals may experience (especially differences created under the Defense of Marriage Act), changes involving sodomy prohibitions, and efforts by some to expand the repeal to include transgender individuals.” Burelli concludes that the final resolution to these additional issues that complicate the repeal of Section 654 may extend well beyond the initial date of repeal.

Topics: Governance, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military

Citation:

Belkin, Aaron. 2008. "Spam Filter: Gay Rights & the Normalization of Male-Male Rape in the US Military." Radical History Review, no. 100, 180-85.

Author: Aaron Belkin

Keywords: military, rape, masculinity

Annotation:

  • Belkin discusses the meaning of militarization, and how it is essential both for American citizens and international allies to view the army as a force for good that also represents an idealized form of masculinity. In order to maintain this image, the U.S. military covers up and naturalizes such occurrences as male-male rape in the armed forces. One of the ways in which this naturalization takes place is through connecting stigmatized outsiders such as homosexuals with these instances of rape, and portraying these outsiders as the perpetrators when in reality they are usually the victims. Belkin offers a critique of LGBT activists’ strategy of staying silent in reaction to the problem of male-male rape in the U.S. military.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against men, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

The Absence of Justice: Private Military Contractors, Sexual Assault, and the U.S. Government's Policy of Indifference

Citation:

Snell, Angela. 2011. "The Absence of Justice: Private Military Contractors, Sexual Assault, and the U.S. Government's Policy of Indifference." University of Illinois Law Review, no. 3, 1125-64.

Author: Angela Snell

Abstract:

As the United States remains in Iraq and Afghanistan, stories of abuse by private military contractors (PMCs) have flooded the news. This Note focuses on an area of PMC crime that has garnered less public attention and censure: sexual crimes against civilians in non-war zones. Emphasizing the lack of legal recourse for victims of sexual crime by PMCs and the systematic failure of the United States to punish sexual crime perpetrated by its own PMCs, the author argues that the United States should be held liable for the sexual crimes that its contractors commit, including those that occur outside of war zones.

This note first explains the exponential growth in the United States' use of PMCs and highlights that governmental supervision of PMCs has not kept pace with the number of contractors that the United States employs. Noting that PMCs generally employ former members of the military, the author traces a culture of violence against women back to attitudes learned in the U.S. military, and then shows that PMCs are even more likely to be involved in crimes of sexual violence than U.S. soldiers.

The Note details and analyzes the possibility of responding to PMC sexual violence against civilians outside of war zones under U.S. military law, U.S. criminal law, criminal law where the crime occurs, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, and the U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The author determines that these methods, as they stand now, are inadequate because of problems of limited jurisdiction, U.S. reluctance to prosecute contractors and willingness to protect U.S. nationals from prosecution abroad, requirements that violence be widespread or systematic before triggering international prosecution, and the absence of state liability for the actions of private individuals, unless the state condones the activities. The author calls for a three-fold solution: first, victims should file complaints against the United States in international courts, under the theory that the United States is liable for its contractors' acts, because it has condoned them by failing to punish them and even actively discouraging their prosecution; second, victims should sue individual perpetrators in the United States under the ATS, both to compensate victims and to deter contractors from future violence; third, and finally, the United States must act to close the jurisdictional gap that allows PMCs to escape prosecution by signing and supporting international treaties, developing its own stricter system of criminal liability for PMCs, and using contract mechanisms to enforce standards of conduct for PMCs.

Keywords: private security, sexual assault, accountability

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2011

Rebuilding Social Capital in Post-Conflict Regions: Women's Village Banking in Ayucucho, Peru and in Highland Guatemala

Citation:

Bebbington, Denise Humphreys, and Arelis Gómez. 2006. "Rebuilding Social Capital in Post-Conflict Regions: Women's Village Banking in Ayucucho, Peru and in Highland Guatemala." In Microfinance: Perils and Propsects, edited by Jude L. Fernando, 112-132. London: Routledge.

Authors: Denis Humphreys Bebbington, Arelis Gómez

Abstract:

In this chapter we will use examples from two village banking programs, in post-conflict Ayacucho, Peru (with FINCA Peru) and in Highland Guatemala (with the NGO FAFIDESS), to illustrate how the provision of financial services contributed to the rebuilding of such social capital. The experiences of group managed lending schemes, such as the village banks promoted by FINCA International, and traditional rotating savings and credit associations known as ROSCAs, suggest that there is indeed an important relationship between the social dynamic of the group and favorable financial outcomes. Our findings indicate that the more members trust each other, the better able they are to engage in mutual risk-taking and reap the benefits.

Keywords: reconstruction

Annotation:

“The [Foundation for Community Assistance] methodology, based upon principles of self-help and self-management, primarily targets poor women in urban and semi-urban settings...participants are self-selected and may often be friends, neighbors, or relatives and programs often have selection criteria which might include: preference for mothers with children, permanent residence in the community, reputation for honesty, and hard work.” (Bebbington, 114)

“By virtue of their social isolation, poor women are difficult clients to recruit...Situations of conflict pose special problems, particularly when the result is a larger number of war widows...Encouraging members to articulate their personal hardships and dreams is at the center of FINCA’s social empowerment strategy for women...Beyond the emotional appeal of this approach, it helps isolated women extend their social networks with important impacts.” (Bebbington, 119)

“NGOs that are both knowledgeable of the region and sensitive to their clients’ needs will be better able to look for synergism that will enhance benefits to their clients. They will understand the dimensions of the client’s poverty and vulnerability.” (Bebbington, 119)

“However this newly discovered economic power has shifted roles within families often resulting in increased conflict within the family, particularly with spouses, but also with children and other family members.” (Bebbington, 125)

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Guatemala, Peru

Year: 2006

The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development

Citation:

Bannon, Ian, & Maria Correia. 2006. The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

Authors: Ian Bannon, Maria Correia

Abstract:

This book is an attempt to bring the gender and development debate full circle-from a much-needed focus on empowering women to a more comprehensive gender framework that considers gender as a system that affects both women and men. The chapters in this book explore definitions of masculinity and male identities in a variety of social contexts, drawing from experiences in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on a slowly emerging realization that attaining the vision of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without changing the ways in which masculinities are defined and acted upon. Although changing male gender norms will be a difficult and slow process, we must begin by understanding how versions of masculinities are defined and acted upon. (WorldCat)

Keywords: development, gender norms

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America

Year: 2006

Land and Property Rights of Women in Situations of Reconstruction: The Central American Experience

Citation:

Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. 1998. “Land and Property Rights of Women in Situations of Reconstruction: The Central American Experience.” Paper prepared for the Inter-Regional Consultation on Women’s Land and Property Rights in Situations of Conflict and Reconstruction, Kigali, Rwanda, February 16 - 19.

Author: Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress

Topics: Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America

Year: 1998

Texts in Context: Afro-Colombian Women's Activism in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia

Citation:

Asher, Kiran. 2004. "Texts in Context: Afro-Colombian Women's Activism in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia." Feminist Review 78: 38-55.

Author: Kiran Asher

Abstract:

This paper speaks across the divide between feminist theorists and praxis-oriented gender experts to argue for a more enabling reading of postcolonial feminist critiques of gender and development. Drawing on the activism of Afro-Colombian women in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia - most especially Matambay Guasá, a network of black women's organizations from the state of Cauca - it brings attention to the independent ability of women in these locations to reflect and act on their own realities and claims. 

Keywords: gender, development, environment, postcolonial feminism, Afro-Colombian

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2004

Women, War and Peace: The War We Are Living

Women on the Frontline: Justice in the Region of Death

"Aired first on BBC World TV, this critically acclaimed series, hosted by Annie Lennox, gives a brutally honest account of the silent war being waged against women across the world.

Women of the Military

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