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Human Security

Pathways among Human Security, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

O'Manique, Colleen, and Sandra J. MacLean. 2010. “Pathways among Human Security, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 457-78.

 

Authors: Colleen O'Manique, Sandra J. MacLean

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La théorie traditionnelle de la sécurité perçoit les préoccupations d'ordre sanitaire comme menaces isolées à l'intérêt national, séparés analytiquement de leurs causes et contextes sociaux et politico-économiques élargis. Si la notion de la sécurité humaine est limitée à ces mêmes paramètres, comme dans la définition étroite de la sécurité humaine comme "absence de la peur," et que la santé n'est perçue comme question de sécurité qu'une fois qu' apparaît la violence ouverte, en particulier la violence militaire, le potentiel tant explicatif qu'émancipateur de la notion est diminuée. Cependant, un vaste concept de la sécurité humaine qui englobe "l'absence du besoin" offre un espace conceptuel permettant d'identifier et d'analyser la nature des relations sociales, politiques et économiques qui caractérisent aujourd'hui les problèmes de santé mondiaux, tels que le VIH/sida. Dans le cadre conceptuel de la sécurité humaine, une analyse qui éclaire les dimensions sexospécifiques de la sécurité humaine — en termes de prédisposition individuelle à la maladie, d'accès au traitement et de d'impacts sur les moyens de subsistance — est essentielle afin de fournir des éclairements pouvant orienter des politiques efficaces contre le VIH/sida. En outre, les politiques doivent prendre en compte les multiples facteurs sociaux, culturels, économiques et politiques qui déterminent le cheminement de la maladie.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Traditional security theory has treated health concerns as isolated threats to national interest, separated analytically from their broader social and political economy causes and contexts. If the concept of human-security is restricted to these same parameters, as in the narrow definition of human security as "freedom from fear," and health is considered to be an issue of security only when overt physical, especially military, violence is involved, the explanatory as well as emancipatory potential of the concept is diminished. However, a broad concept of human security that encompasses "freedom from want" offers a conceptual space for identifying and analyzing the relevant social, political and economic connections that characterize contemporary global health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Within the conceptual framework of human security, a gender analysis that illuminates the gender dimensions of human security — in terms of individual disease risk, access to treatment, and impacts on livelihood — is critical to providing insights to guide effective policy on HIV/AIDS. Also, policies need to take into account the multiple social, cultural, economic and political factors that determine the disease pathways.
 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security

Year: 2010

Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Thomas, Lahoma, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2010. "Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis." Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 479-502.

Authors: Lahoma Thomas , Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La santé et la sécurité des femmes de tous âges sont menacées en situations de conflit et d'après-conflit partout en Afrique. La violence sexuelle et sexiste et la propagation du virus de l'immunodéficience humaine/syndrome d'immunodéficience acquise (VIH/sida) sont autant d'armes utilisées en périodes de conflit, mais elles ont aussi des effets à long terme sur la santé et la sécurité postconflictuelles des femmes et des jeunes filles. Cet article s'appuie sur des recherches empiriques et pratiques menées en Ouganda entre 2007 et 2008 auprès de membres de collectivités du nord de l'Ouganda victimes de la violence sexuelle et sexiste et des intervenants auprès des victimes du viol et des personnes séropositives. Les résultats de ces recherches empiriques soulignent la persistance de la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit et pourquoi l'expression de cette violence doit être placée dans le contexte de la sexospécificité et des masculinités. Nos résultats mettent en évidence la façon dont la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit (en particulier, la violence domestique envers les femmes, l'inceste et la maltraitance sexuelle des enfants) sert à réaffirmer la masculinité et à récupérer le sens de la virilité mis en cause lors de conflits quand les membres masculins de la communauté ont été incapables de protéger leurs familles.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women and girls face specific health and human security threats in conflict and post-conflict situations throughout Africa. Gender and sexual-based violence (GSBV) and the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are weapons used in conflict, but they also have long term effects on the human security and well-being of women and girls post-conflict. This article draws on empirical and field research carried out in Uganda between 2007 and 2008 with community members in northern Uganda who have experienced GSBV and those who are working to help survivors of rape and HIV infection. The findings from empirical research carried out in northern Uganda underscores the ongoing violence women face in a post-conflict environment and why the expression of violence against women must be understood in the context of gender relations and masculinities. Our findings highlight the ways in which violence against women in post-conflict situations (particularly domestic abuse against women, incest and child sexual assaults) is used to re-assert masculinities and to reclaim a sense of manhood that was challenged during the conflict when male community members were unable to protect their families.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

Women's Vulnerability to Climate Change: Gender-skewed Implications on Agro-based Livelihoods in Rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe

Citation:

Chidakwa, Patience, Clifford Mabhena, Blessing Mucherera, Joyline Chikuni, and Chipo Mudavanhu. 2020. "Women's Vulnerability to Climate Change: Gender-skewed Implications on Agro-based Livelihoods in Rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe." Indian Journal of Gender Studies 27 (2): 259-81.

Authors: Patience Chidakwa, Clifford Mabhena, Blessing Mucherera, Joyline Chikuni, Chipo Mudavanhu

Abstract:

Climate change presents a considerable threat to human security, with notable gender disproportions. Women's vulnerability to climate change has implications on agro-based livelihoods, especially the rural populace. The primary purpose of this study was to assess women's vulnerability to climate change and the gender-skewed implications on agro-based livelihoods in rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe. A qualitative approach that used purposive sampling techniques was adopted. Data was collected through 20 in-depth interviews with 11 de jure and 9 de facto small-scale female-headed farmer households. Two focus group discussions with mixed de facto and de jure small-scale female-headed farmer households were also conducted. Five key informant interviews were held with departmental heads of the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development; the Agriculture Technical Extension Service Department; the Livestock Production Department; the Runde Rural District Council and the Meteorological Services Department. Gendered effects were noted in terms of increased roles and responsibilities for women. Observations showed that there was an increase in distances travelled by women to fetch water owing to a depleted water table. Climate-induced migration of men due to depleted livelihoods in rural areas has also increased roles and responsibilities for women. The traditional male responsibilities assumed by women included cattle herding and ox-driven ploughing. This study concluded that adaptation strategies towards vulnerability to climate change have to be gender-sensitive and area-specific. This study also recommended that response programmes and policies meant to curb existing gendered vulnerabilities should be informed by evidence because climate-change effects are unique for different geographical areas. Moreover, adaptation activities should be mainstreamed in community processes so as to reduce the burden on women and increase sustainability opportunities.

Keywords: de facto household head, de jure household head, gender, smallholder farmers, vulnerability, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2020

The Nuclear Ban and the Patriarchy: a Feminist Analysis of Opposition to Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

Citation:

Acheson, Ray. 2019. “The Nuclear Ban and the Patriarchy: a Feminist Analysis of Opposition to Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons.” Critical Studies on Security 7 (1): 78-82.

Author: Ray Acheson

Abstract:

Opposed by some of the world’s most powerful states, the coalition of actors that promoted the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons encountered rigid international power structures. These structures are in part maintained through the deployment of patriarchal tactics and rhetoric to suppress the perspectives and agency of those who might challenge those in a dominant position. In this way, banning nuclear weapons can be read as an act of challenging patriarchy and building space for alternative approaches to politics, including feminist and human-security-based approaches.

Topics: Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2019

Women and Nation-Building

Citation:

Benard, Cheryl, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, and Kristen Cordell. 2008. Women and Nation-Building. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

Authors: Cheryl Benard, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, Kristen Cordell

Annotation:

Summary:
"The challenge of nation-building, i.e., dealing with the societal and political aftermaths of conflicts and putting new governments and new social compacts into place, has occupied much international energy during the past several decades. As an art, a process, and a set of competencies, it is still very much in an ongoing learning and experimentation phase. The RAND Corporation has contributed to the emerging knowledge base in this domain through a series of studies that have looked at nation-building enterprises led by the United States and others that were led by the United Nations and have examined the experiences gained during the reconstruction of specific sectors. Our study focuses on gender and nation-building. It considers this issue from two aspects: First, it examines gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events in these contexts may affect women differently than they affect men. Second, it analyzes the role of women in the nation-building process, in terms of both actual current practices, as far as these could be measured and ascertained, and possible outcomes that might occur if these practices were to be modified.

The study team first surveyed the broader literature on women in development, women and governance, women and conflict, and women in nation-building. It then focused on the case of Afghanistan. This case study was chosen for three reasons: First, it is contemporary, and it offers a longer nation-building “track record” and thus more data than does Iraq, the other contemporary case. Second, the relevant debate and decision line is easy to track because gender issues have been overtly on the table from the beginning of U.S. post-conflict involvement in Afghanistan, in part because of the Taliban’s equally overt prior emphasis on gender issues as a defining quality of its regime. Third, in contrast to earlier cases of nation-building, the issue of women’s inclusion is presently an official part of any development agenda, so that all the active agents in the nation-building enterprise have made conscious choices and decisions in that regard which can be reviewed and their underlying logic evaluated.

The study concludes with a broad set of analytic and policy recommendations. First, we identify the gaps in data collection and provide specific suggestions for improvement. Then, we recommend three shifts in emphasis that we believe are likely to strengthen the prospects of stability and enhance the outcomes of nation-building programs: a more genuine emphasis on the broader concept of human security from the earliest phases of the nation-building effort; a focus on establishing governance based on principles of equity and consistent rule of law from the start; and economic inclusion of women in the earliest stages of reconstruction activities” (Benard, Jones, Oliker, Thurston, Stearns, and Cordell 2008, xiii).

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. The Security Dimension and Women
 
3. Planning and Implementing Programs for Women's Health and Education: Building Indicators of Success
 
4. Governance and Women
 
5. Economic Participation and Women
 
6. A Case Study: The National Solidarity Program
 
7. Recommendations

Topics: Development, Economies, Conflict, Education, Gender, Governance, Health, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2008

Understanding Gender and Access to Healthcare for Resettled Women in Post-War Northern Sri Lanka Through Intersectionality

Citation:

Radhakrishnan, Bharathi. 2019. "Understanding Gender and Access to Healthcare for Resettled Women in Post-War Northern Sri Lanka Through Intersectionality." PhD diss., University of Massachusetts Boston.

Author: Bharathi Radhakrishnan

Annotation:

Summary:
"Ensuring human security post-war is essential for effective reconstruction efforts and attaining a sustainable peace. This involves establishing people’s access to basic needs, including healthcare, and addressing their health security. Sri Lanka is hailed for its impressive health indicators and public health services. However, its national indicators do not accurately reflect the health context in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Additionally, research on post-war access to healthcare for resettled, formerly displaced communities, particularly women, is sparse. Given this gap, this study investigated barriers to resettled women’s efforts in post-war Jaffna, Sri Lanka to access healthcare.
 
This qualitative study utilized the methodology of phenomenology with the methods of interviews (35 with resettled women; 32 with key  informants) and focus groups (four with 19 resettled women) to explore the lived experiences of resettled women of reproductive age (18 to 49) in two villages in the district of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. Participants, who all gave informed consent, were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. Women were recruited from two contrasting villages – a more rural, predominantly Tamil village, and a predominantly Muslim village closer to the urban center. The conceptual framework used was the socio-ecological model through a gender and intersectionality lens. Two main themes emerged that influence the women’s ability to access healthcare: (1) their perceptions of and experiences with public health staff/providers and resources, and (2) their perceptions of and behaviors within their village and home contexts. Various factors within society also affect the women’s human security and thus their ability to access healthcare. The main finding from this study indicates that the intersectionality of the women’s household income and gender (specifically gender hierarchies, norms, relations, and roles) in the home impacts their ability to access health services in post-war Jaffna, more so than ethnicity. This illustrates the importance of looking beyond solely the influence of ethnicity on people’s access to basic needs postwar. This study also demonstrates the key effect of gender dynamics on women’s access to and experience of health services in post-war Jaffna, including implications for Sri Lanka’s greater reconstruction and sustainable peace efforts" (Radhakrishnan 2019, 4-5).

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2019

Gender and the Security Sector: Towards a More Secure Future

Citation:

Arostegui, Julie L. 2015. "Gender and the Security Sector: Towards a More Secure Future." Connections 14 (3): 7-30.

Author: Julie L. Arostegui

Annotation:

Summary: 
In recent decades, the nature of war has changed dramatically. Internal conflicts are being waged by opposing armed groups, often divided along ideological or ethnic lines that increasingly target civilians and wreak havoc on society with severe physical, psychological, social, political, and economic consequences. With the changed nature of conflict has come an increasing demand to consider its varied effects on women and girls, men and boys, and to address their specific needs before, during, and after conflict. There is also an increasing awareness of the importance of including women in peace and security processes. Women are 50 percent of the population and a critical part of society and, without them, real and sustainable peace cannot be achieved. They are not merely victims of conflict; they also play active roles as combatants, peace builders, politicians, and activists, and are often in the strongest position to bring about peace in their communities. Women around the world have emerged as voices of peace, mobilizing across communities and using their social roles and networks to mediate and mitigate violence. They have demanded attention to the complex issues of peace and peace building, and the needs of the communities involved, rather than to just cease-fires and power sharing. The international community has responded with a framework for addressing women, peace, and security, which includes United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions and binding international law. Regional bodies such as the European Union, NATO, and the African Union have also developed strong frameworks around gender equality and women’s rights in order to build sustainable peace, driven by advocacy by women’s groups and the experiences of conflict. With these changes has also come a paradigm shift in the concept of security from one of state security to human security. Whereas traditionally security involved the protection of borders and state sovereignty, the modern concept of security addresses the security of individuals and communities. It broadens both the nature of security threats such as poverty, discrimination, gender-based violence, lack of democracy and marginalization, and the actors involved, including non-state actors and civil society. It means creating societies that can withstand instability and conflict. It is more than the absence of armed conflict; it is an environment where individuals can thrive.2 A security sector that is based in human security takes into account the differing needs of men, women, boys, and girls, and ensures that the full and equal participation of women addresses the needs of all of the population and helps to establish a more peaceful and secure society. Integrating a gender perspective into the security sector is essential: 1) to abide by universally accepted human rights principles; 2) because when both men and women are involved in decision-making processes, there are better outcomes; and 3) using gender perspectives and mainstreaming increases operational effectiveness" (Arostegui 2015, 7-8).

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2015

Gender in Peacekeeping Operations: A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Ethiopian Female Peacekeepers in Abyei

Citation:

Kewir, Kiven James, and Seble Menberu Gebremichael. 2020. "Gender in Peacekeeping Operations: A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Ethiopian Female Peacekeepers in Abyei." Africa Insight 49 (3): 60-71.

Authors: Kiven James Kewir, Seble Menburu Gebremichael

Abstract:

This paper analyses the role of gender in peacekeeping operations through a review of women’s experiences in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). This mission is dominated by Ethiopian peacekeepers and Ethiopia has also contributed the largest number of female peacekeepers (FPKs) to the mission since 2013. In spite of this, the proportion of female troops in UNISFA remains very low. We base our analysis on 15 in-depth field interviews, two focusgroup discussions, and direct observation done between 22 July 2015 and 2 August 2015. Traditional security studies have been criticised for being gender blind and state-centric. Using the human security conception of security and standpoint feminism as a framework for analysis, this study reveals that efforts made for the full integration of women in peace operations by the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) have been thwarted by the persistence of negative stereotypes and the working conditions of FPKs in Abyei.

 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan

Year: 2020

Peacekeeping in the African Union: Gender, Abuse, and the Battle Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Citation:

White, Sabrina. 2018. "Peacekeeping in the African Union: Gender, Women and the Battle Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse." In Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Regional and Global Security, edited by Pawel Frankowski and Artur Gruszczak, 165-189. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Author: Sabrina White

Abstract:

Sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN personnel in United Nations Peace Operations undermines the very peace the intervention aims to facilitate. By default, this also undermines the legitimacy of the United Nations as a key driver of liberal interventionism. International institutions have developed a series of policies, strategies and initiatives which focus on human security and securitisation of women; namely, the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda serves as the overarching strategic framework for addressing gender inequality in conflict and post-conflict situations. Regional organizations, including the African Union, have also implemented their own women and gender-related protocol with a goal of improving security and stability on the continent. This chapter broadly looks at the interests and interactions of the UN, African Union and other actors in pursuing the WPS agenda, especially where it relates to adoption and implementation of instruments designed to securitise women, promote gender equality and address sexual exploitation and abuse in Peace Operations. The chapter identifies the key barriers to progress and concludes that regardless of the various issues surrounding motivation of various actors and human-security oriented instruments, there is a need to meaningfully engage with feminist scholarship and civil society organizations in order to find sustainable solutions to the problem.

Keywords: United nations peace operations, SCR 1325, African Union, sexual exploitation and abuse

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Peacekeeping, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Religious Discourse and Gender Security in Southern Thailand

Citation:

Marddent, Amporn. 2019. "Religious Discourse and Gender Security in Southern Thailand." Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies 12 (2): 225-47.

Author: Amporn Marddent

Abstract:

This article describes the complexity of applying human security through the notion of gender equality in southern Thailand where violent conflict has been prevalent for nearly half a century in a Malay-Muslim dominated society. It explores how the concepts of gender and security have been interpreted in Malay-Muslim leaders’ outlooks. To define security more broadly, the article surveys the various notions of peacebuilding dealing with comprehensive human security and any security threat, thus not limited to state of war or physical violence only. In the prolonged armed violence and conflict, like that faced in Thailand’s Deep South, women’s security and their role in peacebuilding emerge as pertinent concerns. The discontinuities within the narratives of women and security highlight a divergence connected to personal-political imaginations of conflict whereby subtle variations in violent conflict can be seen as the products of different policy prescriptions, local cultural norms, and the project outcomes of women groups supported by governmental organizations and national and international donors. Thus, in order to reflect upon how contemporary security notions are framed, gendered security perceptions ought to be considered as they signify the exercise of peacebuilding programs in the local context. Persistent advocacy of gender equality is about cultural change, which eventually becomes a modality for non-violent society.

Keywords: Cultural Change, Deep South of Thailand, gender security, Malay-Muslim Women, peacebuilding

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Religion, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2019

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