Human Security

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

The Search for Lasting Peace: Critical Perspectives on Gender-Responsive Human Security


Boyd, Rosalind. 2016. The Search for Lasting Peace: Critical Perspectives on Gender-Responsive Human Security. New York, NY: Routledge.


Author: Rosalind Boyd


"Presenting the human security agenda as a policy response to the changing nature of violent conflicts and war, this collection traces its evolution in relation to conflicts in different contexts (Burma, India, Palestine, Canada, East Timor, Guatemala, Peru and African countries) and from the perspective of gender, addresses initiatives for peace with justice. Cases are analysed when the human security agenda, including UNSC resolution 1325, was in its initial phase and point to both the weakness of the concept and the unexpected direction it has taken. These discussions - always relevant - are more urgent than ever as gender-based violence against women has increased, resulting in new UNSC resolutions. Some chapters suggest that militarism and economic globalization must be directly confronted. Many of the contributors to the volume bridge the gap between academic research and activism as ’scholar-activists’ with an engaged connection to the situations they are describing. Human security remains an active component of policy and academic debates in security studies, women’s and gender studies, development studies, history and political economy as well as within NGO communities. This rich collection fills a needed gap in the literature and it does so in a language and style that is clear, accessible and reader-friendly." (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, NGOs, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Canada, Guatemala, India, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Peru

Year: 2016

Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans


Irvine, Jill A. 2013. ‘Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 15 (1): 20–38.  

Author: Jill A. Irvine


This article examines how regional and local women’s organizations in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo have used UNSCR 1325 as a tool for organizing and advocacy in three broad areas: women’s inclusion in decision-making processes; regional and human security; and transitional justice. In response to perceived unwillingness by international as well as national actors to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations developed strategies to use this international norm to achieve their goals. They have done this, I argue, through a double ‘boomerang effect’. In their seminal 1998 work, Activists Beyond Borders, Keck and Sikkink demonstrated how NGOs operate to produce a boomerang effect; they appeal to transnational actors to assert international pressure against national governments in order to enforce compliance with human rights norms. In attempting to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations have also often added a reverse dimension, mobilizing local support through grassroots campaigns and regional networks in order to force the United Nations and other international actors to comply with their own resolution concerning women, peace and security. In doing so, they have achieved some success in promoting inclusion. They have been less successful in using UNSCR 1325 as a tool for addressing structural sources of inequality including militarism and neo-liberal models of economic development.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, women's organizations, political inclusion, human security, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia

Year: 2013

Women’s Responses to State Violence in the Niger Delta


Ekine, Sokari. 2008. “Women’s Responses to State Violence in the Niger Delta.” Feminist Africa 10: 67–83.

Author: Sokari Ekine


This paper will discuss the ways in which the women of the Niger Delta have responded to acts of violence by the Nigerian State and its allies, the multinational oil companies. I first briefly outline the background to the crises in the Niger Delta and then discuss the responses and resistance of the women.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Multi-National Corporations, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2008

Political Science, Terrorism and Gender


Herschinger, Eva. 2014. "Political Science, Terrorism and Gender." Historical Social Research 39 (3): 46-66.

Author: Eva Herschinger

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Security, Human Security, Terrorism, Violence

Year: 2014

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: The Merging of Feminine and Feminist Interests among El Salvador’s Mother of the Disappeared (CO-MADRES)


Stephen, Lynn. 1995. “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: The Merging of Feminine and Feminist Interests among El Salvador’s Mother of the Disappeared (CO-MADRES).” American Ethnologist 22 (4): 807-27.

Author: Lynn Stephen


This article suggests that the multiple facets of women's identities and the ways in which they both accommodate and resist dominant ideologies of gender hierarchy and national security explains their political activity. How CO-MADRES have incorporated issues of state repression, domestic inequality and women's sexuality into a discourse on human rights.

Keywords: female identities, gender hierarchy, national security, political activity, CO-MADRES, state repression, domestic inequality, women's sexuality, human rights, gender discourse

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Livelihoods, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 1995

An Introduction to UNSCR 1325


Olsson, Louise, and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis. 2013. “An Introduction to UNSCR 1325.” International Interactions 39 (4): 425-34.

Authors: Louise Olsson, Theodora-Ismene Gizelis


The article introduces various papers published within the issue on the United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) and women's participation in peace agreements and in peace-related political processes.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, political participation, peace process, peace agreements

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, International Law, International Human Rights, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2013

Gender Aspects of Human Security


Moussa, Ghada. 2008. “Gender Aspects of Human Security.” International Social Science Journal 59 (193): 81-100.

Author: Ghada Moussa


The chapter deals with the gender dimensions in human security through focusing on the relationship between gender and human security, first manifested in international declarations and conventions, and subsequently evolving in world women conferences. It aims at analysing the various gender aspects in its relation to different human security dimensions. Gender equality is influenced and affected by many social institutions: the state, the market, the family (kinship) and the community. Human security also takes gender aspects. The author focuses on the dimensions in human security that influence gender equality. These are violence as a threat to human security and negative influences in achieving gender equality, the needs approach, poverty alleviation and considering women as among the most vulnerable groups in the society. Raising the capabilities of women is essential in achieving gender equality, thus security and participation is needed to guarantee equality and to realise gender equality.

Keywords: human security, gender equality, world women conferences, gender based violence, poverty, political participation

Topics: Civil Society, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Nonviolence, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2008

Feminisms in the Aftermath of September 11


Eisenstein, Zilliah. 2002. Feminisms In The Aftermath Of September 11. Social Text 20 (3): 79-99.

Author: Zilliah Eisenstein


This essay is about how women's rights as a complicated discourse, and the burkha as a complex symbolic, are the sites from which to understand the complexity of global power struggles at this moment. But first a note of context is necessary to clear some space for thinking—openly, critically, historically—in terms of a before and after of September 11. September 11 has not changed everything. It has just made clear how much context and perspective and location matter. Ask the people of Chile about September 11—when their beloved president, Salvador Allende, was gunned down in a coup d'état supported by the United States. Ask them the meaning of trauma and grief. Think back to the Gulf War and U.S. militarist terrorism of its smart bombs. Think across and beyond to the children of Iraq, today, this minute, who need cancer drugs or textbooks for their schools and cannot have them because of the economic sanctions imposed on their country. Do what women always do—multitask, so that you are not simply concentrated on yourself, or the United States, or this moment.

Keywords: gender analysis, gender and conflict, middle east, iran, September 11, constructivism and gender, feminism, Iraq, MENA

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Health, PTSD, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran, Iraq

Year: 2002

Pathologies of Security Governance: Efforts Against Human Trafficking in Europe


Friesendorf, C. 2007. “Pathologies of Security Governance: Efforts Against Human Trafficking in Europe.” Security Dialogue 38 (3): 379–402. doi:10.1177/0967010607081518.

Author: C. Friesendorf


The trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation has reportedly been booming in Europe since the 1990s. Governments, international organizations, and private actors have addressed the causes and consequences of sex trafficking in various ways. This article shows that the concept of security governance helps to understand efforts against human trafficking and their shortcomings. The anti-trafficking security governance system consists of five approaches: legal measures, prosecution, protection, prevention in countries of origin, and prevention in countries of destination. Although progress has been made, the security governance system is marked by several pathologies, especially a lack of programs that prevent trafficking in countries of origin and destination, insufficient protection for trafficked persons, and deficient networks bringing together the various actors involved in anti-trafficking. To make governance against human trafficking more effective, efficient, and just, the security governance system must be better balanced and networked.

Keywords: human trafficking, governance, European security, crime, networks, Southeast Europe

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Justice, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans

Year: 2007


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