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International Organizations

Women participants in Conflict

‘Maternal Thinking’ and the Concept of ‘Vulnerability’ in Security Paradigms, Policies, and Practices

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2014. “‘Maternal Thinking’ and the Concept of ‘Vulnerability’ in Security Paradigms, Policies, and Practices.” Journal of International Political Theory 10 (1): 46–69.

Author: Carol Cohn

Abstract:

This article takes as its starting point Sara Ruddick’s discussion of “vulnerability” in her 1989 groundbreaking book Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. It examines the kind of thinking about vulnerability that Ruddick describes as developed through maternal practice and uses it as a heuristic device for rethinking the conceptions of and responses to vulnerability that permeate national and international security discourses. It explores the specific forms of practice and reason that are implicated by these different stances toward vulnerability and shows that the (often unexamined) assumptions underlying these stances are profoundly consequential for both policy and practice. Specifically, it takes both nuclear weapons and the so-called Global War on Terror as particular forms of response to perceived vulnerability and scrutinizes the practices associated with each in light of the forms of rationality arising from maternal practice. It also explores the assumptions underlying the concept of “vulnerable groups” commonly employed in international policy institutions, teasing out their implications for politics, policy, and action. Overall, it argues that Ruddick’s articulation of maternal thinking provides a valuable resource for reimagining transformed and transformative security practices.

Keywords: maternal thinking, nuclear weapons, security, vulnerability, war on terror

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Masculinity/ies, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2014

Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand's Water Resources Sector

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., Mary Jane Real, and Panadda Pantana. 2004. “Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand’s Water Resources Sector.” Development in Practice 14 (4): 521–33.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Mary Jane Real, Panadda Pantana

Abstract:

This paper examines participatory processes in an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance package in Thailand's water resource sector. The authors analyse various levels of social interaction in the local community, in meso-level stakeholder consultations, and in opposition to ADB's environment programmes expressed by civil society organisations. While participatory approaches are employed to promote more bottom-up management regimes in water resources, the authors find that local power and gender differences have been overlooked. Evolving institutions of resource governance are constituted by gender, reproducing gender inequalities such as regarding water intended for agricultural use as a 'male' resource. Finally, it is argued that understandings and practices of participation legitimise particular agendas in a politically polarised arena.

Topics: Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2004

Don’t Mention the War! International Financial Institutions and the Gendered Circuits of Violence in Post-Conflict

Citation:

True, Jacqui, and Aida A. Hozić. 2020. “Don't Mention the War! International Financial Institutions and the Gendered Circuits of Violence in Post-Conflict.” Review of International Political Economy 27 (6): 1193–1213.

Authors: Jacqui True, Aida A. Hozić

Abstract:

This paper provides a framework for explicitly linking feminist analysis of global political economy and feminist analysis of war/peace through the concept of ‘gendered circuits of violence.’ The framework connects the gendered economics of peace and war through analyses of standard policy mechanisms promoted by International Financial Institutions and International Organizations—from general debt servicing and lending in post-war recovery to microfinance programmes, extractive resource economics, taxation, budgeting and austerity in the state sector. With gendered circuits of violence as the core concept, feminist political economy analysis transgresses security-IPE-development divides. Gendered circuits of violence are manifest through bodies that are carriers of violence from war zones to areas of alleged peace; through IFIs as distributors of harm and comfort to transnational households; and in the interstitial post-conflict spaces created by remittances, care and debt. Feminist analysis reveals the imbrication of capitalist systems with the intersectional politics of gender and race, and the (re)production and diffusion of violent conflict.

Keywords: critical feminist IPE, households, post-conflict, international financial institutions, gendered violence, war

Topics: Economies, War Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Race

Year: 2020

“Drawing the Line” and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs

Citation:

Liinason, Mia (she/her/hers), 2021. “'Drawing the Line' and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs." International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (1): 102-124.

Author: Mia Liinason

Abstract:

This article explores the workings of gender expertise inside the institutions of the international governance system as it engages with faith-based actors. Utilizing narratives of gender experts, documentary analysis, and observation, I focus on these experts’ encounters regarding gender equality and women’s rights with religious leaders, religious actors, and conservative governments. Focusing on episodes in which the terms “cultural difference” and “religion” are used synonymously, first, I show how encounters between transnational actors can play a role in hegemonic interpretations of these terms. Second, I explore how powerful actors can become more authoritative in making claims of cultural difference or how the existing distribution of power may be disrupted. I contend that these power relations affect discussions of gender equality. My goal is to contribute to feminist debates by highlighting the ways in which these transnational interactions disrupt assumptions of West versus East. Paying attention to these complex processes can challenge ethnocentric and racist discourses without taking claims of cultural difference at face value.

Keywords: 'feminism', queer, NGOs, transnational, neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Intersectionality, NGOs, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

International Law, COVID-19 and Feminist Engagement with the United Nations Security Council: The End of the Affair

Citation:

O’Rourke, Catherine. 2020. “International Law, COVID-19 and Feminist Engagement with the United Nations Security Council: The End of the Affair?” Feminist Legal Studies 28 (3): 321-8.

Author: Catherine O'Rourke

Abstract:

The gendered implications of COVID-19, in particular in terms of gender-based violence and the gendered division of care work, have secured some prominence, and ignited discussion about prospects for a ‘feminist recovery’. In international law terms, feminist calls for a response to the pandemic have privileged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), conditioned—I argue—by two decades of the pursuit of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda through the UNSC. The deficiencies of the UNSC response, as characterised by the Resolution 2532 adopted to address the pandemic, manifest yet again the identified deficiencies of the WPS agenda at the UNSC, namely fragmentation, securitisation, efficacy and legitimacy. What Resolution 2532 does bring, however, is new clarity about the underlying reasons for the repeated and enduring nature of these deficiencies at the UNSC. Specifically, the COVID-19 ‘crisis’ is powerful in exposing the deficiencies of the crisis framework in which the UNSC operates. My reflections draw on insights from Hilary Charlesworth’s seminal contribution ‘International Law: A Discipline of Crisis’ to argue that, instead of conceding the ‘crisis’ framework to the pandemic by prioritising the UNSC, a ‘feminist recovery’ must instead follow Charlesworth’s exhortation to refocus on an international law of the everyday.


Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Organizations, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2020

Converging on Disaster: Climate Security and the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa

Citation:

Hartmann, Betsy. 2014. “Converging on Disaster: Climate Security and the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa.” Geopolitics 19 (4): 757–83.

Author: Betsy Hartmann

Abstract:

Malthus’s privileging of population growth as the main cause of poverty, scarcity and war still resonates widely in both the public policy arena and popular culture. It shapes dominant discourses about the relationship between climate change, conflict and security in Africa. This article examines what I call the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa (MARA). MARA represents the convergence of current international strategies for reducing high fertility in sub-Saharan Africa through long-acting female contraception with climate conflict narratives that blame environmental degradation on population pressure and portray young African men as a security threat. Together these serve as a powerful gendered rationale for Western humanitarian and military interventions. MARA also plays a role in justifying the new land enclosures on the continent. How can critical scholarship more effectively challenge MARA and intervene in the politics of anticipating the future?

Topics: Conflict, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Gender Issues in the Multilateral Trading System

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2012. “Gender Issues in the Multilateral Trading System.” In The Feminist Economics of Trade, edited by Irene van Staveren, Diane Elson, Caren Grown, and Nilüfer Çagatay, 295-309. New York: Routledge.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

Summary:
"The most comprehensive trade agreements are negotiated globally through the World Trade Organization (WTO). The gender dimensions of some key agreements are discussed in Chapter 14, “Gender issues in the multilateral trading system” by Mariama Williams. Particular attention is paid to the Agreement on Agriculture, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, and the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement. Williams shows how these Agreements are implicated in undermining the livelihoods of women self-employed farmers in poor countries and have the potential to jeopardize poor women’s health and their ability to ensure good health for their families. The chapter concludes with suggestions on how gender inequality can be addressed in some of the measures that are allowable under the WTO rules for mitigating adverse effects of trade liberalization. It also makes clear that a gender-equitable multilateral trading system requires a different set of core principles" (Elson, Grown & van Staveren 2012, 8).

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2012

The Question of Gender and Human Security in Africa’s Extractive Industries

Citation:

Andrews, Nathan, and Charis Enns. 2020. "The Question of Gender and Human Security in Africa’s Extractive Industries." In The Palgrave Handbook of African Political Economy, edited by Toyin Falola and Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba, 725-37. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Nathan Andrews, Charis Enns

Abstract:

The growing presence of extractive companies in rural and remote spaces across sub-Saharan Africa has been an important subject of public and academic debate. Yet, these debates have often been ‘gender-free’, neglecting to consider the relationship between the presence of extractive companies and the everyday and structural violence experienced by women in local communities. In this chapter, we argue that the security threats created by intensifying extractive activities in these areas are often gendered. Drawing upon fieldwork data collected in Ghana and Kenya between January 2013 and March 2015, the chapter raises concerns about the lack of adequate policy responses to the gendered implications of resource extraction and associated insecurity, despite growing evidence that extractive activities have differential impacts across gender identities. While many local-level security challenges relating to resource extraction have been elevated into the realm of international security concerns, the real and pressing gendered security threats caused by extractive activities have yet to be widely acknowledged by international actors. Thus, our analysis of the gendered threats to human security created by extractive companies at the local level draws attention to inequalities in the human security agenda at both local and global levels, as well as in both theory and in practice.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Security, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Kenya

Year: 2020

When Are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping

Citation:

Tidblad-Lundholm, Kajsa. 2020. “When Are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping.” International Peacekeeping 27 (4): 673–702.

Author: Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm

Abstract:

This study explores how the duration of missions affects the participation of women in United Nations (UN) peace operations. I argue that women are less likely to be deployed in the early stages of missions because new missions are associated with high levels of operational uncertainty, which is ultimately a type of risk. Instead, women’s participation will increase over time as the uncertainty decreases and the operating environment becomes more predictable. In an extended analysis, I also explore if the level of gender equality in a troop contributing country affects the decision to deploy women to the early phases of missions. Applying a large-N approach, I study the proportion of women in military contributions to UN peace operations between 2009 and 2015. Using a set of multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear models, the main argument find empirical support. However, when the robustness of the findings is challenged, there is indication that there could be additional factors that affect operational uncertainty and the perceived risk associated with an operating environment. The result of the extended analysis indicate that more gender equal countries are more prone to deploy larger proportions of female military personnel, regardless of when the deployment takes place.
 

Keywords: women's participation, UNSCR 1325, peacekeeping, United Nations, peace operations

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping

Year: 2020

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