Broadening the Security Paradigm: Indian Women, Anti-Nuclear Activism, and Visions of a Sustainable Future


Das, Runa. 2007. “Broadening the Security Paradigm: Indian Women, Anti-Nuclear Activism, and Visions of a Sustainable Future.” Women’s Studies International Forum 30 (1): 1–15.

Author: Runa Das


This article uses the anti-nuclear activism of Indian women as a case study to question the relevance of statist discourses of security in Indian politics. By highlighting their activism against the Indian state (under its recent Hindu Right Bharatiya Janata Party government), this article deconstructs how (in)security imaginaries have been utilized by the Indian state to legitimize India's nuclear policies; how the Indian state's perceptions of (in)security has collided with 'people-centric' visions of security; and finally, how activism has enabled these women to de-center a militaristic and communal vision of (in)security that undergirds India's nuclear policy. I also highlight the ways in which women's activism has differed from that of men's including how women activists have used distinctive rationales and strategies to oppose Indian nuclearization. The contribution of this article lies in stitching together the spirit of inclusiveness that brings these women's leadership qualities, capabilities, and preferences to broaden India's security paradigm.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: India

Year: 2007

Interrogating the Constructions of Masculinist Protection and Militarism in the Syrian Constitution of 1973


Aldoughli, Rahaf. 2019. "Interrogating the Constructions of Masculinist Protection and Militarism in the Syrian Constitution of 1973." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 15 (1): 48-74.

Author: Rahaf Aldoughli


This is a revisionist study of Syrian Baʾathism. At its heart is an examination of ingrained masculinist bias. This article argues that there is a reciprocal relationship between militarism and masculinity, achieved through gratifying protection for both the nation and women. While most feminist scholarship dealing with states formation in the Arab context attributes its gendered nature to dictatorship, patriarchy, and religion, there is no debate about the development of states and their relation to militarism and masculinism. This construction of militarized masculinity in Baʾath ideology ensures the preservation of gendered laws that perceive women as less equal. While teasing out this aspect, this study seeks to explore the status of women in the Syrian Constitution (1973) and laws by investigating the role of the state as a male protector in which women’s rights become challenged by the state’s paternalistic perceptions.

Keywords: militarism, masculinist protection, women, Syria, constitutions

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Governance, Constitutions, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

The Crucible of Sexual Violence: Militarized Masculinities and the Abjection of Life in Post-Crisis, Neoliberal South Korea


Park, Youme. 2016. “The Crucible of Sexual Violence: Militarized Masculinities and the Abjection of Life in Post-Crisis, Neoliberal South Korea.” Feminist Studies 42 (1): 17-40.

Author: Youme Park


This paper explores the ways the “civil” society of Post-Crisis, neoliberal South Korea is constituted by a type of militarized masculinity that normalizes and even legitimates sexual violence. When the movie version of the best selling novel, The Crucible, written by Gong, Ji-Young, was released in the fall of 2011, it created a public outcry against the case of sexual molestation of handicapped children by their teachers and school administrators. On September 24 of the same year, a sexual assault inflicted upon a female high school student by a US soldier ignited a mass protest against what many perceive to be an insult against Korea’s national sovereignty. By exploring these two moments of cultural crises, I argue that in a militarized society like South Korea, 1) violence is routinized and normalized (while exoticized and sensationalized at the same time) when it is imagined in sexual terms, 2) sexual violence is naturalized when it is folded into masculine and militarized power, 3) militarism justifies its absolute power to adjudicate who to kill and to let live by resorting to the idealized form of masculinity that is based on the conflation of brutality with immortality, and finally, 4) a public outrage against sexual brutality can be easily co-opted into the reformist rhetoric that argues for a more benevolent form of patriarchy or neocolonial domination unless such outrage is accompanied by a thorough rejection of domination (and brutality) as an idealized form of political power and life itself.

Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Masculinism, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Violence Countries: South Korea

Year: 2016

"I Just Gotta Have Tough Skin": Women’s Experiences Working in the Oil and Gas Industry in Canada


Murphy, Kathleen, Lola Strand, Linda Theron, and Michael Ungar. 2021. “‘I Just Gotta Have Tough Skin’: Women’s Experiences Working in the Oil and Gas Industry in Canada.” The Extractive Industries and Society 8 (2).

Authors: Kathleen Murphy, Lola Strand, Linda Theron, Michael Ungar


Women remain vastly underrepresented in the oil and gas workforce. As such, they are subject to gender-based discrimination and harassment, perpetuated by a hyper masculine work culture, yet little is known about their experiences working on the front lines. Guided by feminist interpretive inquiry, the purpose of this research was to understand the experiences of young women in blue collar and administrative positions within the oil and gas industry, in a small Canadian town. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 women ages 18–30 between February 2018 and March 2019. Data were analyzed using an inductive thematic content analysis, and findings were validated by a Local Advisory Committee. Participating women experienced gender-based discrimination and harassment. Still, many women enjoyed their work, took pride in defying gender-based expectations, and tended to persevere by having ‘tough skin’. Women’s coping mechanisms tended to reinforce the masculine culture that perpetuates the gender-based challenges they face. Findings suggest that industry practices must adapt to create a safe and inclusive workplace.

Keywords: women in industry, gender norms, gender equity, oil and gas workforce, inclusive workplace

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Masculinism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2021

Going Underground in South African Platinum Mines to Explore Women Miners’ Experience


Benya, Asanda. 2017. “Going Underground in South African Platinum Mines to Explore Women Miners’ Experiences.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 509–22.

Author: Asanda Benya


Women have worked underground in South African mines since 2003. Their inclusion has been lauded by some as a step in the right direction – that is, towards gender equality in employment, as well as challenging gender stereotypes about work and women’s abilities. This dominant narrative, however, fails to acknowledge and address the challenges faced by women in mining. Using participant observation, living and working alongside women miners over the course of a year, I explored these challenges, and analysed their implications. I argue that if the mining sector wants to fully include women in mining, it needs to go beyond using quotas to achieve gender parity in numbers of women and men workers. While access to these jobs is important, retention depends on addressing the masculine culture which is deeply embedded in mining, making this a very challenging environment for women workers.

Desde 2003, las mujeres han trabajado en las minas subterráneas de Sudáfrica. A pesar de que algunos comentaristas han elogiado su inclusión como un avance hacia la igualdad de género en el empleo y como una manera de cuestionar los estereotipos de género vinculados al trabajo y las habilidades de las mujeres, esta narrativa predominante no reconoce ni enfrenta los retos que deben experimentar en la industria minera. A partir de la observación participante, y considerando mis propias vivencias y el trabajo realizado codo a codo con mujeres mineras durante un año, pude examinar dichos retos y analizar sus implicaciones. Sostengo que si se desea integrar plenamente a las mujeres en las actividades del sector minero éste debe superar el uso de cuotas para lograr la paridad de género en términos del número de trabajadores varones y mujeres. Si bien es importante tener acceso a estos empleos, la retención de las mujeres mineras depende de que esta industria enfrente la profundamente arraigada cultura masculina, a partir de la cual se ha generado un entorno difícil para las mujeres trabajadoras.

Les femmes travaillent sous terre dans les mines sud-africaines depuis 2003. Leur inclusion a été louée par certains comme un pas dans la bonne direction – autrement dit un progrès vers l’égalité entre les sexes sur le marché du travail –, ainsi que comme un aspect remettant en cause les stéréotypes de genre relatifs au travail et aux aptitudes des femmes. Cependant, ce fil narratif dominant ne reconnaît ni n’aborde les défis auxquels sont confrontées les femmes dans le secteur minier. En utilisant les observations des participants et en vivant et travaillant aux côtés de femmes mineurs pendant un an, je me suis penchée sur ces défis et en ai analysé les implications. Je soutiens que si le secteur minier veut pleinement inclure les femmes dans les activités minières, il doit aller au-delà de l’utilisation de quotas pour parvenir à la parité entre les sexes pour ce qui est du nombre d’ouvriers femmes et hommes. Si l’accès à ces emplois est important, la fidélisation dépend d’une lutte contre la culture masculine qui est profondément ancrée dans le secteur minier, ce qui en fait un environnement très difficile pour les ouvrières.

Keywords: women in mining, mining charter, masculine culture, transformation in mining, mining occupational culture

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017

The Act That Shaped the Gender of Industrial Mining: Unintended Impacts of the British Mines Act of 1842 on Women’s Status in the Industry


Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala. 2020. “The Act That Shaped the Gender of Industrial Mining: Unintended Impacts of the British Mines Act of 1842 on Women’s Status in the Industry.” The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2): 389–97. 

Author: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt


In the 19th century, public outrage over poor working conditions of children in underground coal mines in the UK led to the enactment of the Mines and Collieries Act 1842. It prohibited boys under the age of ten and all females from laboring in underground mines. This Act wiped out the long and impressive history of women’s labor in the mining industry, and pushed women into more insecure areas of work. Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, this Act became the model for the International Labour Organization (ILO) to adopt protective legislation around women’s labor in the mining industry. Although unintended, the Act established ideals for decent work for women as per the Victorian norm and eventually led to the contemporary global context of hypermasculinity of the mining industry. The paper shows how women’s labor in mines—within a strict sex-based division of tasks—was, and remains, subject to gender ideologies that are not only propagated at home, but assume an authoritative position when adopted by the state.

Keywords: gender in mining, women in mining, protective legislation, British Mines Act, women's labor in mining, ILO and women's mining

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Masculinism Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2020

Gender and Transition in Climate Governance


Kronsell, Annica. 2013. “Gender and Transition in Climate Governance.” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 7: 1–15.

Author: Annica Kronsell


This article demonstrates how gender is relevant to governance of a transition to a low-carbon economy. It does this through insights derived from gender and transition studies in combination, applied and illustrated through a study of climate governance in Sweden. The approach is constructive and uses as central concepts: transition arenas, niches, regimes and landscapes in combination with theories from gender studies. The article suggests that the two fields are linked through three processes that are necessary to make a transition: to strengthen participation, to deal with oppressive power relations and to challenge institutionalized norms. It illustrates how masculine norms seem to permeate the landscape of climate transitions and argues that gender regimes tend to dictate planning, measures and implementation. Finally, the article proposes that a gender perspective on climate governance would analyze participation in transition arenas and niches by asking who is included in climate governance and what ideas influence climate policies.

Keywords: climate governance, equal respresentation, gender parity, gender regime, masculine norms, transition theories

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Governance, Infrastructure Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2013

The Persistence of Global Masculinism: Discourse, Gender, and Neo-Colonial Re-Articulations of Violence


Nicholas, Lucy, and Christine Agius. 2017. The Persistence of Global Masculinism: Discourse, Gender, and Neo-Colonial Re-Articulations of Violence. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Lucy Nicholas, Christine Agius


This book examines whether we are witnessing the resilience, persistence and adaptation of masculinist discourses and practices at both domestic and international levels in the contemporary global context. Beginning with an innovative conceptualisation of masculinism, the book draws on interdisciplinary work to analyse its contours and practices across four case studies. From the anti-feminist backlash that can be found in various men’s rights movements, and responses to gender-based and sexual violence, to the masculinist underpinnings of human rights discourse, and modes of intervention to protect, including drone warfare. This interdisciplinary work will appeal to students and scholars of gender studies, security and international relations, and sociology. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillan)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence

Year: 2018

The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind


Agius, Christine, and Anu Mundkur. 2020. “The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, Gender and Conflict Prevention: Ties that Don’t Bind.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 74 (3): 282-300.

Authors: Christine Agius, Anu Mundkur


After a 14-year gap, Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper advanced a ‘comprehensive framework to advance Australia’s security and prosperity in a contested and competitive world’ (Australian Government 2017a, “2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.”, v). Focused on regional stability, partnerships and global cooperation, it identifies ‘risks and opportunities’ in an altered external environment. In this article, we argue that the neglect of gender and conflict prevention in the White Paper has implications for its stated aspirations with regard to peace and security. This is striking considering the attention that gender—particularly in the context of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda—has received in other policy areas and documents. Building on feminist security scholarship, conflict prevention approaches, and bringing in civil society voices, we argue that the White Paper contains a gendered, masculinist logic, separating domestic and international issues and paying insufficient attention to the structural and systemic causes of conflict. This article pursues a gender analysis in order to illuminate the gaps present in the White Paper and its limited vision of security and makes the case that conflict prevention from a gender perspective is key to sustainable peace, security and national interests.

Keywords: conflict prevention, Foreign Policy White Paper, Australia, gender, foreign policy, women, peace and security (WPS)

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Peace and Security, Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Género y arrebato de tierras: El caso del nuevo aeropuerto internacional de Ciudad de México


García, Verónica Vázquez. 2018. “Género y arrebato de tierras: El caso del nuevo aeropuerto internacional de Ciudad de México.” Región y Sociedad 73.

Author: Verónica Vázquez García


En este artículo se explora la dinámica de género del arrebato de tierras en el municipio de Atenco, Estado de México, para la construcción del nuevo aeropuerto internacional de la Ciudad de México. A partir de datos obtenidos mediante la sistematización de expedientes ejidales, la observación participante y las entrevistas a profundidad, se analiza la discriminación de género en la venta de tierras y las estrategias de las mujeres para enfrentarla. El artículo contribuye a estudiar la infraestructura de comunicaciones, un sector poco teorizado; a utilizar información documental, principalmente testimonial, y a visibilizar los efectos de género y el papel de las mujeres en la resistencia. Se muestra que los agentes del arrebato de tierras son el Estado, el capital y las estructuras comunitarias que reproducen la inequidad de género, para concentrar la riqueza y los privilegios políticos en manos predominantemente masculinas.
This paper explores the gender dynamics of land grabbing in the municipality of Atenco, State of Mexico, for the construction of the New Mexico City International Airport. Drawing on data obtained through three research tools (ejidal file systematization; participant observation; in-depth interviews), the paper examines gender discrimination in land sales and women’s strategies to fight it. The article makes three contributions: analyzing a poorly theorized sector (communication infrastructure); relying on both documental and grass-root testimonies in order to do so; highlighting gender impacts and women’s roles in resistance movements. The paper shows that land grabbing involves not only State and capital, but also community structures that reproduce gender inequality and contribute to the concentration of wealth and political privilege in few, masculine hands.

Keywords: gênero, desigualdad, acaparamiento de tierras, derecho de propiedad, mercados de tierra, desamortización, gender, inequality, land grabbing, property right, land markets, disentailment

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Land Grabbing, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2018


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