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Militarization

Rethinking Rape: The Role of Women in Wartime Violence

Citation:

Loken, Meredith. 2017. “Rethinking Rape: The Role of Women in Wartime Violence.” Security Studies 26 (1): 60–92.

Author: Meredith Loken

Abstract:

There is widespread variation in scope, scale, and forms of rape across and within conflicts. One explanation focuses on the integration of women in armed groups. Scholars and international organizations posit that the inclusion of women in armed groups discourages wartime rape. They advocate women’s increased participation to combat rape and other forms of civilian violence. Using an original dataset of women’s involvement as combatants in civil wars from 1980 to 2009, I argue that the participation of female fighters has no significant impact in constraining an armed group’s propensity to rape. Female combatants do not lessen rape because organizational factors, primarily culture, drive violence in armed factions and encourage conformity irrespective of individual characteristics. Advocating further militarization of women in an attempt to reduce conflict-related rape may be an ineffective policy prescription.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Rape, Violence

Year: 2017

Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article

Citation:

Arnot, Madeline. 2011. “Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article.” Ethnicities 11 (3): 373-77.

Author: Madeleine Arnot

Annotation:

Summary:
"Islah Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement has historical specificity as a result of Palestine’s political history as a transitional/provisional state that has experienced devastating interventions by Israel into its allocated territory, and exceptional levels of international attention. Yet Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement also resonates in an uncannily familiar way with other histo-ries of the women’s movements internationally. In Gramscian terms, there are a variety of forms of hegemonic power and different counter-hegemonic strategies that can affect women’s movements. In this account, male hegemony (inflected by social class, ethnicity and sexuality) plays a crucial role in the interfaces between international hegemony over economic development, and religious hegemony. When women are symbolically constructed as the epitome of the nation, there is more at stake in the liberation of women than just gender politics. Gender is the lens through which we can understand the battles over citizenship, national identity and power (c.f. Fennell and Arnot, 2007).
 
We are at a critical moment in social science particularly in the North, where we are being called upon to rethink our categories, assumptions, interpretations and agendas to let in the realities of different worlds. Challenging the assumptions of ‘methodological nationalism’ (Beck, 2000), southern feminists from Africa and India have argued that the framing of gender theory in northern contexts has often imposed inappropriate gender categorizations, concepts of motherhood and sexual embodiments, whilst neglecting the different communal cultures, family structures and gender identities found in southern cultures (Fennell and Arnot, 2008).
 
One aspect of this hegemonic gender theory has been the denial of the role of spirituality and religion; indeed, Jad argues that northern forms of the women’s movement are secular (if not atheist!). Within Jad’s article lies a fundamental issue – how can northern gender theorists understand the role of religious conflict between nations and the religious shaping of the women’s movement within national struggles? I think it is fair to say that gender studies has constructed religions as obstacles to the achievement of gender equality not least because of their enforcement or reinforcement of male superiority and power. As a result, it is hard to envisage religion as anything but an impediment to the advancement of female citizenship.
 
In this response, I highlight three relevant themes: 1. gender and education in transitional states; 2. the universalism and secularization of human rights; and 3.national gender identities, religion and militarization" (Arnot 2011, 373).

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Development, Conflict, Education, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Human Rights, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

Wounds: Militarized Nursing, Feminist Curiosity, and Unending War

Citation:

Enloe, Cynthia. 2019. "Wounds: Militarized Nursing, Feminist Curiosity, and Unending War." International Relations 33 (3): 393-412.

Author: Cynthia Enloe

Abstract:

Taking wartime nurses – and post-war nursing – seriously makes one think more politically about the wounds endured in wartime and what counts as a wartime ‘wound’. Thinking about wounds and the wounded, in turn, reveals how war-waging officials, and militarizers more generally, have tried in the past, and today still try, to shrink citizens’ awareness of militarism’s negative consequences. Nursing, nurses, wounds, and the wounded each continues to be gendered, influencing the workings of both masculinities and femininities in past and current wartimes and post-war politics. Feminist analysts have expanded the ‘political’ and multiplied ‘political thinkers’. Failing to absorb these feminist theoretical insights fosters the trivialization of nurses and other caretakers of the wartime wounded and their diverse political thinking. It is a failing with serious implications. Overlooking nurses and others who provide wartime care, combined with a lack of curiosity about wounds, perpetuates militarization and war.
 

Keywords: masculinities, militarization, nurses, post-war, war, women, wounds

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict

Year: 2019

The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South

Citation:

Samuel, Kumudini, Claire Slatter, and Vagisha Gunasekara, eds. 2019. The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South. Zed Books.

Authors: Kumudini Samuel, Claire Slatter, Vagisha Gunasekara

Annotation:

Summary:
The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women shows how political, economic, social and ideological processes intersect to shape conflict related gender-based violence against women. Through feminist interrogations of the politics of economies, struggles for political power and the gender order, this collection reveals how sexual orders and regimes are linked to spaces of production. Crucially it argues that these spaces are themselves firmly anchored in overlapping patriarchies which are sustained and reproduced during and after war through violence that is physical as well as structural.
 
Through an analysis of legal regimes and structures of social arrangements, this book frames militarization as a political economic dynamic, developing a radical critique of liberal peace building and peace making that does not challenge patriarchy, or modes of production and accumulation. 
 
This book brings together the work of a group of feminists from the global South. The authors are diverse in their backgrounds, experience, and academic and disciplinary orientations. They work in different political, economic, social and cultural contexts and some have approached writing about the political economies of violence against women in their own countries as much (or more) from lived experience and experiential insights as from formal or scholarly research, which we consider entirely valid and in keeping with feminist epistemology. (Summary from DAWN)
 
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Framing a South Feminist Analysis of War, Conflict and Violence against Women: The Value of a Political Economy Lens 
Kumudini Samuel and Vagisha Gunasekara
 
The Construction of the ‘Responsible Woman’: Structural Violence in Sri Lanka’s Post-war Development Strategy
Vagisha Gunasekara and Vijay K. Nagaraj
 
Ending Violence against Women in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands Region: The Role of the State, Local Civil Society and Extractive Industries by Elizabeth
 
Box 6.1 Lessons from the Bougainville Experience
Michelle Kopi
 
Rural Women in Colombia: From Victims to Actors
Cecilia López Montaño and MaríA-Claudia Holstine
 
Contesting Territoriality: Patriarchy, Accumulation and Dispossession. “Entrenched Peripherality”: Women, Political Economy and the Myth of Peacebuilding in North East India
Roshmi Goswami
 
Re-Imagining Subversion: Agency and Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda
Yaliwe Clarke and Constance O’Brien
 
The Prism of Marginalisation: Political Economy of Violence against Women in Sudan and South Sudan
Fahima Hashim

 

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Economies, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2019

Scottish Soldier-Heroes and Patriotic War Heroines: The Gendered Politics of World War I Commemoration

Citation:

Danilova, Nataliya, and Emma Dolan. 2020. "Scottish Soldier-Heroes and Patriotic War Heroines: The Gendered Politics of World War I Commemoration." Gender, Place & Culture 27 (2): 239-60.

Authors: Nataliya Danilova, Emma Dolan

Abstract:

This paper explores the (re)production of embodied gendered and racialised identities as part of commemorations devised by the Scottish government to mark the Centenary of WWI, 2014–18. In particular, we demonstrate how the Centenary has re-established Scotland’s key contribution to British military power instead of providing a platform for a broader discussion of British wars and Scotland’s role therein. Our analysis posits that this reframing was achieved through the (re)production of a gendered polarisation between white ‘dead’ soldier-heroes, ‘local lads’ and bearers of a ‘proud Scottish military tradition’; and women as embodiments of patriotic motherhood. We further explore the deployment of specific discursive and performative means to transform Dr Elsie Inglis, the only woman whose contribution was singled out by WW100 Scotland, into a patriotic war heroine. This was achieved by the militarisation of her work; the obscuring of identity, class- and race-based hierarchies within women’s war-work; and, finally, through the subversion of feminist ideas and practices in Inglis’ work for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. Lastly, we reflect on the gendered legacy of the Centenary, emphasising the necessity for critical engagement with Britain’s wars and Scotland’s role therein.
 

Keywords: Britain, commemoration, gender, militarisation, performance

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Race Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2020

Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization? The Case of the Exiled Burmese Women's Movement

Citation:

Olivius, Elisabeth, and Jenny Hedström. 2019. "Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization? The Case of the Exiled Burmese Women's Movement." Women's Studies International Forum 76.

Authors: Elisabeth Olivius, Jenny Hedström

Abstract:

Feminist scholars have convincingly demonstrated how militarism and nationalism rely on the (re)production of gendered hierarchies. As a result, feminism is often assumed to be at odds with these political projects. In this article, we demonstrate that this is not always and not necessarily the case: in contrast, militarized nationalism may even constitute fertile ground for the mobilization of feminist organization and activism. We make this argument drawing on an in-depth case study of the emergence and evolution of an exiled Burmese women's movement from within armed ethno-nationalist struggles in the borderlands of Myanmar. Drawing on interviews with women activists, we examine when and how militarized nationalism can provide a space from which feminist agendas can be articulated and successfully pursued. This case demonstrates that militarized nationalism does not only have the potential to mobilize women's participation, but can provide a platform for feminist organization and activism that transcends, challenges, and eventually reshapes militarized nationalist projects in ways that advance women's rights and equality. These findings call into question generalized assumptions about the conflictual relationship between feminism, militarism and nationalism, and contributes to advance feminist debates about women's mobilization in contexts of armed conflicts and nationalist struggles.

Keywords: feminism, militarism, nationalism, women's activism, Myanmar, armed conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2019

Feminism in the Humanitarian Machine. Introduction to the Special Section on ‘The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender-based Violence’

Citation:

Veit, Alex. 2019. "Feminism in the Humanitarian Machine. Introduction to the Special Section on ‘The Politics of Intervention Against (Conflict-Related) Sexual and Gender-based Violence.’" Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 13 (4): 401-17.

Author: Alex Veit

Abstract:

The prevention and mitigation of sexual and gender-based violence in (post-) conflict societies has become an important humanitarian activity. This introductory article examines the analytical discourses on these interventions, the institutionalization of SGBV expertise in international politics, and the emancipatory potential of anti-SGBV practices. It argues that the confluence of feminist professional activism and militarized humanitarian interventionism produced specific international activities against SGBV. As part of the institutionalization of gender themes in international politics, feminist emancipatory claims have been taken up by humanitarian organizations. The normal operating state of the humanitarian machine, however, undercuts its potential contribution to social transformation towards larger gender equality in (post-) conflict societies.

Keywords: conflict-related sexual violence, humanitarian intervention, post-conflict, liberalism, feminism, governance

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence

Year: 2019

Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir

Citation:

Bhan, Mona. 2018. “Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir.” Economic and Political Weekly 53 (47).

Author: Mona Bhan

Annotation:

Summary:
How Kashmiri women experience and narrate questions of resource sovereignty and dispossession within the context of Kashmir's long-drawn-out military occupation, and India's investments in mega hydroelectric dams on Kashmir's rivers have been discussed. The devastating floods in 2014 led Kashmiris to increasingly challenge perceptions of nature or natural disasters as apolitical. Dams are an integral part of border-making processes, and gender, space, and borders are continually co-produced through militarised infrastructures. Women's resistant imaginaries, which combine political and ecological metaphors, and rely on conceptions of jinn and other non- human agency, offer a way to rethink Kashmir beyond its securitised geographies. (Summary from Economic & Political Weekly)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Resource Conflict, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India

Citation:

Malaviya, Ritambhara. 2020. "Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India." In Citizenship, Nationalism and Refugeehood of Rohingyas in Southern Asia, edited by Nasreen Chowdhory and Biswajit Mohanty, 171-88. Singapore: Springer, Singapore.

Author: Ritambhara Malaviya

Abstract:

History shows how female bodies have been the site of contestation in violent conflicts across the world. There are innumerable instances of the use of rape as a systematic weapon for proving the superiority of one’s own race during conflicts, for instance, during the Bosnian crisis, or even earlier during the 1971 war of independence of Bangladesh. While conflicts impact women and children especially because of their vulnerability, the very understanding of why and how the conflict happened is deeply gendered. The Rohingya crisis is a case in point. This chapter attempts to understand the gendered discourse underpinning the discussion on the Rohingya crisis in India through a study of some major news websites in India. As per the framework used by Galtung (The Missing Journalism on Conflict and Peace and the Middle East, 2005), news reporting in India on the Rohingya is split into two camps, the war/victory-oriented journalism and the alternative peace-oriented approach. This chapter notes that while war journalism draws upon concepts which are masculinist, the softer peace journalism resembles the approach of feminists towards conflicts and cooperation. Feminism has analysed how the categories like state, sovereignty, security and militarization are deeply gendered. The patterns of reporting, however, are seen to follow the mainstream masculinist framework. These masculinist lenses are seldom questioned, and how power operates through these categories is rarely the subject of reporting. Therefore, through a careful study of the news portals, the chapter tries to understand how the discourse on the Rohingya encompasses within it gendered stereotypes and power equations.

Keywords: Rohingya, gender, power, control, state, conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2020

Alter-Geopolitics and the Feminist Challenge to the Securitization of Climate Policy

Citation:

Boyce, Geoffrey Alan, Sarah Launius, Jill Williams, and Todd Miller. 2020. "Alter-Geopolitics and the Feminist Challenge to the Securitization of Climate Policy." Gender, Place & Culture 27 (3): 394-411.

Authors: Geoffrey Alan Boyce, Sarah Launius, Jill Williams, Todd Miller

Abstract:

In the United States and beyond the challenges of global climate change are increasingly being governed via the militarization of nation-state borders rather than, or in addition to, the mitigation of carbon emissions and collective strategies for climate adaptation. In this article we apply the concept of “geopopulationism,” introduced by Bhatia et al. (this issue), to think through the zero-sum Manichaean logics of traditional geopolitical calculation and the ways these become applied to climate governance via the securitization of climate change-related migration. In order to disrupt this securitization of climate policy, we draw on the insights of feminist geopolitics and what Koopman calls “alter-geopolitics” to consider how contemporary grassroots movements like the Sanctuary movement and #BlackLivesMatter have made connections between political, economic and environmental vulnerabilities while developing relationships of solidarity and care that broaden, disseminate, distribute and regenerate security as an expansive and inclusive project. We conclude by considering ways that scholars can continue to ally ourselves with and contribute to these grassroots efforts.

Keywords: climate change, geopopulationism, migration, security, feminist geopolitics, alter-geopolitics, social movements

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security

Year: 2020

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