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Weapons /Arms

Nuclear Tests and National Virility: Gender and Sexual Politics of Militarization


Oza, Rupal. 2006. “Nuclear Tests and National Virility: Gender and Sexual Politics of Militarization.” In Making of Neoliberal India: Nationalism, Gender, and the Paradoxes of Globalization, 103–33. New York: Routledge.

Author: Rupal Oza


"In this chapter, I explore more fully some of the nascent issues raised earlier, particularly those concerned with national pride and capability. Here am I am concerned with the ways in which these discourses intertwine with masculinity to articulate national capability and status. For instance, during the Miss World Pageant, efforts by the event managers, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, and the state were focused on projecting India’s capability in hosting an international event to prove that “we can do it better than a western country” (Sanghvi 1996). In this chapter, I explore the articulation of the nation in globalization and contrast feminized rhetoric of protection, purity, and contamination with masculinized rhetoric of capability, strength, and virility” (Oza 2006, 103).

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Sexuality, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2006

A Pragmatist Feminist Approach to the Ethics of Weapons of Mass Destruction


Peach, Lucinda Joy. 2004. “A Pragmatist Feminist Approach to the Ethics of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” In Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction, edited by Sohail H. Hashimi and Steven P. Lee, 436–50. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Lucinda Joy Peach

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2004

Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War


Nebesar, D. A. 1998. “Gender-Based Violence as a Weapon of War.” University of California Davis Journal of International Law and Policy 4: 147–80.

Author: D. A. Nebesar


This article focuses on rape as a concrete war strategy used for the purpose of annihilating an entire group of peoples. This article begins with a discussion of the historical background of rape in wartime (Section I). The article then turns to rape as a weapon of war in the former Yugoslavia (Section II). Section III discusses forced pregnancy and forced maternity as illustrative of the particular nature of rape in the Balkan conflict. Section IV explores the aftermath of rape for women survivors and specifically its cultural and familial ramifications. This section also discusses forced prostitution and prostitution as a result of rape in war. Section V explores the role pornography may have played in creating and exacerbating this scenario. Section VI addresses whether international legal mechanisms can provide effective remedies. Section VII discusses the definition of this war as either international or internal and the ramifications of each. Finally, rape in during armed conflict is compared and contrasted to rape that takes place during peace time.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Balkans

Year: 1998

Girls and Small Arms in Sierra Leone: Victimization, Participation, and Resistance


Denov, Myriam, and Richard Maclure. 2005. “Girls and Small Arms in Sierra Leone: Victimization, Participation, and Resistance.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Honolulu, March 5.

Authors: Myriam Denov, Richard Maclure


Despite the protections provided to children under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the issue of child soldiers has become a major global concern. More than 300,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in 41 countries around the world. During Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war, close to 20,000 children were actively engaged as participants in armed struggle. While there is ample descriptive evidence of the conditions and factors underlying the rise of child soldiery in Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the developing world, most of the literature has portrayed this as a uniquely male phenomenon. Yet in Sierra Leone an estimated 30 percent of child soldiers in oppositional forces were girls. So far, however, there is little empirical information that distinguishes the experiences of these girls from those of boys. In particular, very little is known about the forces that propelled girls into armed conflict, about their experiences and perceptions of war, or about their unique psycho-social needs. Likewise, while demobilization and reintegration have been recognized as essential to sustainable peace-building in Sierra Leone, there are clear risks that implementation of such programmes will proceed according to conditionalities that fail to acknowledge gender distinctions and the ideal of 'empowering' female and male youth. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 32 Sierra Leonean girls formerly in fighting forces, this paper traces girls' perspectives and experiences with small arms and the implications of their involvement in armed conflict. It highlights the multi-faceted world that girls were forced to contend with - one in which the realities of victimization, perpetration, and resistance were experienced in a shifting and dialectical fashion.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Girls, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2005

"Pack Your Heat and Work the Streets" - Weapons and the Active Construction of Violent Masculinities


Myrttinen, Henri. 2004. “‘Pack Your Heat and Work the Streets’ - Weapons and the Active Construction of Violent Masculinities.” Women and Language 27 (2): 29–34.

Author: Henri Myrttinen


This article examines the links between weapons and violent enactments of masculinity. The connections operate on several levels, ranging from the actual use of weapons to the often sexualized use of language surrounding weapons, and vary depending on what messages are to be conveyed in each situation. An understanding of these various interconnections is an essential precondition to 'disarming' violent notions of masculinity.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2004

Fathering the Unthinkable: Masculinity, Scientists, and the Nuclear Arms Race


Easlea, Brian. 1983. Fathering the Unthinkable: Masculinity, Scientists, and the Nuclear Arms Race. London: Pluto Press.

Author: Brian Easlea

Keywords: masculinity, weapon of war

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Weapons /Arms

Year: 1983

Girls as “Weapons of Terror” in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leonean Rebel Fighting Forces


McKay, Susan. 2005. "Girls as 'Weapons of Terror' in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leonean Rebel Fighting Forces." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28 (5): 385-97. 

Author: Susan McKay


Girls—both willingly and unwillingly—participate in terrorist acts within the context of contemporary wars. These acts range from targeting civilians for torture and killing to destroying community infrastructures so that people's physical and psychological health and survival are affected. Girls witness or participate in acts such as mutilation, human sacrifice, forced cannibalism, drug use, and physical and psychological deprivation. This article focuses upon girls in two fighting forces: the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone and their roles as combatants whose primary strategy is perpetrating terrorist acts against civilians. In analyses of gender and terrorism, girls are typically subsumed under the larger category of female, which marginalizes their experiences and fails to recognize that they possess agency and power.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Terrorism, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2005

Mapping the Use of Guns in Violence Against Women: Findings From Three Studies


Vetten, Lisa. 2006. “Mapping the Use of Guns in Violence against Women: Findings from Three Studies.” African Studies Review 15 (2): 86–92.

Author: Lisa Vetten


This article explores the role of firearms in acts of violence against women in South Africa, drawing on three datasets: one investigating the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), the second exploring gang rapes, and the third documenting intimate femicide. In relation to domestic violence, it was found that while guns were referred to in one in four applications for protection, their removal was ordered in only two per cent of applications. Both a provincial femicide study and a national female homicide study found guns to be the leading cause of death for women killed by their intimate male partners and found that in the majority of cases, the gun was legally owned. In contrast, in the gang rape study it is more likely that the guns were illegally owned. The involvement of a firearm in gang rapes highlights the fact that guns not only fulfill the functional purpose of intimidation and injury, but also communicates power and masculine display. The three studies point to the need to train magistrates around the necessity to remove firearms in cases of domestic violence and that it is essential to challenge the symbolic associations between masculinity and power.

Keywords: domestic violence, rape

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2006

Gender, Violence, and Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in East and West Timor


Abdullah, Saleh, and Henri Myrttinen. 2004. Gender, Violence, and Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in East and West Timor. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: INSIST.

Authors: Saleh Abdullah, Henri Myrttinen


This paper will look at issues of gender, violence and small arms in East Timor, and, where applicable given the continued presence of East Timorese militia and refugees there, in West Timor. The paper will discuss: 1.The issue of SALW in East and West Timor as a whole during the conflict (1974-1999) as well as in the post-conflict situation; 2. Constructions of gender in East Timorese society during the years of conflict, looking at non-combatant civilians, pro-independence Falintil (For as Armadas de Liberta o Nacional de Timor Leste) guerrillas and the pro-Indonesian militia groups; 3. Gendered identities in the post-conflict situation, examining again non-combatant civilians, ex-combatant Falintil not included in the new security forces, the new national security forces (F-FDTL and PNTL) as well as the militia groups; and 4. Role of SALW in violence in East and West Timor, focusing on gendered/sexualised violence. Given the central role played by the United Nations and other international agencies in the post-conflict situation, the paper will also discuss the impacts that these actors had and include recommendations for future involvements by them.

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Non-state Armed Groups, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2004

Gender and Small Arms: Moving into the Mainstream


Schroeder, Emily, and Lauren Newhouse. 2004. Gender and Small Arms: Moving into the Mainstream. 104. Pretoria, South Africa: Institute for Security Studies.

Authors: Emily Schroeder, Lauren Newhouse

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2004


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