This collection of essays by feminist scholar-activists addresses the crucial problem of human security in a world of heavily armed, militarized states. It describes the gendered aspects of human security excluded from the realist militarism that dominates current security policy in most nation states. The book deepens and broadens current security discourses, encouraging serious consideration of alternatives to the present global security system that functions to advantage state security over human security, a system the contributors perceive to be rooted in the patriarchal nature of the nation state.
This second edition will be of interest to academics and students of gender studies, women’s studies, international studies, development studies, human rights, security studies, peace studies and peace education.
‘Betty A. Reardon and Asha Hans have provided an essential gift for anyone fed up and tired of war. This book, on why we need to figure out and implement alternatives to war, and why gender and war are totally related, belongs in every women’s and gender studies classroom, every peace studies and peace education course, on the reading lists for peace organizations and on the night tables of government officials and generals who take our money and send our youth to kill and be killed. The time for war to go has come. It steals resources from desperately needed health and education budgets among other needed domestic programmes; it destroys people and other living things. We have advanced in science, technology, art and music, how come we can’t settle our differences without killing each other and destroying our homes, polluting water supplies and torturing the enemy?
‘It’s time to abolish war,’ declared 10,000 people at the end-of-the-century Hague Appeal for Peace conference in 1999. That call for institutional change could be traced to the 50-year-old motto of Women Strike for Peace — ‘War is not healthy for children or other living things. And, as UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 on women, peace and security and 1820 on sexual abuse of women make clear, war is not healthy for women. The men at the table who unanimously adopted these resolutions understood that neither oppression of women nor war would cease without women’s full participation in the politics of security. Gender equality is essential to the reduction and elimination of armed conflict. The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, now a UN document (A/54/98), has 50 points for getting from a culture of war to a culture of peace, including assurances of gender equality and the demilitarization of security. It also proposes the institutional changes needed to eliminate war. A decade after the publication of The Hague Agenda and the adoption of SCR 1325, the editors and contributors to The Gender Imperative: Human Security vs State Security call for applying ourselves to the same goal through serious public discussion of alternatives to war. We can’t wait for another war. It’s must reading now.’
Cora Weiss, a leader of Women Strike for Peace; President of The Hague Appeal for Peace; Former President of the International Peace Bureau; and among the civil society initiators of Security Council Resolution 1325
‘Betty A. Reardon and Asha Hans have brought together in this volume a collection of powerful statements on the human cost of militarism and set before us a line of serious inquiry into possibilities for alternatives. The contributors paint vivid pictures of the interplay between the gendered inequality integral to militarism and the consequent frustration of human security. We Afghan women know well the price of war and understand that our human security depends upon peace. As one who has so long worked to provide the education necessary for women’s full participation in their own and world society, I welcome this book as an important contribution to the global movement for gender equality, peace and human security.’
Founder and Director, Afghan Institute for Learning; recipient of several awards for contribution to the education of Afghan women
‘This volume commits to the daring task of reclaiming the notion of Utopia. Against the grain of dismissive real politique, its scholaractivist authors study the practicalities of demilitarizing national security systems in a crucial expansion of the body of feminist analyses and knowledge of the essentially patriarchal worldwide war system. A concrete exploration of security for and of the living individual human beings who make up states, this project is sorely needed and inspiring, a rare resource for scholars, activists and scholar-activists alike.’
Rela Mazali, author and contributor to Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Small Arms and Light Weapons (2009); and member of New Profile, a women’s peace organization working for the demilitarization of Israeli and world society
‘The book is an excellent contribution to the discourse on human security and to the vision of a truly secure humanity and planet Earth. Skeptics may say that the vision of the authors is utopian but this attitude is in itself a characteristic of patriarchal thinking, dismissing alternative thinking and proposals as unrealistic and impossible.’
Loreta Navarro-Castro, Global Campaign for Peace Education, January 2011
List of Contributors. Foreword by Ingeborg Breines. Introduction: Challenging Patriarchal Violence Section 1. Confronting the Militarized State Security Paradigm: Human Security from a Feminist Perspective 1. Women and Human Security: A Feminist Framework and Critique of the Prevailing Patriarchal Security System Betty A. Reardon 2. Gendered Insecurity under Long-term Military Presence: The Case of Okinawa Kozue Akibayashi and Suzuyo Takazato 3. Human Security and Layers of Oppression: Women in South Africa Bernedette Muthien Section 2. Patriarchal Conditioning to Violence and Human Insecurity 4. Challenging the Patriarchal National Security Paradigm: The Role of Ethiopian Women in Peace and Security Mesfin G. Ayele 5. War and Armed Conflict: Threat to African Women’s Human Security Fatuma Ahmed Ali 6. Sexual Violence and Genocide, the Greatest Violation of Human Security: Responses to the Case of Darfur Lisa S. Price 7. Security Discourses: A Gender Perspective Michele W. Milner Section 3. Militarization/Demilitarization: Eroding and Promoting Human Security 8. Seeking Human Security in a Militarized Pacific: Struggles for Peace and Security by Pacific Island Women Ronni Alexander 9. Education, Violence and Schools: The Human Security of Girls in Afghanistan Rev. Chloe Breyer 10. Opposing Militarism: Soldiers’ Mothers in Russia Valerie Zawilski Section 4. Alternative and Transitional Approaches to Human Security 11. Security Council Resolution 1325: Toward Gender Equality in Peace and Security Policy Making Soumita Basu 12. Jordanian Women’s Concepts of Human Security Norma Nemeh 13. Gender, Health, Peace and Security Albie Sharpe 14. An Experiment in Transition from Military to Human Security Asha Hans 15. Patriarchy and the Bomb: Banning Nuclear Weapons Against the Opposition of Militarist Masculinities Ray Acheson. Conclusion: Framing a Gender and Human Security Discourse: Initiating the Inquiry Annexure: Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820. Index