Militarism, Conflict and Violence
Militarization is an increasing and global phenomenon. Spending for arms, security forces and wars make up major proportions of national budgets and fuel the global economy. A number of actors, increasingly from the private sector, profit hugely from militarization. Meanwhile, military might is used to sustain, and sometimes challenge, dominant economic powers. Very often, conflicts are directly linked to economic interests such as control of territories and natural resources such as land, oil, water and minerals.
Increased militarism and conflict has a number of gender-specific impacts. Gender-based violence escalates before, during and after wars, with some forms of violence against women such as rape already recognized as war crimes. In militarized contexts, with paramilitary groups and organized crime—and their scope of control and power—on the rise, feminicides and attacks on women’s human rights defenders have become commonplace and increasingly normalized.
How is women’s limited economic power – in homes, in national and global budgets – linked to gender-based violence, in particular for those women who are multiply marginalized? How are women’s anti-militarism campaigns and roles in transitional justice processes directly addressing economic inequalities? What strategies have been successful in ensuring that women’s rights defenders are adequately protected? What kind of responses are women’s rights defenders themselves building? Which tools used in peace building processes and which visions of ‘security’ encompass economic well-being for women?
Nighat Dad, Bytes for All (Pakistan)