Militarism, Conflict and Violence

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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?

Related Resources

  1. Global Burden of Armed Violence: When Victim is a Woman, 2011
  2. Burma: War rape reports continue unabated as government denies accounts, Women’s News Network, October 19, 2011
  3. Women, Gender and Gun Violence in the Middle East, IANSA, October 2011
  4. Africa: More Dangerous to Be a Woman Than a Soldier, IPS, September 30, 2011
  5. Intersections of Violence Against Women and Militarism, CWGL, June 2011
  6. Sri Lanka: Battles Ahead for Women, IRIN, September 8, 2011
  7. Iraq: Fight for Women’s Rights Begins All Over Again, IPS, September 13, 2011
  8. Kenya-Somalia, Refugees at Risk of Sexual Violence, IRIN, September 8, 2011
  9. DRC: Remedies and Reparations for Victims of Sexual Violence – Report to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, March 2011
  10. Militarism Facts, Global Fund for Women
  11. Guns, Wars and the Domestic Battlefield, Cynthia Cockburn, Open Democracy, March 2011
  12. UN SCR 1325, Implementation in Afghanistan, Afghan Women’s Network, 2011
  13. VIDEO: CWGL + GFW – Feminist Dialog on Militarism and Military Intervention for 16 Days Campaign
  14. VIDEO: Bringing Justice to Women in Burma
  15. Militarism, Violence And Conflict – How Women Bear The Brunt Of War
  16. Interview with Miriam Nobre from the World March of Women

Latest AWID Publications

  1. Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica: An Assessment in progress 2010 – 2011 update

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