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WPP Annual May 24 Publication Gender & Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace

The Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) is happy to announce the launch of its annual May 24 publication “Gender and Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace”. This May 24 Pack comprises of 23 articles written by leading academics, pioneering women peace activists and civil society representatives from all over the world, critically reflecting on the links between gender & militarism from multiple perspectives. The launch took place at the end of WPP’s Global Consultation on Gender and Militarism, taking place from July 2-4 in Cape Town, South Africa.

For already more than ten years, WPP celebrates May 24; International Women’s Day for Peace & Disarmament, with the launch of the annual May 24 Action Pack, emphasizing the importance of women’s participation in, and leadership during peace processes. This year’s pack is a collection of academic articles, personal testimonies and civil society initiatives advocating for awareness and action around the multi-layered connections between gender and militarism, and highlighting gender-sensitive nonviolent action (people power) as a powerful alternative to address conflict. It contains contributions from, among others, Cynthia Cockburn, Cynthia Enloe, Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and the Center of Women’s Global Leadership about the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

With this unique collection of articles we aim to contribute to the many conversations and debates on Women, Peace and Security. From this publication we learn that if we want to achieve sustainable peace, we have to take the experiences of women seriously and need to invest in nonviolent alternatives to address conflict. Isabelle Geuskens, Executive Director, Women Peacemakers Program.
This May 24 Pack is an important resource for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The articles illustrate how militarism, as a system of structural violence, violates human rights and the dignity, safety, and security of women, men and children worldwide. Zarin Hamid, Coordinator Gender-Based Violence Program, Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

The launch of the May 24 Action Pack marked the end of the 2,5 day WPP Global Consultation on Gender & Militarism. This Consultation brought together key stakeholders from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe to discuss and analyze the links between Gender & Militarism. The outcomes will contribute to broadening the current Women, Peace and Security agenda, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Download the the publication here: https://www.womenpeacemakersprogram.org/events/start-wpp-global-consultation-on-gender-and-militarism/


Radford, J. and D. E. H. Russell, Eds. (1992). Femicide. Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
The killing of individual women has sometimes generated feminist anger and inspired acts of protest. But femicide itself – the misogynist killing of women by men – has rarely been the subject of feminist analysis. This anthology represents an attempt to fill this void by bringing together and making more accessible existing writings on femicide and by presenting new material on this subject. Together the contributors address the problem of femicide in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.

Women, War, and Violence: Personal Perspectives and Global Activism.

Chandler, R. M., L. K. Fuller, et al., Eds. (2010). Women, War, and Violence: Personal Perspectives and Global Activism. New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
Women, War, and Violence: Personal Perspectives and Global Activism draws upon a wide global community of activists, scholars, NGOs, and clinicians to expand the definition of how war and its violent underpinnings affects everyday women and families around the world. Benefiting from first-hand research and definitive assessments of gender-based violence interventions, it invites diverse perspectives of interdisciplinary documentation and storytelling beyond traditional academic writing. Reflecting on anti-militarist activism, structural violence, post-war atrocities, government commissions and policy solutions, WWV sheds new light on war-related gender oppression at the intersections of race, national identity, religion, and social class and the need to promote a new paradigm of the equality of men and women.

Gender and Conflict Early Warning: A Framework for Action.

Schmeidl, S. and E. Piza-Lopez (2002). Gender and Conflict Early Warning: A Framework for Action. London, International Alert. http://www.gsdrc.org/go/display&type=Document&id=381

Despite increasing awareness of gender issues in most aspects of conflict processes, it remains largely absent in the pre-conflict context, and the limited, speculative research that does exist suggests that the modelling and analysis of conflict early warning practices would be improved if gender-based perspectives were included. In response, this paper from International Alert and Swisspeace presents an initial framework on how to “engender” conflict early warning.

The paper is divided into two parts: Part one offers a brief overview of definitions, processes and development of conflict early warning. Part two examines links between gender and early warning, and identifies areas where the integration of a gender perspective can improve existing models. By drawing on the experiences of a number of different conflicts throughout the world, a list of gender-sensitive early warning indicators are proposed for the purpose of verification and expansion. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for future research and action, with particular emphasis on conducting empirical tests on the assumptions put forth.

Early warning and conflict prevention is still largely male dominated, and therefore male biased. However, the heightened visibility of gender-based violence, such as the deliberate use of rape and sexual assault during the conflicts of Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda, has pushed the need to better understand gendered forms of violence into the consciousness of policy makers. In addition:

  • Incorporating gender-sensitive indicators into information collection and subsequent analysis allows for previously overlooked signs of instability to be taken into account and concentrates early warning at a grassroots level, anticipating conflict before it spreads to high politics
  • Incorporating gender analysis and perspectives into the formulation of response options ensures discriminatory policies are not perpetuated in post- conflict situations, or new found freedoms reversed
  • Engendering early warning also ensures that responses at a political and humanitarian level address the vulnerabilities specific to women and men but also has far reaching benefits that go beyond the protection of vulnerable groups.

A process of positive discrimination is necessary in order to speed up gender mainstreaming and to integrate the different perspectives women can bring. However, simply pushing women into politics will not make for better early warning. Meaningful contributions to conflict prevention through gender mainstreaming will only be achieved if convincing evidence of the benefits of equality between the sexes is demonstrated. In view of the male dominance of early warning and conflict prevention there is a need to increase the numbers of women in agencies working in the field, particularly at decision making levels, who would:

  • Work on committing the responding institutions to mainstream gender into their operations, to ensure that preventative mechanisms are gender- sensitive and work on achieving gender balance
  • Aim to eliminate existing inequalities and build a critical mass of women who could affect and influence structural processes
  • Develop working relationships between governments, large intergovernmental organisations and more decentralised organisations such as NGOs and local networks including women’s organisations
  • Develop effective systems that proactively draw on micro-level, grassroots efforts involving the larger population, rather than top-down approaches that tend to focus solely on high politics.

War, Women, Peace, Progress of the World’s Women.

Rehn, E. and E. Johnson Sirleaf (2002). War, Women, Peace, Progress of the World’s Women. New York, UNIFEM.
Historically, the world has been silent about the situation of women in war, almost as silent as the women who remain on the sidelines during war or who are excluded from peace negotiations. In addition, women often lack the confidence and the knowledge needed to participate in peace building and reconstruction.

But change is possible. “Women, War and Peace” provides examples of women in embattled regions who have been able to overcome the odds and contribute to the safety and well-being of their communities. Personal stories are shared of women involved in peace efforts.

During the Taliban regime, women in Afghanistan held secret meetings, creating maps of underground home schools and medical help, and dispersed this knowledge with other women. In Sudan, women from opposing ethnic and religious groups joined together to discuss peace; a task that men had not been successful in accomplishing. This consortium of stories reveals that, around the world, much could be accomplished if women had proper support and training. “Women, War and Peace” provides similar recommendations at the end of each chapter so that educators, policy makers or anyone interested in women and peace can understand the steps that would lead to greater progress in the area of peace and conflict resolution.

“Women, War and Peace” covers topics such as peace operations, use of media, reconstruction, health, and prevention. By sharing the personal stories of women involved in these efforts, the book shows that through willingness and support, there is hope that women will be continually involved in peace operations.

The Women and War Reader.

L. A. Lorentzen, Turpin, J. 1998. The Women and War Reader. New York, New York University Press.

War affects women in profoundly different ways than men. Women play many roles during wartime: they are “gendered” as mothers, as soldiers, as munitions makers, as caretakers, as sex workers. How is it that womanhood in the context of war may mean, for one woman, tearfully sending her son off to war, and for another, engaging in civil disobedience against the state? Why do we think of war as “men’s business” when women are more likely to be killed in war and to become war refugees than men?

The Women and War Reader brings together the work of the foremost scholars on women and war to address questions of ethnicity, citizenship, women’s agency, policy making, women and the war complex, peacemaking, and aspects of motherhood. Moving beyond simplistic gender dichotomies, the volume leaves behind outdated arguments about militarist men and pacifist women while still recognizing that there are patterns of difference in men’s and women’s relationships to war.

The Women and War Reader challenges essentialist, class-based, and ethnocentric analysis. A comprehensive volume covering such regions as the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, Iran, Nicaragua, Chiapas, South Africa, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and India, it will provide a much-needed resource. The volume includes the work of over 35 contributors, including Cynthia Enloe, Sara Ruddick, V. Spike Peterson, Betty Reardon, April Carter, Leila J. Rupp, Harriet Hyman Alonso, Francine D’Amico, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, and Carolyn Nordstrom.

Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters.

Naraghi Anderlini, S. (2007). Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters. Boulder, London, Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini’s book, Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why it Matters, offers an account of the role women play in supporting peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction. Much of the discourse surrounding women in conflict and peacebuilding focuses on women’s experiences of victimization, on sexual and gender-based violence, on the loss of livelihoods. As a result, the literature focusing on the relationship between women and peace – itself a small subset of the peacebuilding literature – tends to look at what peacebuilding processes can do for women.

Anderlini insists that this overlooks a crucial issue: the role women can play – and indeed are already playing – in supporting peace in conflict-affected areas. In her book, she argues that, despite the mixed success of existing efforts to support women’s substantive inclusion in peacebuilding, women and women’s movements are already significant actors in conflict-affected areas. They are already engaging extensively and in a valuable way in peacebuilding, peacemaking, and post-conflict reconstruction. This is a useful observation that often goes unaddressed in other works.

The book explores the roles of women in several key areas of peacebuilding: transforming violence and non-violent strategies for conflict prevention; peace negotiations; …

Engendering the Peace Process, A Gender Approach to Dayton – and Beyond.

Lithander, A. (2000). Engendering the Peace Process, A Gender Approach to Dayton – and Beyond. Stockholm, Kvinna till Kvinna.

During war and armed conflicts, particularly internal ones, civil society is usually represented to a great extent by women and women’s organisa-
tions, responsible for holding the societies together and ensuring the safety for children and the elderly. Consequently, as women experience the im-
mediate consequences of war on civil society, theyare in general the first to work for peace and reconciliation.
Still, women’s experiences from times of war are seldom acknowledged in peace negotiations,where the standards for the reconstruction of war-
torn societies are set. The negotiators around the peace table are predominately male representatives of the fighting parties, concentrating on ne-
gotiating an end to war. But if sustainable peace is to be reached, women’s experiences cannot be excluded. “Ensuring women’s participation…en-
hances the legitimacy of the process by making it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of all sectors of the affected population.”
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation (KtK) contribution to “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty First Centu-
ry” (Beijing+5) is a report on the gender aspect in the Dayton Peace Accords for Bosnia and Herzegovina and its implementation, based on the Bei-
jing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference onWomen in September 1995. The Dayton Peace Accords, adopted by the Presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia in December1995, was the first major peace agreement to besigned after the Beijing conference.


States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance.

S. Jacobs, R. Jacobson and J. Marchbank (eds.). 2000. States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance. London, New York, Zed Books.

This is a collection of articles/essays by a number of well-known scholars. Content:

States of conflict. Susie Jacobs, Ruth Jacobson and Jen Marchbank.

Re-packaging the notions of security: A sceptical feminist response to recent efforts. Lee-Ann Broadhead

Wars against women: sexual violence, sexual politics and the militarized state. Liz Kelly.

Transforming conflicts: Some thoughts on a gendered understanding of conflict process. Judy El-Bushra.

Engendering the state in refugee women’s claims for asylum. Heaven Crawley.

Citizen soldier? Class, race, gender, sexuality and the US military. Francine d’Almico.

Shifting relationships and competing discourses in post-Mao China: The All-China Women’s Federation and the People’s Republic. Jude Howell.

Tackling violence against women in Brazil: Converting international principles into effective local policy. Fiona Macauley.

Gender, community, nation: The myth of innocence. Parita Mukhta.

Women and peace in Northern Ireland: A complicated relationship. Ruth Jacobsson.

Revealing silence: Voices from South Africa. Teboho Maitse.

Globalisation, states and women’s agency: Possibilities and pitfalls. Susie Jacobs.





Gender inclusive. Essays on violence, men and feminist international relations.

Jones, A. (2009). Gender inclusive. Essays on violence, men and feminist international relations. London and New York, Routledge.

Offers a reinterpretation of gender and mass violence. This work explores issues surrounding ‘gendercide’ including: how gender shapes men and women as victims and perpetrators of mass violence, including genocide. It discusses genocidal violence throughout modern history, with a particular focus on the Balkans and Rwanda.