‘We thought that when we had peace we would get equality but now we’ve realised that until we get equality we won’t have peace.’ (Palestinian woman)
Feminist theory teaches us conflicts, wars and militarism are gendered processes. They use, maintain and often promote the ideological construction of gender in the definitions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ and of course have disproportional impact on women and children, particularly the girl child. In effect, what that means is that men go to war to defend national/state values, territories, and borders and protect and defend their ‘own’ women and children. Women are regarded as ‘the protected’ and ‘the defended’ which inevitably means women having to ‘survive the violence’ and ‘patch and mend the war-torn societies’ instead of their equal participation in contributing to the democratic development, enforcement of rights and justice, and creating human security for all.
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