Violent Peace : Women and the Effects of a Militarized Concept of Security

University essay from Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättigheter

Abstract: In today's public discourse we are often reminded that we live in a dangerous world. The perception of danger is needed in order to convince people that excessive military budgets are necessary and that the military activity of foreign soldiers in the close vicinity of our homes could be acceptable. Yet while warnings of danger may be true, few people take the time to ask the question; dangerous for whom? Surely meanings and experiences of security are highly varied and subjective and securing the environment for one individual is not a insurance that this security will be felt by all. A militarized concept of security might sound like a paradox yet the military in forms of peacekeeping troops and national armies play a vital role in the promotion of peace and security in the international setting as it is today. The effects of a pro-longed military presence on women are fragmented and highly complicated. Studies have shown that a foreign military presence will usually have a disproportionately altering effect of women's economic possibilities, which will in turn expose them to situations that affect their reproductive health (through unwanted pregnancies or STDs), their social status and their physical and mental health through sexual violence.

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