Women, Girls and War

Women and girls are underrepresented among combatants but overrepresented among the victims of armed conflict. According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM], 70 percent of casualties in recent conflicts have been civilians, the majority of them women and children. With the breakdown of infrastructure in conflict zones, women’s struggles to provide food, water and care for their families and communities are exacerbated. Sexual exploitation, harassment and assault are common challenges for both women soldiers and civilians. Rape as a systemic weapon of armed conflict is now widely recognized as a war crime. The United Nations has passed numerous resolutions on women, peace and security (most notably UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which recognizes women’s multiple roles in war and peace) and, in 2008, passed Resolution 1820 calling for more stringent measures to combat sexual violence in armed conflict.

Expert Profile

Location: 
United States
42° 22' 30.3492" N, 71° 6' 20.1888" W

Megan MacKenzie recently spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for International Security and the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School, Harvard University. Her research areas include gender and development, international relations, security studies, and post-conflict transitions. Megan is excited to be teaching courses related to these research interests, including a new course called “Sex, Power and Post-Conflict Reconstruction.” . 

Location

Cambridge, MA
United States
42° 22' 30.3492" N, 71° 6' 20.1888" W
Associated Issues & Expertise:

Women, War, Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-Building (Progress of the World’s Women 2002, Vol. 1)

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.
 

URL: 
http://www.unifem.org/materials/item_detail.php?ProductID=17

Clinton Speaks on Women and Girls at Afghan Conference/Remarks at the International Conference on Afghanistan

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon, everyone. I think we have just wrapped up a very productive conference and we have seen the results of cooperation in the international community on a number of very important issues. I want to thank Prime Minister Brown and Foreign Secretary Miliband, the Government of Afghanistan, and the United Nations for bringing us all together and sponsoring this important meeting.
 

 

And I think that what we have seen is a global challenge that is being met with a global response. I especially thank the countries that have committed additional troops, leading with our host country, the United Kingdom, but including Italy, Germany, Romania. We also are grateful to all those who made their contributions known today. There are other countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, who are providing air space rights and other transit assistance.
 

 

Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice

Volume 16, Number 1, March 2004

Symposium: Women, Human Security
and Globalization

Special Editor: Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women

Contents:

Linda Basch, Human Security, Globalization, and Feminist Visions
Mary Robinson, An Ethical, Human-Rights Approach to Globalization
Kristen Timothy, Human Security Discourse at the United Nations
Sadako Ogata, The Human Security Commission's Strategy
Charlotte Bunch, A Feminist Human Rights Lens
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Gender, Globalization and New Threats to Human Security
J. Ann Tickner, Feminist Responses to International Security Studies
Deborah L. Rhode, Gender and the U.S. Human Rights Record
Leith Mullings, Domestic Policy and Human Security in the U.S.
Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey, Women Opposing U.S. Militarism in East Asia
Sally L. Kitch and Margaret A. Mills, Appropriating Women's Agendas

Teaser: 

Symposium: Women, Human Security and Globalization

Cover Image: 

Impact of War and Militarization on Women

May 24, 2009 posted by admin

Last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 1820 recognized sexual violence as a war crime. Its passage is often cited as a milestone.  Given so many conflicts around the globe, however, what was this resolution’s real impact? If your heart drops every time you think about the continuing rape in the Congo, you are not alone! For NCRW’s upcoming Annual Conference we have assembled a special panel featuring experts on women, war and security. 


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The Impact of the Global Recession

April 17, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The Gender Policy Group at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs organized a lively panel discussion on “Gender, Jobs and This Recession” on Monday, April 13, 2009. I was invited to speak on the panel along with Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Wolfe, Subha Barry and Heidi Brown. Here are the main points that I addressed: The current economic crisis is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and impact; here’s what the current economic crisis looks like within the United States.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that current unemployment stands at 13.2 million.
  • 5.1 million jobs have been lost since December 2007.
  • The subprime lending crisis has particularly hit hard women and people of color because of predatory lending practices. NCRW’s research has shown that African American and Latina women borrowers are most likely to receive sub-prime loans at every income level. Women are 32% more likely than men to receive subprime mortgages.
  • In the financial sector, men’s unemployment in Feb was 6.9% while for women it was 6.6%
  • There have been increased reports of women who were secondary breadwinners in their households having to now become primary wage earner because of layoffs.

At the international level, the picture remains pretty grim as well:


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: Elizabeth Holtzman Demands We Not Forget About Women

January 9, 2009 posted by admin New years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now.  Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people.  I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office.  The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives.  Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims.  With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor?  Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children.  I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Things to do Now to Stop Violence against Women

December 16, 2008 posted by admin If Vice-President-elect Joe Biden called me up seeking my input on how to build support for initiatives to end violence against women, I’d first thank him for wanting to hear from a young American woman, and a survivor of abuse, because it’s often women’s lack of political voice that enables violence to continue.  Acknowledging Biden’s longtime advocacy on this issue, most notably, his drafting of the Violence Against Women Act (1994), I’d say, Joe, if you want to build support for this important law, and make sure it truly is the “greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades” (NOW), it’s time to break through the military code of silence surrounding servicewomen survivors of sexual assault, and realize that to really end violence towards women, we must end war.  As we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week, People magazine released the story of three enlisted women who were brutally murdered at Ft. Bragg, NC.  One in three women who join the US military will be sexually assaulted or raped by men in the military.  And in Iraq the Army may be covering up the rape and murder of dozens of women soldiers. 


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Enemies Within: Silence and Wartime Rape at Home and Abroad

December 16, 2008 posted by admin What does a skills training center for women in Sierra Leone, a village in Rwanda and an entire district in the Democratic Republic of Congo have in common? At each location, you are likely to find that the majority -- in some cases nearly all -- of the women and girls have been raped. What do women in these African countries have in common with women in the United States military? Silence and Inaction. A recent article reported that more than 37 women GIs in Iraq have experienced sexual violence at the hands of their own comrades: “The women…have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults.”


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TRANSITION FORUM --- National Women’s Studies Association Leader Allison Kimmich Calls for Federal Dept of Women’s Affairs

November 7, 2008 posted by Linda Basch Linda Basch: What is your vision for an Obama administration?  Who are your ideal Cabinet picks?  What new offices, government departments, or agencies would you like to see set up?


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