Militarisation of Women Soldiers In Africa Essay Example
An increasing number of people are demanding equal rights for women. Do these equal rights imply equal responsibilities and military service for women? And should military service include combat roles? With an aim of justifying the women’s rights, Mary Wollstonecraft raised a question regarding the inclusion of women in military services (Cockburn, 2012). She assumed that women’s vocation were exempted them from bearing arms. She affirms that equal rights did not imply bearing arms. However, militarism involves more than arms bearing and practice to war. Enloe defines militarization as a process with both material and ideological dimensions (Cockburn, 2012). The more a society becomes militarized, the more difficult it becomes to separate military and non-military structures and to distinguish clearly their purpose and procedures. The military becomes a less discrete and more pervasive element in the society (Wiseman 1988:231). This retrospect paper discusses the issue of women in the contemporary society with respect to their position and how the world views them.
Militarization has become so rampant that questions such as what are it consequence, preceded by its propensity of rolling it up arises (Cockburn, 2012). Mohanty (2013) in under the western eyes; identifies colonization themes as aspects describing women in the third world as archetypal victims. The western feminist thinks colonization as the physical strategies that consolidate economic, political and social system dominance. However, Mohanty focuses on discursive colonization which depicts non-western as poor, tradition attuned, uneducated and victims that have been categorized without ethnic, racial and class contexts. According to Mohanty (2013) discursive colonialism reproduces unequal relations of power.
Mohanty (2013) presents ethnocentric notion that do not integrate diversity among the female gender that are well placed in wider geographical locations, identifying them with a universal identity archetypal victims. The “third world woman” is categorized as a hegemonic entity. Mohanty (1988) criticizes what she conceptualizes as failure of Western feminism to theorize accurately and critically the renowned phrase “third world feminisms.” Additionally, Mohanty (1988) postulate that the over-generalization of women negatively influences their existing solidarity and unity; hence separating them into two entities. These groups include women described as universally liberated, Western women, women enjoying equality with full control of their sexuality and bodies. Tentatively, these women are thought as intelligent, superior and educated. Secondly, the non- western women or “third world women” are described as women who are universally victimized, uneducated sexually harassed and hence in need some form of liberalization.
Western feminists are the western scholars who work on the third world women and deny them discursive biases and status as active participants in the society. For instance, writers such as Hosken , Cutrufelli, Minces, and Lindsay showcase the codification of scholarly assertion that presents the “third world women” as the collective other (Raval, 2009). Hosken and Lindsay discuss the relationship between female genital mutilation in the Middle East and Africa (Raval, 2009). They describe the African women as victims of male violence, in other words, they ate portrayed as individuals who are constantly distant themselves as a group of individuals sharing similar political goals; otherwise known as dualism. In the event that the female gender finds an opportunity to live as victims, they are susceptible to being perpetrators; a further challenge to the realization of the feminist vision in their fight for justice and equality (Raval, 2009). This type of western feminism positions itself as an aspect that thinks on behalf of the helpless individuals.
As mentioned earlier, “the third world woman” is portrayed as un- educated, sexually battered woman who needs salvation, unlike the western woman. Writers such as Mary Cutrufelli claim since the female gender are dependent on their male counterparts for financial security, their main income sources are thought to be obtained from prostitution. Mohanty (2013) criticizes such assertions; where women are idealized as homogenous groupings that are typified as dependants (Mohanty 2013).
There are several stereotypes that have been formulated to undermine the “third world woman”. The “third world” woman is viewed in relation based particularly on their cultural practices. Veiling in Arabian countries, for example, was thought to the way of control over a woman’s sexual tendencies. Arguably, Mohanty (2013) postulates such assertions as vague, and that it is encouraged to view such cultural perspective from a positive perspective; where its historical approach has played a major role in this. In the early 18th century, veiling was viewed as a strategy for women solidarity in supporting the working class women that were actively involved in street demonstrations (Banakar, 2013). Arguably, during the post-Iranian revolution period, the women were compelled to use veils as a mandatory religious practice.
Mohanty (2013) identifies three important aspects of that are idealized as problematic in the Westernized feminism. Firstly, are the discussions that idealized women with respect to contemporary analysis. It argues that westernized approach idealize women as a historical group; undifferentiated under aspects scubas geographical locations and class, to name a few. Tentatively, the female gender is idealized as object status. Mohanty (2013) postulates the problematic incorporation in justifying her first presumption. This can be done by three strategies; evidencing universal phenomena that showcases an arithmetic theory in which occurrence of unwarranted context is given similar supremacy in the arguments of women rights and position. Secondly, aspects such as family, religion and reproduction are used in their historical specificity. Lastly, super-ordinate groups such as nature-culture and/or male-female aspects are used to differentiate categories and cross-cultural works (Banakar, 2013). Mohanty (2013) suggests that the assumptions from the two arguments create a model highlighting the struggles and objectivity in the development that does not permit agency among studied women
Mohanty (2013) criticizes western feminist advocates like Abdela (1940-2015), have constructed third world women. In of the contemporary continuing globalization, women are unrepresented and stereotyped in international and global fronts, notably news media. Nevertheless, there are television shows commercials and movies which have to raise the standards of third world women in the society. For example, T.D Jakes is a well-renowned writer who aids women in their fight against men, especially in marriages. He is one of the best-selling American authors. Movies such “how to get away with murder” and “Scandal “ both written by Shonda Rhymes have portrayed women who are capable to hold high position in the society and who are well outspoken in both the women are depicted as the main characters who fight for other women rights and are listened to (Banakar, 2013). Jolie portrayal of a mental patient cements the connection of transgressive glamor and illness of the present generation of young women (Al-Sarrani and Alghamdi, 2014). This shows a society that can look past gender and embraces women as no longer being inferior but acceptable too in the society.
In 1993, Vienna Austria, during the international conference on human rights, hundreds of women from all regions of the world proclaimed that women and girls human rights are inalienable and indispensable part of globally recognized rights. At the fourth international women rights conference, a well document law included the rights of women and girls including poverty and education (Al-Sarrani and Alghamdi, 2014). Whereas, there were documents to support women rights during the US military bombings in Afghanistan, women and children too were affected. When the first lady Laura Bush came in aid of the US government against the attack of the Afghan women, Sharon Smith (2005) criticized that move as a cynical public relation ploy. She claimed that the US government desire was not to free the Afghan women but to further their global dominance.
The well-documented human rights violation perpetrated by the regime of Saddam Hussein have lost moral energy as a justification for liberation in the wake of spring 2004 revelation about the US military abuses against prisoners under their control. This is because the us government under Bush administration refused to label as torture acts that have taken place in prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the Guantanamo Bay. In contrast to denials of human rights violation, American soldiers are captured smiling proudly while viewing naked bodies of Iraq prisoners. The general public and the media did not focus on human rights as the American military had dominance at the expense of human rights since sexual and racial humiliation was practiced (Al-Sarrani and Alghamdi, 2014).
Following US military bombings of September 11 in Afghanistan, questions began to arise about the relations between gender and human rights this is what is referred to as cultures of security. Security cultures imply that visual and textual strategies are conceptualized as aspects that promote violence and fear in a state, from a foreign force and a promise of subsequent protection from such aspects (Banakar, 2013). The citizens in return are compelled to follow the political, ideological and legal framework outlined in various functions. For instance the terror attacks on the Kenyan government, in the wake of 2015, can promote a culture of security. Cybersecurity and Espionage can contribute to a culture of security (McKenzie and Karimi, 2015).
Concerns for human rights can intersect, disrupt or support security regulations and military intervention. This concerns can intersect security regulations and military invention when, for instance, a nameless woman figured can become a symbol of U.S charity and good will since this portrait is seen everywhere as one that needs help. On the other hand, it is disruptive since the third world subjects namely women are seen as passive victims and depicts them as “authentic insiders” yet they call authority into question. In addition, the use of these images enabled the first lady Laura bush to defend Afghanistan bombings and also provide hope to Afghanistan where the American’s would join their families in restoring women and children dignity, yet the U.S. government strategy wasn’t to free the Afghan women but to reclaim their status and territory. These concerns too can cause divergent interest among member states and thus prevent organizations such as UN from taking timely action decisively.
Human rights are not encouraged to use images in order to be aided. Since this is sometimes seen as manipulation by other states and thus referred to as “politics of pity.” This is the covering of exploiters with the benefactor’s mask (Al-Sarrani and Alghamdi, 2014). As much as using the aided images may raise awareness in the society, bring charity contribution, it undermines the nature of the subject used which in most cases are women and thus the women are portrayed as inferior in the world countries (Banakar, 2013). In a similar manner, some individuals are compelled to avoid other individual’s sufferance, in the event when applicable solutions can be developed (Ceretti, 2012). It is imperatyuve to consider the global space as an integration between divergent races and genders, hence considering all isssues is pivotal in addressing contemporary issues.
Conclusively, women have been militarized in war by using them as a way of seeking support from well-wishers; some have also been used to justify the government actions during the war as with the case of the first lady Laura Bush. According to Enloe, women are used as tools for the military (Cockburn, 2012). He suggests that military policy makers have compelled women to play imperative roles such as boosting morale and providing comfort and during wars (Cockburn, 2012). Women are viewed as second class parties to the military, but contributors none the less. This, however, undermines the women when their portraits are used to create awareness and look for help after the war. Nonetheless women such as Mohanty have stood their grounds in defending human rights and criticizing those who undermine women. Since 1990, human rights have become the most legitimate and legitimizing juridical and cultural claim made on women’s behalf. However, there are consequences of equating women’s right to human right. Whereas a lot of literature has been presented on women, it is evident that their roles in the contemporary society are imperative and that they are viewed as objects that play inferior roles within the society. The African woman has been thought to be uncivilized, un-westernized and bound to follow
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