EXPLAINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SECURITY AND GENDER
‘It is an inborn for men to fight war but rather there is a mechanism which is put in place and this is training which they undergo. Women also can take part in fighting war after being trained’ (Dannreuther, 2013). This essay dwells much on how security and gender are connected.
To start by the definition of security; the word security is a contested one but according to (Booth, 1991:319) cited by Collins, 2016:6) defined security as ‘freeing of people from anything that can harm them physically and some other human forces that may block them to do what they would choose to do freely’.
It has also to be defined what gender is? Gender can be defined as a ‘socially way by which roles, relationships, status, responsibility and privileges are assigned to both males and females in a given culture’ (Mmimba & Majamanda (2013:69).
Security and gender are related in the way that ‘in most cases men feel that they must be on top positions in security issues because they say that they are brave, more physical fit and mostly they take the protector role compared to women who are not physically fit, are not brave and even from homes they do not assume the protector role. This concludes that gender will face many challenges in security. Culturally men want themselves to be at top position just because are brave than women. But the question might be, if this tendency continues so when shall women voice out their concern in that community of oppression. To build a very good relationship between women and men in security sectors both men and women should be given the same opportunity’.(www.operationspaix.net/DATA/DOCUMENT/7548-V-gender-and-security-guldelines-for Mainstreaming).
The other link between security and gender is that ‘women who are working in male dominated field of security are discriminated mainly when they are pregnant and breastfeeding. Such act affects the women psychologically and their performance at work decreases. This clearly shows that the security institution are not happy with the recruitment of women, not only that but also it is not most often for a woman to be mentioned at all, always are portrayed in a secondary supporting role to men but the truth is that in many ways women are the victims’ (Collins, 2016:6). However in these days many security institutions are recruiting more female soldiers, not only that but also the number of female soldiers who go to peace keeping missions has improved.
‘There is a certain misleading between men and women which brings the relationship between security and gender the misleading is that, traditional literature on security, states that women have been treated as upholders of peace. It is true of cause that women have been involved in international and national movements that promote peace and disarmament but the misleading is that men are responsible for fighting war and women are responsible for peace keeping but the fact is that with the purpose of securing a long term integration of gender perspective in security institutions gender equality has to come in fore front so that both men and women will contribute equal share in other words gender equality has to become part of the Deox Nucleic Acid (DNA) of the security’. (https://www.osce.org/216776?download=true).
‘Whenever there is a need of developing a policy of security, it has to be understood what gender is? For example in the terrorism movement has to be known what it means to be a man or a woman in the movement. There is a misconception that violent activities like terrorism involves men only, while women are also engaged in violent activities in different roles ranging from support activities up to the real action of terrorism. The relationship between security and gender is on the point that terrorism is a security issue, whenever the act of terrorism takes place it means that security is shaken the gender issue comes in when it is referred to the misconception of viewing women as victims and men actively take part in terrorism activities but the truth is that both sexes took part in terrorism in that case security becomes a gender issue’.(https://www.osce.org/sg/216776?download=true.
The other relationship is that is also noted that ‘consideration of gender in security is also important to understanding the fact that men and women face the varying levels of specific situational threats for example the male staff are statistically more affected by violent crimes while female staff are much involved in sexual offense. It has been well observed that due to sexual abuses that women face during war times it has increased the spread of HIV which causes AIDS. Due to war which is an insecurity situation which comes with many effects and some of them is that of spreading of incurable disease, women becomes the victims of that and not women but also the entire family because they leave behind children after their death since their fathers also are the first victims of war they are killed in war. Situations of conflict do wear away traditional values but do not dismantle sexist beliefs. This explains why traditional gender roles resume so easily and quickly after conflicts’ (Turshen 2001:83). ‘Due to the increased percentage of women who are recruited in the security sectors gender based violence cases have gone down, these women took part in supporting their fellow civilian women who are involved in such gender violence not only that but also the judicially have been transformed in order to protect women and girls. It is believed that women are trusted by local chiefs and other people therefore are able to interact with the community. Women in security protect and initiate some projects in the community. In the special branches like the intelligence bureau women are able to gather information needed by the officials’ (Okech A. 2006:2013).
In conclusion indeed security and gender are connected worldwide women have been facing a number of insecurities daily and these are due to the work environment, sexual orientation and failure in service provision by the state among others. By looking at the definition of security though contested one but a human being whether a man or a woman must take part to free others from any threats, where violence and conflict arises that shows a sign of insecurity. Therefore women have to be protected from any violence against them and again upon seen women and men in security institution that will be a clear indication that gender plays a big role in security.

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