Gender and Militarization: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace


The Women Peacemakers Program's Global Consultati on: ‘Gender and Militarization: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace’ proceeded, and fed into, the Small Actions, Big Movements conference. The meeting made a statement to the WRI conference opening:


WPP Global Consultation: Gender and Militarization: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace’

The Town Hall, Cape Town South Africa, July 2-4, 2014

We, participants of WPP Global Consultation on ‘Gender and Militarization: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace’, held in the City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa, July 2-4, 2014, wish to send our solidarity and good wishes to WRI conference and delegates.

Through this statement, we wish to convey our message that we are determined to take forward the agenda of making women and women’s realities part of existing peace and security framework, but it should not go without analyzing the current peace and security framework through a critical gender lens. We also appeal to look at gender beyond a narrow focus on women and integrate an intersectional approach that gives space for realities of race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity; and masculinities perspectives on the women, peace, and security agenda by exploring links between nationalism and violent masculinities and militarism. It is important to redefine these links, by unpacking the meaning of peace in the world, and exploring the transformative potentials of UNSCR 1325, which is the first UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security (2000).

As we are approaching the 15th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325, we recognize that implementation of the resolution has been both inadequate and mainly “technical”, with major gaps and challenges in terms of resourcing implementation as well as a lack of political will. Participants to the WPP Consultation agreed that there is a need for a holistic and transformative approach in pushing the agenda forward.

This consultation deliberated and identified the following challenges:

  • Opening the gender box, including power analysis of masculinity, entitlement of patriarchy.

  • The militarism of daily life, which includes the war machine, military industrial complex and the role of global capitalism in militarization.

  • Structural violence, including economic, political, inter-personal violence, and violent masculinity as the dominant and often only legitimate form of masculinity.

  • Defining the purpose of nonviolence.

  • Regulation of banking and limits placed on social justice activism as a result, encroaching on civil society freedom to work.

  • Internet vulnerability by government and third party spying on activists, resulting in violations of civil liberties, and increasing vulnerability of human rights defenders.

  • Particular violence against Women Human Rights Defenders by State and non-State actors.

  • Top-down and exclusive international processes that limit participation of regional and local activists in strategizing for peace, security, and development.

  • Limited resources for women’s rights, peace, and disarmament/anti-militarism advocacy and activism/ alternatives.

  • Contribution of popular media in promoting militarism, misogyny, violent masculinity, and war as the only solution.

As you begin this conference, we ask that you continue the spirit of partnership and collaboration toward transformative peace, and a future built on equality, justice, and human rights for all. Working for peace and an end to militarization requires an intersectional understanding of the realities from which all of us come from and the diverse experiences we have with political, economic, and social violence. In working for transformative peace, we ask that you consider in this conference the challenges we have highlighted, with the hope that your contribution strengthens the collective effort to address these concerns.

Statement delivered on July 4, 2014, by Isabelle Geuskens and Netsai Mushonga, during opening WRI Conference


Download the statement as a .doc

Download the statement as a .pdf

See Women Peacemakers Program's website for more information on their work.

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