Women in National Security and International Humanitarian Law Compliance


Abstract


In recent years, national governments have started to use the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda to advocate for increasing women’s participation in national militaries. This has raised questions regarding women’s potential impact on compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL). In this article, we examine existing evidence and arguments on the potential impact of women’s increased participation in national militaries and decision-making on international security and IHL compliance. We find some theoretical support for the idea that increasing the participation of women in the national security sector and national militaries may lead to increased IHL compliance through the prioritization of non-violent policies and improved decision-making. However, a substantive body of research on the limits imposed by the substantive gendering of institutions and idealization of masculine traits and practices calls women’s potential impact on IHL compliance into question.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v8n1p23

Keywords: WPS; international humanitarian law; war crimes; women, peace and security

References


Antonio, A. L., Chang, M. J., Hakuta, K., Kenny, D. A., Levin, S., & Milem, J. F. (2004). Effects of racial diversity on complex thinking in college students. Psychological Science, 15(8), 507–510. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00710.x

Barnes, T.D., & O’Brien, D.Z. (2018). Defending the Realm: The Appointment of Female Defense Ministers Worldwide. American Journal of Political Science, 62(2), 355–368. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12337

Bergman Rosamond, A., & Kronsell, A. (2018). Cosmopolitan militaries and dialogic peacekeeping: Danish and Swedish women soldiers in Afghanistan. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20(2), 172–187. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616742.2017.1378449

Best, R.H., Shair-Rosenfield, S. & Wood, R.M. (2019). Legislative Gender Diversity and the Resolution of Civil Conflict. Political Research Quarterly, 72(1), 215–228. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912918785459

Bolzendahl, C. Y Brooks, C. (2007). Women’s Political Representation and Welfare State Spending in 12 Capitalist Democracies. Social Forces, 85(4), 1509–1534. https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.2007.0061

Brooks, R. (2020). It’s Time for a Woman to Run the Defense Department, The New York Times. Viewed 6 January 2021 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/30/opinion/defense-department-woman-secretary-biden.html

Brown, M.T. (2012). Enlisting Masculinity: The Construction of Gender in US Military Recruiting Advertising during the All-Volunteer Force. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842827.001.0001

Butler, C.K., Gluch, T. & Mitchell, N.J. (2007). Security Forces and Sexual Violence: A Cross-National Analysis of a Principal—Agent Argument. Journal of Peace Research, 44(6), 669–687. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343307082058

Byers, M. (2005). War Law: Understanding International Law and Conflict. Grove Press.

Caprioli, M. (2000). Gendered Conflict. Journal of Peace Research, 37(1), 53–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343300037001003

Caprioli, M. (2005). Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict. International Studies Quarterly, 49(2), 161–178. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0020-8833.2005.00340.x

Caprioli, M., & Boyer, M. A. (2001). Gender, Violence, and International Crisis. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45(4), 503–518. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002701045004005

Carpenter, R.C. (2003). “Women and Children First”: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans 1991-95. International Organization, 57(4), 661–694. https://doi.org/10.1017/s002081830357401x

Carpenter, R.C. (2005). “Women, Children and Other Vulnerable Groups”: Gender, Strategic Frames and the Protection of Civilians as a Transnational Issue. International Studies Quarterly, 49(2), 295–334. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0020-8833.2005.00346.x

Castro, C. A., Kintzle, S., Schuyler, A. C., Lucas, C. L., & Warner, C. H. (2015). Sexual assault in the military. Current Psychiatry Reports, 17(7), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-015-0596-7

Chappell, L., & Waylen, G. (2013). Gender and the Hidden Life of Institutions. Public Administration, 91(3), 599–615. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2012.02104.x

Childs, S., & Krook, M.L. (2008). Critical Mass Theory and Women’s Political Representation. Political Studies, 56(3), 725–736. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00712.x

Chilton, A.S. (2018). The Laws of War and Public Opinion: An Experimental Study. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 171(1), 181. https://doi.org/10.1628/093245615x14188909230370

Cockburn C., & Hubic, M. 2002. Gender and the peacekeeping military: A view from Bosnian women’s organizations. In C. Cockburn & D. Zarkov (Eds.), The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping (pp. 103–121). Lawrence & Wishart,. https://doi.org/10.4000/temporalites.3147

Cohen, D.K. (2013a). Female Combatants and the Perpetration of Violence: Wartime Rape in the Sierra Leone Civil War. World Politics, 65(3), 383–415. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0043887113000105

Cohen, D.K. (2016). Rape During Civil War. Cornell University Press.

Connell, R. (1987). Gender & Power. Polity.

Crawford, K.F. (2017). Wartime Sexual Violence. From Silence to Condemnation of a Weapon of War. Georgetown University Press.

Customary IHL - Rule 154. Obedience to Superior Orders (no date) International Committee of the Red Cross IHL Database. Available at: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule154 (Accessed: 21 March 2021).

Demeritt, J.H.R., Nichols, A.D. & Kelly, E.G. (2014). Female Participation and Civil War Relapse. Civil Wars, 16(3), 346–368.

Downes, A.B. (2008). Targeting civilians in war. Cornell University Press. Viewed on 23 January 2021 http://site.ebrary.com/id/10457554.

Downs, G.W., & Jones, M.A. (2002). Reputation, Compliance, and International Law. The Journal of Legal Studies, 31(S1), S95–S114. https://doi.org/10.1086/340405

Duncanson, C., & Woodward, R. (2016). Regendering the military: Theorizing women’s military participation. Security Dialogue, 47(1), 3–21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0967010615614137

Elshtain, J.B. (1987). Women and War. University of Chicago Press.

Enloe, C. (1983). Does khaki become you?. Pluto Press.

Enloe, C. (2000). Maneuvers. The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives. University of California Press.

Enloe, C. (2014). Bananas, beaches and bases: Making feminist sense of international politics (2nd ed). University of California Press.

Fazal, T. (2018). Wars of Law. Unintended Consequences of Armed Conflict. Cornell University Press.

Firestone, J.M., & Harris, R.J. (2009). Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military Reserve Component: A Preliminary Analysis. Armed Forces & Society, 36(1), 86–102. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X09332152

Fitriani, Cooper, R.G.S., & Matthews, R. (2016). Women in Ground Close Combat. The RUSI Journal, 161(1), 14–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/03071847.2016.1152117

Geneva Call. (2011). South Sudan: From the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment to the Ottawa Convention. Geneva Call Blog, 18 November. Available at: https://www.genevacall.org/south-sudan-geneva-call-deed-commitment-ottawa-convention/ (Accessed: 12 March 2021).

Goetz, A.-M. (2007). Gender Justice, Citizenship an Entitlements: Core Concepts, Central Debates and New Directions for Research. In M. Mukhopadhyay & N. Singh (Eds). Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development (pp. 15–57). International Development Research Centre.

Goldsmith, J., & Posner, E.A. (2005). The limits of international law. Oxford University Press. Available at: http://site.ebrary.com/id/10103688 (Accessed: 23 January 2021).

Government of Canada. (2017). Canada’s National Action Plan, 2017-2022. Global Affairs Canada.

Hogg, N. (2010). Women’s participation in the Rwandan genocide: mothers or monsters?. International Review of the Red Cross, 92(877), 69–102. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1816383110000019

Holman, M.R., Merolla, J., & Zechmeister, E. (2016). Terrorist Threat, Male Stereotypes, and Candidate Evaluations. Political Research Quarterly, 69(1), 134–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912915624018

Holman, M.R., Merolla, J.L. and Zechmeister, E.J. (2011). Sex, Stereotypes, and Security: A Study of the Effects of Terrorist Threat on Assessments of Female Leadership. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 32(3), 173–192. https://doi.org/10.1080/1554477x.2011.589283

Hooper, C. (2001). Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations and Gender Politics. Columbia University Press.

Hoover Green, A. (2018). The commander’s dilemma: violence and restraint in wartime. Cornell University Press.

Janis, I.L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Houghon Mifflin.

Janis, I.L., & Mann, L. (1977). Decisionmaking: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment. Free Press.

Kanter, R.M. (1977). Some Effects of Proportions on Group Life: Skewed Sex Ratios and Responses to Token Women. American Journal of Sociology, 82(5), 965–990. https://doi.org/10.1086/226425.

Karim, S. & Beardsley, K. (2017). Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping. Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States. Oxford University Press.

Klugman, J., Nagel, R. U., Revkin, M. R., & Stern, O. M (2020) Can the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and International Humanitarian Law Join Forces?. Emerging Findings and Promising Directions. Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

Kronsell, A. (2012). Gender, Sex and the Postnational Defense. Oxford University Press.

Loken, M. (2017). Rethinking Rape: The Role of Women in Wartime Violence. Security Studies, 26(1), 60–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2017.1243915

Lower, W. (2013). Hitler’s furies: German women in the Nazi killing fields. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

McKelvey, T. (Ed.) (2007). One of the guys: women as aggressors and torturers. Seal Press.

Mehrl, M. (2022). Female Combatants and Wartime Rape: Reconsidering the Role of Women in Armed Conflict. Armed Forces & Society, 48(2), 464–479. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X20981696

Melander, E. (2005). Gender Equality and Intrastate Armed Conflict. International Studies Quarterly, 49(4), 695–714. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2005.00384.x

Moncrief, S. (2017). Military socialization, disciplinary culture, and sexual violence in UN peacekeeping operations. Journal of Peace Research, 54(5), 715–730. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343317716784

Moore, E. (2020). Women in Combat: Five-Year Status Update, Center for a New American Security. Viewed on 10 February 2021 Available at: https://www.cnas.org/publications/commentary/women-in-combat-five-year-status-update.

Morrow, J.D. (2007). When Do States Follow the Laws of War?. American Political Science Review, 101(3), 559–572. https://doi.org/10.1017/s000305540707027x

Morrow, J.D. (2014). Order within anarchy: the laws of war as an international institution. Cambridge University Press.

Nagel, R.U. (2019). Talking to the shameless? Sexual violence and mediation in intrastate conflicts. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 63(8), 1832–1859. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002718824642

Nagel, R.U., & Doctor, A.C. (2020). Conflict-related Sexual Violence and Rebel Group Fragmentation. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 64(7–8), 1226–1253. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002719899443

O’Brien, D.Z. (2015). Rising to the Top: Gender, Political Perfomance, and Party Leadership in Parliamentary Democracies. American Journal of Political Science, 59(4), 1022–1039. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12173

Peterson, V.S. (1999). Political identities/nationalism as heterosexism. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 1(1), 34–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/146167499360031

Phillips, K. (2014). How Diversity Works. Scientific American, 311(4), 33–37. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1014-42

Runyan, A.S., & Peterson, V.S. (2014). Global gender issues in the new millennium (4th ed). Westview Press.

Sasson-Levy, O. (2011). The military in a globalized environment: Perpetuating an “extremely gendered” organization. In E.L. Jeanes, D. Knights & P.Y. Martin, (Eds.), Handbook of Gender, Work, and Organization (pp. 391–411). Wiley.

Schaefer, A.G. (2015). Implications of integrating women into the Marine Corps Infantry. RAND Corporation.

Schelling, T.C. (1960). The Strategy of Conflict. Harvard University.

Schneider, G., Banholzer, L. & Albarracin, L. (2015). Ordered Rape: A Principal–Agent Analysis of Wartime Sexual Violence in the DR Congo. Violence Against Women, 21(11), 1341–1363. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801215593645

Schneider, G., Bussmann, M., & Ruhe, C. (2012). The Dynamics of Mass Killings: Testing Time-Series Models of One-Sided Violence in the Bosnian Civil War. International Interactions, 38(4), 443–461. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2012.697048

Seligman, L., Pager, T., O’Brien, C., & Bertrand, N. (2020) Biden picks retired general Lloyd Austin to run Pentagon, Politico. Available at: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/07/lloyd-austin-biden-secretary-defense-frontrunner-contender-443479 (Accessed: 6 January 2021).

Shair-Rosenfield, S., & Wood, R.M. (2017). Governing Well after War: How Improving Female Representation Prolongs Post-conflict Peace. The Journal of Politics, 79(3), 995–1009. https://doi.org/10.1086/691056

Shaw, I.G.R. (2013). Predator Empire: The Geopolitics of US Drone Warfare. Geopolitics, 18(3), 536–559. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2012.749241

Simmons, B.A. (2000). International Law and State Behavior: Commitment and Compliance in International Monetary Affairs. American Political Science Review, 94(4), 819–835. https://doi.org/10.2307/2586210

Sjoberg, L. (2013). Gendering Global Conflict. Toward a Feminist Theory of War. Columbia University Press.

Sjoberg, L. (2016). Women as Wartime Rapists. New York University Press.

Soules, M.J. (2020). Women in uniform: the opening of combat roles in state militaries. International Interactions, 46(6), 847–871.

Steflja, I., & Trisko Darden, J. (2020). Women as War Criminals. Gender, Agency, and Justice. Stanford University Press.

Tickner, J.A. (2001). Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War Era. Columbia University Press.

Trisko Darden, J. (2015). Assessing the significance of women in combat roles. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis, 70(3), 454–462. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020702015585306

Turchik, J., & Wilson, S.M. (2010). Sexual assault in the US military: A review of the literature and recommendations for the future. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(4), 267–277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2010.01.005

Valentino, B., Huth, P., & Croco, S. (2006). Covenants Without the Sword International Law and the Protection of Civilians in Times of War. World Politics, 58(3), 339–377. https://doi.org/10.1353/wp.2007.0004

Wallace, G.P.R. (2015). Life and death in captivity: the abuse of prisoners during war. Available at: https://doi.org/10.7591/cornell/9780801453434.001.0001 (Accessed: 23 January 2021).

Wallman, Sam (2016) https://twitter.com/wallmansam/status/760092107549712385?s=20&t=K6ncu1A4__HiTLHCgO8_6g

Wang, Xiao-Hua (Frank), Kim, T.-Y. & Lee, D.-R. (2016). Cognitive diversity and team creativity: Effects of team intrinsic motivation and transformational leadership. Journal of Business Research, 69(9), 3231–3239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.02.026.

Wilcox, L. (2017). Embodying algorithmic war: Gender, race, and the posthuman in drone warfare. Security Dialogue, 48(1), 11–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/0967010616657947

Wilén, N. (2020). Female peacekeepers' added burden. International Affairs, 96(6), 1585-1602. https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiaa132

Wood, E.J. (2018). Rape as a Practice of War: Toward a Typology of Political Violence. Politics & Society, 46(4), 513–537. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032329218773710

Wood, E.J., & Toppelberg, N. (2017). The persistence of sexual assault within the US military. Journal of Peace Research, 54(5), 620–633. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343317720487

Woodward, R., & Duncanson, C. (2016). Gendered divisions of military labour in the British armed forces. Defence Studies, 16(3), 205–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702436.2016.1180958

Woodward, R., & Winter, P. (2006). Gender and the Limits to Diversity in the Contemporary British Army. Gender, Work and Organization, 13(1), 45–67. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0432.2006.00295.x

Wright, K.A.M., Hurley, M., & Gil Ruiz, J.I. (2019). NATO, Gender and the Military. Women Organising from Within. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429952074

Yuval-Davis, N. (1997). Gender and Nation. Sage.


Full Text: pdf

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.