By Ines Boussebaa, Communications and Research Fellow
Participants of the WILPF’s 2017 Convening in Geneva on Reclaiming UN as a Peaceful Organisation. (Photo: WILPF)
On May 8, 2018, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the MenEngage Alliance co-hosted a webinar titled “Exploring Interlinkages: Women, Peace and Security, Militarism and Masculinities”. The event created a space to share feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, and peace and security, and explore opportunities for strengthening activists action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality, demilitarised security, and justice.
Panelists agreed that socially-constructed gender norms that define masculinity as different from and superior to femininity, and associate masculinity with power, violence and control, play an important role in driving conflict and insecurity worldwide. However, simply “engaging men” is not enough to prevent conflict. Feminist peace -- or peace based on women’s equal participation, protection, and rights -- requires people across the gender spectrum working together to dismantle patriarchy and build a better world. Doing so requires building trust, understanding power, and working together in partnership and across movements. As Cynthia Enloe has often affirmed, “the personal is international.” This means that change requires transforming gendered relationships of power at the personal, political, and international levels from inequality and violence to participation and justice.
Read WILPF’s reflection from the “Exploring Interlinkages: Women Peace & Security, Militarism & Masculinities” Webinar here>>