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International Relations - feminism - Essay Example

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International Relations - feminism

May be this is this starting point of difference between men and women where gender issues become prominent as it relates to international security, war, trans-national trade and territorial boundaries. Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex, 1949) has suggested that the role of women in terms of national security has been ambiguous defined as those whom the state and its men are protecting, women have had little control over the conditions of their protection.
In this analysis I will critically comment on the proposition that gender is a key factor in international relations and crucial to its understanding. Can international relations be studied irrespective of gender or in a gender-neutral manner Have feminist and women's movements changed the directions or approaches of international relations to a significant extent Does the concept of gender have a significant impact on international relations Considering these questions, I will discuss the dynamics of gender and international relations in the context of the statement whether gender is a key variable in understanding international relations and whether the feminist theory has major consequences in shaping issues of security, sovereignty, militarism and globalisation. The other contention as to whether gender or feminist perspectives are in any way dependent on international relations may also have to be analysed.

Gender and International Relations

Gender Mainstreaming
The relationship between gender and international relations could be studied from various perspectives including national security, women's feminist movements, gender mainstreaming, and global governance. True (2003, p.30-37) suggests that efforts to mainstream gender perspectives in global pubic policy have been prompted by proliferation of trans-national networking of women's movements. Advocates, policymakers and feminist researchers have made gender analysis a part of global governance. Mainstreaming gender plays an important part of the global public policy and it is important to analyse how feminist ideas on gender get translated into global policy. Feminist movements begin as theories or social perceptions but it is only when these theories are put into practice that global governance and international relations are transformed into patterns of rules or defined policies. The changes in gender mainstreaming are important in transforming policy outcomes and the process of policy making. The application of gender analysis in policy making seems to have political effects that have its implications beyond academic and feminist communities. According to True (2003, p.40-47) gender mainstreaming is an open ended and potentially transformative project and depends largely on the interpretations of feminist scholars and policy makers.

Savery (2005, pp.90-102) has examined the relationship between gender stereotypes, feminist movements and international relations. He writes, "international pressure emanates from international bodies either initiating infringement proceedings, or criticising states through international reporting systems, domestic pressure emanates from feminist political activism and private individual or group litigation" (Savery 2005, p.90). In a relevant study, Youngs ...Show more


The effect of gender on global and international relations has its roots in feminist theories with associated issues of international security having been primary in the policy agenda of states (Adam 2002, Freidman 2001). Large defence budgets, foreign invasions and curtailment of civilian liberties are some of the policies that define state security and national security takes precedence over social security of individuals…
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International Relations - feminism essay example
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