icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube
Another deeply gendered war is being waged in Ukraine
Another deeply gendered war is being waged in Ukraine
Pakistani human rights activists hold candles as they shout slogans during a rally in Lahore on 7 March 2011 on the eve of International Women's Day. AFP/Arif Ali
Report 265 / Asia

巴基斯坦之女性、暴力与冲突

在巴基斯坦,女性的安全及其政治、社会和经济地位遭到了宗教极端分子的攻击,被歧视性法律所削弱,还不受政府的保护。政府必须遵守承诺,消除性别不平等的现象、终止针对女性的暴力行为;尤其是在此况甚为严重的地区,如西北部的冲突地带以及巴基斯坦与阿富汗接壤处的部落带。

执行摘要

巴基斯坦向民主国家过渡已经八年了,但在有罪不罚和政府不作为的环境下,对女性的暴力行为仍然普遍存在。歧视性的法律和不健全的刑法使妇女陷入极端危险。尤其是在开伯尔-普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区(KPK)和联邦直辖部落地区(FATA),由于暴力极端分子的公开压迫,女性安全备受威胁。在3月8日国际妇女节,巴基斯坦总理纳瓦兹·谢里夫(Nawaz Sharif)郑重宣布,其政府将采取一切必要的立法和行政措施来保护和赋予女性权利。如果谢里夫的承诺言出肺腑,那他的巴基斯坦穆斯林联盟(PML-N)政府便应该结束制度性的性别暴力和歧视,包括废除不公正的法律、打击极端主义尤其在KPK和FATA地区的威胁、并接纳女性在如何设计——包括反暴力极端组织策略在内的与其安危息息相关的——国家政策上尤为相关的参与和建议。

过去的国家政策为了安抚暴力极端主义分子,使女性成为了主要受害者。而在巴基斯坦回归民主之后,巴基斯坦在改善女性待遇上,特别通过对立法渐进改良,取得了一些进展。 女权运动的中坚力量不仅得以参与到联邦和省级立法机构中,并撰写了大部分的女权法案;他们在议会中的代表数量也有增加。然而,只要社会仍持有偏见,即便是在完善的法律也不足以保障女性安全。若警察不会因未能调查性别歧视犯罪而被问责,若司法部门上上下下均置女性暴力幸存者的正义于不顾,那歧视性法律便仍是记录在册的。

巴基斯坦的法律残存了不少上世纪七八十年代齐亚•哈克(Zia-ul-Haq)将军伊斯兰化的痕迹。而这些法律则延续其对女性在宪法中性别平等权的否认,并助长了对女性的宗教迫害和暴力。只要法律和行政上的壁垒——尤其是于1979年通过的《伊刑法条例》、联邦直辖部落地区于1901年通过的《边境犯罪条例》(FCR)、和2009年在省级直辖部落地区签署的《Nizam-e-Adl协议》——依然存在,那女性对司法公正和安全的企望便仍将是痴人说梦。

政府肩负着打击性别不平等和为女性赋权消除障碍的宪法义务和国际承诺,其中包括联合国公约下的《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》(CEDAW)。废除歧视性立法并执行保护妇女的法律,其中包括确保她们能受到秉持两性平等的警察和法庭的保护,这对于结束性别施暴有罪不罚的现象而言至关重要。

在开伯尔·普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区和联邦直辖部落地区,虽侵犯人权却逍遥法外的情况尤为惊人,该地区的政府默许了这些针对妇女的歧视、武装暴力、宗教极端主义和性暴力。激进分子可以肆意袭击女权活动家、政治领袖和发展工作者而不受惩治。在巴基斯坦的许多地方,特别是普赫图赫瓦省(Pakhtunkhw)和联邦直辖部落地区,非正式司法机制盛行并尤为歧视女性;同时,政府胡乱采取军事行动,其造成了数百万人流离失所,而这也进一步加剧了女性在冲突地带所面临的困难。

在开伯尔—普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区和联邦直辖部落地区乃至全国范围内,提高女性在决策上的地位——或作为选民参与政治、或担任国家公职人员——都会成为可持续性改革的核心。巴基斯坦应该在女性赋权上多下功夫,努力通过国家各政策反应女权的重要性,其中也包括了反暴力和维和政策。这些都是为了让女性蒙受叛乱和政府反暴政策之苦的案例在巴基斯坦不再比比皆是。

加强国家以及省级立法对女性的保护,仅是朝着正确的方向迈出的一小步。更必要的则是为女性提供保障,令其免受暴力和不公正待遇,且最终巩固巴基斯坦向民主制度过渡的进程。

伊斯兰堡/布鲁塞尔,2015年4月8日

Another deeply gendered war is being waged in Ukraine

Originally published in Aljazeera

Countries with ‘feminist’ foreign policies need a sharper gender framework for addressing Ukraine’s predicament.

Even before the Russian military fired its first strikes in its assault on Ukraine, there were signs that this conflict, like all wars, would upend the peacetime relations and identities of men, women, and people of all genders and inflict suffering on them in very particular ways.

Writing about World War II, the Russian author Svetlana Alexievich reflected that, “Women’s war has its own colours, its own smells, its own lighting, and its own range of feelings. Its own words. There are no heroes and incredible feats, there are simply people who are busy doing inhumanly human things.”

Last week, the image of a wounded and pregnant Ukrainian woman curled on a stretcher appeared on the front page of nearly every British newspaper, and Western leaders, as well as the Ukrainian president, mentioned the horrors facing women and children in every address calling for unity. But the Western supporters of Ukraine, especially the US, NATO, and the European Union, who have insisted for more than two decades now that women’s security shapes their approach to dealing with war, have done little to show that gender will be their framework, or even a framework, for addressing Ukraine’s predicament.

We already see this war cementing old gender roles and inflicting terrible harm on people of all genders in the process. The forced universal conscription of men in Ukraine and Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are resurrecting binaries of men as defender-warriors and women as fragile and needing protection. At the same time, the dozens of Ukrainian women signing up to fight, and the narrative imagery of these gun-strapped blonde soldiers skittering across social media, makes it hard to talk about gender and this war in conventional ways.

Ukraine is contending with the tensions of a masculine narrative playing out in border policy and the narrative of brave Ukrainian female warriors rising to repel the advancing enemy. Grimmest of all is the imagery of mobilised children. Recently a picture of a little girl with a lollipop in her mouth perched on a window with a weapon circulated online. What might prove most challenging for a traditional gender-sensitive approach to this war is the emerging and dominant glorification of the militarisation of an entire society.

Despite universal forced conscription, many men do not wish to fight. Men trying to leave the country have been shamed by crowds for not wanting to stay. Trans women who are identified as men in their paperwork have been stopped at the border and prevented from leaving.

We know from other contexts where there seemed no alternative but to mobilise men of fighting age that it often causes further problems down the line. In Nigeria, too, communities saw little option but for young and middle-aged men (and some women too) to join fighter groups to defend themselves from the attacks of Boko Haram. Protecting the family and community was integral to what it meant to be a good man so men and even adolescent boys faced significant pressure – from their friends and others in their communities, from the state, and from themselves – to join such groups. This development blurred the line between fighter and civilian and meant all people living in these locations were seen as fair targets.

In conflicts where similar dynamics are at play, we see little time in the urgency of battle to train these civilian men and women (and others) who mobilise. Any training provided tends to focus on arms handling skills rather than vital concepts of how to wage war in ways compatible with human rights, international humanitarian law, and civilian protection standards. Not surprisingly, levels of human rights abuses, war crimes, and crimes against humanity are higher in conflicts where civilians are mobilised in this way. Indeed, new Ukrainian laws make it legal for anyone to kill invaders. Yet, discussions around military support to Ukraine so far have failed to sufficiently centre the need to mitigate civilian harm during the course of operations.

The response to date not only disregards the potential dangers of forced conscription for men and boys, but it also does not fully consider the risks it creates for women and girls. It is possible that Russia’s floundering war may yet be slowed by compromise, but it appears that for the foreseeable weeks, women will be left to navigate ways to safety, and tasked with their own wellbeing as well as that of their children and the elders they have with them, without the customary support of their partners. Because women without men are seen as more vulnerable, they are more likely to be preyed upon. The strain of finding shelter and food, access to healthcare and education will be acute, and even worse for those with disabilities. Yet, there is insufficient attention paid to these intersectional and gendered vulnerabilities with people with disabilities saying they have been left to fend for themselves. Nor to the 100,000 to 200,000 children segregated from society in Ukraine’s orphanages and at risk of violence, abuse, neglect, sex trafficking and forced labour.

Gender also seems missing from the discussion on non-military responses. The unexpected Western unity and quick sledgehammer of sanctions brought down on Russia by Ukraine’s allies may initially be felt most acutely by the well-off and internationally-oriented middle class, but over time, as the economy tanks, those who are already most marginalised and vulnerable will be hurt the most. We know from the most punishing sanctions regimes of recent memory, imposed on Iran and Venezuela, that these measures erode women’s labour force participation and leadership in key sectors, sap feminist activism, and boost securo-patriarchy, as skittish governments double down on masculine propaganda. The international reverberations of the sanctions – the rise in gas prices, and the grain shortages that are already ensuing from a break in Russian and Ukrainian supplies – will also be felt by the most vulnerable people worldwide, including the disproportionate numbers of women, people with disabilities, and children already facing hunger and poverty.

The conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions aggravated domestic violence against women and led to significant sexual violence perpetrated by members of military forces.

And we know that during times of both conflict and economic uncertainty, levels of gender-based violence increase. How the conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions aggravated domestic violence against women and led to significant sexual violence perpetrated by members of military forces is already well-documented. The journeys across borders and into the homes of strangers undertaken by the more than two million Ukrainians who have fled so far (mostly women and children) leave them vulnerable to human traffickers and sexual exploitation. Women selling sex may be at risk of violence by soldiers and further human rights abuses. Not even when the fighting stops will there be a respite. Other conflicts show that gender-based violence rises during fighting and can increase even more when the bullets stop and men suffering from war trauma return home, to find women have been forced to take on decision-making roles during their absence.

Indeed, Russia’s security anxieties and the revival of NATO have reconfigured the Cold War. But before that, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s optics of bare-chested horse riding and emphasis on his physical manly prowess signalled he saw his country’s path as militant-minded, if not actually yet militant, and showed how militarism is linked with this very particular notion of masculinity.

Russian disinformation campaigns have tried to lodge the idea that entrance into NATO will require the acceptance of Western gender relations and the excising of traditional values. This clash of gender norms and associated masculinities finds the greatest resonance in the conflict bros, the foreign legion called for by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and endorsed by Liz Truss, UK Foreign Secretary. Missing from this picture – whether it be the all-male Cabinet shared in Zelenskyy’s Telegram videos or the Biden-Putin-Zelenskyy triad – are women with feminist perspectives. They are largely marginalised in real decision-making at both national and global levels in this conflict despite feminists in Russia and elsewhere mobilising against war.

The last two weeks have highlighted how quickly countries resort to old ways of acting in times of crisis. In the middle of a global pandemic and climate crisis, resources that proved difficult to find for provision of decent basic services and reshaping economic systems in more (climate-) just ways have been quickly mobilised for defence expenditure. To widespread applause, Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, announced the immediate establishment of a fund of €100bn to boost military strength and a sustained increase in defence spending over the coming years. Sweden, Denmark and Poland also agreed to bolster military expenditure.

Is this arms spending race, action that seems certain to hurt gender equality, and world of militarised masculinities really the future we want? Alternatives seem impossible to imagine right now. In the midst of crisis, the drumbeat to war is overwhelming. Time to think, analyse, and reflect before acting seems like a luxury for another time. Yet, we have been here so many times before and it is vital to react differently.

Countries like Canada, France, Spain, Finland and Sweden say they have a feminist foreign policy. Yet, mentions of the deeply gendered harms inflicted by this war and how to better protect people of all genders, have been few and far between in the responses of nations who say they are committed to gender equality and women’s rights thus far, eclipsed by a focus on boosting arms deliveries and economic sanctions. These states should not only aim to apply these policies to the Global South battlefields where they usually administer their Women, Peace and Security agenda. They need to translate to being more prepared, vocal, and mitigating gendered harms during an unfolding war in Europe itself.

Contributors

Project Director, Gender and Conflict
AzadehMoaveni
Profile Image
Chitra Nagarajan
Activist, writer, and researcher working on conflict, gender, human rights, and peace-building