‘Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.’ — Hillary Clinton on Feminism.
The fight between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is in the last stage. Political analysts all across the globe believe if Clinton wins, women power will win and feminist policies will get a boost. Feminists reject the very Realist notion of war and state being the ultimate protector of liberties. Feminists argue that there are gender discrimination’s based on economic inequalities and the stereotypical roles assigned to women because of structured patriarchal institutional set ups existing in society. This includes the military and explains the role of women in non combatant roles. Rosemary Grant argues that the Realist theory of war endorses patriarchy and it is patriarchy that needs to be checked if women are to be treated as human beings having human rights.
The Convention on the elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) proposed by the United Nations in 1979, questions patriarchal discriminations directed against women that subject them to economic and emotional torture.
Statistics reveal that the maximum casualties in almost all conflicts are women and children. Biological factors play a crucial role in determining political Participation. During the freedom movement in India, several women participated in the fight against the British Rule but post independence this gender division is very evident. Women are expected to perform roles that do not cover politics and military engagements. Recently the Indian Air Force commissioned women officers into services and such a move was widely welcomed by the Indian establishment and vox populi. But the roadmap has still not been made.
In the opening statement of the UNESCO charter it is stated that wars are made in the minds of men. Men, being a strong word here since it excludes women from constructive roles they play in times of conflict and peace. In Vietnam and El Salvador the victims were women and children and after the war was over pesant women had a tough time assessing the damages.
If Clinton wins, this will be a victory of feminist movement and it is being speculated that more and more women will be assigned positive roles in political decision making processes. National Security and Balance of power in International Politics strictly fit into male narratives excluding women totally. It is hoped that if Clinton comes to power national security will no longer remain a male centric concept.
Feminism, analysts believe is the advocacy of the rights of women. National security is a patriarchal concept that gives men the power to control the masses including women. It is this notion that needs to be challenged. CEDAW needs to be strengthened and restructures. For justice fast track courts need to be set up. It was in 2000 that Rape was identified as a war crime.
Clinton says that one needs to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential. This can only happen if patriarchal notions of state, national security and war are redefined and women are included in the decision making process. That women are soft on terror is another debate in itself but Clinton’s win will be a win for all the women trying to break the stereotypical roles and assert their rights in a patriarchal world.