ISSN (Print): 1198-6123 ISSN (Web): 2369-8624
editor-in-chief Kathryn Donville editorial board Julia Bugiel Lowan Lee Victoria Linel Alexis Mumey Caitlin VanDuzer design editor ThĂŠa Spring
Dear colleagues, International Development can be a difficult field to study. Most students who choose to pursue it either do so because of some unyielding idealism in the world around them, or because of some dissatisfaction with the world around them. It is a field full of thinkers, planners, and world-changers but somewhere along the way, even the most determined of optimists can become discouraged. Most of what we study deals with the failings of the projects and plans that occurred before us, and our resilience lies in our willingness to keep trying and not give up hope. 2016 has been a difficult year for optimists. With the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, racial violence in the United States and around the world, homophobia and transphobia, climate change, and some truly frightening American politics among others, it can be difficult to stay optimistic. But projects like this journal can help to remind us that there is always hope, that there can be new plans, and that change is possible. The authors and editors of this journal have worked tirelessly to present ideas and analyses of some of the most important issues of our time. Their work is diverse, their voices are clear, and their optimism shines. Without them, this journal would not have been possible and I wish to thank them endlessly for their hard work and their dedication to the project. My gratitude also goes out to the benefactor that made this project possible. Many thanks to the International Development Studies Student Association for their funding of this project and more specifically, to the executive team for their wise advice and support. Thank you also to our phenomenal design editor, ThĂŠa Spring, for her amazing art and design work. Without her, this journal would just be a collection of Word documents and emails. Her work made our passion project come to life. It has been my great honour and privilege to work as the Editor-in-Chief of Latitudes this year. It has been exhausting and humbling, and I have enjoyed every second of it. Thank you to everyone who made this project possible. With warm regards, Kathryn Donville Editor-in-Chief
The Right Time? Analyzing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Movement Robin Nyamekye
The Development of Afro Creole Religious Syncretism in Caribbean and Brazilian Plantation Societies Vincent Simboli
Motivations for the Use of Wartime Rape in Sierra Leone Christopher Martin
Role of Gender Perceptions in Transnational Migration: Rethinking Masculinity and Femininity Tiffany Jan
The Future of Intellectual Property Rights on Trade Agreements and Subsequent Impacts on Public Health and Access to Medicines Robin Holloway
The Underlying Bias of the 10,000 Women Initiative Nyasha Chidzero
Mainstreaming Gender in Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development Alexandria Petit-Thorne
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Foreign Policy:The Legitimacy of ‘One for All and All for One.” Jessica Condemi
Robin Nyamekye Robin Nyamekye is a third year student pursuing an Honours Degree in International Development Studies, with a minor concentration in Law, Politics and Society. Robin’s research interests are particularly focused on governance structures and how state-society relations work to either promote or inhibit development. Her ongoing work with grassroots community organizations and advocacy groups gave her the inspiration for the following paper which showcases the unique character of the Indigenous Women’s Movement in Canada. In the future, Robin hopes to complete a law degree, and later pursue a career as either a human rights lawyer or a public policy research analyst.
The Right Time? Analyzing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Movement
The newly elected Liberal government has outlined in their policy mandate the action to “immediately launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada” (Liberal Party of Canada, 2015). They explicitly state on their official webpage: “The disappearance and death of nearly 1200 Indigenous women and girls is an ongoing national tragedy that must come to an end” (Liberal Party of Canada, 2015). Despite the longstanding nature of this issue, with cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal females dating back as early as the 1950s, 2015 is the first year that this nation has witnessed a clear position of the federal government to implement as well as support a national inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls (Curtis, 2015). How is it that this age-old issue has seemed to only penetrate mainstream Canadian society in recent years? Who and what has prompted this sudden action from the Canadian federal government? Howard Ramos extends the conventional understanding of the political opportunities model by examining how structural signalling and general political opportunities affect the actions of different types of contentious actors and organization formations (Ramos, 2008). Ramos explains that it is pivotal to
examine the ways in which social movements depend on specific “critical events” (Staggenborg) to either “focus or distract attention of movement constituents and other important actors on or away from movement issues” (Ramos, 2008). Therefore regarding the movement of advocacy groups demanding a Canadian national inquiry be held concerning missing and murdered Aboriginal women, I offer an empirical-based approach to understanding the growth of the movement by analyzing the motives of groups themselves as well as their media recognition and reception in recent years. In this paper I will argue that Indigenous groups such as the Native Women Association of Canada (NWAC), and the Assembly of First Nations, as well as international organizations like Amnesty International and the United Nations have collectively expressed the need for a national inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women. This rallying of groups and individuals can be classified as a social movement with a uniform goal and purpose: to incite a Canadian national inquiry and seek systemic changes regarding the way Canadian institutions have traditionally interacted with Aboriginal females. The rate the movement has progressed towards achieving this goal has been influenced primarily by “critical events” such as the patriation of the Constitution Act of 1982, funding and resource accumulation or the lack thereof, and the 2015 Canadian federal election along with the resultant changing of the political party with majority in parliament. The primary task of this paper then is to explain how key groups in the social movement either used the previously mentioned “critical events” to move their goal forward or how the event itself altered the trajectory of the movement. This approach recognizes the agency of the actors in the movement, as it pays attention to the decisions key movement leaders make according to their changing circumstances; at the same time this approach argues that “critical events” can have substantial impact on group objectives.
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Political Opportunities Model Revisited
Political Opportunity Theory has become quite popular among political scientists regarding the explanation as to how social movements adapt to changing political and legal structures and systems (Ramos, 2008). However critics of the theory have argued that the original focus of the theory on macro influences was too broad, and it ignored the fact that structural opportunities signalled ventures for activists to encourage mobilization and policy reforms (Meyer, 1996). Meyer and Minkoff take the theory further and focus on the actors rather than solely the structural changes these actors experience. They distinguish social activists as fitting into two groups: strategic respondents who weigh opportunities and act when optimum success is perceived and consistent champions who act regardless of the political context (Meyer, 1996). This novel focus on social movement activists and key actors can provide greater insight on the factors which can contribute to the relative success of a social movement. In the Canadian context regarding the Aboriginal movement promoting justice for missing and murdered Aboriginal women, evidence displays that those comprising of the movement can be classified as consistent champions who have been championing the cause for justice through an inquiry for decades (McFarlane, 2011). Their progress can be attributed to “critical events” that have allowed them overtime to gain increased media and international attention.
“Critical Events” of the Indigenous Women’s Movement in Canada
In his article entitled: Political Opportunity for Whom? Aboriginal Mobilization in Canada from 1951-2000, political scientist Howard Ramos identifies a series of independent variables which can be considered specific “critical events” that have historically influenced the success of Aboriginal mobilization in Canada. Accordingly, the independent variables are (1) political-legal opportunities arising from constitutional and Supreme Court decisions regarding Aboriginal peoples and issues; (2) levels of funding Aboriginal groups receive from the government itself or from external sources; and (3) years of federal
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elections and years of Conservative party regimes— all of which were proven to affect Aboriginal mobilization (Ramos, 2008). Like other studies examining contentious political action of a particular social movement over a period of time, I analyzed the self-reported activity and claims made by some key activists of the movement and the public reception of the movement through an examination of newspaper coverage of said activities. The reason for investigating reception measured through news outlets corresponds to theories of media influence presented by Andrews and Caren who argue that news media sway public agenda as well as influence public opinion of a movement by drawing attention to the movement’s grievances and claims (Andrews, 2010). The news can also legitimize a movement’s grievances through increased media representation— indicating that the movement’s claims are relevant and important to society at large, while the opposite effect can be attained when the media fails to represent the movement (Andrews, 2010). Media coverage and representation can therefore act as an intervening variable in a social movement’s success.
The Consistent Champions: Those Calling for and Inquiry
Many groups and specific individuals have spoken out on this tragic issue— however due to the limited scope of this paper, I have chosen to profile the following three: The Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and Amnesty International. On the official webpage of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), the organization states that it addresses issues such as: “education and labour, environment, health, human rights and international affairs and violence with a special focus on missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women” (NWAC, 2015). The NWAC has been vocal on the need for a national inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women for over ten years (NWAC, 2015). The NWAC implemented a research and policy initiative in the year 2005 entitled Sisters in Spirit, in order to raise awareness of the “alarming rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada” latitudes vol VIII
(NWAC, 2015). The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has also been vocal surrounding issues of violence against Aboriginal girls and women across Canada. According to the AFN: “Through resolution and the direction of First Nations, the AFN has been mandated to address the critical situation of violence, disappearance and murder of First Nations women and girls” (AFN, 2015). The present Chief of the AFN, Perry Bellegarde, has indicated that violence against Aboriginal women is an area of utmost priority for himself personally, and the AFN as a whole. Therefore the AFN declared that it will take all avenues to pursue an inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls as well as a national action plan to end systemic violence against them (AFN, 2015). Amnesty International has just recently published a report stressing the importance of this issue in: Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada: A Summary of Amnesty International’s Concerns and Call to Action. The report documents that: Despite the vast scale and entrenched nature of the crisis, and the many calls for action made by Indigenous peoples’ organizations… the Canadian government has failed to implement a comprehensive and coordinated national response in keeping with the seriousness and pervasiveness of the threats faced by Indigenous women and girls (Amnesty International 2014).
The report indicates that public demands for action continue to grow each passing year, and Amnesty along with other Indigenous groups have long called for a response form the federal government in the form of a national inquiry (Amnesty International, 2014). This collective group advocacy between separate organizations and individuals can be considered a social movement since the broad definition of a social movement defines it as a collective group that attempts to influence the political elite in a given society to change policy (Bohm, 2015). The groups pushing for the federal government to implement a national inquiry would constitute a social movement as they all share a common objective— the in-
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quiry. It is also useful to note the similar discourse the separate organizations use when speaking on the issue. I argue that this achieves an overall cohesiveness between different groups and actors—through which the general power of the movement is strengthened.
Media Representation and Perception
In terms of regional and national media coverage on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, I analyzed the prevalence of media coverage of the issue by conducting a basic online newspaper database search. I utilized the ProQuest online database, and initially keyed in the search terms “(Aboriginal or women) AND (missing or murdered) AND (inquiry or commission)” and further restricted my search results to include only Canadian-based newspapers and magazines— including provincial and regional news outlets along with national newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and National Post. 1. I began with a broad coverage date range. I aimed to look at articles from the 1980s to the present day, and arranged the articles to begin at the earliest date to examine whether stories would be published on the murder or disappearance of an Indigenous women from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. 2. In the 1980s time frame, I failed to find a single article related to the disappearance or murder of an Indigenous woman. This was despite the fact that the CBC database of missing and murdered Aboriginal women documented that approximately 36 cases occurring during the 1980s (CBCnews, 2015). 3. Again, in the 1990s time frame, I did not encounter a regional nor national article on a single missing or murdered Aboriginal woman. On the CBC database however, there were approximately 55 cases that occurred during the time frame of the 1990s (CBCnews, 2015). 4. One of the first articles I found related to missing and murdered Indigenous women was an article from the year 2011, which spoke about the disappealatitudes vol VIII
rance of Romana Wilson in 1995. By 2011, the CBC database indicates that approximately over 201 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women occurred (CBCnews, 2015). According to Andrews and Carens concerning the topic media representation and social movements, this lack of media representation for missing and murdered Indigenous women would relate directly to society’s interest in the issue at the time, and in turn the effectiveness of the social movements raising awareness on the issue (Andrews, 2010). Therefore it can be said that missing and murdered Aboriginal women were not an issue of national concern until about 2011 where a clear surge in news articles covering the issue arose, specifically looking at the trial of Robert Pickton and the Highway of Tears in British Columbia. Despite the lack of media representation— Indigenous women’s groups held annual women’s memorial walks on February 14th, for their missing and murdered sisters since 1991 (Fournier, 2011). The fact that marches were taking place despite the clear lack of media recognition the movement and female Aboriginal victims were receiving in general, demonstrates this movement’s persistence, perseverance and their ‘consistent champion’ quality.
“Critical Event” #1: Political-legal Opportunities
The patriation of the Constitution in 1982 marked a significant period for Aboriginal rights claiming in Canada, as this new Constitution maintained an entire section which explicitly recognized Aboriginal rights (Ramos, 2008). “35. (1) The existing aboriginal treaty rights of aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed. (2) In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes Indian, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada. (3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” include rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may so be acquired. (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this this Act, the aboriginal and treaty
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rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.” (Constitution Act, s 35).
Within a Constitutional structure that guarantees inalienable human rights, the Indigenous women’s movement has chosen to frame their grievances and requests to reflect this structure. For instance, in a public panel discussion concerning missing and murdered Indigenous women, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Dawn Lavell Harvard frames the need for a national inquiry on the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in terms of the Canadian Charter’s guarantee of basic human rights: “There are circumstances where Indigenous people are lacking safe drinking water… Indigenous people are living in third-world conditions in one of the richest countries… This is an example of the neglect of basic human rights for Indigenous women in Canada.” (Still Dancing, 2015) Harvard connects the absence of rights protection to the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women by explaining to the audience in the discussion that poverty on reserves among the Aboriginal population of Canada is what causes children as young as eight years to be apprehended by the Children’s Aid Society and placed in a poorly regulated foster care system where the children later run away from and as a consequence are placed in vulnerable positions: “people just don’t go missing…our girls are being stolen” (Still Dancing, 2015). Further, the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women itself has been expressed by the groups pushing for an inquiry as a violation of Aboriginal women’s Charter rights to “life, liberty and security of the person” (Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s 7). In a public statement on a report released by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde asserted that Canada committed a “grave violation” of the human rights of Indigenous women that cannot be ignored (AFN press release, 2015). According to Bellegarde, the “grave latitudes vol VIII
violation” of human rights is the inaction of the federal government despite the movement’s continued demands for a national inquiry. Another mechanism the movement has sought to utilize in order to advance their objectives is the Canadian court system. According to Gregory Hein, Charter litigation enables marginalized groups such as the Indigenous women’s movement, to have their interests given serious consideration by an important state institution (Hein, 2000). Hein posits that since the entrenchment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1982 Constitution, a growing number of citizens are willing to accept and embrace constitutional guarantees litigated and recognized through the courts (Hein, 2000). Recognizing the importance of the Supreme Court’s in their movement, Harvard asserts that the Supreme Court must be involved in the process of their desired national inquiry, as the courts have: “judicial power subpoena that forces people in the system— social workers, police officers… whoever dropped the ball to admit their wrongdoings, and it also allows those who wish to speak out, a safe way to speak out without fear of repercussions (Still Dancing, 2015). The importance of having state institutions like the judiciary on board with a social movement is that this alliance will increase the movement’s bargaining power vis-à-vis the state. Additionally, by referring to the Constitution in expressing dissatisfaction with the state, the Indigenous women’s movement is strategically placing the government in a positon of defense. Using politically created and respected documents like the Constitution and Charter against the government itself places the burden of proof on the federal government to somehow explain or justify that their actions are not in violation of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
“Critical Event” #2: Funding and Resources
One of the key findings in Howard Ramos’ research on Aboriginal mo-
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-bilization was that there was indeed a strong importance on resources as a structural opportunity (Ramos, 2008). The assumption here is that increased Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) budgets to Aboriginal communities allow social movements to focus on more on their objectives without having to attend to the issues caused by financial strain in other needs of the community (Ramos, 2008). Additionally, funding and resources on the side of the government is important to consider as this will also determine the government’s willingness and ability to meet the movement’s demands. The Indigenous women’s movement calling for the national inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal women generally relies on donations from outsiders to sustain the length and significance of their movement. For instance, the Walk4Justice initiative led by one of the key activist of the movement, Gladys Radek based in Vancouver, British Columbia which aims to raise awareness regarding the issue by providing an avenue through which families of the victims are able to speak out about the loss of their loved one (Department of Justice, 2015). This initiative, registered on the Department of Justice of Canada website relies on funding and financial support through donations and volunteer work (Department of Justice, 2015). Under the resources section of the program description on the website it explicitly states: “funding would increase the program’s ability to affect change”, in other words, funding directly contributes to the success of the program just as Ramos’ finding suggests (Department of Justice, 2015). Moreover, funding has been used as a way for the federal government to directly slow down a movement. Dawn Lavell Harvard explains in the panel discussion, how the NWAC Sisters in Spirit initiative was almost shut down by the government who threatened to cut funding to the association if the NWAC did not comply with the government’s demands (Still Dancing, 2015). “With the Sisters in Spirit initiative we had a database of over 500 names of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. When we got about 680 names, that is when we got shut down… the Canadian government told us we could no longer contilatitudes vol VIII
-nue with Sisters in Spirit, the name, or the logo, or we would lose funding…” (Still Dancing, 2015). Another problem the Indigenous women’s movement faces that relates to resources and costs is gaining public support in terms of the anticipated public cost of the national inquiry. Part of the negative perception associated with the cost of the inquiry for some are influenced by past costs of similar initiatives that have been unsuccessful according to the movement. One example of this was the serial murder trials of Robert Pickton which associate many Aboriginal women as victims (Still Dancing, 2015). The high cost of the Pickton trial caused tax payers to question the viability of a national inquiry (Still Dancing, 2015). Concerning of the cost of the trial, Radek asserts: “The Robert Pickton trial cost so much…each of the police officers who dropped the ball in the case should have been paying for their own lawyers, not Canadian tax dollars” (Still Dancing, 2015). When Radek makes this statement she is alluding to the loss of funds to the Indigenous women’s movement due to the misallocation of public funds in the Pickton trial. It is clear that financial resources are scarce and precious to the movement, and what would be considered wasted resource allocation can seriously affect the movement’s objectives. The Liberal party has projected to spend 40 million on the public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls over a period of two years (See figure 1). However this could present a potential problem to the advancement of the movement’s goal of a comprehensive national inquiry. For instance, Amnesty International outlines in its 2014 report that the national inquiry should employ: “Adequate, sustained and long-term funding to ensure the provision of culturally relevant services to meet the needs of Indigenous women and girls at risk of violence… and immediate measures to ensure funding for equitable healthcare, housing, education and other services for Indigenous women and families…” (Amnesty International, 2014).
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years (See figure 1). However this could present a potential problem to the advancement of the movement’s goal of a comprehensive national inquiry. For instance, Amnesty International outlines in its 2014 report that the national inquiry should employ: “Adequate, sustained and long-term funding to ensure the provision of culturally relevant services to meet the needs of Indigenous women and girls at risk of violence… and immediate measures to ensure funding for equitable healthcare, housing, education and other services for Indigenous women and families…” (Amnesty International, 2014). Figure 1: Liberal Government Costing Plan: Indigenous Peoples Investment
To put this estimated 40 million dollars spending allocation for the national inquiry in perspective, the three yearlong ‘Oppal inquiry’ of 2010 held in the province of British Columbia alone cost around 10 million dollars. Therefore if the Liberal government were to conduct a national inquiry according to the depth of criteria outlined by the groups of the movement— 40 million dollars may not be sufficient. “Critical Event” #3: Federal Elections and Conservative Party Leadership Howard Ramos postulates that Aboriginal social movement actors attain latitudes vol VIII
a better opportunity to mobilize during federal elections as well as in circumstances where there is a change in national leadership (Ramos, 2008). His research asserts that Conservative party leadership demonstrably slows Aboriginal political mobilization (Ramos, 2008). This proposition can be clearly evidenced by the Indigenous Women’s movement’s ability to use the 2015 Canadian federal election as a platform to elevate the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to the national level. Firstly, the Conservative party position on this issue was clear and unchanging— complete refusal to hold a national inquiry (Bronskill, 2015). Harper was cited multiple times suggesting that the nature of the issue was not systemic as advocates for an inquiry assert, but rather it is a simple law-and-order problem, and he further noted that the police have solved most of the cases (Bronskill, 2015). Advocates for an inquiry criticized Harper for taking such a narrow view on the violence against Aboriginal women and girl that completely disregards underlying causes that contribute to the problem (Bronskill, 2015). The Indigenous women’s movement appropriated Harper’s ignorance of their cause and utilized it to mobilize the rest of the Aboriginal community and its supporters to vote out Harper and the Conservative government, who clearly stood in the way of their objective (Montreal Gazette). For example, Chief of the AFN, Perry Bellegarde stated that in 2015 election he would vote, despite never voting in a federal election before (Curtis, 2015). He further used his platform as the Chief of the AFN to urge all First Nations peoples to do the same and vote in the federal election to essentially vote for a national inquiry by voting out the Conservative party (Curtis, 2015). This mobilization of Aboriginal individuals by the women’s movement encouraging individuals to vote in the federal election to advance a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women provides a clear example of how social movements can exert agency by using a critical event such as a federal election to their advantage. The issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women became a topic of national interest and debate in 2015 because the opportunity of a federal
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election provided social actors pressing for justice for Aboriginal women an avenue to express their grievances as well as their goal on a national level.
The political opportunities model I applied to the social movement of Indigenous women groups, national Aboriginal groups, regional bands and international human rights organizations all seeking the same outcome: justice for their lost sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts, cousins and grandmothers— has illustrated that the movement itself can owe its relative progress to critical events that have provided the groups opportunities to gain political leverage to champion their cause. However, unlike the original conception of the political opportunity theory, this analysis is not to suggest that the groups who have spearheaded this movement lack agency. This paper has demonstrated quite the contrary— the movement can be accurately understood as a group of consistent champions who have advocated for a national inquiry into the loss of their loved ones regardless of their external circumstances. The movement has used these positive “critical events” completely to their advantage when the opportunity allowed, by drawing national attention to their grievances and aims. I argue that the movements’ relative success in recent years is the result of consistent advocacy, and the utilization of ideal political opportunities to their gain. In terms of the movement pressing for a national inquiry into the disappearances and murders of their Aboriginal girls and women, it is not solely the structural factors determining the movement’s success such as the ‘right time.’ The movement consists of the right people who will work tirelessly until every case is solved, their loved ones are brought to justice, and they witness a systemic change in the way Aboriginal individuals are treated by state institutions they interact with.
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Works Cited Andrews, K. T., and N. Caren. «Making the News: Movement Organizations, Media Attention, and the Public Agenda.» American Sociological Review 75.6 (2010): 841-66. Sage Journals. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. «Assembly of First Nations.» Policy Areas. Web. 21 Nov. 2015. <http://www.afn. ca/en-policy-areas/i-pledge.-end-violence>. Ball, David. «RCMP Slammed with Report on Rapes, Violence in B.C.»Wind Spea ker 1Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. Ball, David. «Women’s Marches Demand Justice for the Disappeared.»Wind Speaker 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. Böhm, Timo. «Activists in Politics: The Influence of Embedded Activists on the Success of Social Movements.» Social Problems Soc Probl (2015): 477-98. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. Bronskill, Jim, and Michael Tutton. «Harper Says ‘most’ Cases of Murdered Aboriginal Are Solved.» The Globe and Mail 6 Oct. 2015, Politics sec. The Canadian Press. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. «Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982.» Legislative Services Branch. 1982. Web. 26 Nov. 2015. <http://laws-lois.justice. gc.ca/eng/const/page-16.html>. Curtis, Christopher. «A Growing Force in Federal Politics; From Get-out-to-vote Campaigns to a Blatant Push to Oust the Current Government, Canada’s Aboriginals Are Playing a Larger Role than Ever before»Montreal Gazette 3 Oct. 201. Web. 26 Nov. 2015. Fong, Petti. «’Hardly a Day When I Don’t Cry,’ Says Victim’s Mom.» Toronto Star 24 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. Hein, Gregory. Interest Group Litigation and Canadian Democracy. Montréal, Que.: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2000. Print. Kelly Bergstrand (2014) The Mobilizing Power of Grievances: Applying Loss Aversion and Omission Bias to Social Movements. Mobilization: An International Quarterly: June 2014, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 123-142. McFarlane, Christine. «Gladys Radek: A Woman on a Mission.(Raven’s Eye: Special Section Providing News from BC & Yukon).»Wind Speaker 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. McAdam, Doug, Sidney G. Tarrow, and Charles Tilly. Dynamics of Contention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Web. Meyer, David S., and Suzanne Staggenborg. 1996. “Movements, Countermovements, and the Structure of Political Opportunity.” American Journal of Sociology 101(6):1628-60. «Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.» Liberal Party of Canada. 2015. Web. 26 Nov. 2015. <https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls/>. «Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.» CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 2015. Web. 26 Nov. 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/missingandmurdered/>. «Missing, Murdered Women Inquiry: Don’t Repeat B.C.’s Mistakes, Says Coalition.» CBC News 9 Nov. 2015, British Columbia sec. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. Ramos, H. «Opportunity for Whom?: Political Opportunity and Critical Events in Canadian Aboriginal Mobilization, 1951-2000.» Social Forces 87.2 (2008): 795-823. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. «Sisters in Spirit.» Native Women’s Association of Canada. 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nwac.ca/poli cy-areas/violence-prevention-and-safety/sisters-in-spirit/>. Still Dancing: In Support of a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. TVM: Student Televi sion at McGill. Montreal, 28 Oct. 2015. Livestream. Stueck, Wendy. «Former B.C. Attorney-general Opposes National Inquiry into Missing Women.» Globe and Mail 19 Dec. 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. Suzanne, Fournier. «Generations Walk in Remembrance; Predators a Threat Even as Thousands Take to Streets to Honour Dead, Missing.»The Province 15 Feb. 2011, A.7. sec. Web. VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS IN CANADA: A SUMMARY OF AMNESTY INTERNATIO NAL’S CONCERNS AND CALL TO ACTION. Rep. Amnesty International, Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2015. <http:// www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/iwfa_submission_amnesty_international_february_2014_-_final.pdf>. Walker, Connie. «Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women Crisis Demands a Look at Root Causes: New CBC Da tabase Highlights Some Patterns of Violence.» CBC News 10 Apr. 2015, Aboriginal sec. CBC News. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
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Vincent Simboli Vincent Simboli is a U4 student of International Development and Hispanic Literature from Connecticut. His research focuses on the intersection of Contemporary Caribbean and Latin American literature with issues of development as they manifest around discussions of borders and immigration. Vincent is involved with immigration reform activism and journalism with The McGill Daily and New Canadian Media. He also speaks Spanish with a strange hybridized Mexican/Argentinian/ Chilean accent (despite being none of those), and plans to stay involved with activism within Latin American and Caribbean diaspora communities in the future.
The Development of Afro Creole Religious Syncretism in Caribbean and Brazilian Plantation Societies
As the Spanish and Portuguese empires took people en masse from West Africa to Latin American and Caribbean plantations, numerous methods of social control were employed to transform them into movable property as chattel slaves. In order to maintain their dignity, identity, and agency, these Africans used various “weapons of the weak” to combat slavery, both physical and intangible. West Africans brought relics from their homeland with them on slave ships from the Gold Coast to the Caribbean. Some of these relics, like okra seeds, took to American soils naturally, and generations later, once again became staples of the afro-creole (people born of African descent in the Americas) diet. Other cultural relics brought over to the Atlantic took root in a less literal sense, but found the American landscape and plantation society ripe for their growth. One of the most visible of these is religious traditions brought from West Africa and “imported” to the Caribbean. Two specific systems have persisted until today with the largest influence on post-colonial Caribbean societies: Santería (Contemporary Dominican Republic and Cuba), and Candomblé (Contemporary Brazil). When preparing slaves for the voyage across the Atlantic after capturing them, the Spanish and the Portuguese first brought them from the interior to heavily
defended fortresses akin to holding cells along the Gold Coast (Studnicki-Gizbert, Lecture). These fortresses served three critical purposes – to physically protect their “investments” in human cargo from rival empires, to baptize them as Catholics and give them new names, and most importantly, to set in motion the mechanisms of social death. Social death can be defined as the point at which a slave no longer belongs to a community, and no longer has any social existence outside of their “relationship” with their master. After being violently taken from their home society, the slave is simultaneously inserted into the owner’s society as a piece of property – as a non-being (Patterson). The baptism of slaves, which only took place in Catholic (French, Spanish, Portuguese) slave systems, and its importance in the creation of syncretic afro-creole religious traditions cannot be understated. After the physical removal of captives from their lands and communities, baptism was the first major attempt to homogenize the various societies represented in Ibero-american slave populations into a monolithic “negro” people. In addition to replacing their names with “Christian” ones and beginning the process of linguistic erasure (two important facets of cultural genocide), baptism formally brought these people into the Catholic fold and placed them under the jurisdiction of the Vatican. In a letter written at the end of the 18th century, an observer comments on the effects of provisions laid out in the Portuguese royal decree of 1701, explaining that “upon arrival [in Brazil] from Africa, the blacks who have not been baptized in Angola, Mozambique, or another place where there are Portuguese governors, receive baptism upon disembarking; this is nothing but a pointless formality, because they are not given any instruction whatsoever” (Conrad, 69). This seemingly formal gesture began the admission process into the paradoxical Brazilian religious society – one in which the slave was simultaneously a Christian whose soul had been saved, yet not a “person,” and devoid of all status and social capital.
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Slave masters intentionally grouped people of different communities together to avoid a rebellion brought about by solidarity (Mattoso, 90). The cultural and societal organization in such diverse cultures as Fon, Ewe and Yoruba people, especially their linguistic differences, made communication and the development of any kind of community extremely difficult. Without a common language, the first waves of slaves brought to the new world had no hope of forming a resistance, formal or informal, against the institutions of slavery. With the passing of time and generations, afro-creoles in Latin America and the Caribbean were brought up learning Portuguese or Spanish, though often at the expense of fluently learning their native tongue (Mattoso, 90). In addition, educating slaves in Brazil was illegal. As in many plantation societies, the only slaves who would have become bilingual would have been those who were domestic slaves and had more exposure to Portuguese than those working in fields (Mattoso). Nonetheless, through development of a common language and community, these afro-creoles developed complex syncretic religious belief systems out of necessity to reclaim their humanity, and the sense of community necessary to avoid social death. Although it is impossible to know if this was a conscious choice, the persistence of these syncretic religious traditions today shows the degree to which they were integrated into afro-creole society and culture. While these religious belief systems varied immensely according to geography and other factors, there are common threads that tie the different syncretic religions of the New World together. All are functions of afro-creole agency and a degree of limited self-determination within the context of the plantation economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. They led to the creation of new faiths that are neither wholly “Catholic” nor wholly “African” in origin, but rather new syncretic belief systems. These include the need to maintain the illusion that the adherents to the new faiths were in fact practicing Catholics, the incorporation of African religious traditions, and the preservation of African languages through liturgical use.
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As a mechanism of agency and resistance within the plantation society, development of a non-Catholic (i.e. “Pagan”) belief system would have been punished severely if the slave owners had discovered it. This made adherence to Catholic traditions, at least in public, critically important. Slave owners were unlikely to spend resources on educating their “property,” claiming that the cost of a chaplain and sacrifice of time as a resource were too much to spend on such people (Conrad, 69). This meant that despite being Catholic in name, very few slaves were given any sort of instruction in religion, and the responsibility of teaching the tenets of Catholicism fell to older slaves, who were only familiar with outward signs of worship as opposed to inward reflection on scripture, prayer, and other key mechanisms of Christianity (Mattoso, 100). If there was a chaplain present on a plantation, he would have been under the orders of the feitor and not taking orders from a bishop, which presents an organizational and theological problem with the type of Catholicism a plantation chaplain taught slaves. This chaplain’s responsibilities would rather focus on outward signs of devotion, such as baptisms, marriages and funerals – most of which would only apply to the master and his family. Mattoso writes that the chaplain “was in no way prepared to practice or preach a religion of liberation. On the contrary, the religion he preached was one of penitence and fear” (Mattoso, 99). The Christian values plantation chaplains preached were those of a “religion” taught purely to keep slaves in line – the values of humility and obedience. In the “Christianity” taught on plantations, the values of liberation through prayer, understandings of the virtues of sacrifice, and the ideas of bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth were nowhere to be found. The development of a syncretism is not a one-way process. Ideas do not flow strictly from Africa and tack themselves on to existing Catholic traditions, nor do they come strictly from Catholic practices forced onto an afro-creole population. It is, rather, a mixing of similar ideas and practices that creates a transcultural belief system unique to its creole society. This process of creating
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a syncretic belief system is one of the most visible examples of agency of the afro-creoles, as its legacy lives on today and claims many followers in the Caribbean. One report made in 2009 by the US State Department claims that up to 80% of Cubans consult with practitioners of Santería (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor). The litany of Catholic saints was the most outward sign of worship in terms of the development of the afro-creole syncretic religion (that slaves could have been expected to be familiar with). Numerous cults in worship of various saints began to take root around the Caribbean, but the first incarnation of these cults were developed by the Iberian settlers in the first stages of the conquest of the Americas. Typically, these cults focused on the worship of the patron saint of that conquistador’s home on the peninsula (Olmos and Lizabeth, 35). Saints, as the intermediary through which an unknowable God could be reached on earth, were worshipped as a method of intercession, though this intercession was understood not to be “polytheistic behaviour” in the European Catholic tradition. However, because of the specialization of different saints, for example, invoking the name of Saint Anthony while searching for a lost object, their role shifted from an intercessor between man and God to a role in which they were worshipped as a god. Considering the aforementioned lack of religious education in slave society, this subtle distinction is likely to have been lost in translation – if it was ever taught at all. This led to a religious climate in which slaves from Yoruba, Fon, and Ewe backgrounds brought their gods with them across the Atlantic, and continued to worship them, as long as they referred to them by their “Christian” names. For example, Saint Lazarus was healed of his lesions by divine will and was venerated in the middle ages as the patron saint of those suffering from leprosy. Saint Lazarus of Bethany, who is often confused with Saint Lazarus, famously rose from the dead and is strongly associated with hospitals.
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Prayers to Saint Lazarus and Saint Lazarus of Bethany were conflated into the worship of the saints themselves, and their names became a sort of “code name” for invocations of the Yoruba deity Babalú Ayé. Babalú Ayé is an Orisha in the Yoruban pantheon, which are spirits that manifest the divine force on earth. Babalú Ayé, the Orisha of disease and healing, represents a natural syncretism for Saint Lazarus and Saint Lazarus of Bethany. Both Saint Lazarus and Saint Lazarus of Bethany are commonly depicted covered in bandages and sores, and Babalú Ayé is often represented as an old man covered in sores and walking on crutches (Santeria Church). At some point, Orishas began converging with saints, and took on personalities of their own. Babalú Ayé, for example, is now the patron saint of those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Latin America, particularly in Cuba. After the connection between Catholic saints and West African deities started to permeate the spiritual fabric of afro-creole life, religious rites from West Africa began to incorporate themselves into non-African rites, and vice versa, to form the new syncretic systems. The Catholic-Yoruba-syncretic religions like Santería are more widely studied, but there is also a significant creole religious system called Oxalá (also Orishalá) that developed through syncretism between West African traditions and Islam in Brazil. Candomblé, which is still practiced today in Brazil, rose out of the mixture of these elements with Catholicism. Though Islam is not indigenous to Western Africa in the same sense as the Yoruban religious traditions, it could be considered an African religion given that many of the slaves brought from the area to northeastern Brazil practiced it. A syncretism between Islam and Yoruba beliefs happened as well in Bahía. Muslim slaves who brought with them their beliefs, which had already begun the process of syncretization in Western Africa as Islam encroached upon the area, were forced into close association with adherents of the various West African polytheistic faiths (Reis, 125). An explanation of the origin of Ramadan, a central tenet of Islam, was found in West African oral traditions
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before their export to the Americas in the story of the fasting of Nana (Reis, 125). Islam’s influence on Oxalá can also be seen in the mutual use of ritual ablution (wudu and ghusl in Islam), and their mutual taboo of imbibing alcohol (Reis, 124). Lastly, the inclusion of West African languages in religious ceremonies was an important manifestation of agency within the context of slavery. While the use of their own languages was not necessarily completely forbidden like other exercises in cultural genocide, the insistence on calling slaves by their “Christian” or European names represents a deliberate effort on the part of the Spanish and Portuguese to discourage the use of African languages. Incorporating African languages into liturgical language was another example of agency in slavery, as a mechanism of preserving culture and identity. Terms like malê, alufá, alá, mandinga, and others made their way into Candomblé liturgical language, and then to contemporary Brazilian Portuguese (Reis, 125). In Cuba, the word “mambo” comes from a Congolese chant to bring about the bridge between this world and the next, and has remained part of the Cuban lexicon in a liturgical use and a secular one (Olmos, 93). The creation of syncretic religions was one of the most visible and important practices in which afro-creoles maintained agency of their own destinies in this world and the next despite the harsh techniques Spanish and Portuguese plantation owners employed to ensure otherwise. The fact that, even after the Cuban and Dominican diasporas, stores that sell objects explicitly for invoking Orishas are found all over New Jersey and Montréal is a testament to the efficacy and determination of this agency. Although slavery and its legacy have left a disgusting and inexcusable scar on human history, the creation of these syncretic religions could not have happened in any other context. The development and proliferation of these religious systems is a powerful reminder of the indomitable nature of the human spirit and its ever-ascending search for meaning in a world seemingly bent on its own destruction.
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Works Cited «Cuba.» U.S. Department of State Religious Freedom Index. October 26, 2009. Accessed November 23, 2015. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2009/127386. htm. «Orishas.» Santeria Church of the Orishas. 2014. Accessed November 22, 2015. http://santeriachurch.org/the-orishas/. Conrad, Robert Edgar. Children of God’s Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in Brazil. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983, 69. Mattoso, Katia M De Queiros. «The African Adapts to Brazil and the Brazilians.» In To Be a Slave in Brazil, 1550-1888. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986, 90. Olmos, Margarite, and Lizabeth Gebert. Creole Religions of the Caribbean an Introduction from Vodou and Santería to Obeah and Espiritismo. 2nd ed. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2011, 35. Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982. Reis, João José. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Uni versity Press, 1993, 125. Studnicki-Gizbert, Daviken. Lecture, Burnside B-36, Montréal, QC, November 8, 2015.
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Robin Holloway Robin Holloway is completing her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Psychology, Economics and International Development Studies. Born and raised in Toronto, but a traveller at heart, she has always maintained an interest in global health and social justice. She believes that academic investigation of international affairs in health is critical due to the politicized nature of global health governance, significant corporate involvement, and the complexity of managing health as both a human right and a private good. This paper demonstrates a unique perspective on the intersection of moral duty, economic reality, public health security and political power struggles in the international arena. Upon graduation, Robin hopes to gather the legal and economic tools to create positive change in global health policy.
The Future of Intellectual Property Rights on Trade Agreements and Subsequent Impacts on Public Health and Access to Medicines
As globalization increases, problems that exist in one country are becoming of greater concern throughout the global community. This is due to the fact that people, products, and inevitably diseases are able to travel more freely as economies are becoming more integrated. At present, there is a massive health inequity between developed and developing countries: 80 percent of pharmaceutical products are consumed by the top 20 percent of the population, and research for diseases that affect poor countries comprises only 10 percent of the funded research (MĂŠdecins Sans FrontiĂ¨res, 2001). While poor countries receive only a small fraction of the health resources, they carry the most of the global burden of disease; approximately 95 percent of deaths from infectious diseases occur in the developing world (World Health Organization, 2000). As national leaders have become increasingly interdependent among each other, free trade agreements between countries have become common in regulating and promoting international trade. While these trade agreements have many benefits that lead to the growth of an economy based on free trade and liberalized markets, they are beginning to expand to include regulations on intellectual property rights. This has a direct impact on the accessibility of medical innovations and technologies in various countries. This paper pro-
-poses that the multinational free trade agreements that have been established in the past thirty years, which include The Technology Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement from the World Trade Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, have negatively impacted global access to essential medicines in low and middle income countries. As such, this paper will focus specifically on the access to medicines for communicable diseases, which are of greatest priority for developing countries to combat.
The Trade-Related Intellectual Property Agreement
The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (hereafter referred to as “TRIPs”) was the first comprehensive convention for international trade policy on intellectual property rights. It was created during the Uruguay round of the General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs in 1986 (Abbott, 470). Developed countries became concerned that developing countries would reverse-engineer their pharmaceutical innovations. Without having to cover costs of research and development (hereafter referred to as R & D), developing countries could produce generic versions of their drugs at drastically lower prices. This, in turn, would undercut the technology-based industries, since consumers in developing countries could purchase the low cost, locally produced generic medicines instead of paying for the high rent monopoly price. Pharmaceutical companies became concerned with this change as generic drug industries overseas began to grow. These companies lobbied their governments to universalize intellectual property rights in order to secure returns on their investments in drug development worldwide. The goal of this agreement was to create a “global minimum standard” for intellectual property rights (hereafter referred to as “IPRs”) universally, and to act as a mechanism for industrialized countries to enforce legal barriers against developing countries from poaching new technologies or new knowledge (Cohen-Kohler, 233). Developing members were opposed to linking IPRs to trade agreements. Brazil and India, two countries with the largest generic drug industries, highlighted how strict patenting regulations would have harmful
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effects on the public health systems in their countries by prohibiting them from producing and purchasing generic medicines. (Abbott, 470). The US-Japan-Europe Bloc out-ranked these objections and upheld these policies in the interest of securing developing countries’ growing market for goods from the pharmaceutical industry and in the aim of protecting their own industries (Abbot, 480). Article 8 of the TRIPS agreement, which has implications for the property rights of medical technologies, specifies that Members of the WTO may “adopt measures necessary to protect public health and nutrition”. While methods remain unspecified, techniques such as “limited exceptions”, compulsory licensing, and parallel importing are suggested (Cohen-Kohler, 236).
Compulsory licensing allows the domestic government to use patented technology without the consent of the patent holder. Under this licensing structure, the domestic government can undergo production of the drug generically to supply the needs of the domestic market, but is still prohibited from producing the drug for the purpose of export to other countries (CohenKohler, 239). This licensing structure is problematic for low-income developing countries that lack the production capacity to produce these drugs themselves, but who are unable to afford the high prices of these drugs held under rentseeking patents. Many of these countries receive their medicines from India or Brazil, who have the production capacity to produce generic drugs, but these countries do not meet the requirements for a compulsory license since they are unable to export them to the countries that are in need due to this exclusive policy. Article 31 of the TRIPs agreement describes that each Member has the “right to determine what constitutes a national emergency” and the specific conditions under which compulsory licensing may be employed, such as a public health emergency, but does not suggest specific criteria (Abbott, 494). This leaves compulsory licensing to the discretion of the government without defined rules as to when it is appropriate to use. Unfortunately, the process of applying for a license is arduous, and puts countries at risk of political and economic backlash if they use compulsory licensing on other more powerful latitudes vol VIII
Member States of the WTO and participating industries. As a result, the political nature of the licensing process limits its use in practice. In the years following the implementation of these new policies, concerns grew within the governments of developing countries about the impact that TRIPs would have in regards to access to life-saving medicines. Patents were historically constrained to nationality, and many drugs were produced generically in developing countries without regard of these patents being held in the United States or in Europe (Cohen-Kohler, 234). Whether a drug is patented or off-patented significantly impacts the manufacturer’s price of the drug, thus affecting its affordability and accessibility to poorer populations (CohenKohler, 231). While there are many programs currently in practice to help reduce health inequalities in poor countries, pharmaceutical products remain the largest cost in these health systems, and therefore act as the limiting factor in providing care to patients in need of these drugs to sustain their basic health.
The Doha Declaration
The Doha Declaration was summoned to clarify these inconsistencies within the pharmaceutical and intellectual property provisions of the TRIPS agreement. Ultimately it aimed to address the “obstacles that the authorities in [developing countries] had experienced when trying to make effective use” of the Agreement and who did not have the financial resources or the technological infrastructure to abide by many provisions within the Agreement (Cohen-Kohler, 239). For example, due to these new regulations, many non-governmental organizations working in developing areas were forced to infringe on patents held by pharmaceutical companies based on the new TRIPs agreement. During the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières had been forced to illegally import anti-retroviral medication from Brazil to South Africa to help those in dire need. The TRIPs agreement had restricted South Africa’s generic drug industry from producing anti-retroviral medication since the patent was held by a pharmaceutical company in the United States, and export restrictions on compulsory licensing could not allow Brazil to export ge-
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-neric ARVs to South Africa legally (Abbott, 478). Additionally, there was some confusion in how the TRIPs Agreement should be interpreted when considering exceptional circumstances or “national emergencies”, as expressed in Article 8 that would merit a circumstance where compulsory licensing on a patent protected product was considered permissible. In short, all signatories of the Declaration were in agreement that : “… the TRIPS agreement should not prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health. Accordingly, while reiterating our commitment to the TRIPS Agreement, we affirm that the Agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members’ right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all.”
Signatories also agreed that “sovereign governments have the right to establish and maintain public health systems without restriction by an agreement regulating international trade and intellectual property rights” (Abbott, 483). Although it did not solve issues surrounding the political repercussions of using compulsory licensing, the Doha Declaration was deemed to be a success in public health terms. All member states came to a unanimous agreement that public health should be protected against harsh IPRs, and that the TRIPs Agreement should not negatively impact the health of populations. However, some scholars have suggested that the reason the WTO Doha Round rounds of negotiations were so successful in protecting the interests of developing countries and access to medicines was because the global actors truly interested in securing intellectual property rights with developing countries, particularly the United States Trade Representative, were pre-occupied with a different meeting (Lewis, 35).
The Trans Pacific Partnership (hereafter referred to as “TPP”) is a new type of trade agreement that will potentially lead to the creation of new power dynamics between major trading blocs. The United States has joined along with
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seven Pacific counties: Australia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Brunei. The goal of this partnership is to establish a United States presence in an increasingly important trading bloc, notably including China and the four Asian Tigers (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand), leading to a trans-Pacific integration. The open accession provision included in the agreement hints that expansion of influence in the Asia-Pacific region may be the ultimate goal guiding the United States’ involvement. In this agreement, the United States is hoping to enforce “TRIPs-plus”, where intellectual property rights are held to “higher levels of protections than is required by the WTO’s TRIPs agreement” (Lewis, 43). There have been four formal rounds of negotiations, with the last taking place in 2010 (Faunce, 1). While this agreement benefits some, there is reason for concern when discussing the impact it will have on developing countries. Private corporations are lobbying for reduced government control on pharmaceuticals in regulating cost-effectiveness, which would threaten equitable access to medicines. They are also pushing for “intellectual monopoly privilege protection” that would hinder the generic drug industries in these countries and would therefore limit access to affordable medicines for patients in need (Faunce, 1). Further, pharmaceutical companies acting through the United States Trade Representative are attempting to implement enforcement and dispute settlement procedures that would allow corporations to sue national governments “if their investments are impeded by […governments’] public health and environment protection legislation” (Faunce, 1). This new provision would exist as legal enforcement that would counter the progress made in the Doha Declaration. The Doha Declaration makes clear that IPRs should not negatively affect public health, and that sovereign governments have the ability to determine if a national emergency merits the reduction of the cost of a drug through compulsory licensing procedures. This provision is no doubt a response to the legal proceeding that occurred between over 40 pharmaceutical companies and the South African
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government in 2001. Law suits were filed to collect damages from when the government tried to reduce prices of anti-retroviral medications to address the national HIV/AIDS epidemic; the government tried to import cheap generics from Brazil and India in order to address this issue (Sidley). The pharmaceutical companies lost this case and with it, the ability to collect damages on their investments. With this provision in place in the TPP, the pharmaceutical companies would win on a recurrent issue. The long-term purpose of this free trade agreement is to create a new trading bloc in the Pacific, where the United States has the opportunity to dictate many of the original regulations. These policies pertaining to pharmaceutical patents are clearly detrimental to the public health sector and access to affordable medicines. The impending expansion of the agreement lead by the United States has the potential to become the universal framework from which IPRs are regulated and enforced, giving unprecedented legal rights to corporations to protect the interests of their shareholders above a governmentâ€™s ability to protect the interests of its citizens. The concern from developing countries revolves around the lack of clarity as to the impact of what these IPRs will have on their health system. Many of these trade agreements are hundreds of pages long and incorporate many provisions where medical technology only constitutes a small component. For this reason, developing countries are very motivated to sign onto these agreements as it liberalizes and improves their overall economy. As a result, there much to be apprehensive about; despite the potential negative effects on health, these less powerful countries are likely to sign this trade agreement, which places pharmaceutical companies in a position of permanent power. These companies could potentially inhibit the ability of governments to supply basic health care to the majority of the worldâ€™s population.
Based on the international trade agreements that have been discussed, it appears that there is a divide between developed countries and developing latitudes vol VIII
countries as to how medicines should be handled in trade agreements. This is due to to different access to resources, technologies, research infrastructures and health burdens experienced by each population. Developed countries are acting together as a united bloc, headed by the United States to represent America and Switzerland to represent Europe. These nations are working to implement increasingly stringent IPRs in trade agreements with participating countries. The United States has a competitive advantage in terms of intellectual property since US firms hold most patented technologies and are unsurprisingly acting in their best interests (Lewis, 6). There are two proposed reasons as to why developed countries have pursued this stance, one of which is valid, and the other is not; these reasons will now be explored. If generic medicines are produced in middle-income countries at a low cost, there is a possibility that these generic versions of the medications, priced at a fraction of their brand name alternatives, are smuggled back into the domestic American and European markets. If this is the case, this will cause two main problems. First, generic medicines smuggled into the country would undercut the profits of American and European pharmaceutical companies. High profits are important in ensuring that companies continue investing in drug development, as it is a high-risk business venture. Only 11 percent of drugs that proceed past the research phase actually make it to market, and the cost of drug discovery and development can be upwards of US $ 900 million (Kola, Figure 1). While there is some skepticism that the cost of drug development is inflated by estimates in the pharmaceutical sector, there is no doubt that drug development is expensive and prone to failure. Second, drug production in developing countries is not regulated to the same standards as what would be considered adequate in the United States and in Europe. The distribution of counterfeit drugs is of great concern in India; if these drugs begin to circulate freely within the global market, this could be detrimental to the health of everyone. A November 2007 study found that 75 percent of counterfeit drugs seized in Europe originated in India. This suggests that manufacturers and distributers are not regulated up to European and American standards (Cohen-
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-Kohler, 235). Another proposed reason that developed countries are pushing for more stringent IPRs within trade agreements is that these governments are highly influenced by domestic corporations, whose interest in securing the pharmaceutical market in developing countries for future sales is their main motive. This motive is both unrealistic and counterproductive. In poor countries, the only medicines these governments could afford are those purchased at the generic price. If trade policies force these governments to buy drugs from patented suppliers at brand price, this will result in a huge deficit in access to medicines. Not only would this result in millions of people without the drugs needed to sustain their basic health, this would also lead to very little increase in profits within the pharmaceutical sector. Markets in developing countries have minimal purchasing power; if generic medicines were removed, the governments and patients would not buy the brand drug, as they simply could not afford it. By shutting down their access to generic medications, only a very small population would then purchase brand name drugs out of this grouping and the profit that pharmaceutical companies would gain would be negligible by comparison. In addition, the right to basic health has been agreed upon by all signatories of the WTO in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights (1966) Article 12 (Pam, 5). Essential medicines are necessary in pursuit of basic health. Thus, it should be questioned as to whether it is appropriate to categorize pharmaceutical products as a necessity to meet basic health and to fulfill the basic human right to health. Perhaps medical technologies should not be subjected to the same property laws as technologies that are desired, but not necessary for survival, such as trademarked merchandise or electronics. In further analyzing this pivotal difference between the duties of countries to protect public health and maintain fair IPRs, one can wonder why trade laws are being strictly abided to, but also act in a way that directly opposes agreements that have been in praclatitudes vol VIII
been in practice for many more decades.
Shutting down the generic drug industry through the previously discussed free trade agreements is ineffective and morally unacceptable. While it would ensure that unsafe counterfeit drugs would not enter American and European markets, it effectively hands the majority of the worldâ€™s population a death sentence. Due to this reality, developing countries will either continue to fight against these agreements, which would delay their completion and thus delay the implementation of beneficial components of these agreements, or they will be forced to supply their populations with medications using the unstable and unsafe underground economy. Sub-par regulations in developing countries that are currently in the process of improving these present circumstances are better to be in place than the alternative of having no regulation of this industry at all. By giving corporations the ability to maintain monopolies on their drugs by removing competition through generic medicines, by creating laws that undermine any progress made in access to affordable health in the Doha Declaration, and by making it legally feasible for corporations to sue governments when implementing compulsory licensing as in the Trans Pacific Partnership, there is no way that countries with minimal resources would have any chance at meeting the basic health needs of its citizens. While it can be argued that national governments should have to develop their own industries to supply medicines to their populations, this is impractical. This would lead to the duplication and the fragmentation of vital research systems and is unethical when considering the universally agreed upon right to health. Thus, while developed countries may be concerned about protecting their patenting rights and the safety of their citizens, the method that they are currently going about protecting it is immoral as it goes against several United Nations doctrines that they have otherwise been agreed to in the past.
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Works Cited Abbott, Frederick M. “The Doha Declaration on the Trips Agreement and Public Health: Lightening a Dark Corner at the WTO.” Journal of Economic Law (2002) : 463-505. Web. 15 February 2015 Cohen-Kohler, Jillian Clare, Lisa Forman and Nathaniel Lipkus. “Addressing legal and political barriers to global pharmaceutical access: Options for remedying the impact of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the imposition of TRIPS-plus standards.” Health Economics, Policy and Law (2008) 3: 229-256. Web. 15 February 2015 Faunce, Thomas A and Ruth Townsend. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agree ment: Challenges for Australian Health and Medicine Policies.” Medicine and the Law (2011) 3: 194, 2. Web. 28 February 2015 Kola, Ismail and John Landis. “Can the Pharmaceutical Industry Reduce Attrition Rates?” Nature Reviews Drug Disco very (2004): 3: 711-716. Web. 5 March 2015 Krist, William. “Draft Discussion Paper: Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.” Wilson Center (2012). Web. 28 February 2015 Lewis, Meredith Kolsky, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: New Paradigm or Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?” Boston College International & Comparative Law Review (2011) 34: 27-52 Web. 28 February 2015 “Fatal Imbalance: The Crisis in Research and Development for Drugs for Neglected Diseases” MSF Access to Essen tial Medicines Campaign and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Working Group (2001) Web. 2 March 2015 Pam, Adamu A. The Centrality of Intellectual Property Law in the Fight Against Ebola Virus in West Africa. Internatio nal Journal of London. Social Science Research Network: 2014. Web. 7 March 2015 Sampat, N. Behaven. “Ensuring Policy and Laws are Both Effective and Just: Academic Patents and Access to Medi cines in Developing Countries. American Journal of Public Health. January (2009) 99:1 8-17. Web 28 February 2015 Sidley, Pat. “Drug Companies Sue South African Government Over Generics” British Medical Journal (2001). 7284:322. 447. Web. 2 March 2015 World Health Organization, “WHO medicines strategy: Framework for Action in Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy 2002-2003”, The World Health Organization, Geneva. Web. 2 March 2015
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Christopher Martin Christopher Martin is currently in his final year at McGill University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in International Development Studies and a minor in Political Science. His key areas of interest are international law, economic development, peace building, refugee studies, gender studies, and sexual and gender based violence. After studying at McGill, he is interested in pursuing work with refugees or issues involving sexual and gender-based violence. He is otherwise interested in anything pertaining to law, human rights, economic development or immigration policy.
Motivations for the Use of Wartime Rape in Sierra Leone
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is often presumed to be an inevitable aspect of armed conflict. However, the frequency of such violence varies dramatically across different conflicts and tactics among armed groups can vary (Leatherman, 2011: 13; Wood, 2009: 132). As such, this wide array of variation pertaining to the use and acts of rape evokes an important question: what motivates the use of wartime rape in armed conflict? In providing an indepth analysis that determines the most pertinent causal mechanisms in motivating the use of wartime rape in the case of Sierra Leone, this paper will begin with a theoretical framework that defines wartime rape followed by a discussion that deconstructs the victim and perpetrator dichotomy prevalent in the literature. It is far more likely that an interaction between a multitude of causal mechanisms are required to explain the aforementioned variation; therefore, this paper will focus mainly on the context of Sierra Leone (Wood, 2006). This is done so in order to avoid homogenizing various experiences across different war-torn landscapes. Subsequently, a literature review will then chronicle the central trends used in the literature, which include the opportunism approach, the strategic weapon of war approach, and the structural gender inequality approach. Lastly, this paper will argue that the dominant approaches in the litera-
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ture are inadequate in explaining the use of wartime rape in the case of Sierra Leone on their own. Upon the literature review, it will be suggested that former approaches should be complimented by Combatant Socialization theory, as it can explain the prevalence of gang rape, female perpetrators and forced recruitment within the discourse. For the sake of this paper, wartime rape will be defined as, “the coerced (under physical force or threat of physical force against the victim or a third person) penetration of the anus or vagina by the penis or another object, or of the mouth by the penis or another object,” (Cohen, 2013a: 462). As such, perpetrators of wartime rape will be more broadly defined as anyone involved in the penetrative act, including those who hold down victims or lead them to the group of perpetrators (Cohen, 2013b). It is also important to differentiate between the act of wartime rape and the much broader category of SGBV, as the latter includes any form of violence that is “targeted at women or men because of their sex and/or their socially constructed gender roles,” and includes various forms of sexual violence; this includes rape, sexual slavery, forced impregnation, sexual mutilation, and forms of harassment or humiliation related to sex or nudity (Carpenter, 2006: 83; Heineman 2011). The definition of SGBV is useful in expanding our understanding of wartime rape, as it is important to understand that men and women can be both perpetrators and victims. More importantly, we must understand that one individual can also be both a victim and a perpetrator (Davies and True, 2015). It is imperative that this understanding be included, as it allows for the complexity of wartime rape to be understood. As such, the gendered dichotomy of male perpetrators and female victim must be eliminated, since it obscures the nuances of the complexity of wartime rape (Carpenter, 2006; Heineman, 2011; Marks, 2013). It is important to note that any approach which makes gendered categories mutually exclusive perpetuates heteronormative gender norms and ignoring a reality that spans across a multitude of armed conflicts; this is particularly harmful to fully understanding the civil war in Sierra Leone, which had both female combatants and male victims (Marks, 2013:360). In the words of Megan Mackenzie in her work Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-conflict Development, men do not just plan and execute, and women do not just suffer and protest within the confines of armed conflict (2012: xii). The literature on causal mechanisms for the use of wartime rape is extensive, but most of it is based on a limited number of datasets. There remains a latitudes vol VIII
large gap in the research in terms of gender aggregated data, and under reporting is a very big problem. Despite these research barriers, various trends in the literature have emerged that can be divided into several categories. For the purpose of this literature review, only the three most prominent explanations and approaches as to why wartime rape is so prevalent in some conflicts and not others will be examined. Each approach will be detailed summarily, and will then be critiqued in order to point out the underlying assumptions that both strengthen or weaken the approach’s core argument. The opportunism approach consists of two core arguments which claim that “war affords men an unprecedented opportunity to rape,” (Cohen, 2013a: 462). The first argument has to do with the state being weakened during civil war contexts, which is accompanied by the “destruction of social norms and legal prohibitions that exist in peacetime, which unleashes at least some men’s latent desire to commit rape,” (Cohen, 2013a: 462). The underlying assumptions to this argument are that at least some men, and some authors even state most men, have a latent desire to rape; the degree to which a state has collapsed is linked to how much wartime rape will take place (Cohen, 2013a). Furthermore, Janie Leatherman expands on this approach in her work Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict by claiming that it is an essentialist approach, as it assumes that sexual violence is inevitable during the chaos of war. This is due to emphasis placed on men’s latent desire to commit rape and the need of militarized masculinities to reaffirm patriarchal gender hierarchies of power in the face of the destruction of social norms associated with civil war (2011: 15; Davies and True, 2015). This argument within the opportunism approach is the most widely discredited; it remains overly simplistic and gender normative in its assumption of men’s latent desire to commit rape (2011: 15; Davies and True, 2015). Furthermore, it does not address why wartime rape is not found in all instances of armed conflict where the state’s capacity is weak (Davies and True, 2015: 3-4). Hence, this argument homogenizes men in armed conflict as perpetrators, ignoring their diverse roles, and does not explain the presence of female combatants (Davies and True, 2015; Leatherman, 2011; Cohen, 2013a).
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The second argument within the opportunism approach is put forth by Jeremy Weinstein, who argues in his work Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence that “insurgent groups with access to material resources attract more violence-prone recruits than groups that rely on ideology, and thus, will be more likely to commit mass-scale civilian abuses,” (2007; Cohen, 2013a: 463). This argument within the opportunism approach focuses on the link between the availability of material resources and how much insurgent groups must rely on the support of civilians (Cohen, 2013a). Essentially, if insurgents can acquire their own resources through looting, they do not need to be morally legitimized by the civilian population. This is because they do not depend on them financially or for voluntary recruitment; instead, the most violent-prone recruits will join the war in order to acquire wealth and power (Weinstein, 2007). This argument constitutes the main strength within the opportunism approach. Throughout the literature, there is a wide agreement that this is often at least a partial causal mechanism in most contexts amongst all of the central approaches. Therefore, the opportunism approach’s main weakness stems from its essentialist core, but its main strength is that it can partially be universalized and seen in many different scenarios as at least a small causal mechanism for explaining the prevalence of wartime rape within an armed conflict where there are voluntary recruits. The second approach is the most common of all three, and views wartime rape as a weapon of war that has intended and strategic purposes (Rittner, 2012; Davies and True, 2015). Wartime rape as a weapon of war is especially prominent in the literature on genocide and ethnic cleansing as a method of destroying groups through forced impregnation and other nonconsensual acts (Rittner, 2012). Although wartime rape’s strategic use is too widespread throughout history to deny, it is important that it is not universalized as a/ the causal mechanism in all contexts, as its underlying assumptions are not always in line with the reality of every conflict. This approach is extremely victim-centric, and puts primary focus on the impact of rape when intended to serve specific purposes (Mackenzie, 2012: 102). This approach implies that latitudes vol VIII
there is a top-down and centralized command system that commands fighters to systematically initiate wartime rape against specific targets (Marks, 2013; Rittner, 2012; Weinstein, 2007). The weakness of this approach is that there are not always hierarchical command structures that enforce and command the use of rape. In reality, there are a wide variety of armed groups that do the opposite of what this approach implies, and actively create enforcement mechanisms in order to inhibit the use of rape; this includes the creation of rules, punishments and inquiries into wartime rape within the command structure of the armed group (Marks, 2013: 359-360; Cohen, 2013a). One could argue that these enforcement mechanisms in place to inhibit wartime rape are not always effective or used in practice, but their existence demonstrates that not all wartime rape is a top-down and systematically enforced strategy with intended targets and objects that armed groups use (Marks, 2013). For example, wartime rape can be a bottom-up process and not ordered through command structures. In other scenarios, wartime rape is frowned upon by the insurgent or state leaders that organize the armed groups and is socially and formally prohibited. Therefore, the wartime rape as a weapon of war approach is a strong causal mechanism in certain scenarios, but is not universal. It points to the aforementioned idea that there is not simply one causal mechanism that explains the presence of wartime rape in an armed conflict; there are a plethora of causal mechanisms that intertwine and vary in importance in each case study. The main strength of this approach in the literature is that it explains the systematic use of wartime rape by certain groups in specific contexts, and that can help us understand the intended impacts on individuals and communities. However, the weakness of this approach is that it cannot be universalized as a causal mechanism that spans across all conflicts. The third approach to providing a causal mechanism to the prevalence of wartime rape is the Gender Inequality Approach, which argues, â€œgreater gender inequality is associated with conflict-wide rape,â€? (Cohen, 2013a: 463). This argument is put forward by feminists and human rights activists, who state that wartime rape is more common where women are gaining rights and men feel
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threatened, or where gender inequality is highest (Cohen, 2013a; Davies and True, 2015; Mackenzie, 2012). The idea behind this argument is that rape allows men “to inflict psychological harm on women and their communities… as it shames not only the victim but also her husband and male relatives who have failed to protect her,” (Cohen, 2013a; Mackenzie, 2012, Davies and True, 2015). This argument conceptualizes rape as being used as a strategic weapon of war to inflict psychological harm, but it is important to note that this approach is not discussing command structures and the idea that wartime rape is an intended strategy imposed by leaders. Instead, this argument is stating that the prevalence of wartime rape can be linked to the structural inequality faced by women. In turn, this allows wartime rape to become a viable strategy. Wartime rape is more likely to happen on a larger scale if gender inequality is greater, as the perpetrator, be it an individual or group, will see it as an acceptable or even efficient vehicle for causing harm (Davies and True, 2015). Furthermore, S. Davies and J. True in their article «Reframing Conflict-related Sexual and Gender-based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back in” explain that “the roots of SGBV are in normalized and systemic gender discrimination” (2007: 1). Once again, this paper is discussing wartime rape specifically and not structural SGBV; it is important to note that much of the literature on this approach is discussing how “structural factors [predispose] certain women to a greater likelihood of sexual violence in war” which not only focuses on the structural aspects of SGBV, but also on a more reflexive look at conditions before the conflict began in order to explain the prevalence of wartime rape and other forms of SGBV (Leatherman, 201: 15). This reflexive look into the structures uniquely found in each individual conflict is exclusive to this approach, and is by far its greatest strength. Essentially, this approach counters the prevailing literature that focuses on sexual violence as a byproduct of armed conflict and instead looks at sexual violence as political violence (Davies and True, 2015: 13). The idea that sexual violence is political violence states that the use of SGBV, in this case specifically wartime rape, is an effective way of “shaming, destabilizing, and displacing whole groups in civil unrest, before, latitudes vol VIII
during and after conflict” (Davies and True, 2015:13). The main strength of this argument is that it considers conditions throughout the whole timeline of a conflict to explain why wartime rape is more prevalent in some conflicts and not others. However, the weakness of this argument is that it ignores men as victims, and women as perpetrators, and does not differentiate between different kinds of SGBV. This approach however, is extremely affected by the lack of gender-aggregated data and therefore, it is clear that the reason as to why it does not distinguish between different kinds of SGBV, and include a more thorough explanation of why women would be perpetrators, is because the data is simply non-existent within today’s research agenda (Davies and True, 2015: 13; Cohen, 2013a; Mackenzie, 2012). Another important aspect of this approach is its general questioning of conventional research methods and methodologies, as Davies and True point out that “research on the causes of sexual violence in armed conflict have not adequately appreciated the politicized context of sexual violence reporting and data collection on the ground”, as a lack of reports could be endemic of extreme gender oppression and widespread SGBV (2015: 13). After having examined the leading approaches in the literature, the case study of the Sierra Leone Civil War will be analyzed to determine if the three leading approaches can adequately explain the use of wartime rape in this specific scenario. A fourth approach will be examined and a unified argument set forth. Wartime rape will be largely attributed to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in this case study, as they disproportionately perpetrated the most rape, 85.6% of reported cases, despite being only one-third of the combatants (Cohen, 2013b: 397, 400). Therefore, this case study will begin b giving a very brief summary of the Sierra Leone Civil War that spanned from 1991 to 2002; it will then apply the three core approaches to explaining the prevalence of wartime rap by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) fighters in the civil was using three distinctions. As such, it will conclude with an alternative approach that can more aptly explain the three distinctions of this conflict, which are; why
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there were so many female perpetrators, how command structures within RUF came into play, and why gang rape was the primary mode of committing wartime rape. The Sierra Leonean Civil War began with a failed rush to Freetown from Liberia by the RUF, which consisted of only a few hundred poorly trained and reluctant recruits at the time (Marks, 2013). The first phase of the war, from 1991 to 1993, included mass rape by Liberian fighters whom greatly outnumbered and outgunned the RUF at the time (Marks, 2013). Their participation is important in determining the causal mechanisms of wartime rape, as many accounts detailing the abuses by the perpetrators admitted to being unclear as to which side of the conflict they belonged do. At the time, RUF fighters underwent ideological training that discouraged the use of rape, but it is unclear as to if this training was taken seriously (Marks, 2013; Davies and True, 2015). In 1993 the nation was forced into the second phase of the war by the state’s counterinsurgency offensive; this phase included much more guerilla warfare and “the creation of a domestic sphere in the jungle” (Marks, 2013: 362). The final stage of the Sierra Leonean Civil war occurred between 1995 and 2002. Marks describes this phase as a period where the RUF was much more divided due to the death of many of its leaders. This ultimately led to a far more decentralized and divided group of rebels that largely governed themselves and lacked a strong command structure and whom had no real sense of unity (2013). As a consequence, the “realignment and fractionalization of fighting forces exacerbated rape and sexual violence… as it increased the personalization of power, and… it heightened the RUF’s sense of insecurity,” (Marks, 2013: 366). There are two ways of applying the opportunism approach to the case of Sierra Leone. Firstly, the argument that armed conflict gives men the opportunity to perpetrate their “latent desires” to commit rape remains weak; it does not explain why gang rape occurs much more frequently during conflict than individual-perpetrated rape, why the RUF so disproportionately committed latitudes vol VIII
most of the wartime rape, and why women would be perpetrators (Cohen, 2013b;Cohen, 2013a; Wood, 2006). This argument states that individual men will commit more rape during conflict than in peacetime, but it does not explain why “gang rape is far more common in wartime than in peacetime,” and why gang rape was the most common vehicle for wartime rape in Sierra Leone (Cohen, 2013a: 463; Marks, 2013; Cohen, 2013b; Davies and True, 2015). During the Sierra Leonean civil war, the Civilian Defense Forces (CDF) committed far less rape than the RUF. If wartime rape should increase simply by the presence of conflict due to an increased opportunity, then why is rape so disproportionately committed by one group and not another (Cohen, 2013a: 465)? Furthermore, when looking at the prevalence of gang rape in civil war, borrowing from the DRC and a study by Johnson, 41% of female victims and 10% of male victims were victimized by female perpetrators (2010). The essentialization of wartime rape through the opportunism approach, and the assumption that perpetrators are only men presents a weak argument in the case of Sierra Leone. It does not account for inter-group differences, the prevalence of gang rape (76% of reported rape was group rape) and the intra-group variation of sex of perpetrators; 25% of the reported group rape was perpetrated with the inclusion of female combatants (Cohen, 2013b: 399; Marks, 2013). The second argument within the opportunism approach, which claims that the type of material resources (lootable or not) available to insurgents attract more opportunistic fighters that are more violence-prone, was supported in studies by Weinstein (2005), and Cohen (2013a). In the case of Sierra Leone, the most violent fighters were usually sent to the front lines, where there was less oversight. Arguably, this suggests that the most violent fighters were closest to the most lootable resources and were thus more greatly exposed to the opportunity of obtaining these goods or perpetuating violence (2005). However, there is one distinction that does not work within the context of Weinstein’s argument; the RUF’s recruitment mechanisms, which include forced pressganging and abduction. Since Weinstein argues that the most opportunistic and violent fighters will join when there are lootable materials
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present, he is suggesting that individuals voluntarily joined and were more violent on the front lines in order to achieve personal gain through rape/lust and material resources/greed (2005). However, most of the RUF fighters were not voluntary participants compared to the CDF, which employs voluntary recruitment mechanisms, they committed more rape; how can this be explained (Cohen, 2013a). Upon further examination, this mechanism can account for a small percentage of rape within the context of Sierra Leone but it cannot stand as the only causal mechanism in this case for high frequency of rape since most of the rape can be attributed to forcibly recruited fighters. The weapon of war approach to the understanding of wartime rape also has problems explaining the Sierra Leone case, as the RUF’s command structure either inhibited rape through enforcement mechanisms and regulatory procedures, or was extremely weak and provided no instructions to commit rape (Marks, 2013; Davies and True, 2015). In the first and second phases of the RUF’s rebellion, one could argue that the RUF saw rape as a crime “that threatened the group cohesion and credibility” as they had procedures and harsh enforcement mechanisms to inhibit the use of wartime rape by combatants (Marks, 2013: 360-363). In contrast to what the weapon of war approach would assume, there is “no evidence from within the RUF of a political, tactical or strategic policy of victimizing women”; this goes against the underlying assumption of the approach, which highlights the systematic and top-down use of wartime rape as a military strategy (Marks, 2013: 366-357). In lieu of a command structure that intentionally utilized wartime rape as a strategic weapon of war, the RUF prohibited rape. The ”People’s Courts: which was established to “adjudicate crimes committed by combatants against civilians,” could grant an execution sentence for violations of said rule (Marks, 2013: 38). Megan Mackenzie would disagree with the argument that rape was not used consistently and systematically throughout the civil war in Sierra Leone; in her work Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-conflict Development, she highlights the example of bush wives (2012: 109). However, latitudes vol VIII
one could argue that Mackenzie does not adequately differentiate between bush wives and survivors of wartime rape. Records of RUF communications and regulations demonstrate that they saw bush wives, women that soldiers were pressured into marrying in more remote locations, as a strategic way of reducing wartime rape, and that the concept of rape and bush wives were completely removed in the local discourse (Marks, 2013). Marriages between combatants and bush wives were either consensual or forced, and there are many diverse accounts of the experiences women faced as bush wives (Marks, 2013: 367; Coulter, 2009). Mackenzie understood that bush wives were being violently taken and forced into slavery, which is certainly true in some cases, however, she does not look at it from a structural perspective, and instead looks at it from a victim/impact perspective. Therefore, bush wives should be separated from wartime rape survivors as an independent category for assessment by nationals who have a better understanding of local customs, as institutions around both categories greatly differ. The concept of intent is important here not to belittle the impact of the many negative experiences of bush wives in the civil war, but in order to determine whether it was a top-down strategy that the RUF used systematically, and not a negative consequence of their weak command structures and enforcement mechanisms, which degraded over the entirety of the war (Marks, 2013). The structural gender inequality approach was found to be ineffective as a singular causal mechanism for motivating the use of wartime rape in Sierra Leone. Gender inequality is certainly not the sole motivation for the use of wartime rape in this scenario (Cohen, 2013a; Cohen, 2013b). This paper argues that structural gender inequality is a factor in determining the prevalence of other forms of SGBV, or even perhaps in explaining why wartime rape is sometimes used as a weapon of war. Gender inequality can affect the impact of such a strategy, but it fails to account for female perpetrators, and gang rape, in this particular case (Davies and True, 2015). The argument put forward by Davies and True, that wartime rape is an act of political violence, is certainly useful in determining a future research agenda, but it remains rather weak with todayâ€™s
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lack of gender-aggregated data, and in explaining why and how wartime rape is seen in the context of Sierra Leone (2015). All of the above approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but none of them can explain why the rape was perpetrated mostly by gangs, and why there were so many female perpetrators. The proposed approach takes into account Cohen’s combatant socialization approach, and implements the formerly discussed approaches. It allows for a broader understanding of wartime rape and accounts for the fact that there are a multitude of intertwining motivations and causes as to why wartime rape is present in armed conflict. First, the proposed approach considers that to some degree, opportunism and the failure of command structures to prohibit the use of rape are a causal factor as to why rape occurs in armed conflict in the case of voluntary fighters. Second, a gender sensitive lens would take into account structural gender inequality to make sense of why women are more likely to be targeted than men, and to propose the future research agenda on the topic in order to get a better understanding of what role gender, both male and female, plays in this puzzle (Mackenzie, 2012). Lastly, the core argument of this approach is the aforementioned combatant socialization approach, which directly links the extremism of recruitment mechanisms to the prevalence of gang rape (Cohen, 2013b). This approach does not consider men to have a biological or latent desire to rape in armed conflict, but instead, considers that rape “serves to socialize recruits [whom are veritable strangers] into a coherent force… when forcibly recruited… via pressganging or abduction,” (Cohen, 2013a: 476; Cohen, 2013b). When forcibly recruited in such an extreme way the victims of forced recruitment, whom have undergone SGBV themselves, need to “create bonds of loyalty and friendship from difficult initial circumstances of fear and mistrust,” (Cohen, 2013b: 392). This argument has four important additions to the core literature. First, it deconstructs the victim/perpetrator dichotomy and can explain wartime rape by perpetrators who are also victims. Second, it can explain why people who latitudes vol VIII
would not rape in peacetime will rape in conflict, as gang rapists “are believed to be more normal and less pathological than are single rapists… [as intra-group social dynamics] can cause individuals to behave in ways that they would never do on their own,” (Cohen, 2013b: 393). Third, it explains why gang rape is the primary mode of wartime rape, as it provides social cohesion to the victims of forced recruitment, which is necessary to form a coherent armed group (Cohen, 2013b). Lastly, this argument compliments the literature by explaining why female combatants, often also victims of forced recruitment and SGBV, would participate in gang rape. They participate because they are faced with similar social pressures and similar circumstances as the men, who were also forcibly recruited, and while neither category would voluntarily seek social cohesion once recruited, it is better than remaining estranged from the other victims (Cohen, 2013b). The research also demonstrates that gang rape has a strong bonding role for the creation of social cohesion, and that “men and women are likely to succumb to and participate- rather than rebel againstmale-led violent behavior [in this context],” (Cohen, 2013b: 387). Combatant socialization theory, along with opportunism and an understanding of command structures and structural gender inequality can together provide a more cohesive approach to understanding the motivation for participating in wartime rape. In conclusion, it is clear that the prevalence of wartime rape cannot be linked to a single causal mechanism, but instead, belongs to a multitude of causal mechanisms that vary in the degree of their influence within each case. The opportunism approach, while partially essentialized and gender normative, provides a useful and universal argument as to why wartime rape occurs more where there are more material resources that are lootable and when recruitment methods remain mostly voluntary. The weapon of war approach may not be helpful in understanding why wartime rape occurs in all circumstances, but it is useful in understanding the impacts of such a strategy in some scenarios. It also highlights the importance of command structures in the relaying of such strategies. The gender inequality approach may be the most weakened by the
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lack of gender-aggregated data, but it is the most useful in providing a new gender sensitive lens to the other approaches, while continuing to consider the entire timeframe. Lastly, combatant socialization theory is useful in complementing the combined three approaches in order to better understand why gang rape is the main vehicle of wartime rape in Sierra Leone, and why female combatants participated, despite the lack of command structures forcibly ensuring wartime rape was used as a weapon of war in this case study. Sierra Leone is a useful case study in this context because it highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, as well as depicts the importance for future research agendas to eliminate the perpetrator/victim dichotomy, and to emphasize the need gender-aggregated data.
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Works Cited Carpenter, R. C. «Recognizing Gender-Based Violence Against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations.» Security Dialogue 37.1 (2006): 83-103. Web. Cohen, Dara Kay. «Explaining Rape during Civil War: Cross-National Evidence (1980–2009).» American Political Science Review 107.03 (2013a): 461-77. Web. Cohen, Dara Kay. «Female Combatants and the Perpetration of Violence: Wartime Rape in the Sierra Leone Civil War.» World Pol. World Politics65.03 (2013b): 383-415. Web. Coulter, Chris. Bush Wives and Girl Soldiers: Women’s Lives through War and Peace in Sierra Leone. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2009. Print. Davies, S. E., and J. True. «Reframing Conflict-related Sexual and Gender-based Violence: Bringing Gender Analysis Back in.» Security Dialogue (2015): 1-18. Web. Heineman, Elizabeth D. Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights. Phila delphia: U of Pennsylvania, 2011. Print. Johnson, Kirsten. «Association of Sexual Violence and Human Rights Violations with Physical and Mental Health in Territories of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.» Jama 304.5 (2010): 553-62. Web. Leatherman, Janie. Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict. Cambridge: Polity, 2011. Print. MacKenzie, Megan H. Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-conflict Development. New York: New York UP, 2012. Print. Marks, Zoe. «Sexual Violence inside Rebellion: Policies and Perspectives of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone.» Civil Wars 15.3 (2013): 359-79. Web. Rittner, Carol, and John K. Roth. Rape: Weapon of War and Genocide. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2012. Print. Weinstein, J. M. «Resources and the Information Problem in Rebel Recruitment.» Journal of Conflict Resolution 49.4 (2005): 598-624. Web. Weinstein, Jeremy M. Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print. Wood, E. J. «Armed Groups and Sexual Violence: When Is Wartime Rape Rare?» Politics & Society 37.1 (2009): 13161. Web. Wood, E. J. «Variation in Sexual Violence during War.» Politics & Society 34.3 (2006): 307-42. Web.
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Nyasha Chidzero is a student of International Development Studies, African Studies, and English Literature, with a passion for connecting her experiences growing up in her home country, Zimbabwe, with the teaching and discussions surrounding international development at McGill. Currently completing her final year, her experience in development studies has presented an opportunity to critically engage with the various global processes that take place under the umbrella of development, while drawing inspiration from multiple academic disciplines. While studying in Montreal, she keeps up her creative interests through art and literature. She is a fan of qualitative research and alternative thought and maintains a keen interest in researching education systems. In a class on Gender and Development, she was able to explore the overlap in her own interest in entrepreneurship, and particularly social entrepreneurship, with the development efforts of various global communities.
The Underlying Bias of the 10,000 Women Initiative
In this paper, I will explore the dynamics of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in the context of gender as a socially constructed system of power relationships.1 I argue that the initiative is built on the assumption that business and entrepreneurship are non-gendered institutions, and that this assumption further constrains womenâ€™s economic and social freedoms, while targeting them as this centuryâ€™s global leaders of development. Although the initiative aims to include women as a valuable economic resource, it in fact undermines women in various ways from the achievement of their full potential as agents in the global economy. This exclusion occurs in three ways. Firstly, in the acceptance and initiation of these women into a masculinised workplace culture. Secondly, in the inattention to the histories of power and structural oppression that have led women to be treated as a special category in development. Thirdly, in the failure to address class structures that affect the numbers of women financially unable to participate. Altogether, these factors undermine the validity of 10,000 Women.
Goldman Sachs is an American investment banking company. It provides services such as investment management, securities, and credit services around the world. Over the past few years, the firm has become a major player in business-led development, including partnership and research exchange with the World Bank as a member of their Global Private Sector Leaders Forum (“The Global Private Sector Leaders Forum”). The company’s efforts in corporate social responsibility (CSR) aim to overhaul its image as an industry leader in corporate citizenship. The Goldman Sachs Foundation launched 10,000 Women in 2008.2The company pledged to spend $100 million training underrepresented female entrepreneurs, specifically in the developing world. The initiative is based on a short-term Certificate Program, ranging from five weeks to six months, during which the women learn valuable skills, including financial management, business strategy, and networking. The primary recipient countries have been China, India, Brazil, Egypt, and Afghanistan, in order of the size of grants received. The funds are administered largely by university business schools, alongside some financial training services.3 Following the end of the project’s initial five-year time span, and spurred on by its reported successes in bringing women into business, Goldman Sachs announced plans to continue with similar projects under the umbrella of 10,000 Women (Devex).4 While observers have applauded the initiative for its efforts in furthering global development and female entrepreneurship, many of the underlying suppositions of 10,000 Women complicate the program’s commitment to achieving models of development that empower women.5 The structure of 10,000 Women assumes that entrepreneurship is a non-gendered institution for which women simply lack access to skills-training and start-up capital. This assumption negates the effects of a business environment that has historically been tailored toward a stereotypical masculinity—one that favours competitiveness, and relies on the freedom to put in significant work hours in the absence
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of other duties, such as housework and childcare, which are largely delegated to women (Hartmann). As Varsha, one of the Indian graduates of 10,000 Women expressed, “10,000 Women has taught me to implement new ideas quickly, to get ahead of competitors, to streamline my finances, and to make decisions that will increase the profitability of my firm” (“10,000 Women”). This quotation demonstrates the alignment of the business principles taught through the program to a prescription of hegemonic masculinity that has become favoured in the Western business world. Thus, the program trains women to take on traditionally masculine traits to improve their business, including competitiveness and longer working hours. The “ostensible gender neutrality” (Acker 19) that Goldman Sachs employs in presenting its project masks that the program arises from an intrinsically masculinised workplace culture. However, women are overall less likely to meet the criteria of competitiveness and constant availability that the business world demands due to the ‘second shift’ (Hochschild). Especially in the Third World, the ‘second shift’ is the work waiting for women at home, where they bear the brunt of the responsibility. The division of the private and the public sphere remains such that it is likely many of the women increasing their paid work through 10,000 Women entrepreneurship ventures will still remain caregivers in some respect. Following a tradition of “corporate claims of non-responsibility” for the private sphere (Acker 23), 10,000 Women remains silent on the burdens of a ‘second shift’ on women entering into entrepreneurship. As such, the program is merely incorporating women into a developmental structure where men have the advantage by default.6 Compared to their male counterparts, these women are more likely to encounter a ceiling when expanding their enterprises as a result of their dual responsibility to both the public and private sphere. Goldman Sachs’ failure to address this disadvantage complicates women’s relative economic and social freedom in three ways. The increasing demands of paid work, on top of the existing household demands that women must often navigate, mean that these women are likely less at leisure to participate in latitudes vol VIII
social events unrelated to work. They are not only compromised in their social participation, but also in their economic participation, due to the constraints of the sexual division of labour (SDL) (Hartmann). While their businesses may be growing, as Goldman Sachs has reported from case studies of particular graduates, this growth comes at a cost; it continues to be slowed by the unrealistic expectations placed on women, and especially Third World women, as mothers and caregivers within the community. A look at the gendered structure of Goldman Sachs as a corporation itself provides insights into its acceptance of a masculine work culture. The company has been criticized for the lack of female executives in its top ranks (Lattman). Furthermore, high-ranking women within the company have previously sued Goldman Sachs on several occasions for denying them the kind of paycheques and job opportunities granted to men, including in a suit three former female employees brought against the firm in 2010 (Ibid.). That same year, women made up only 17 percent of the firmâ€™s managing directors (Ibid.). Female employees have also criticized the companyâ€™s overwhelmingly masculine environment, which has led to a sense of exclusion during company events centred on expressions of masculinity (Ibid.). Acker suggests that a closer look at the actions of CEOs and other top managers may be instructive in better understanding the broader actions of multinationals as processes attached to the bodies and identities of those who fill positions of power (23). As Acker suggests, these discontinuities in the realities of men and womenâ€™s lives are exacerbated by the process of globalising this hegemonic structure of business management, geared toward an archetypal Western masculinity. It seems only natural that Goldman Sachs should treat women as a separate entity when providing business training, as many corporate development projects do. In 1998, Koczberski examined the phenomenon of Women in Development that grew in popularity in the late twentieth century and has since been carried out by corporate actors and NGOs alike. However, the straightforward treatment of women as a separate development category fails to take Third World women in the global market (Koczberski). Historically, the intro-
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into account the historical power structures leading to the subordination of Third World women in the global market (Koczberski). Historically, the introduction of Third World economies into a global market structure often undermined the political and economic agency that women exercised in their communities, as “an overlay of Euro-American gender relations was established in many parts of the world as men from the North carried out their colonizing projects” (Acker 24). This implementation of a rigid SDL within developing countries means we must now treat women as a specific category of development (Koczberski). Yet in the overwhelming majority of development discourse, “to talk about men is to talk about the general situation” (Acker 20); when women are mentioned, they are viewed as a dormant resource to be “added and stirred” into pre-existing development models. Approaches that ignores historical structures of subordination imply that women are unproductive through a fault of their own, or at least through a fault of their local culture. By treating the current disadvantaged position of women in the developing world as an isolated and unexplained phenomenon, 10,000 Women has limited ability to combat the results of unequal processes of globalization. By painting a picture of women as dormant and unproductive resources entering the global market, the campaign also undermines a long history of women’s unpaid labour in support of the global market. Koczberski suggests that this approach arises from the connections of development to colonization, in which Western males were the source of expertise. Although the global economy favours paid work in the public sphere, many Third World women have in fact for years been working in support of economic growth through care-giving, agricultural work, and the provision of social services (Ibid.). The rhetoric of 10,000 Women therefore denies women’s existing agency and independent efforts toward the betterment of their lives and communities. Moreover, although providing underrepresented women with entrepreneurial support is sound in principle, considering women as a resource in the global market fails to address their personal requirements for fulfilment, empowerment, and survival beyond income. The premise of 10,000 Women has been based on the goal of economic growth from the get-go. Not only was it latitudes vol VIII
founded in 2008, in the midst of the global economic crisis, as a strategy for the revival of a strong global market; the program was also conceived of after Goldman Sachs published a report on ‘womenomics’ that found that empowering women in the workforce could lead to increased GDP in the developing world (“Women Hold Up Half the Sky”). Yet this approach contradicts current thinking. In his widely cited Development as Freedom, prominent economist Amartya Sen argues for a reformed development paradigm that addresses the holistic human development of individuals as an end in and of itself, looking beyond an increase in purely economic indicators. By focusing primarily on GDP growth, 10,000 Women gives a central position to an increasingly outmoded model of market-led development. The ‘stages of growth’ model the company uses prioritizes economic growth and stability above the individual experiences of women themselves. Thus, this market-driven view of women’s empowerment does nothing to combat workplace and cultural structures that constrain women’s control over the direction and substance of their own lives. Another problem that arises from the treatment of women as an economic investment is the assumption that women will not focus on themselves. Much of the rationale behind Goldman Sachs’ ‘womenomics’ literature is embodied in one of the videos on the 10,000 Women homepage, which states, “when a woman is empowered she puts everybody before herself” (“10,000 Women”). This assumption demonstrates the lack of focus on women’s holistic development and empowerment, portraying the initiative not as one striving for true gender equality, but rather economic growth. Centring the rhetoric of 10,000 Women on the women’s capacity to help their communities ‘get ahead’ negates the value of female empowerment as an end in and of itself. It is ironic that, while the sexual division of labour constrains women’s capacity and freedom to participate in paid work, it is precisely the responsibilities that women have as a result of the SDL that Goldman Sachs heralds as the platform from which they will have a crucial impact on development. The program perpetuates the connection of femininity with service by expecting women’s close connections with their communities to result in spillover effects
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from their entrepreneurship (Moeller). In this way, the burden of responsibility placed on women becomes threefold. Firstly, they remain largely responsible for the care of the home across the Global South. Secondly, they become responsible for paid work and generating income within the public sphere. Thirdly, as a result of development programs that assume that womenâ€™s capacity to effect others is therefore greater, women increasingly bear the burden of economic development, not only in the Third World, but as a kick-starter for the global economy as a whole. It is specifically because of womenâ€™s influence in the private sphere that they have been targeted, and yet these very realities constrain their ability to achieve beyond a certain level in the workplace. A final way in which the initiative inadvertently constrains womenâ€™s social and economic freedoms is in its exclusion of the most isolated women within society. Entering the program in the first place requires a certain level of income. 10,000 Women is based on a mostly online application process, meaning that potential participants must have access to a computer and an internet connection. Participants must also already be the owner of a small business with a certain number of employees, generally a minimum of five. Many graduates said they were able to get financial resources from their family (Chiu), suggesting that the successful women had already achieved some level of stability and had prior access to social support. In the South African branch of the project, participants are responsible for their own transport costs and must also be able to provide a security fee at the beginning of the project to ensure they do not drop out. Therefore, if women are significantly marginalized within society, they will not have access to this program, which requires that they already have a business with growth potential, solid backers, and some money to spare. While this model may work well in engaging women already on the path to success, it thus lacks a necessary focus on equity. Recent research in equitybased approaches to development has found that prioritizing the worst-off groups contributes more rapidly to the growth of a stable and broadly equilatitudes vol VIII
-table society, undermining advocates of the ‘top-down’ model of economic growth (UNICEF). Acker points out that the problems most women face in developing societies are different in many respects than those faced by women in “rich capitalist nations” (22). By targeting women who have already started a business and have access to some degree of social and financial capital, 10,000 Women neglects those not already aligned with the Western capitalist system of developmental progress. These women are often the most vulnerable to gender inequality and lack of access to social support. Furthermore, a recruitment process that privileges women with existing access to capital may have the negative effect of reinforcing social hierarchies. These hierarchies have resulted in wide gaps in equality between women at different intersections of race, class, caste and/or ethnicity. Thus, while the program only reaches those already privileged, it is the poorest women who are most in need of programs that act to correct historical imbalances in access to resources.
In this paper, I have argued that because business and entrepreneurship are already gendered institutions, creating a development plan for the inclusion of women into business without simultaneously addressing these inequalities perpetuates pre-existing strains on women’s freedoms. Because 10,000 Women does not directly address this structural inequality, it falls short of the reformation of economic systems that women need to achieve Sen’s conception of development as freedom. It is necessary to recognize and engage with the fact that historically-driven inequalities, in both class and gender, play a part in the current disadvantaged position of women in entrepreneurship in the developing world; as do widely accepted structures of neo-liberal economic growth. In essence, 10,000 Women is built on the assumption that women will not focus on themselves, meaning their involvement in the economy will speed up the development of their countries as a whole. Women are not only at a disadvantage by having to unlearn traditionally gendered expectations to enter a competitive workplace culture, but are doubly burdened with the assumption that they maintain certain feminine roles. The success of 10,000 Wo-
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on the positive implications of women as caregivers within the community to leverage the advantages of their labour and drive economic growth. However, it remains silent on the extent of the burden women still carry in the private sphere. Investment in CSR through programs like 10,000 Women is meeting financial expectations and fulfilling Goldman Sachs’ avowed commitment to business-led development. However, 10,000 Women must go beyond its current model to be truly celebrated for its empowerment of women in the developing world. An ideal initiative would place the issues of the historic subjugation of Third World women and the predominance of hegemonic masculinities in the global market at the centre of its process. Only by doing so would it be truly successful in helping underserved women access resources to increase their freedoms economically, socially and politically. Yet within the parameters of CSR, which are often restrictively geared toward a certain image of corporate citizenship, it remains to be seen whether future iterations of the program may develop a more holistic approach to the empowerment of women.
Notes 1. See Michael Kimmel, particularly Chapter 5, “Inequality and Difference” for further reading on social constructionist perspectives on gender. 2. Goldman Sachs also has a parallel 10,000 Small Businesses project which operates along the same lines, but without the gender-targeted structure of 10,000 Women. 3. Examples of grantees include University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the INSEAD Management Education Foundation. 4. In March 2014, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women launched a $600 million financing program called the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, aiming to provide as many as 100,000 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets with access to financing. 5. Goldman Sachs has become a leader in business-led development with this specific project, and should be credited on various choices in its implementation which improve upon previous efforts of CSR. These include the decision to follow up with participants following the end of their training, and increased accoutability and transparency in documenting the spending of grant money.
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Works Cited Acker, Joan. «Gender, Capitalism and Globalization.» Critical Sociology 1.30 (2004): 17-41. Chiu, Lisa. Goldman Sachs Sets New Standard for Strategic Philanthropy. 10 June 2013. 8 December 2014. <https://www.devex.xom/news/goldman-sachs-setsnew-standard-for-strategic-philanthropy-81187>. Devex. Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women at a Glance. 7 June 2013. 6 December 2014. <https://www.devex.com/news/goldman-sachs-10-000-women-at-aglance-81154>. Goldman Sachs. 10,000 Women. n.d. 1 March 2016. <http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000women/>. «Women Hold Up Half the Sky.» 4 March 2008. Global Economics Paper No: 164. 4 March 2016. < http://www. goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/investing-in-women/bios-pdfs/women-half-sky-pdf.pdf>. Hartmann, Heidi. «Capitalism, Patriarchy, and Job Segregation by Sex.» Signs 3.1 (1976): 137-169. Hochschild, Arlie Russell, and Anne Machung. The Second Shift. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. Print. Kimmel, Michael. «Chapter 5: Inequality and Difference: The Social Construction of Gender Relations.» The Gende red Society Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 86-110. Koczberski, Gina. «Women in Development: A Critical Analysis.» Third World Quarterly 19.3 (1998): 395-410. Lattman, Peter. 3 Women Claim Bias at Goldman. 15 September 2010. 8 December 2015. <www.nytimes. com/2010/09/16/business/16bias.html?_r=0>. Moeller, Kathryn Zamora. «Chapter 5: The Girl Effect.» Globalization and Education: Integration and Contestation across Cultures. Ed. Nelly P Stromquist and Karen Monkman. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 71-86. Print. Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom. New York: Knopf, 1999. Print. “The Global Private Sector Leaders Forum.” The World Bank. N.p., 25 May 2011. <http://www.worldbank.org/en/ news/feature/2011/05/25/the-global-private-sector-leaders-forum>. UNICEF. «Progress for Children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity (No. 9).» 2010. <http://www.unicef.org/protec tion/Progress_for_Children-No.9_EN_081710.pdf>. World Bank. Gender Equality and Development. Washington D.C.: World Bank, 2011. <http://public.eblib.com/ choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=781369>.
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Tiffany Jan was born and raised in Taiwan and is completing a double major in International Development Studies and Anthropology. Through the combination of the two majors, Tiffany developed a passion for challenging our taken-for-granted assumptions about what is ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ by revealing the diversity of human experience within various global development issues. Her main research focuses on the social, cultural and medical dimensions of poverty that greatly shapes our perception and understanding of it. She believes that our perception of many contemporary human rights issues greatly determines the kind of development policy or solution one comes up with. This paper was born out of an INTD course on international labour migration and was inspired by Professor Takamura’s experiences in Southeast Asia.
Role of Gender Perceptions in Transnational Migration: Rethinking Masculinity and Femininity
Oftentimes, gender ideologies accentuate gender conflicts in transnational families. The roles of men and women change during the migration process, this can disrupt or reinforce gender norms depending on different contexts and situations. Changes in normative gender behaviour and practices observed in transnational households help us re-question the very idea of what “gender” entails. Hence, in this research paper, I explore the role of gender in transnational migration, by focusing on micro-level female and male experiences.1 Moreover, illuminate the argument that there are differences between “crossing-over” gender roles, and diversifying the perceptions of gender itself. Thus, I will further delve into the significance of adopting an alternative perception that views gender as a flexible entity, in order for individuals to move toward pluralising self-identification without the confines of gender norms. Gender is entwined with other structures of difference, such as race, class, generation, and sexual orientation. It is important to acknowledge that migration not only concerns economic and political spheres, but is also a sociocultural process mediated by gendered ideologies, institutions, and practices (Grasmuck and Pessar; Hondagneu-Sotelo; Matsuoka and Sorenson). Although
migration experiences greatly differ between men and women, gender dichotomy confines them in a normative gendered relationship within a particular cultural and familial context. Hence, the comparison between male and female migrant experiences illuminates ways in which they shape one another. Today’s gendered society exerts a force onto both men and women that reduces individual diversity down to specific gender ideals. For one, many women are compelled to adopt the traits of “men” in order to become empowered2, and men who “intrude” into the feminine sphere are often rejected by society. This results in the perpetuation of normative gender categories that confine potential ways of being. The problem of many gender conflicts within migrant households can be better addressed by recognizing masculinity and femininity as plural entities in a way that makes us aware of the implication and danger of upholding a specific “commonsensical social construct.”3 Our gender perception should reveal the ways in which they shape different aspects of migration and help further one’s understanding of their own social life, thus opening up new possibilities for migrant labourers to improve their lives.4 First, gender plays a role in shaping the process of giving and receiving remittances, as wealth greatly influences migrant power, “remittances reflect and transmit power.” This power affect each gender differently, and thus influences individual decisions concerning remittances (Mahler 10). Therefore, it is important to question how remittances structure gender ideals by generating a particular form of power (Lopez-Ekra, Aghazarm, Kötter, and Mollard.)5. Women introduced to wage-earning employment often experience gains in personal autonomy, independence, and greater gender parity (Gamburd). For example, in Sri Lanka, women who migrate tend to become the main breadwinners within their families. The act of sending money and presents to their home country is often seen as a way to fill the void of motherly care in the family (Parreñas). In other words, remittances act as substitution for the traditional gender roles, transforming what being a “mother” entails rather than simply “crossing over” masculine role as the breadwinner.
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Abrego finds that in both the United States and El Salvador, children enjoy greater economic stability when mothers migrate presumably because mothers feel more obligated to send money to their children than fathers despite of wage inequalities among migrant parents (1071-7). Mothers often face greater structural barriers than fathers in sending remittances due to being disadvantaged in the US labour market (1075). In this case, distinction between motherhood and fatherhood needs to be carefully observed. In El Salvador, mothers are expected to willingly sacrifice themselves in the name of their families (1082)6. Fatherhood, on the other hand, is closely tied to “authority, protection, and guidance of the family through participation in the public sphere” (Arriagada). Since mothers are more burdened by moral expectations, they tend to be more consistent and reliable remitters. In addition, migrant mothers are consistent remitters, regardless of their own or their ex-partners’ relationship status, whereas the opposite goes for the fathers (1080). The author concludes mother-away families tend to benefit and be better-off than fatheraway families. To further build on the idea of moral expectation, factor of kinship plays a significant role in shaping experiences of a migrant family. In her study, Olwig suggests that “kinship is freighted with moral entailments” in the form of expectations and obligations that are often burdensome or impossible to fulfill. Kinship can be seen as a significant force that perpetuates gender norms. A Case study of Rukmini, a migrant woman from Sri Lanka and Ramesh and her husband, in Gamburd’s text shows the influence of kin on particular behaviour due to gendered perception of how one “should be”. Rukmini is judged by her extended family based on the kind of gift she gives them (185). In this example, kinship members of migrant families exert social pressures through indirectly requesting a gift because they felt it was the “norm” for breadwinners abroad to provide benefits to people at home without considering the migrant’s vulnerable position as a burdened mother away from her children. Here, Rukmini is living up to the gender ideals of a “man”, and this is further reinforced by the static perception of family members. Another example shows latitudes vol VIII
how pressure is also exerted on individuals not living up to gender ideals. The husband Ramesh, joined the community “drinking group” after feeling like he had failed as a breadwinner. For the community and kinship members, Rukmini’s migration “symbolizes a man’s failure” in her community (177). With this gendered mentality that women’s success equals men’s failure, stay-at-home men are often criticized by their wife, female kin, and at times even other women in the Middle East where Rukmini went for work felt that Ramesh was a failed husband. These perceptions negate new possible roles men can come to acquire, thus perpetuate an imbalance in household roles and reducing the economic well-being of migrant families. In this light, we see how gender greatly explains the economic well-being of transnational families. Gender ideals not only shape parental responsibilities, but also influence, and are influenced by the flow of remittances. Abrego’s research portrays fathers and masculinity in a pessimistic light, she significantly illuminates the reality of gendered remitting behaviours and idealized notions of motherhood in Latin America. To further build on this, a gender-based approach to remittances has been developed by The United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRW). These research and policies oftentimes, associate “gender” to women. This is because masculinity is often seen as static alongside femininity without deeper analysis on male experiences, and how the two are interdependent. Therefore male roles and positions are often framed as the cause of many gender issues rather than a part of the solution, such as the previous case with Ramesh who resorted to drinking due to not meeting the male gendered ideals In some cases, highlighting fathers’ lack of “feminine” qualities, such as not being able to care for their children in the intimate way,7 reinforces perception of gender norms. For example, in Parrena’s findings, Filipino children were quite ambivalent about their father’s migration, while greatly disturbed by their mother’s absence. But Dreby adds that children’s emotional involvement with their fathers can be just as strong, and fathers can be just as caring and attentive to their children as mothers abroad. Although these conclusions are based on
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different contexts, what I wish to emphasize is the possible plurality of masculinities in relation to femininity. Returning to the power of remittances, Gamburd’s economic remittances also influence “social remittances”8 since it allows migrants, especially women, to negotiate gender within the household in new ways.9 This also brings forth the significance of “emotional remittances” which Vasquez Del Aguila defines as the sharing of everyday lives, problems, and achievements that can be initiated by both mothers and fathers. Although generally women and men both benefit from increasing remittances, Fouron and Schiller show how it fosters the macro-structure of embedded gender norms within society. They give the example of how poor Haitian immigrant women’s remittances and gifts greatly elevate their social status in their home country. But, paradoxically, their material contributions represent such a high percentage of hard currency flowing into Haiti that they reinforce the Haitian state which systematically discriminates against women (Mahler 45). Remittances in the economic, social, and cultural sense should all be looked at through the imbedded notions of gender within a specific society. Next, I compare migrant women with stay-at-home women, and how discourse surrounding the notion of “household” reaffirms traditional women’s roles in order to sustain traditional male roles. Moreover, this puts emphasis on the existing differences between “crossing-over” gender roles and “diversifying” notions of gender, suggesting that conscious effort of recognizing the necessity to reshape one’s ideology is more effective than the “forced” crossing over of gender roles. To start off, the family combination of a migrant father and a stay-at-home mother may result in the “intensification of men’s control over women as well as instances of emotional and physical abuse.” (Mahler 8). In other words, shifts in who migrates significantly changes household power structures. When fathers go abroad, mothers’ roles change at the micro-level, but at times they can be overtly denied because it threatens men’s ideas of “masculinity.” latitudes vol VIII
The financial support men provide through migration legitimizes their role as the household heads, and they often emphasize their discomfort and sacrifice when going abroad and leaving the family. Ironically, women are also in a state of discomfort and have to adjust to changes in authority within the household, yet this remains unrecognized by many men due to the force of gender ideals. Dreby analyzed the situation of Efren, a Mexican migrant worker in the US. Claudia, Efren’s wife, gained both authority and responsibility in the household and community while her husband was away. But instead of diversifying his perception of his wife’s efficient adaptation to new gender roles, Efren exerted physical violence on his wife because she threatened his control of the household when he returned (Dreby 60). In a way, we can see Claudia’s transformation as “crossing over” to the “masculine” authoritative role as the sole parent at home because it was not supported by the husband. This example shows how self-transformation of gender roles is insufficient without both genders recognizing that our category of femininity can change to include our perceived “masculine” traits as well. The problem with this particular case can be looked at from a cultural angle found within Mexican families’ highly valued notion of familis. Embedded within the familis are the clearly defined gender roles, with men as providers and women as caregivers (Dreby 57). They are said to be uniformly patriarchal and to adhere to “pathological constructions of ideal masculine (machismo) and feminine (marianismo) behaviors.” (58). The traditional nuclear families function under specific gender norms that allows for the “crossing over” but not the transformation of ideologies embedded in culture.9 The non-dynamic gender perceptions confines the roles of men and women. Domestic work, authority, and responsibilities in the private sphere --which many women dominate-- are recognized by society as having a lower value than the perceived “masculine” roles, but are just as important as jobs in the public sphere. The example of Efren and Claudia shows the necessity of the renegotiation of family structure and values. Gender roles and perceptions have to adapt and reshape themselves in accordance with the realities within migrant
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households in ways that both genders recognize their complementarity and interdependence in different contexts. Gendered recruitment practices structure migrations, and gendered work is continuously reemphasized by the market system. Gender influences recruiters’ conceptions of appropriate employment niches for men versus women. Efren’s case highlights how specific migrant tasks are recognized as either masculine or feminine but rarely both. Although female migration rates are increasing across the globe with the increasing demand of domestic workers, male-led migrations continue to be important as well. (Dreby and Adkins 4) To compare, it is insightful to consider how migrant domestic work includes both men and women rather than separating them into “productive” and “reproductive” roles. Women oftentimes enter middle-high class households as domestic caretakers, and “men [also] maintain the same households through more “masculinized” domestic activities of house repair, maintenance and gardening.” (Kilkey 6). One notable difference between masculinized and feminized work in the formal and informal sector is that “masculinized jobs, as in other sectors, earn a premium over feminized labour” (9). This reflects deeply gendered understandings of the value of different types of work.10 It is the social norm to determine the appropriate pay on the basis of gendered identities. Hence, domestic work carried out by men is of higher value than that carried out by women.11 In the Philippines, domestic work is performed by poor rural migrants (Lan 194). Haile and Siegmann examine the case of Rido, a former cook in the Philippines who, after migrating, had to become a domestic helper. He often feels embarrassed due to the gender connotation of domestic work. Some men feel unemployment is “unmanly” whereas many others would rather be unemployed than have a “feminine,” “de-classing” job.12 Men like Rido who had to resort to domestic services are strongly against new adaptation of our perceived “male femininities” because it threatened their sense of dignity. Interestingly, studies also show there is presence of both non-migrant women and latitudes vol VIII
men as domestic workers in the Philippines due to the intersection between gender identity and class.13 Sarti shows how male domestic workers in the Philippines also see domestic work as “a female’s job.” (30) She notes, by denying and opposing the existence of male domestics, it becomes clear that men believe “male domestic workers are not really men and support a conception of masculinity which backfires on them.” (31) In other words, men tend to deny their entire identity when crossing gender roles instead of recognizing it as diversifying masculinity. Conversely, female respondents, even when shifting from a more prestigious job into domestic work, perceived domestic work as “an extension of ‘natural’ female skills associated with the ‘female-sphere’ of the private home.” To summarize, domestic work is “in line” with women’s gendered role expectations but many women still see jobs in the public sphere as more empowering. Both females and males hold the perception that domestic work is a less prestigious job, but due to the initial difference in their gender identities, it is more of a challenge mentally for men compared to women. In addition, not only does this feminized occupation pose challenges for male domestic workers, it also leads to gender-based discrimination in access to jobs in domestic service. For example, study on Marco, the 43-year-old Pilipino father in the Netherlands, mentioned the difficulty of finding domestic work because employers also perceive this particular occupation as “belonging to females only,” hence women have easier access to such employment (115). This seemingly commonsensical notion is inherently problematic. In a gendered work market, male domestic worker implied the scarcity of available jobs for these men because men with choices would not enter domestic work. Hence, this signals their possible irregular immigration status to their employers. Marie, a 39 yearold domestic worker, notes there are many male domestic workers who work as assistants of female domestic workers as a strategic reaction to employers’ gender preferences (Van Walsum 153).14 Unfortunately, although this collaboration seemingly disrupts gendered categories, it also reaffirms men’s position to be breadwinners and women’s own gendered identity as the main domestic
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worker, reinforcing particular hegemonic gender identities.15 This is another example of a problem with “crossing-over” gender roles rather than recognizing the need to pluralize what a particular gender entails. To rethink notions of gender, we need to observe the pluralities emerging from migrant’s self-perceived identities. What does “mothering” mean to fathers? Atkinson and Blackwelder argue that the nurturing father image of involvement in activities with their children only come to the fore when unfavorable economic conditions prevent men from fulfilling the provider role adequately (Gaspard-Richards 91). To elaborate, men cross over gender roles only in situations where traditional models of marriage, family, household organization, and parenthood, are adapting to the demands of the socioeconomic environment. However, an interesting note pointed out by Bianchi was that studies in industrialized societies concentrated on the absence more than the presence of men in families. Many studies focus on the presence of women in the household in relation to the absence of fathers. Therefore, changing behaviour patterns of men in this case may have always been evident in many families but overshadowed by an emphasis on gender norms; case studies need to consider male experiences for an accurate picture. In addition, contrasts can be seen where some families did not follow gender norms (expanding new ways of being) while others simply accepted roles that were in front of them. Therefore, I believe transnational migration processes we see could lead to the transgression/disruption or/and the perpetuation of “normative gender behaviours”16 depending on context and the relationship between two genders. In other words, the differences in outcome oftentimes does not have a clear divide, but are certainly the results of differences in perception of gender. Another case study I wish to explore is that of Armando Lopez, who shows, in a different light, the gendered roles of fathers and their potential transformation. The case highlights situations in which fathers’ emotional roles in their children’s lives expand. Armando took on an active role in the lives of his children in Mexico after the divorce with his wife who migrated to work in latitudes vol VIII
the US. What constitutes fatherhood, and masculinity more broadly, is not necessarily fixed. Gutmann has suggested, “masculinity in Mexico, as elsewhere, is defined more subtle, diverse, and malleable than is generally assumed” (90). Fathering activities may very well change under certain conditions and in specific social contexts. Hence, we need to further our understanding of the larger societal conditions in which masculinity is embedded and expressed. Armando’s example provides an interesting insight on the possibility of how mothers’ failure to live up to moral burdens of transnational motherhood create new possibilities for fatherhood; this is similar to how fathers’ failure to provide a living forces women to adopt new roles (Gamburd). It is important to consider mother’s role alongside father’s role in order to recognize the resulting implications on gender (92). Through these case studies, is highlighted the importance of understanding what constitutes “masculinity” and “femininity” to the majority migrants and how it affects the migration process. By comparing gender perceptions of both men and women, one can come to understand the socially-constructed nature of both genders, hence its flexibility and malleable quality. Current arrangements of domestic service discourage a greater involvement of men in unpaid care and domestic chores, thus preventing the renegotiation of gender relations within the family. Contemporary transnational family studies need to diminish the gender divide. It is insightful to note how Foucauldian reasoning claims that the identity of a subject is dependent upon the ‘institutionalized truths’ of a society. To put it in the context of migration, migrants’ gendered identity is largely shaped by societal norm that comes to be recognized as the commonsensical truth but is not necessarily the case in reality. In conclusion, I pointed out the differences between “crossing-over” gender roles and embracing plurality of our perception of gender. With this in mind, gender is not only shaped by migration (by being pushed towards crossing gender roles), but is also shaping migration (by transforming gender itself). Gender issues in migration entails both men, women, and even the
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so called “third gender” which requires further research. Recognition of this plurality is important in the study of transnational migration in the globalizing spheres we come to inhabit. Although idealization of femininity and masculinity as complementary in today’s gendered society can also be problematic. Oftentimes there is not enough power for individuals to reshape one’s roles to complement the opposite gender, especially for women due to gender inequalities. But I believe the emphasis on the positive outcomes of emerging masculinities is more effective than highlighting embedded hegemonic masculinity. The goal is to strive towards possibilities for the renegotiation of gender roles by rethinking gender perceptions. Rethinking will reshape perceptions of gender in the migration process.17
Notes 1. Because focus of men and masculinities is said to be largely under-researched in existing work on transnationalism and gender. (Sinatti 2013) 2. Society generally perceives the traditional female gender roles as inferior and of lower status than that of men’s. 3. Here I reflect on Foucault’s s approach to social construction involving the power of what he calls “discursive practices” to understand how gendered discourse in migrant’s everyday life is constructed. Discourses are social actions that are context-bound, and its meaning is negotiated in interactions. 4. Definition of a particular gender hence depends on context, relationships with other factors, and is holistic. 5. Power here includes capabilities, control over status, social capital, financial stability etc. as discussed in seminar. 6. Abrego emphasizes mothers follow gendered social expectations, willingly make extreme sacrifices that include uncomfortable living conditions, employment abuse, physical abuse from partners, and self-deprivation—to consistently send their children money (1082). 7. Parreñas implies that there’s the problem with “gendered emotions” as well. 8. Levitt coined the term “social remittances” (2001) to highlight migrants’ export of ideas and behaviours back to their communities. These included four types- norms, practices, identities, and social capital. 9. Parreñas highlight how fathers “crosses-over” gender roles when they return home but within a limit. They would do house chores but oftentimes would not extend to the act of nurturing. Women on the other hand is also forced to adapt new roles within the household (crossing over)but were forced back to obedient wife once the husband returns as seen in Dreby’s case study on Efren and Claudia. 10. Formal masculinized trades are generally regarded as skilled, in contrast to feminized domestic work, and are consequently higher paid and more attractive to the working population as a whole. (Kilkey 9) 11. Anne Phillips and Barbara Taylor (1980) also claimed that the value of work is determined more by the latitudes vol VIII
12. Silvianos, one of the respondent viewed the resulting financial incapability and unemployment as ‘unmanly’. Whereas Rido suggests doing a “female’s work” was worse than unemployment. incapability to fulfil the role of the provider in addition to doing a woman’s work inside the household were both considered aspects of failed masculinities. (114) 13. Sarti states that domestic work would be considered unmanly for middle-class males, but acceptable – or, at least common – for working-class men. 14. The author notes, particularly when women workers have long working hours (Van Walsum 153). 15. (Haile and Siegmann 256). 16. Parreñas calls this the paradoxes of gender that define the maintenance of transnational households. (10) 17. I believe this makes possible the construction of a healthy, plural and dynamic form of gendered identity for migrants to thrive in today’s globalizing world. But it is important to note here that this could be idealistic and I do not wish to exclude other factors at play but simply emphasize the significance of gender in shaping the lives of migrants.
Works Cited Abrego, Leisy. 2009. “Economic Well-Being in Salvadoran Transnational Families: How Gender Affects Remittance Practices.” Journal of Marriage and Family 71(2009):1070-1085. Dreby, Joanna. Divided by Borders: Mexican Migrants and Their Children. University of California Press, 2010. Dreby, Joanna, and Timothy Adkins. “Inequalities in Transnational Families.» Sociology Compass 4/8(2010):673-89. Ernesto Vasquez del Aguila. «Being a Man in a Transnational World: The Masculinity and Sexuality of Migration.» Barnes & Noble. 2014. Gamburd, Michele R. “Transnationalism and Sri Lanka’s Migrant Housemaids” The Kitchen Spoon’s Handle. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2000. Haile, Aster Georgo, and Karin Astrid Siegmann. «6 Masculinity at Work: Intersectionality and Identity Constructions of Migrant Domestic Workers in the Netherlands.» Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace Migration, Gender and Social Justice (2013):105-19. Kilkey, Majella. Gender, Migration and Domestic Work: Masculinities, Male Labour and Fathering in the UK and USA. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Levitt, Peggy. The Transnational Villagers. Berkeley: University of California, 2001. Lopez-Ekra, Sylvia, Christine Aghazarm, Henriette Kötter, and Blandine Mollard. «The Impact of Remittances on Gender Roles and Opportunities for Children in Recipient Families: Research from the International Organization for Migration.» Gender & Development 19.1(2011):69-80. Mahler, Sarah J., and Patricia R. Pessar. «Gender Matters: Ethnographers Bring Gender from the Periphery toward the Core of Migration Studies.» International Migration Review 40.1(2006): 27-63. Parreñas, Rhacel S. Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. Stanford University Press, 2005. Sarti, Raffaella, and Francesca Scrinzi. “Introduction to the Special Issue: Men in a Woman’s Job, Male Domestic Workers, International Migration and the Globalization of Care.” Men and Masculinities 13.1 (2010): 4-15. Sinatti, Giulia. “11 Masculinities and Intersectionality in Migration: Transnational Wolof Migrants Negotiating Manhood and Gendered Family Roles.” Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace Migra tion, Gender and Social Justice (2013): 215-26. Trương, Thanh-Đạm. Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Insecurity. Springer Berlin Hei delberg. 2013.
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Alexandria Petit-Thorne Alexandria Petit-Thorne is finishing her undergraduate studies in International Development Studies and Anthropology. Over the course of her degree, Alexandria has become interested in the intersections of privilege, politics, and gender, focusing on how they impact development in theory and in practice. She is particularly interested in how gendered social systems affect access to healthcare and other basic necessities. For the last three years, Alexandria has been involved in the Montreal World Health Organization Simulation (MonWHO), a student conference that focuses on global health issues across a wide range of disciplines. She is currently the Executive Director of MonWHO.
Mainstreaming Gender in Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development
Both men and women are physically vulnerable to the impacts of disaster, but structural inequality creates a distinct gendered difference in the social, cultural, and economic effects of disaster. Women are more likely to be burdened with chronic poverty, and long-term displacement, and loss of social power than men. Moreover, women are more likely to be disadvantaged in the implementation of post-disaster reconstruction and development programmes, which may exacerbate existing unequal power relations. Post-disaster periods can be exceptionally dangerous times for women and children in highly patriarchal societies, but they can also be pivotal moments in the changing of gender roles and structural power relations. This paper will examine a range of studies and reports regarding the relationship between gender and participatory development in post-disaster reconstruction in the developing world. While in theory both men and women are primary stakeholders in reconstruction efforts, in practice, traditional socio-cultural roles and power relationships constrain women. Women are directly affected by disaster and development, but they are prevented from taking on stakeholder roles and are thus unable to actively engage in participatory
development programmes, which are ironically in place to reach them. On the other hand, gender mainstreaming accounts for the gendered implications for men and women of policies and programmes. This analytical paper will demonstrate the need for gender mainstreaming to combat the exclusion of men in gender issues, and will stress the need for mindful participatory approaches to gender-sensitive reconstruction, and development efforts.
Gender and Disaster
Disaster occurs when individuals or groups are vulnerable to the impact of natural or man-made hazards, and they are unable to cope, resist, or recover from the impact of this event (Bradshaw, 2014). While no developing nations are the same, as a generalization, in highly patriarchal societies women may be more vulnerable to these hazards than men due to unequal gendered power relations. In the aftermath of disaster, women are particularly vulnerable to secondary impacts, including the rise in physical and sexual violence and abuse that are associated with social trauma, high unemployment, and the lack of ability for surviving men to fulfill masculine gender expectations (Bradshaw, 2014). The clearly gendered effects of disaster have resulted in the “gendering” of disaster, a move towards women becoming the primary stakeholders in reconstruction. Gendering disaster is overtly directed at the incorporation of women into gender initiatives, targeting them as virtuous victims (Bradshaw, 2014) – in terms of development movements, it is much more akin to the Women in Development (WID) movement than Gender and Development (GAD). Gendering is limited in its women-centric approach to gender issues, which has largely prevented its entering into central debates regarding the place of women in reconstruction efforts (Bradshaw, 2014). When examining the trend of gendering disasters and aid, it is worth noting that targeting women in aid should not be read in itself as addressing women’s vulnerabilities and poverty. Targeting women’s vulnerabilities would require comprehensive long-term targeting of root causes of large-scale gender issues. It is also important to note that a gen-
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-dered response to disaster and development is not necessarily synonymous with improving the position and lives of women, but rather as addressing the different needs of both genders in the short-term (Bradshaw, 2014). Aid and disaster response focuses on responding to a practical assessed need in the short-term, not addressing structural issues in gender relations, which would require long term development. Reconstruction efforts largely do not address the root causes of womenâ€™s vulnerabilities, but instead respond to their present outcomes. Including women and girls in disaster response may reduce the gendered risks associated with disaster overall on an immediate level, but unless disaster risk education and response activities specifically address structural inequality and gendered power relations, there will not be any overall change in the social position of women (Bradshaw, 2014). While there are limitations to the structural reach of reconstruction efforts, it can be argued that the aftermath of disaster can produce large-scale changes in social relations of power and of gender role. For example, Rwanda women played new social, economic, and political roles following the 1994 genocide. Given the potential for local change in the wake of disaster, it is possible for the international aid and development communities that react to these crises to adjust their programmes so that they are more gender-aware, which may empower the affected populations to address their own structural issues. In order to create gender-aware programmes, we must take the differences in the way each gender experiences disaster into account in recovery and development initiatives to address their specifically articulated needs and interests (UNDP, 2010). In the â€œGuide to Gender-Aware Post-Disaster Needs Assessment,â€? the UNDP recommends creating a gender-aware needs assessment to meet these differing needs in post-disaster situations. Gender-aware assessments are guided by the following principles: equity in approach and service provision, a participatory approach, as well as relevant, adequate, and efficient service provision (UNDP, 2010; 4). latitudes vol VIII
The key elements identified for such an approach include NGOs having gender specialists, ideally from the affected country, and an assessment team consisting of both men and women who are experienced in working with women and girls (UNDP, 2010). Following these recommendations places constraints on both local and international NGOs to incorporate locals and internationals of both genders, equalize their power ratios, and acquire gender specialists. Given the limited resources and personnel of the majority of NGOs, adjusting to these recommendations represents a struggle for organizations outside of the United Nations apparatus due to financial and personnel constraints. Furthermore, the UNDP recommends soliciting men and women from the affected population for their opinions as part of the participatory approach, both together and in sex-segregated groups. They also call for the consultation of federal ministries and working groups on gender issues (UNPD, 2010). This further stretches the limited resources of many NGOs as it requires a certain amount of social capital and connections to initiate these networks of inclusion. Finally, the UNDP calls for at least one member of the assessment team to have the skills and knowledge required to conduct a gender-sensitive analysis of pre and post-disaster data to be used in recovery planning (UNDP, 2010) without identifying the nature of these skills. While these guidelines for gender-based needs assessments are themselves attuned to the needs of post-disaster societies, they are largely unattainable goals to impose upon small or local grassroots organizations (who are vital in the process) and equally difficult objectives for international NGOs who find themselves limited financially or elsewise. Local organizations that are most active and vital in working directly with these development issues require a more attainable, less capital, and resource intensive guide to gendered needs assessments they can easily follow. There must be a focus on creating short-term aid and long-term development programmes that aim to empower the affected communities. In the developmental setting, these efforts mean taking selective actions that redress their power inequality (Thurairajah and Baldry, 2014). It is worth noting here that
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structural change must come from the affected communities. Empowerment therefore ought to focus on self-actualisation and enablement so that local communities can address their gender issues on their own terms. Furthermore, the role of relief and development must empower rather than guide or control, taking on a do-no-harm mentality. The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) identified the factors that hinder the empowerment of women as: local lack of commitment to improving opportunities for women, lack of income for women, limited access to services and opportunities for human development, lack of voice for women in political life and decision making, and the social subordination and exclusion of women (Thurairajah and Baldry, 2014). To address these issues, in their 2014 research, Thurairajah and Baldry suggest that several factors must be addressed in efforts of empowerment. The first step is to develop a sense of self-worth, a belief in oneâ€™s ability to secure desired changes and the right to control oneâ€™s life. Through this, an individual gains the ability to generate choices and exercise bargaining power. Lastly, developing the ability to organise and influence the direction of social change leads to creating a more just social and economic order. Reflecting on the practices of development and aid workers, Thurairajah and Baldry also recommend that we acquire knowledge of gender relations on the local level to understand the changes these relations may undergo (Thurairajah and Baldry, 2014). One of the sustainable means for disaster victims to overcome their condition is through an adjustment process in which they can regain control over their lives through the fulfillment of their basic human development needs. Aid or development programmes must allow female survivors to satisfy their basic human needs in a way that broadens their social conceptualisation beyond the roles of mothers, wives, and daughters (Thurairajah and Baldry, 2014). This can then provide physical, social, political, and environmental development opportunities for them. However, the affected community must take ownership of this reconceptualization of gender roles instead of having a new latitudes vol VIII
ownership of this reconceptualization of gender roles instead of having a new construction of social identity thrust upon them by the international community.
There is a growing recognition of the need to fully integrate gender equality objectives in reconstruction and long-term development programmes. The World Bank MDF-JRF Working Group (2012) recommends establishing a sector-wide and theme-based gender analysis by field workers as soon as possible following disaster to institutionalize the gendering of relief and development in operational procedure. They also recommend that NGOs create programmes specifically targeted at gender to complement other reconstruction projects (MDF-JRF Secretariat, 2012). The focus of these initiatives and recommendations is thus to mainstream gender objectives into the procurement and contracting stage of projects. Gender mainstreaming, in a development sense, offers an approach to gender that is pluralistic and values the diversity among and between men and women. The procurement and contracting stage of reconstruction projects is primarily done on a local level (MDF-JRF Secretariat, 2012), meaning that the affected communities, local and federal policy makers, and NGOs will be effectively exposed to gender mainstreaming as a policy. It is for this reason that the World Bank MDF-JRF Working Group refers to disaster reconstruction as â€œan entry point for gender mainstreamingâ€? (2012; 83). Mainstreaming gender concerns throughout the Disaster Response and Reconstruction (DRR) process, and in the long term through the development projects, would consist of establishing systems, mechanisms, and processes that would operationalize and incorporate a gender equitable perspective into policy making. There are three ways in which gender mainstreaming can be included at the policy and practical level in DRR and later development projects. The first is to involve men and women equally in disaster preparations, in the response
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while a disaster is occurring, and in DRR and development processes (MDFJRF Secretariat, 2012). The second is to strengthen support for gender issues in DRR and development efforts by weaving gender sensitivity into the working of agencies, NGOs, and governments (MDF-JRF Secretariat, 2012). The third is to create accountability measures to ensure that those responsible for mainstreaming gender issues are following their mandates (MDF-JRF Secretariat, 2012). Mechanisms to measure accountability include designing protocols within Memorandums of Understanding with the host government. These protocols detail requirements to guarantee interventions address gender issues, hold institutions accountable for their agreed gender-sensitive policies in the procurement process, and integrate gender equality requirements into the contracting process. While these ways of incorporating gender mainstreaming into policy and practice can be adequately evaluated, there is no institution or agency that oversees broad monitoring of gender mainstreaming nor is there any way to enforce these requirements. The equal inclusion of both men and women in gender analysis is a major component of gender mainstreaming. While the majority of projects focus on engaging women, it is also necessary that men actively participate in gender equality and DRR and development initiatives. Disaster impacts men not only through physical and capital loss, but also through a loss of social power associated with the loss of livelihood and assets. Despite economic uncertainty, social conventions require men to continue being responsible to provide for the family. In many post-disaster situations, men are unable to fulfill their gender roles and are thus robbed of their pre-existing social position, and, more importantly, their social identity. This collective loss often results in emotional trauma (Mishra, 2009). Situations of great strife can create cycles of toxic masculinity, which are beyond the scope of this paper, which are rarely addressed in gender analysis and needs assessments. In her article on incorporating men in gender mainstreaming, DRR, and development, Mishra (2009) notes disasters are levelers, which severely stress latitudes vol VIII
social dynamics, and force men and women to take up tasks outside of their dictated gender norms. As a result, gender power structures effectively change over time. She also notes that no one person or group can attempt to change power relations without the rest of the community retaliating. There needs to be a collectively agreed upon effort â€“ which can arise due to external circumstances such as disaster â€“ to reengage gender norms for lasting change in social structural to take root. The role of men in this process cannot be emphasized enough. Gender sensitive tools must be used to measure the impact of disaster and subsequent development programmes on men and women equally (Mishra, 2009). As it stands, gender tends to be translated into women-centric programmes in practice. The equal participation of men and women also serves an immediate need by ensuring a concerted collective action to deal with the immediate aftermath of disaster and to prepare the community for future disaster by addressing relative vulnerabilities (Mishra, 2009).
Participatory Development and Gender
In all this talk of gender mainstreaming and gender-sensitive assessments and vulnerabilities, participatory development is a staple approach. Participatory development focuses primarily on the incorporation of the local community and their knowledge in the reconstruction process. The participatory approach facilitates a deeper theoretical understanding of the role of gender in community dynamics through examining conceptions of power from a different perspective. It also encourages female participation, utilizing participatory techniques to bring out views that are socially marginalized and empower those who speak (Ozerdem, 2010). In the post-disaster context, the participatory method encounters some challenges that can prevent its effectiveness (Ozerdem, 2010). First, participatory development is used primarily as a vessel for needs assessments rather than a mechanism for distributing aid. In post-disaster situations, participants are more likely to expect compensation for participation, which constricts the approachâ€™s potential pool of participants. Second, there are complex insi-
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-sider-outsider power structures at play based on the discrepancies of resources and capacities between the affected community and the outsiders (Ozerdem, 2010). This power structure is exacerbated by post-disaster resource scarcity and may damage the field worker’s ability to engage participants.
Case Study: Sri Lanka post-tsunami reconstruction
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, social dislocation and the loss of traditional community support systems aggravated the vulnerabilities of women. In this case, men were more likely to express trauma through destructive or socially dysfunctional behaviours, including alcoholism, aggression, and domestic violence (Fisher, 2009). In regards to domestic violence, the organizational response to heightened levels post-tsunami was dependent on community sensitivity to the incidence of domestic violence pre-tsunami. This trend was also demonstrated in the United States following Hurricane Mitch (Fisher, 2009). There were particularly high levels of violence against women in camps and temporary shelters for displaced persons, and this spike continued beyond the initial emergency phase of the disaster (Fisher, 2009), due largely to a lack of security provisions in the camps. The existence of pre-established domestic violence organizations in affected communities has acted as a major driver of community responses to post-disaster violence, as was the case in Sri Lanka (Fisher, 2009). In the aftermath of the tsunami, local women’s groups’ activism was instrumental in the response to violence against women, and in the push for recovery programmes that gave women opportunities in leadership. As part of this, Sri Lankan women’s organizations played a large role in the gathering and dissemination of information to displaced women. One of the widespread approaches to creating opportunities for women was capacity-building training for key agencies and service providers, including the police, security forces, and the government (Fisher, 2009). These programmes aimed to resolve structural issues that would result in more opportunities for women in the long run. latitudes vol VIII
Another approach was to create, and restore women’s livelihoods to alleviate their economic marginalization, thereby decreasing dependence on men and the associated vulnerability to violence and exploitation (Fisher, 2009). One of the major flaws in these approaches is their lack of gender mainstreaming, and thus their omission of men from opportunity and livelihood generating programmes. In their study of the gendering of tsunami recovery in Sri Lanka, Bhatt and Joshi (2009) assess the role of gendered access to relief funds, particularly through United Nations agencies. Initially, a plethora of actors were delivering household relief grants in which the patriarch was the recipient, making it nearly impossible for widows and single women to receive aid (Bhatt and Joshi, 2009). The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) worked directly with the local government and local actors to integrate these efforts towards a more gender-sensitive recovery plan. This project focused on strengthening the capacities of women through the promotion of their livelihoods, and the creation of multilateral multi-sector interventions, and partnerships that engendered tsunami responses in their favour. These programmes primarily aim to create a culture of safety for women (Bhatt and Joshi, 2009). The problems that these initiatives ran into were, again, rooted in the exclusion of men in “gender.” There is clearly a disconnect between the theoretical “Gender and Development” approach and the application of “gendering” in relief and development planning. While the authors provide a number of women-specific suggestions on how to more effectively address women’s issues (Bhatt and Joshi, 2009), there is an apparent need to include men in gendered responses. Gender mainstreaming is thus a better alternative to using the term gender in its limited sense of excluding men who are equally a part of these issues, and thus should be a part of gendering disaster response and development.
Through examining a range of studies regarding the relationship between gender and participatory development in post-disaster reconstruction in the
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developing world, this paper has demonstrated the advantages of gender mainstreaming to combat the exclusion of men from gender issues, and to empower women. Gender sensitive reconstruction, and development need these thoughtful participatory approaches in order to reach structural change. While post-disaster social structures may somewhat limit the effects of the participatory approach, it is still the best method to assess the needs of a community. The push toward a gender mainstreaming agenda as a part of gendering is evident across numerous projects in the developing world, including those in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. If gendered approaches continue to discount the roles of men in gender and social issues, structural change will remain unattainable, and will not be accepted by affected communities. Just as the rhetoric in the Women and Development (WID) era states, there is a need to include everyone in development efforts as both genders play intricate and complicated roles within their own communities. Following that rhetoric, for the Gender and Development (GAD) approach to work there needs to be an understanding of gender as referring to both men and women, and an equal inclusion of all members of a community in development and reconstruction efforts.
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Bradshaw, Sarah. «Engendering Development and Disasters.» Disasters. 39.1. 2014. Fisher, S. “Sri Lankan Women’s Organizations Responding to Post-tsunami Vio lence.” Women,Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives. Edited by Enarson, Elaine Pitt, and Chakrabarti, P.G. Dhar, SAGE Publication Inc, New Del hi, 2009. Joshi, C.; Bhatt, M. R. “Engendering Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: the Role of UNIFEM and its Partners.” Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Ini tiatives. Edited by Enarson, Elaine Pitt, and Chakrabarti, P.G. Dhar, SAGE Publica tion Inc, New Delhi, 2009. MDF-JRF Secretariat. “More than mainstreaming: promoting gender equality and empowering women through post-disaster reconstruction.” World Bank Office, Jakarta, 2012. Mishra, P. “Let’s Share the Stage: Involving Men in Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction.” Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives. Edited by Enarson, Elaine Pitt, and Chakra barti, P.G. Dhar, SAGE Publication Inc, New Delhi, 2009. Özerdem, A. Participatory Research Methodologies: Development and Post-Disaster/Conflict Reconstruction. Farnham, Surrey, GBR: Ashgate Publishing Group, 2010. Thurairajah, Nirooja, and David Baldry. «Women’s Empowerment in Post Disaster Reconstruction: Perspectives on Policies and Frameworks.» International Journal of Strategic Property Management. 14.4 (2010): 347-61. United Nations Development Programme – Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery. Guide to Gender-Aware Post-Disaster Needs Assessments. Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Geneva, 2010.
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Jessica Condemi Jessica Condemi is a second-year McGill student in completing a major in International Development Studies and a minor in International Relations. She was born and raised in Montreal, with both Canadian and Italian heritage. Jessica has been involved in many student associations at McGill, since she loves to reach out and help the community. She has a great passion for global affairs, particularly foreign policy, which is what motivated her research on the present topic. She hopes to pursue law in the future and become a judge for the International Court of Justice.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Foreign Policy: The Legitimacy of ‘One for All and All for One.”
Referred to as “America’s longest-running intelligence failure in the history of American espionage,” North Korean foreign policy has consistently been a puzzle for scholars (Park et al., vii). Often, the nation is represented as a rogue, aggressive, and unpredictable state (Park, ix). Still, one element remains surprising about Pyongyang and the Kim Jong-Un regime: its survival. Ever since the early 1990s, observers and scholars alike have predicted the collapse of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s regime – a collapse that never came (Byman et al., 44). While several scholars believe that the regime’s survival is based on decision-making determined by systemic, international factors, such as the balance of power, the explanation gathered from the domestic level of analysis is far more compelling. This level of analysis shows the state’s actions from the perspective of the state; not of the international community. In fact, similarly to many governments, the purpose of the Kim regime is to survive – and to do, it employs the same methods as many authoritarian regimes: particularly nuclear armament. This paper argues that the Kim regime’s nuclear armament is actually highly driven by domestic-level factors; specifically ideology and regime-type (in this case, a totalitarian regime), rather than systemic-level influences. This will be proven in the following manner;
first, by reviewing the literature’s perspective on the DPRK’s strategy, and critiquing its claims. Second, by elaborating on this argument through a constructivist lens which will explain the importance of ideology to the regime’s survival. Finally, with the example of the nuclear missile test in 2009, this paper will end by demonstrating that Kim Jong-Il’s administration is pursuing nuclear armament because of domestic implications.
Systemic Influence on Pyongyang: A Literature Review
The literature concerning the Kim regime does not agree on one single motive for its actions. Victor Cha and David Kang, in Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies, present North Korea in two different lights. While Victor Cha argues that North Korea is incredibly weak, and has no choice but to pursue nuclear deterrence, as it is its only option for coercive diplomacy, Kang asserts that the DPRK is desperate to pursue accommodation policies with the White House, if only the American government would be willing to collaborate want to sustain collaborations (Cha et al., 162-63). Nonetheless, both scholars present North Korea as a state near the brink of crisis, with little to no possible alternatives. Jacques Hymans claims that there are a few problems with Cha and Kang’s analysis. First, Cha and Kang argue that the “DPRK’s nuclear intentions are a measured response to the external environment” (Hymans, 262). The issue with this assumption is that both scholars use comparative foreign policy, an approach that particularly stresses the impact of domestic institutions and ideology structures to advance their points. This technique is a little unproductive because a domestically-inclined theoretical perspective cannot accurately describe and analyze a situation presented from a systemic point of view. That would be similar to comparing apples and oranges by focusing on the apple’s colour and the orange’s taste. Another point of contention with Cha and Kang’s evaluation of North Korea is that it presents this image of North Korea as both a very weak state, and as one with enough industrialized capabilities to have amassed technical capacities to build nuclear weapons – which North Korea does not, per say, have (Hymans, 262). Moreover, both authors argue their point extensively, but suggest that questioning their conclu-
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sions may lead to falling in a trap “of assuming that the DPRK leadership is simply ‘crazy’” (Hymans, 262). Questioning assumptions, as long as it is done carefully, does not lead to falling into a trap. The issue concerning North Korea, as is popularly understood, is the lack of information. Therefore, it may be more difficult to prove the validity of an argument concerning ideology, because of the restricted scope of information concerning it. Yet, ideology is nevertheless a crucial factor in explaining the North Korean regime, since it would not have survived for half a century without societal beliefs underlying and motivating it (Byman et al., 47). That being said, scholars Byman and Lind have expressed their views on the DPRK, and have given support to the argument concentrating on the domestic level of analysis. They argue the importance of both elements: the international (or systemic) and the domestic (or internal) factors. They claim that the Kim regime cannot be denied its calculation tools (Byman et al., 47). They argue that the Kim regime has used three tools extensively from internal structures to prevent the collapse of the regime: restrictive social policies, the manipulation of ideas and information, and the heavy use of force, to deter, convince, and potentially suppress popular revolt (Byman et al., 47). Although these mechanisms are used by several, if not all authoritarian regimes, the DPRK is the standard modern example of their effectiveness. Another interesting point that Byman and Lind raise is the speculation on the transition of the Kim regime. They mention that Kim Il-Sung (hereby referred to as the Great Leader) had named his successor, his son Kim Jong-Il, fourteen years prior to his ascension to power – the purpose of this being to establish a time frame for Kim Jong-Il (hereby known as the Dear Leader), to manufacture a cult of personality and build a coalition of support for the Dear Leader’s ascension to power (Byman et al., 71). Given the article’s time frame (being written in 2010), they assumed that the regime had not laid a solid ground for the Dear Leader’s successor, and this would most likely not create the opportunity for a smooth transition (Byman et al., 71). However, they acknowledge that from the view of the North Korean population, the grandson of the Great Leader and the son latitudes vol VIII
of the Dear Leader would be a legitimate heir to the North Korean throne (Byman et al., 72). The current leader’s power hold on the North Korean regime (Kim Jong-Un, son of Kim Jong-Il and grandson of Kim Il-Sung) demonstrates that Byman and Lind were wrong in their speculations: this also proves that the people believe in the legitimacy of the regime, thus reinforcing that ideological beliefs are a strong force to support the domestic regime. Kyung-Ae Park, a notable scholar of the North Korean puzzle, defines ideology as the key to the regime (4). He states that “for many decades there has been only one monolithic ideology in North Korea that was supposed to be shared with by everybody […] ‘One for all and all for one.’” (Park, 4). In short, it symbolizes the unity of the North Korean population and the importance of trusting the leader of the nation, as he will do what has to be done for the greater good. This ideology, topped with the Juche and Suryong system, is North Korea’s biggest strength, since it is what has kept the country together, despite famines, the Great Leader’s death, and other hardships (Park, 4). Park also explains the logistics behind the Juche and the Suryong system. Juche, (or chuch’e, as Park writes it), is the name given to Kim Il-Sung’s Korean version of socialism (Park, 6). More than just an emphasis on economic self-reliance, the Great Leader’s Juche was “the preeminent expression of North Korea’s emphasis on the ideological over the material, thought over matter, superstructure over base.” (Park et al., 7). Despite internal shocks, the system of loyalty established by the Great Leader would last in the North Korean regime (Robinson, 150). Lastly, the DPRK adopts a system of Suryong, or ‘leader dominant system’; Suryong, in Korean, translates directly to ‘leader.’ (Park et al., 21) Therefore, the regime lives to serve the will and desires of the leader. In 1972, the Great Leader implemented a new constitution – with it, the Central People’s Committee (CPC) became the highest entity regarding policy making and agency of state sovereignty (Park et al., 22). Along with the DPRK’s political party in power, the KWP, the CPC was overseen by the leader himself – this meant that Kim Il-Sung essentially created a solid cradle for his coming successors (Park et al., 23). As head of government and head of state, the Great Leader
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had the exclusive authority to name a successor. Consequently, there was little surprise when the Dear Leader appointed his son, Kim Jong-Un, as his successor. The Suryong system has become now the nexus of the Kim regime’s authority and control of the DPRK, since the regime’s succession is sustainable – as long as the Kim family has sons for succession.
Constructivism’s Take on North Korea
The basic assumption of realism is the importance of acquiring power and increasing capabilities to survive. Whether it is classical, structural or even neo-realism, all three perspectives emphasize the importance of maximizing power (Brawley, 34-35). It is known that nuclear armament is a source of power maximization – after all, all members of the United Nations Security Council possess it. With the same realist logic, one could assume that North Korea’s persistence in nuclear efforts is a mechanism to increase its power capabilities. However, this assumption falls short in explaining the regime’s relative stability and its perseverance, despite international pressures and constraints. Constructivism is a useful alternative theory of international relations that applies here. There are three core assumptions related to constructivism, all which can offer explanations of the strength of the North Korean regime and its nuclear interests. First, constructivism claims that interests and preferences are socially constructed and are flexible (Brawley, 50). Rather than assuming a state has one or a set of preferences and will keep pursuing these goals, constructivism explains that preferences are not set in stone, but vary depending on the social context. Alexander Wendt explains that the self-help and power politics elaborated on by realists are socially constructed – and such constructions can be changed (Brawley, 49). This can be seen primarily in democratic regimes, where the election of a new leader often brings changes in foreign, financial, economic or other areas of national policy. In the case of the North Korean regime, there has not been much of a change in the nation’s interests and preferences. Still, constructivist logic will argue that this is due to the absence latitudes vol VIII
of change in the social context. In the case of North Korea, the leader of the regime decides the regime’s preferences – no one other than himself can (officially) make that decision. The priorities of the DPRK’s administration (notably, nuclear armament, self-reliance and isolation from the rest of the international community) have not changed simply because the preferences of the leaders have not changed. Another core assumption of constructivism claims that ideas or ideological beliefs are deemed to be as important as forces shaping preferences of the state (Brawley, 50). In the case of the DPRK, the Suryong (leader) creates the ideas (and by extent, the state’s preferences). As mentioned earlier, North Korea’s ideology is the prime driver of all policies (which are determined by the supreme leader. Kyung-Ae Park offers an explanation as to why the ideological beliefs of the North Korean regime have lasted for over half a century. He mentions that in authoritarian or totalitarian administrations, the regime is as strong as the ideology and the beliefs the people hold (Park, 5). Therefore, the stronger the people identify with and believe in the North Korean regime’s legitimacy, the stronger the North Korean regime becomes. Consequently, the ideas and ideology proliferated by the regime become more legitimate. The question remains: what is North Korea’s outlook on the rest of the world? Though North Korea still wishes to maintain ties with the international system and views foreign policy as an important agent, it still cannot forget its history of being threatened, attacked and potentially exploited by its large neighbours with greater influence and power spheres (Park, 20). North Korea is not a large country, and its population is quite small. North Korea’s population, at approximately 24.9 million, is equal to approximately half of South Korea’s population (Robinson, 147). Ergo, its attitude of distrust and mild paranoia towards the international system seems justified (Park, 20). The ideas of paranoia and distrust act as dominant forces in shaping the nations’ preferences for nuclear armament.
The last assumption of constructivism concerns rationality. Constructivists latitudes vol VIII
argue that rationality is always contextual; what seems rational to one is not necessarily agreed upon by the other entity (Brawley, 50). As explained earlier, the DPRK does not look at the international system as enemies – but rather, as potential threats that will possibly attack it, as it has been done in the past. Therefore, when the DPRK decides to test nuclear missiles to show the world it still has the capacity to handle nuclear weapons, the Dear Leader and his population still regard it as completely rational. According to them, these actions are rooted in the fear established by their historical past. Though the rest of the world would be quick to disagree, this is the logic presented by the constructivist argument. In sum, the DPRK’s ideas are socially constructed; this pursuit of nuclear armament, isolation and self-reliance has been constructed by the leader of the regime. However, the state’s social context has not changed much, thus the social context shaping the nation’s ideas has not changed much either. Furthermore, historical events have shaped beliefs of distrust in the international system and paranoia – these characteristics are founded in the nation’s ideas and interests. Consequently, those ideas shape their preference for a strongheaded nuclear policy. The reason they have continued with pursuing these policies despite international pressures are motivated by their belief that what they are doing is rational.
Case Study: The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Test of 2006 and 2009
Rooted in its Juche ideology, the DPRK had decided to retreat from an economic reform in the mid-2000s (Park et al., 12). Its confidence in economic reform had disappeared: consequently, the Kim regime decided to invest in a field it possessed confidence in: military defense (Park et al., 12). It attempted to detonate a nuclear device, first in 2006, and then in 2009, and succeeded – thus guaranteeing regime survival by nuclear deterrence (Park et al., 12). The Kim regime did not perform these tests to show that North Korea could be an aggressive threat to the rest of the world. In fact, from a realist perspective, latitudes vol VIII
doing so would basically consist of suicide. As mentioned earlier, North Korea is quite aware that it is not nearly as powerful as China, and not even as South Korea, its southern neighbour (Park, 20). As a matter of fact, this assessment of its neighbours’ capabilities (and the painful recollection of its historical experiences) is the reason for its distrust and paranoia in the international system (Robinson, 120). Furthermore, the DPRK needs to accept the idea that another Korea exists, a Korea that most international actors view as more developed, more stable (Robinson, 120). Although this perception of ‘another Korea’ is beyond the domestic level, the consequences can be felt only at the domestic level, not at the systemic level. North Korea’s perspective on this ‘other Korea’ solely affects the North Korean regime; not any other nation state. Therefore, North Korea needs to arm itself with some form of weapon to protect its population, should South Korea and its powerful allies decide to threaten or attack it. Nuclear armament, thus, is part of a realist calculation, in the sense that it takes into account the regime’s survival. However, the DPRK’S actions do not exemplify a realist point of view. The DPRK, as it appears, wishes to maintain protection of its interests. Thus, launching a powerful missile, and by extension scaring its enemies (who are more powerful than the DPRK is), is not an advisable course of action – it would not be rational. This recalls the principle of rationality of the constructivist perspective. For the DPRK, the tests were rational, because they wanted to prove they could rely on their own military defense to protect themselves. A domestic motive for nuclear testing is the Dear Leader’s tumultuous leadership – during his time in power, North Korea experienced famine, natural disasters and a failed economic reform policy (Park, 32). Therefore, the Dear Leader needed to prove his worth to his people. His successful development of high performance nuclear weapons-- agents that could protect his beloved regime-- was the ‘ultimate weapon’ to prove his legitimacy. This proved his power not only to the North Korean civil society, but also to the surrounding elite (Park, 32). Although one can admit the paranoia is a little excessive, historical experiences have created a North Korea that has been socialized in isolation, and will thus keep evolving in isolation until its ideology experiences significant change.
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The North Korean regime is motivated by domestic factors: specifically, an ideological system and a totalitarian regime. Both justify the existence of the Kim administration and their pursuit of nuclear armament. It is not merely composed of Kim Jong-Un and his associates sitting in a dark room, making realist assumptions about the world order, and how to further their influence with their dangerous nuclear weapons. Nor is it a republic of doom, where the population is consisted of brain-washed individuals who constantly think of their leaders, past and present. It is a nation just like any other, albeit one with a few unique characteristics, since it is the only true example of a totalitarian regime that is completely isolated from the international system. Though several scholars emphasize external factors when it comes to the Kim regime, the important element that ties the state together is its domestic composition, particularly the fundamental ideological system. From the domestic perspective of the North Korean regime, nuclear weapon armament is necessary for protection against threats from the international community. Not many scholars and observers can tell with absolute certainty whether the North Korean regime will live for several centuries, or if it will collapse before the end of the twenty-first century. However, the one certainty of the Kim regime is its unpredictability in the eyes of the international system.
Works Cited Brawley, Mark R. Power, Money and Trade. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2005. Print. Byman, Daniel and Jennifer Lind. “Pyongyang’s Survival Strategy.” International Strategy 35.1 (2010): 44-74. Print. Cha, Victor, and David Kang. Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/mcgill/reader.action?do cID=10183420# Hymans, Jacques E. C. “Assessing North Korean Nuclear Intentions and Capaci ties: A New Approach.” Journal of East Asian Studies 8.2 (2008): 259-292. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. http://search. proquest.com/docview/198700031?accountid=12339. Park, Kyung-Ae and Scott Snyder, eds. North Korea in Transition. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013. Print. Park, Kyung-Ae, ed. New Challenges of North Korean Foreign Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print. Robinson, Michael E. Korea’s Twentieth Century Odyssey: A Short History. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. URL: http://site.ebrary.com.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/lib/mcgill/reader.action?do cID=10386666#
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McGill International Development Student's Association Winter 2016 publication. Designed by Théa Spring. www.-thea-spring.com
Published on Mar 22, 2016
McGill International Development Student's Association Winter 2016 publication. Designed by Théa Spring. www.-thea-spring.com