Good Women And Gender Studies Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Women, Gender, Sudan, Politics, Gender Equality, Women's Rights, Military, Violence

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/02

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In the modern society, the role of women has significantly increased for the last decades. Women play important part in many different spheres of social life. The history knows many outstanding women who made a considerable contribution to the development of science, politics, healthcare, art, and socio-economic uprising of the international society. However, certain discrimination still occurs, especially in some particular fields. In politics and economics, women occupy many important positions that form a specific niche. Most of women head numerous different committees, political parties, and social projects. However, some of them manage to excel as brilliant governors and take the highest positions of vice-president, prime-minister, and chancellor. In South Sudan, there is a great potential for gender equality and respect for women’s rights after the country became independent. Nevertheless, many opportunities are still unavailable for women of South Sudan due to “constant internal and external security threats, a limited understanding of gender equality, and a tendency within communities to view gender as an alien and illegitimate concern” (Ali 1). This paper will investigate the role of women in the politics and military of South Sudan highlighting the major issues related to gender equality within the state.
In her article Gender and Statebuilding in South Sudan, Nada Mustafa Ali refers to the issues related to women’s human rights and economic and political empowerment in the context of the state-building process in South Sudan. Discussing this topic, Ali points at several challenges to gender equality faced by women of the country that acquired its independence not so long ago. Let us focus on three major challenges that South Sudan faced in relation to gender and women’s rights after independence.
The major challenges that Ali addresses in her study are lack of security and basic services, such as education and health, and a dearth of infrastructure and human resources (2). These aspects of the problem hinder social change and equality between men and women. Insecurity, as the main issue in terms of gender equality, rises from many forms of violence and discrimination that South Sudanese women face every day. Sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) has the central role in creating such insecurity. Insecurity often arises from armed militia-attacks within South Sudan, conflicts on the northern borders, and attacks from the LRA on the borders with Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic (3). Militarization of the communities, demobilization, disarmament, reintegration of SPLA combatants, and the abundance of arms also contribute to the problem of insecurity (3). These issues especially affect women.
Lack of access to basic services, such as education, employment, and healthcare services inevitably affect women of South Sudan as well. Forced marriage for young girls has been the major problem for decades in the countries of the region. The disparity that arises from the dominant division of roles within the household often results in lack of access to education and proper healthcare services negatively affecting the well-being of population in general and women in particular.
Nevertheless, there are opportunities to address these challenges. South Sudan has established several ways to encourage women to participate in political and economic life of the state. For instance, a quota system has been implemented to ensure gender parity in government (3). To address issues related to insecurity, the Security Council has adopted several resolutions that focus on sexual violence in conflict, set out institutional mechanisms to prevent sexual violence, ensure protection for women in conflict, and address impunity. It also has appointed a special representative on sexual and GBV in conflict situations (3).
In the context of insecurity, militarization of the community has a crucial role in sharpening of the situation with gender inequality. The existence of military bases in parts of South Sudan contributes to militarization of communities causing violence against women. The important study on this subject has been presented by Cynthia Enloe. The book written by Enloe is called Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. The central question addressed by the author in this book refers to how relations between the governments also depend on the control of women as symbols, consumers, workers and emotional comforters (Shukla 2). Enloe focuses on exploring the role of women in international politics emphasizing the issues related to gender inequality in this area.
Chapter four of Enloe’s book focuses on military bases in particular and their issues on the basis of gender. In this chapter, Cynthia Enloe describes the role of women in such military bases. Enloe underlines that military bases are an important instrument of influence in international politics that allows speaking from the position of force (Enloe 67). In South Sudan, military bases are gendered. Despite that there are multiple conflicts leading to violence against women. As it was mentioned before, militarization of the community contributes significantly to insecurity and gender disparity. As in the international politics, the armed men may speak from the position of force to women on the national level as well. Sexual and GBV is inevitable in the militarized community, therefore, existence of military bases in parts of South Sudan considerably contributes to violence against women.


Ali, Nada M. Gender and Statebuilding in South Sudan. Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2011. Internet resource.
Enloe, Cynthia H. Bananas, Beaches & Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Print.
Shukla, Shipra. Book Review. Bananas, Beaches & Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. PDF file.

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