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(en) Claaacg8 Journal No.2: Women & War (it)

From CLAAACG8 <claaacg8@claaacg8.org>
Date Mon, 19 May 2003 19:12:43 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

Today, an insane war is taking place in Iraq following an
embargo lasting twelve years. This Second Gulf War, which no
longer succeeds in hiding the thousands of civilian victims, is
only the latest in a series of crises and local and global
conflicts - the First Gulf War, the wars in the former
Yugoslavia, Kosovo and the war in Afghanistan.
Women (except when they imitate men and join the ranks) are easy
targets in civilian populations and are often victims of rape
used as a weapon of war. The question of gender in relation to
war is a problem that must be discussed.

Indeed, the tie between the wars of today, nationalism and
gender questions are part of an economic, cultural, political
and social process. This link usually appears and develops in
the face of wars in those territories that will undergo them.

During recent wars, nationalism and the ethnic question were the
justifications used for the development of so-called "just wars"
- nationalism and ethnic communities superimpose themselves and
often hide the true incentives of an economic and political
character that are at the root of a war, an internal conflict or
a civil war.

What happens in a society which breaks up under the effects of
nationalism just before a war? As in ex-Yugoslavia, but not only
there, it is civil rights that become less important and women
are the most affected of all and the most weakened in their
contractual capacities both on an economic level as well as a
political or social level. From an economic point of view, we
know that historically at times of war, crisis or
impoverishment, it is women who lose out extensively. In the
case of unemployment, it is women who are the first to lose
their jobs.

On the political plane at these times, the level of political
representation of women, the equality of opportunities or the
political work towards respect for gender differences are
relegated to the background (at best) because the political
agenda has to keep pace with the emergency and crisis. Women are
therefore excluded from debate as so-called useless elements at
times of crisis and emergency, because the power requires unity
in the face of "difficulty" - it requires us all to become
citizens without distinctions and especially that we do not
think as women.

On the social side and through the media, the state of crisis is
reflected in a progressive marginalisation of women from the
public sphere and from the social and political life, so that
they return to the home and take over once more the role of
"angels of the hearth" or do the work of caring in the event of
war, as nurses or mothers, wives or fiancees of the soldiers on
the front. Wars, international crises and nationalism do not
bring only death and destruction - they always result in
reducing those freedoms and dignity which were won after long
struggle. A feminist vision is needed to look at events from a
different point of view, especially in contrast to the
patriarchic, macho point of view which is so typical of war and

Text taken from Claaac Journal No.2
May 2003 - 1 euro - 8 pages

Convergence des luttes antiautoritaire et anticapitaliste contre
le G8
(Convergence of Anti-Authoritarian, Anti-Capitalist Struggles
Against the G8)

c/o La plume noire,
19, rue Pierre Blanc
F - 69001 Lyons

website: http://www.claaacg8.org
e-mail: claaacg8@claaacg8.org

[translation - nmcn/ainfos]

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