Securing Consistency for Consistent Security

Gender and the Responsibility to Protect

Authored by: Jennifer Bond , Laurel Sherret

THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415600750
eBook ISBN: 9780203117637
Adobe ISBN: 9781136304873

10.4324/9780203117637.ch13

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Abstract

Traditional thinking around conflict and protection is based on many binaries: there are heroes and villains; combatants and civilians; those who save and those who need saving. In this model, victims are passive prey – being either rescued or attacked, but never exercising any autonomy over their own lives. When socially constructed dimensions of gender are graphed onto these perspectives, the role of victim is invariably female, those of both aggressors and saviours invariably male. Although there has been recent progress in the deconstruction of these roles, advancements have been slow and are far from secure. Caution must thus be exercised: while the evolving Responsibility to Protect framework holds the potential to improve human security through progressive understandings of international obligations and commitments, it also holds the potential to perpetuate a regressive, binary approach to protection.

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