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Women Safety And Peace Of Nation Has Always Been Co-Related

A country with strong , safe, independent women is a peaceful, confident, economically sufficient, and culturally and socially rich nation.

Peace between two or more nations can be disturbed due to many factors.

Ethnonationalism, clash of civilizations, clash of ideologies, democracy deficit, poverty, resource scarcity, illegal in/out migration, border skirmishes, power imbalances, and power vacuums.

We know that the security of women is always at stake

Whenever there’s a war of clash for power interests, but what we do not emphasize much upon is that the countries that are unsafe for women are more likely to go on wars and have conflicts with neighbors.

Kofi Annan said, “The world is starting to grasp that there is no policy for progress more effective than the empowerment of women and girls.  Study after study has taught us that no other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality.  No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health.  No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation.  And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended. World leaders gave voice to those principles at the 2005 World Summit.  As they declared in their Outcome Document, “progress for women is progress for all”.

When we talk about international relations and global security, women’s issues are but a miniscule part of the dialogue. Data becomes numbers. But even these numbers are not accurate in most cases. For example, the number of missing women can never be put to correct figures.

And it’s all the more false in cases where regions have faced or are facing prolonged conflicts and violent episodes.

The number of women lives affected is often a lot more than what’s shown during a civil strife or war

Yes, the state of the State affects the women but does the state of women affects the state of the State too?

History tells, yes.

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Male bonding at the heart of patriarchy, authoritarianism, violence and competition and conflict between groups act as tools to suppress women. From family and cultural laws favoring men in food and property to religious and social practices of child marriage or female genital mutilation or lack of safe abortion allow the community (mostly men) to take decisions for women.

Such societies not only remain backward primarily, but the overall cultural, material and ideological development does not go further a fixed point. These societies are stagnant and and more prone to violence and attacks from other societies.

Even in today’s day and age, it’s these societies that have form the face of nation states are most prone to violence and poverty. How a country’s women are treated is a predictor of peacefulness in that society, and its relations with neighbors.

Safety of women is a litmus test to safety of all the people in that society

Intensity of violence to women indicates peacefulness in regions of Asia, Africa, South America.

This pertains not just to lack of violence but also relates to absolute ownership of bodily rights and some wealth in terms of property or money or safe employment for women.

For example, women own only 2% of land worldwide but are involved in more than 50% of agricultural labor. Almost all remuneration from land goes to men, women labor is unorganized and unaccounted for, If they both earn, women mostly spend on the family while the men spend on themselves.

Two thirds of all malnourished children are female, and girls are given less food than their brothers in most families.

Such societies do not only give malnourished, underweight, stunted individuals, they also produce a community that can never reach to its full potential economically, socially, culturally and educationally. The larger the gender gap, the less is the national economic growth.

People are more likely to migrate for job opportunities, more likely to have substance abuse, are involved in crime and sexual violence, child labor, and no regards for human and individual rights.

There is higher infant and maternal mortality rate, lower life expectancy rate and higher prevalence of infectious diseases.

Such nation states are less peaceful than their developed counterparts, attract less tourists and less foreign investments. The more the gender gap increases, the more the gap between these nations and the developed nations gets widened.

Social welfare schemes fail, corruption intensifies

Legal and state protections for individuals deteriorate.
There has a direct correlation been seen between lack of women participation in state affairs and increase in corruption and opacity in working of the State. Societies that do not see marriage as a hierarchical arrangement have better and more equitable divorce laws, independent women, less population, better health infrastructure, better physical and mental health of individuals, and more productivity.

Deals and negotiations where women participate are seen as more inclusive, more durable and long lasting with better consensus.

Mitigation of male dominance sees equitable treatment of women. There is more freedom of speech and expression, more freedom given to the press, better awareness about rights, and a better chance of grass root development.

A country with unsafe women is unsafe for all

Such societies overcome climate change impacts quicker and can move to sustainable and greener solutions faster, because they are more adaptable. There are community development and community building programs that work on inclusivity and children learning programs for better overall development, less prevalence of diseases , more health centers, better rural-urban connectivity and equitable distribution of resources and good governance.

This also leads to better border and trade relations with other nations and less threat perception. Such nations have stronger defense against expansionist and violent strategies and policies of other nations. In other words, they counter all sorts of threats better than other societies.

Image Source: Still from the movie Raazi

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About the Author

Chaitanya Srishti

Mostly writing, other times painting. Here to celebrate little wins. I am on the same page as you, just a different book - you read mine, I'll read yours. read more...

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