The inclusion of gender in security analyses is thus a relatively new phenomenon (Pipe 2007:83). Gender has been disregarded in different areas of security sector. Earlier, security used to be understood as the role of males and its maintenance as solely male task. Contemporarily, security has never been divorced from the framework of the gender dimension. A strong relationship between Gender and Security has always been proven in different levels of society. However, before a deep insight, it is important to briefly understand the two terms. As explained in DCAF article on Gender and Security Sector reform, “Gender refers to the roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviors and values that society ascribes to men and women”. In this case, gender is a product of cultural perceptions of masculinity and femininity, and it is a social construct. On the other hand, (Beridan, 2001: 348) cited in Arsenijevi?, D & Flessenkamper, T (2013), defines security as the level of protectedness of people from various forms of endangerment, that is the protection of material and cultural goods possessed by an individual or a society, the protection of societies and their values, the overall protection of a state from all forms of endangerment or the level of protection on a planetary. . Security in this case is heterogeneous; it is neither male nor female. Therefore, the following paragraphs demonstrate the relationship between gender and security.
Gender and security roles
Firstly, as according to Arsenijevi?, D & Flessenkamper, T (2013), “certain security roles might for cultural reasons only be performed by personnel of a particular gender, requiring both male and female personnel for effective operations”. For instance, in some cultures male military officers are not allowed to search a woman. Same applies, in intelligence-gathering where civilians may only be willing to speak with security officers of a certain gender. Women can truly provide security as one the most desired resources in the world, to the same extent as men. Security does not recognize gender as a determinant in the case that it meant for people of every gender. In fact, security does not know the gender dimension. Gendered aspect of effective service delivery centers on the skills of security sector personnel themselves (Sjoberg 2010).What security does know is peace, or the preservation of peace. The aim is to prove that in the realm of security, she, the woman, can play the most important, vital role, and can provide security to anyone at any time.
Peace and Conflict
Another important area through which the relationship between gender and security is portrayed is in times of both peace and conflict. Inequalities existing between genders have great impact on stability and conflict as they outline the roles, expectations and intervention. “In the absence of security, during wartime, the bad side of such a conflict can easily bring out the worst in women as well, who in times of war perform the roles of soldiers, cooks, housewives, nurses, and sometimes all of these simultaneously”. In wars, both women and men may be victims, but also active participants. Women, as well as well men, can commit war crimes, even against other women. In this context, it is possible to recognize that if women can act in the same way as men during wars, like causing insecurity, participate in wars, then they can also freely provide security and be equally represented in the security sector just as men.
Gender and violence
Gender and security relate in the way through which gender inequalities make one gender a victim of insecurity than another. Mostly, women tend to be victims of insecurity than men. During violence, women become common targets. “Scholarly research and reports showing the extent to which women are targeted during conflicts, the reasons for their victimization and the impact that violent conflict has on the livelihoods, health and dignity of women, is abundant,” Hendricks ( 2011). Every year, a number of cases of sexual violence, forced marriages, forced impregnation, mutilation of body parts, killings, large-scale displacement against women are reported. Some these have been reported in the UN Secretary General’s report on Women, Peace and Security 2002; the BRIDGE report on Gender and Armed Conflict 2003; and the DCAF report on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. “Women and children are often the most exposed and disprivileged groups in conflicts e.g. as refugees and as strategic targets for combatants” (United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325). Consequently, as Kameri-Mbote (2004) puts it, “women are therefore perceived as victims of insecurity rather than as actors with capacity to contribute to the maintenance of security and its restoration when insecurity ensues”. All these gendered security matters indicate a serious intersection between gender and security.
Denying the importance of security on the basis gender challenges and damages both the society and the sector of security. As seen in the context above, both women and men have the capacity of maintaining and restoring security regardless of their femaleness or maleness. Both of them have got also a right to protection from fear, danger and anxiety since security is one of public goods that are none excludable. For this reason, gender perspectives are useful tools to achieving the security sector’s objectives. Therefore integrating gender perspectives in security does not only give women opportunities in the security sector but rather increase its efficiency and effectiveness.