Traditionally and historically masculine attributes are attached to the concept of “Security.” Therefore, security itself and the issues related to it are dominated by male members of a society. Such a situation leads to the absence of gender perspective from security policy-making in most of the countries in the world. Women’s perspective is absent from macro to micro level. Keeping in view the fact that women comprise almost 50 percent of the world’s population, it is pertinent to give them their space in security policy-making.
Armed conflict affects women, men, girls, and boys in different ways. Women and girls around the world face discrimination based on their gender. They are especially vulnerable in situations where they are displaced and/or become refugees. They are most vulnerable to conflict-related sexual violence. At the same time, women and girls play a key role in preserving their communities. Their economic and social responsibilities may increase in times of war. They often act as agents of peace, leading movements that eventually bring the warring parties to the negotiation table.
In 2000, Kofi Anan said, “For generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental in building bridges rather than walls.” According to different quantitative studies, women empowerment and gender equality are associated with peace and stability in a society. Although it has not been acknowledged generally but like men, women too have the right to participate in the advancement of peace, conflict prevention, and resolution and in rebuilding post-struggle social orders like men. Over the most recent two decades, ladies represented only 9% of mediators settled tables and out of 585 peace assertions from 1990 to 2010, just 92 contained any references to women. Kofi Annan, the then Secretary-General Calls for Council Action to Ensure Women Are Involved In Peace and Security Decisions.(Oct 25,2000)
The aptitudes of ladies as a go-between, leaders inside the home and their encounters building trust and exchange with their families and groups could be significantly more viable than men. There is also evidence to show that formal peace agreements which include women's perspectives are more likely to last. Setting ladies and young ladies at the core of all endeavors identified with peacebuilding is essential to completion savagery and guaranteeing manageable peace. Therefore, women adopt a broad definition where peace “includes not only the absence of war, violence, and hostilities but also the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms within society.
Theorists and scholars working in the field present different arguments in favor of female participation in decision making such as:
• The equity contention – ladies represent a large portion of the number of inhabitants on the planet and thusly have the privilege to be spoken to all things considered;
• The experience argument – women’s experiences are different from men’s, which need to be represented in discussions leading to policymaking and its implementation. These different experiences mean that women ‘do politics’ differently from men;
• The interesting argument – the interests of men and women are different and even conflicting at times, therefore women are more needed in representative institutions to articulate the interests of women;
• The minimum amount contention – ladies can accomplish solidarity of reason to speak to female interests when they accomplish certain levels of portrayal;
Women face multiple barriers as they attempt participation in their communities including the following:
• Restrictive social standards and states of mind that strengthen conventional sexual orientation parts, making it troublesome for ladies to partake securely and seriously
• Violence against women and girls, fuelled by the long-term impact of conflict and militarization, impacts on women’s freedom to participate.
• Poverty and economic inequality is also an irritant to women participation. It is that it inflicts double burden of their domestic roles and income-generation activities as well as a lack of control over household income.
• Inequality in access to education for women and the resultant low levels of literacy
• Women often de-value their own role as an agent of social change
• In politics, there has to be a popular demand for transformative goals; unfortunately-women equality is not a popular demand in Pakistan as it is often perceived as Western agenda and un Islamic.
• Many government and non-government organizations often hire women just to meet specific quotas whereas in practice little is done to genuinely ensure equitable treatment.
• Sexual harassment is a major reason why women hesitate to enter into certain roles, jobs, and public spaces.
Pakistan faces multiple issues of peace and conflict in internal and external spheres. Pakistani women have long faced violence and discrimination. Although women comprise 50 percent of the total population of Pakistan, they remain underrepresented in the process of national policy-making. The government of Pakistan has constitutional and international obligations, under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to combat gender inequality and remove such barriers to women empowerment. By repealing discriminatory legislation and enforcing laws that protect women and by ensuring their access to gender-responsive police and courts, the government can substantially decrease violence against women. The near absence of female voice is contradictory to CEDAW. Therefore, the constitutional laws which are in favor of women, such asThe Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act 2016 22 are ineffective. Women’s invisibility as victims, survivors, leaders, and peacemakers need to be understood as the fundamental obstacle to ameliorating the predicament of women towards ensuring the safety and welfare of the women affected by conflict.
It is an established fact that for women ‘security’ is inclusive. It appears to defy the principle of ‘the art of defining something’ because it is about their inner feeling of dignity, self-respect, protection, sacrifice, aspirations, vision and hopes; it is about their immediate surroundings; it is about their families and even extended families; it is about their neighbourhood and communities and also of strategic nature. Yet, women are frequently excluded from conflict resolution processes. WHY??? This is the question to which our male-dominant world has to answer. If this question remains unanswered and unsolved, one can not imagine peace in a world in near future because of NO WOMEN IN SECURITY POLICY NO PEACE.