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Militarization and the Role of Women in Conflict Zones

Militarization is the process by which a society organizes itself for military conflict and violence and accepts violence as a viable way of resolving conflict. It is related to militarism, which is an ideology that reflects the level of militarization of a state. Since I am from Afghanistan and I live in Afghanistan where the country is in a state of war for almost four decades, therefore, all of my examples and reflections will be centralized to my country. I was young when for the first time we had to leave our house in Kabul due to Mujahidin internal conflict/civil war and move to one of our far away relative’s house to Wardak province, it was safe and there was at least no internal fighting in the province. Adjusting your life and standard from living in the capital of country to a village/province was way difficult for us, more than anyone else this fighting and displacement affected me and my other sister, we had to wear different clothes to match up ourselves with other village girls, quit our schools , had to learn bread cooking, had to speak village language and accent, leave our dreams of becoming educated and do something for our country. I still remember, the situation didn’t affect my brothers as they were still able to go to school in that province, my father was able to work and earn for us. The above real example shows how militarization negatively affect women in any country, indeed women are the first victim of militarization in Afghanistan and surely in any other conflict zones. However, in war torn countries, in addition for women to be affected badly by the situation, they have been agent of positivity and peace as well, for example, women in my country are human rights activist, doctors, journalist, artists, singers, women working in development sector as I do and many more sector. To sum up, I once again reiterate on how the women’s role are important in making any positive difference in any situation, particularly in war or fighting situations.

Lailee Rahimi is a WPS2 participant from Afghanistan.

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