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Zoveel vrouwen in top defensie

26-2-2014 Gedurende de jaren tachtig is er veel gedebatteerd over de relatie tussen militarisme en feminisme, en over de invloed van het vrouw zijn op de geneigdheid tot oorlog. We vroegen ons af: zou het verschil maken als vrouwen beslisten over oorlog en vrede?
Help een antwoord te vinden op deze vraag. U kunt t/m 7 maart reageren.


During the eighties, there have been numerous debates on the relation between militarism and feminism, and on the the influence of being female on being war-prone. We asked the question: would it make a difference when women would decide about war and peace? Most of us thought it would, in one way or another. But how?


In 2014, we have the interesting situation that there are at least 16 countries with a female defence minister. These are The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Norway, Albania, Venezuela, Tailand, Kenya, Canada, Ecuador, Paraquay, Sweden, Montenegro, Bolivia, Botswana and New Zealand (source: http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/Defence_ministers.htm) In the European Union, we have the unique situation that both the Chief Executive and the Head of the European Defence Agency EDA are female.


The question is now: does it make a difference? Can we say something, from a feminist perspective, about the consequenses of having females in charge of defence institutions? For example: It seems to be a very good way to the top, see Chiles present president Michelle Bachelet was who defense minister from 2002 to 2004, and see Germany's Ursula von der Leyen, for which the defence ministry is considered by many as a test case for the presidency. On the other hand, it might indicate that the position is considered less prestigiuous, as might be the case for the two leading ladies of the permanently underfunded European Defence Agency.


I wonder what women from over the world are thinking of this. So I decided to pose this question on mail and Facebook. In the run-up to March 8, I want to do a little survey.


My question is: does it make a difference when women would decide about war and peace? And how? Can you see your femalde defence minister act differently from her male predecessors? If so, how? Why? Or why not?


Please help me find answer to this question and send a reply to w.de.vries@stopwapenhandel.org before March 8, 2014. If I get some interesting responses and you leave your contact details, I will share them with you.


Many thanks for sharing this question with other (female and/or feminist) friends.


Wendela de Vries, The Netherlands (Minister of Defence: Jeanine Hennis-Plasschard)