Human Security: toward Gender Inclusion

  • Ian R. Gibson
  • Betty A. Reardon


Militarized national security systems have been the principal source of many denials and violations of human rights and civil liberties. Political realism has typically justified military security kin the name of ‘national interest’. While effective security approaches remain elusive, evolving proposals have recently included human security as an alternative to received realist wisdom. Academic debate continues on human security in terms of definition, viability and positioning in international relations, but perhaps not surprisingly, few have fully absorbed gender approaches. These approaches expose the exclusion of women from security policymaking and the silencing of gender from the security discourse. This chapter proposes a gender perspective on human security, identifies threats to security that characterize present state security systems in the 9/11 environment and offers the lineaments of alternative possibilities leading toward a more holistic conception of security underlying this perspective. It will highlight the exclusion of women from global security discourses, areas of political representation and political economy, and political policy-making, and it will specifically identify the chief threats to women’s human security.


National Security Armed Conflict Human Trafficking International Criminal State Security 
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Copyright information

© Ian R. Gibson and Betty A. Reardon 2007

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  • Ian R. Gibson
  • Betty A. Reardon

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