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Hijrah, Immigration: the Islamic Practice in the Infidels’ Lands

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What are the mechanisms the strategy of Hijrah is operated as to achieve world Islamic rule? Two important means are Tamkīn and I‘dād.

Tamkīn means to enable control in all relevant matters, to consolidate Islamic rule (Sûratal-A‘rāf, 7:10; Sûrat Yusûf, 12:56; Sûrat al-Kahf, 18:84; Sûrat al-Hājj, 22:41; Sûrat al-Qasas 28:6). I’dād means preparation in military terms against the infidel enemies (Sûrat al-Anfāl, 8:60. From this verse comes the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood). In contemporary usage, it internally means consolidating the Muslim community by socialization and indoctrination processes; and externally, it grants the Muslims the legitimacy to infiltrate all Dār al-Kufr’s infrastructure and institutions in order to conquer them from within. The reference is to the example of Abraham who emigrated for the sake of Allah (Sûrat al-‘Anqabût, 29:26).

This example raises the ability to use power and to seize the host lands. That is why the establishment and empowerment of the Islamic Ummah through Hijrah to the infidels’ lands is a command of Allah for Islam’s victory.it is also accompanied by the command to perform “good” and to abstain from “evil” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:110, 114, 132; Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:71, 112). However, doing “good” has never meant practicing the universal or moral of Western Golden Rule for the sake of mankind or recognizing and legitimizing the other, but only domestically, doing good within the Islamic community.

The pinnacle of that “good” in political terms is to promote Islam as the only religion and to work for the advancement of Islamic interests (Masālih al-Islām). Therefore, it is important for Western public opinion to understand that when Muslims declare in praise of peace, tranquility, and cooperation it is not for mutual peaceful relationships with the infidels, in a pluralistic world, according to Western conceptions, but only for the Islamic interests, advancement, and achievements. There is no recognition and no acceptance of the other’s legitimate existence.

The Islamic ethnocentric and one-dimensional approach system is exemplified by the following: “The religion before Allah is Islam alone” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:19). “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted by him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:85). The Arabs are the most dignified and noble nation among all human race. As for the infidels, “we will fight them forever for the sake of Allah. Killing the infidels is a small matter for us,” according to the historian and biographer of Muhammad, al-Tabari. Muslim believers are the only purified among human race, as Allah loves those who are purified (Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:108). Evil is always related to the infidels. Abstaining from “evil” and performing “good” also means that Muslims are forbidden to live among the infidels under their laws and way of life, and to become their friends. A loyal (Mukhlis) Muslim means total submission and devotion to Allah.

At the same time, to be an infidel means miserable and corrupt life in this world and the agony of hellfire in the hereafter. From here stems the absolute readiness of Muslims to kill and be killed for the sake of Allah, as a win-win situation:

“Those who fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, we shall grant him a mighty reward” (Sûrat al-Nisā’, 4:74).

“…they fight for the sake of Allah; they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him…” (Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:111).

This is the right natural world order that should be preserved and becomes constant. Moreover, it is not only a win-win for those who die for the sake of Allah, and not only the glorious life in Paradise with virgins there, but it is the eternity of life for the Shuhadā’ with Allah (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:154; Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:169).

The purpose is to tear down the societal infrastructure of the enemy by Hijrah and Jihad. This is to be operated by infiltration of the Muslims in Dār al-Kufr and deceiving the infidels in calculated schemed stages. It is a step by step methodology of migration processes designed to subdue and subjugate the host society, culminating in the implementation of the Sharī‘ah. The Islamization of the infidels’ territories becomes inevitable. That is why the future is with Islam, and the destiny of Islam is to win over the infidels as a must.

As a part of the Hijrah socialization and indoctrination, the message is to sanctify Mecca in the hearts of the believers, so that even the Muslims are immigrants in faraway territories, they must keep their Islamic identity and must not integrate and assimilate in their host societies. Hence, even though Muslims reside in faraway territories, still their loyalty and activity is solely to the Islamic Khilāfah.

As the example of Muhammad is absolutely binding to all Muslims, they follow his life-time and experience that have passed over four main stages: (a) A world transformer (challenging the existing system in Mecca and supplying alternative rules and operational codes for the believers); (b) A world abstinent in solitary (immigrating to secure place from the threatening existing situation and creating an enclave of refugee believers); (c) A world new creator (transforming the situation from passivity to activity by accumulating powerful political resources and establishing a unified religious community of believers); (d) A world conqueror (making the enclave a basis of expansionist territorial policy by military occupation and Islamization of the occupied territories).

This phased strategy has become, as everything in Muhammad’s life, a contemporary modus operandi for the believers, to be operated by the Hijrah:

Stage One. Muslim organizations must act to change the situation in Arab-Muslim countries that have become apostate, governed by infidel-like rule and laws. The inability to succeed in taking the reins of government; the harsh oppressing political situation; and the economic depression, have compelled the true believers to flee and immigrate to Western countries. Though the Islamic rules of the Hijrah pose them a dilemma of how to correctly behave in Dār al-Kufr, they act to retain their original Islamic identity and to resist the infidel’s challenge.

Stage Two. The domestic integration process in Dār al-Kufr begins with encouraging the Muslims group of Muhājirûn (immigrants) to establish a community of believers, centered on a local mosque. Mosques are at the heart of the spiritual change, the most crucial infrastructure for the establishment of the Muslim community. Clerics serve as the main political component in the processes of the phased strategy for occupying Dār al-Kufr. Without the Imām’s role there is no meaning to the community coherence and adherence. That is to say, religious leadership is what makes the basic important difference in the march of Islam to occupy the world.

The building of the physical presence consists first and foremost the encouraging of Islamic educational system of Madāris (religious schools). It is the Imām’s main arm that constitutes the utmost important means of consolidating and segregating of the Muslim community. The next in importance is the imposition of teaching the Arabic language. Praying and speaking Arabic in public have become a weapon the Muslim leaders use for socialization and indoctrination of the youth, and for “enslaving” the non-Arab Muslims to abide by the Arab culture.

Next in importance are the Muslim behavior and dress. There are rules of behavior Muslims must keep and follow to differentiate them from the outer society. Even the women dress codes of Hijāb and Niqāb are used as a political performance. Muslim street prayers are important components in the process of integration and consolidation of the internal Islamic community, and serve as a political declaration of supremacy against the infidels externally. These street prayers have nothing to do with practicing the religion but serves as a political agitation against the outer society. They have enough places of prayers, and mosque are abound. But closing the main streets with masses is totally political, to introduce the Islamic call.

These Muslim activities, among many others, appear to be reasonable and logical among the host society’s mind, as if they are part of the culture and religion to be cherished in a pluralistic liberal society. From the mirror image perspective, the infidels do not understand the meaning and aims of the Islamic standings, and they stumble and fail to the hazards Islam poses. The infidels’ ignorance and the gaps of cultures increase the Muslims’ demands and actually empower them to proceed to the next stage in the Islamization process.

This process is exacerbated by Western politics of denial and ignorance. Within the last years in the US, the word “Jihad” has been expunged from the governmental branches lexicon. What is more painful and disastrous is that “Jihad” is wrongly translated as the inner struggle of the Muslim believer. This is the fruit of the fraud Islamic propagation. Jihād and Mujahādah come from the third Arabic conjugation, and they mean war, fight and struggle in the battleground. Indeed, ignorance, stupidity, and naïve perceptions are the cause to the ongoing failures of Western leaders and public opinion molders to comprehend Islam and to deal with Muslim propagators. Moreover, self-censorship has reached the pick as the words, “Islamic” and “terrorism,” are forbidden to be used together. The American Administration impose the belief that Islam is a religion of peace while terrorism is related to un-Islamic groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic Caliphate State.

Stage Three. When the critical mass is achieved and consolidation of the Islamic identity occurs, Muslims act to seek political, cultural, and religious changes in the land of the Kuffār. The tactics Muslims use in the host countries is very successful, just because it seems reasonable and understandable in the minds of the infidels. The Muslims begin with asking permission to accept or adopt small acceptable changes in humble and flattering ways; when fulfilled and in time, it goes on to requests with more determined and direct approach; then it continues with sheer demands that do not accept “no” as an answer; and it is culminated with threats and violence to consolidate the changes and make them authorizing laws. These stages are exhibited according to the responsiveness of the host society and the level of its tolerance.

In-between, Muslims buy everything they can with huge money flows from the oil-producing countries, mainly Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, with the aim of buying political influence and power. The main focus is on the academia: most of the universities have been “conquered,” by money that goes to faculties and research centers, by Muslim faculty members, and mainly by huge active mass students in the campuses with high political participation, serving as propaganda agents.    

Muslim communities are encouraged to riot in violence against the host countries to demand special privileges; as if it is a retaliation to challenge Islamophobic behavior and to ruthlessly act if they were “insulted.” In this process, Muslims create a Sharī‘ah-zone areas in their neighborhoods; and apply for segregation at public places and educational institutions. This leads to further alienation from the host society, and act as a consolidation the segregation mode among the Muslims. Indeed, “no-go zones” and even demanding the indigenous inhabitants to pay the Jizyah already exist throughout Europe. Using Jihad and Da`wah strategies; requests for Halāl foods; Sharī’ah-compliant financial banking transactions; and adding of Muslim holidays (‘Id al-Fitr; ‘Id al-Adha) to public-formal calendar of the host societies, further elevate the Muslim community to become distinct and segregated.

The case of Halāl food is indicative. The Qur’anic injunction clearly states that meat slaughtered and other foods made by Jews and Christians are lawful for the Muslims (Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:3). So there is no need for Muslim slaughtering areas and other food demands, which proves that even the Halāl meat has become a political tool of segregation. To prove this issue, there is the Pledge of Allegiance composed for the Muslims in the United States that empowers their segregation and distinctiveness:

“As an American Muslim, I pledge allegiance to Allah and his Prophet; I respect my family and my community; and I dedicate my life to serving the cause of the truth and justice.”

This is highly important: Muslims in the United States “pledge allegiance” not to the “flag of the US of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” but “to Allah and to his Prophet,” Muhammad. They do not respect the US community and American way of life, but the community of Islam, the Ummah. And they give honor and allegiance to the truth and Justice not of the American Constitution, but of Islam and in the cause of Islam, embodied in the Sharī`ah as the highly abiding law.

In the words of Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort-Worth CAIR branch: “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land… Islam is not the problem; Islam is the solution.” In the words of Omar Ahmad, CAIR chairman: “Islam is not in the US to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Qur’an should be the highest authority and Islam the only religion on earth.” Sheikh Zaid Shaqir, Muslim Chaplain of Yale University, has put it: “Muslims cannot accept the legitimacy of the secular system of the United States. It is against the orders and ordinances of Allah… and must be abolished.” Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has reiterated this idea: “Islam will return to Europe and the US by Da‘wah and not by Jihad, and the Europeans will convert to Islam, and disseminate Islam, and the entire world becomes Muslim.”

Out of 1.5 billion Muslims, approximately 400 million live as religious minorities in infidel states. In the absence of Islamic central authority, power should be put in the hands of the Muslim scholars to govern instead. The President of the Sharī`ah Council of Britain has declared: “In the absence of Islamic Court in any country where Muslims are in a minority and the state does not recognize Islamic Law, Muslims are required to form a board of Islamic jurists to judge in the personal matters relating to Sharia. Its decisions will be binding on all Muslims living as a minority community.”

In Britain it is more apparent as there are also Islamic courts that rule according to the Sharī‘ah in eighty-five judicial provinces. A research done by Colin Dye in September 2007, gives practical examples of how Muslims have implemented the principles of Islam’s judiciary system in the conquest of the United Kingdom, with the gradual progression toward the establishment of an Islamic supremacy.

This is a strategy to get the host society accustomed to Islamic way of life, mosques, holidays, dress, and food. Any action to suppress these demands is decried as religious discrimination, condemned as racism, and entails violent reactions of mob disturbances and riots in the streets and death threats. This is a winning strategy, as it targets at the heart of Western political traumas of colonialism (Europe) and of racism (US), and causes the free world to apologize and to subdue. Add to all these multiculturalism and political correctness, the two Western disastrous distorted inventions that enable Arab-Islamic strategy of Hijrah to succeed in Dār al-Kufr.

Stage Four. Expansionist politics starts when many Islamic local enclaves begin to merge as to create larger and powerful territorial frameworks. These enclaves spread like a virus in the body, occupying more and more organs with the aim to control the entire body by replacing it and adopting a new system.

Formally, it starts by using the Islamic pillar of Zakāt to donate for the cause of Islam. Donations are targeted to the needy of the Islamic communities (never to Infidels. Contrary to Islamic propagation, it is only for the Muslim community and not allowed to be given to infidels! That is why when natural disasters occur around the world, one does not find the rich Muslim states on the list of assistance. The call from the Imāms is culminated by the direct act of the Muslim youths, exactly the third generation, to volunteer and fight in Arab-Muslim states, like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Chechnya; fighting against imperialism (Isti‘mār) and reaction (Raj‘īyah), and fighting against Taghût, Muslim regimes that are not ruled according to the Sharī‘ah. It is however allowed to endow Zakāt money with the purpose to bringing nations to Islam, like Mali, Niger, and Nigeria; and to assist the fighters against Christian states like Kenya and Ethiopia. In the words of Samuel Huntington, the Islamic civilization is in confrontation with all other world civilizations, and “the borders of Arabia are borders of blood.”

This process has largely become evident when local young Muslims even indigenous converted to Islam, like in Germany, Britain and Sweden travel to fight the Islamic cause in the Middle East. For example, hundreds of Europeans and thousands of other Sunni Muslims have made Syria the land of Jihad. European security chiefs see the flow of extremists to and from Syria as their top terrorist threat. More American, European, and African Muslims are joining the Jihad in Syria and fight against the Syrian regime. Syria has become a magnet for Jihadists. “Demolishing “the New Jāhiliyah” and “the New Crusaderism” has become the item slogans.

This expansionist process sets out and expands like a virus, when the local Ummah-communities enclaves are integrated together to create a larger and stronger territories, challenging the basic well-being of the host-nations. It reveals the Islamic strategy of world occupation in phased processes. On May 22nd 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States has issued a memorandum on “the strategic goal for the group In North America.” The first article set the motion: The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by Majlis al-Shûra and the Organizational Conference for the year [1987] is enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.

It is important to understand: these stages are not organized according to place, time and space, rather the opportunity and the vacuum doctrine, it depends very much on the reaction or lack of it of the Infidels. Moreover, when operated, the amount or intensity depend again on the infidels. There is not one brain behind this all-around- the-world onslaught. There are many groups, organization and movements working independently, even against one another. They use different tactics and means, but they all work for the same objectives: the victory of Islam as a political religion.

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Feminism: A Critique of Realism and The Way Forward

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In around eighteen countries of the world, for e.g. Bolivia, Iran, Qatar, Sudan and Syria, men can legally stop women from working. Women still need to take permission from their husbands to participate in the labour force of the country. There are around 59 countries yet to regulate laws concerning sexual harassment at workplace and around 45 nations with no laws protecting women from domestic violence. Women, even in the 21st century, are not independent in the true sense. Alone in South Africa, according to a survey conducted by the South African Medical Research Council, approximately one in four men surveyed admitted to committing rape. This alarming oppressive status of women even in the contemporary times leads us to the question, where did this male dominance come from?

 It is the colonialism, war and power struggle between the states which resulted into oppression of women even in the regions where women were particularly considered of high status. John Hoffman argues “states themselves are an expression of patriarchal power; leadership itself is monolithic, hierarchical and violent” (Hoffman, 2001) Historically, women had less rights and they were viewed as subordinate. Their role was limited to the household chores. During this time, only men had opportunities by which they participated in economic, social and political activities. Women lacked education and had fewer opportunities. In fact, for several years, women were not allowed to study ‘manly subjects’ such as science and law.Thus, leading towards a world of man forming a state and representing the interest of men. These manly states, being formed at the time when women had limited or in some places, no civil rights were led by a hegemon. This is also known as masculine hegemony.

Through the lenses of realist theories such as Hans Morgenthau, international society is anarchic in nature and all states function to maximize their state’s interest. These state’s interest is essentially achieved by power. Power, according to realism, equates military force and war. It revolves around the issues of war and security. It focuses on the role of nation-state and makes a bold assumption that all the states act in accordance to their national interest. It believes that states cooperate with each other solely for selfish national interest. Realist also don’t believe that the international organizations can establish peace where state cooperate without selfish interest. Plus, they believed that all the conflicts can be resolved only by coercion. (Morganthau, 1948) However, the emergence of economic interdependence due to globalization has increased cooperation from economic relations based on trade and investment. Furthermore, after the world war two, rise of multilateral institutions such as United Nations, led the world to more cooperative relations amongst states. For instance, realist failed to predict the fall of Soviet Union and peace post-cold war.  Hence, due to structural challenges and changes in the international relations, the relations amongst states does not revolve only around the realist issues of war and security.

In the late 1980s, theorist started to examine the role of gender in international relations. According to feminist, the conventional IR theories, realism and liberalism, present a partial view. The feminist theory has evolved through the three major movements, popularly known as waves of feminism. The first aimed to achieve recognition of equal rights, with a focus on suffrage. The second wave further demanded equal rights and treatment, and was marked by the emergence of the study of gender as a social construct. This feminist theory of IR is a critic of realism which focuses on power and considers patriarchy. Realism’s pessimistic approach to the international relations ignores the role of individuals. In contemporary times, the feminist theory brings new prospective to the international relations. J. Ann Tickner, a standpoint feminist argues that IR is gendered to “marginalize women’s voices”. She emphasizes that women have knowledge, perspectives and experiences that should be brought to bear on the study of international relations.” (Ruiz). Despite all the gender equality movements, we are still far from achieving the equality in society. Today, Women represent around 50% of the total population of world and only 39% of women globally participate in the labour force. As Emma Watson rightly points out, “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcomed to participate in it?”  Out of around 193 countries, only 22 countries have female head of the states. According to the feminist, the key roles in international relations of diplomats, policy makers are played by men who come from patriarchal backgrounds. Thus, feminist challenge the Eurocentric and masculine theories of IR who fail to accommodate gender, race, class and ethnicity. Hence, on the contrary, feminism prioritizes development, peace and human security.

In the year 2014, Sweden, for the first time in the world, announced a feminist foreign policy and became the first country in the world to have a ‘feminist government’. Six years later, September 2019, Mexico pledged to adopt a feminist foreign policy during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier this year in January 2020, it became first Latin American country to launch a feminist foreign policy. France, Canada and Norway also expressed interest to set out feminist guidelines of their foreign policies. This indicates a beginning of new approach to the international relations.  Feminist foreign policy broadly refers to a state’s commitment to adopt policies wherein citizens, irrespective to their gender, live to their full potential. In case of Sweden, the country has recognized a separate gender equality policy since the early 70s. Hence, it was not as shocking for the citizen’s as it was for the world. The feminist foreign policy of Sweden emphasizes on three Rs: Rights, representation and resources. Rights refers to combating discrimination and full enjoyment of human rights, representation emphasizes on participation of women in decision making at all levels of the civil society, and resources seek to ensure that the resources are allocated to promote equality and equal opportunities. (Handbook Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy, 2018)

Feminist foreign policy broadly means the acknowledgment of injustice that exist globally. It emphasizes on building peace promoting organizations and criticizes military alliances such as NATO. The feminist foreign policy also criticizes the five permanent members of the UN security council who are the world’s biggest arms exporters. Sweden not only become the “strongest voice for gender equality and full employment of human rights for all women and girls” but also inspired many countries. For instance, global south’s first country to have a FFP, Mexico, not only aims to include women’s rights but also LGBTQ+ rights, climate change, immigration and trade. (Delgado, 2020)

The FFP of Sweden has made a significant impact. In 2017, Sweden during its presidency at the united nations security council elaborated and emphasized on gender equality. It also played a crucial role in peace talks with respect to Yemen crisis. Yemen crisis is influenced by the Arab spring, an anti-governmental protest, against the president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is in power since last thirty years. This uprising ended with a political deal, mediated by the United Nations and the Gulf cooperation Council. Thus, president Saleh stepped down and gave power to the vice president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Followed by a national dialogue conference, a constitution was agreed to be drafted. This process led to tensions between the parties and the negotiations resulted into escalation in conflict and formation of Saudi led coalition in March 2015 with support of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Senegal, Sudan, UAE and Qatar. (they further left the coalition in 2017). The coalition had received arms and intelligence from powerful countries such as USA, UK and France. This has created more conflict since they conducted several air campaigns causing death of civilians and a major humanitarian crisis. As the tensions grew, not only women and children but civilian’s vulnerability grew. The UN officials have called this a ‘man-made crisis.’ Sweden’s Foreign Minister as well as one of the architects of feminist foreign policy of Sweden, Margot Wallström, played a key role. She had personally visited Yemen after catastrophic bomb blasts in the country.  Khaled Al- Yamini, the foreign minister of Hadi government and Houthi’s representative, Mohmad Abdelsalam signed the ‘Stockholm agreement.’  The Stockholm agreement came in three parts, the first part dealt with ceasefire and redeployment of forces, then the second term of agreement was facilitating the movement of humanitarian aid and lastly, Prisoner swap (reuniting POW with their families). This was a breakthrough agreement as it brought an end to a long pending peace talk. The usage of diplomatic technique of negotiation to resolve a conflict is the practice of feminist approach to the study of IR.

The theory of ecofeminism is a branch of feminism which examines relation between women and nature. Ecofeminist draw parallels between oppression of nature and oppression of women. French feminist Francoise d’Eaubonne coined the name in her 1974 book le feminisme ou la mort (Feminism or Death). She argued that everything is related to everything else. Man dominates the nature for selfish interests and in similar ways women are oppressed and objectified. Thus, liberation of women is essential to bring about the environmental change. Connecting the feminist foreign policy of Sweden and ecofeminism, we can see a positive impact with respect to action towards climate change. Sweden worked to mainstream gender equality in the new Paris climate agreement (COP21). Sweden gained regional support to put women forward and in focus for climate change and climate justice. This led to the establishment of Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice. This campaign was supported by over 7700 organizations. Along with this, Sweden has adopted a climate policy, aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emission by 2045. The Swedish government has a specific fund for bilateral cooperation with strategic countries in the field of environment and climate. Currently, cooperation with around ten countries, among others Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, and Vietnam are financed by the fund. For e.g. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has been cooperating regarding India’s ambitions to phase down the use of the powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons. In addition to peace talks and climate change action, Sweden has taken action to strengthen the human rights of refugee women and girls. According to Linklater, critical theory can be seen as the instrument of powerless to advance more equitable global relations. Sweden has initiated multiple bilateral-multilateral meetings to address the link of migration and human trafficking, prostitution. Sweden has successfully ensured that these issues are included in the UN resolutions and in the declaration of UN summit for Refugees and Migration, 2016. Hence, looking at the feminist foreign policy of Sweden through the lenses of ecofeminism, critical theory and feminist theory, it appears to be the new way forward in IR. (Sweden, 2017)

Besides Sweden, India’s declaration of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional, Argentina’s vow to legalise abortion and emergence of female state leaders such as Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, Dilma Rousseff and Tsai Ing-wen has introduced world a new feminist leadership. Furthermore, during the extraordinary crisis situation- covid19 outbreak, under the leadership of Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan recovered exceptionally well. Jacinda Ardern’s emotional response to terrorist attack and Angela Merkel’s strategic Ukraine crisis’ negations with Russia indicates as rightly said by Barack Obama, “If women ran every country in the world, there would be improvement in living standards and outcomes

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Women in leadership ‘must be the norm’

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Ola Alaghbary, co-founder and chairwoman of a youth foundation in Yemen, works on empowering women to make positive changes in their communities.photo: Heba Naji

We can no longer exclude half of humanity from international peace and security matters, the UN chief told the Security Council on Thursday, emphasizing the need to fully address the challenges and gaps that continue to prevent women having an equal say.

Today, women’s leadership is a cause. Tomorrow, it must be the norm”, Secretary-General António Guterres told the meeting, covering landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Frontline women

Having just visited the photo exhibition, In their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace – a collection of inspiring stories of women around the world seen through the lenses of women photographers – he told ambassadors that the exhibit brings to “vivid life” their dedication to “the most important and consequential cause of all, peace”.

“From the safety of this chamber, we discuss and debate pathways of peace for countries around the world”, said the UN chief. “But the women portrayed in the exhibition are on the front lines of the fight for peace”.

He called them peacebuilders, changemakers and human rights leaders, and described their work mediating and negotiating with armed groups; implementing peace agreements; pushing for peaceful transitions; and fighting for women’s rights and social cohesion throughout their communities.

Yet, he pointed out, “women remain on the periphery of formal peace processes, and they’re largely excluded from rooms where decisions are made”.

Disheartening trend

Citing rising rates of violence and misogyny; the extreme under-representation of women in decision-making positions; and a myriad of challenges faced by those in conflict, the top UN official observed that the power imbalance between men and women remains “the most stubborn and persistent of all inequalities”.

In every humanitarian emergency, the clock on women’s rights has not stopped. It’s moving backwards”, he said regretfully.

In Ethiopia, women have been victims of sexual violence; in Yemen, excluded from political processes by the warring parties; in Afghanistan, undergoing a rapid reversal of the rights they had achieved in recent decades; and in Mali, after two coups in nine months, “the space for women’s rights is not just shrinking, but closing”, Mr. Guterres said.

‘Fast-track women’

The UN chief stressed: “We need to fight back, and turn the clock forward for every woman and girl” – the commitment outlined in Our Common Agenda and Call to Action on Human Rights.

“Increasing women’s representation and leadership across every aspect of the UN’s peace activities is critical to improving the delivery of our mandate and better representing the communities we serve”, he said.

But Council’s support is needed for partnerships, protection and participation.

Women leaders and their networks must be supported to meaningfully engage in peace and political processes, he explained.

Secondly, women human rights defenders and activists must be protected as they carry out their essential work.

And finally, women’s “full, equal and meaningful participation” must be supported in peace talks, peacebuilding, and political systems as countries transition to peace, he said.

We need full gender parity”, underscored the UN chief. “We know it can be done”.

Advancing women’s rights

Women should not have to accept reversals of their rights in countries in conflict, or anywhere else.

Mr. Guterres said that the UN will double down on “truly inclusive peacemaking” and put women’s participation and rights “at the centre of everything we do – everywhere we do it”.

The best way to build peace is through inclusion, and to honour the commitment and bravery of women peacemakers we must “open doors to their meaningful participation”.

Let’s turn the clock forward on women’s rights and give half of humanity the opportunity to build the peace we all seek”, concluded the Secretary-General.

Time to say ‘enough’

To create a tangible difference in the lives of women and girls, UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, highlighted the need for governments and the Security Council “to step up” to address the way we confront peace and security issues.

For too long violence has targeted females and their rights; and women continue to be marginalized and excluded “in those very places where they can drive change”, she told the Council.

“Surely the time has come to say enough”, she said.

Open doors to women

While acknowledging a “glimmer of light” resulting from the passage of the original resolution, Ms. Bahous said that while not enough, it must be used in the fight for women’s equality.

Noting that vast military spending has been “in bitter contrast” to limited investments in other areas, she advocated for curbing military spending and expressed hope that delegates “share my sense of urgency” on the issue, which impacts other priorities, including women’s rights.

The UN Women chief noted that increased participation, combined with curbing the sale of arms in post-conflict settings, significantly reduces the risk of backsliding.

She reminded ambassadors that while “equal nations are more peaceful nations”, equality requires higher levels of support for healthcare and related services.

Moreover, Ms. Bahous regretted that women’s organizations are poorly funded, noting that without the necessary financial resources, they cannot effectively carry out their work.

Turning to Afghanistan, she shone a light on the women who had collaborated with the UN and whose lives are now in danger, advocating for doors to be opened wider, to women asylum seekers.

Women at the stakeout

Subsequently, former Afghan women politicians took to the Security Council stakeout to ask the international community to pressure the Taliban “to put their words in action” and fulfill their promises made in 2019 in Qatar including supporting girls’ education and women’s rights.

“The reason we are here today is to meet with different Member States and ask them to regard women and human rights in Afghanistan as a matter of national security of their own countries, because it’s not just a political or social issue but it’s a matter of security”, said Fawzia Koofi, former Peace Negotiator and first woman Deputy Speaker of Afghan Parliament.

Former Afghan Parliamentarian and Chairperson of the House Standing Committee for Human Rights, Civil Society and Women Affairs, Naheed Fareed, questioned whether the world wanted to “register in history” their recognition of “a de facto structure that is in place in Afghanistan”,  to represent Afghan women, their dignity and desires. “From my point of view, they don’t”, she told reporters.

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New Social Compact

Gender Mainstreaming and the Development of three Models

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The field of gender mainstreaming plays a central role in the debate of critical feminist International Relations (IR) theorists. Reading the influential work of Enloe 2014 regarding the locations and the roles of women in the subject of IR brings women into the central discussion of international studies. However, some of the feminist IR scholars defy the negligible participation of women in international political theory and practice. 

The main aim of gender mainstreaming is to achieve gender equity in all spheres of life (social, political, economic), without any doubt that gender mainstreaming has had a central role in pushing the strategy of realising gender equity since the concept’s inception. However, feminist IR scholarship admits that it is not the best approach, or in other words, the right pathway concerning feminist struggle. There are many different approaches and mechanisms in which such dissatisfaction is conveyed; nonetheless, at the axis of Postcolonial Feminist scholars debate, gender main streaming depoliticises the concerns of feminist scholars. Feminist studies show that theoretically, the change of structuring of gender equity determinations from women to gender in gender mainstreaming perhaps contradicted achievements made to bring women from the periphery to the centre of Feminist IR. 

The emergence of Models in Development:

Discussion asking to what extent women have been benefited (or not) from the developmenthas given rise to the following three models. These approaches show how men and women are affected in different ways because of the development of how the lives of women, in particular, are affected. 

Women in Development (WID):

By the 1970s, the reality that women were subjugated and left far behind in the process of development became clear and widely recognised. In some areas, this recognition even acknowledged development has further worsened the status of women, for example, the exclusion of women from the main development projects. The Women in Development (WID) approach proposed the inclusion of women into programs related to development. WID was a successful initiative that strengthened the consideration of women as an integral part of society. The decade of 1975 to 1985 was even declared the decade of women. However, this approach was problematic, as WID did not focus on structural changes in social and economic systems, which were necessary for discussion. Furthermore, this approach was not enough to bring women to the mainstream of development successfully.  

Women and Development (WAD):

Thisapproach was critical and arose in the late 1970s using Marxist feminist (critical) thoughts. As its nature, the Women and Development (WAD) approach criticised WID because of an increasing gap between men and women. According to WAD, the idea of women’s inclusion was wrong because women already contributed substantially to society. Yet, they were not receiving the benefits of their contributions, and WID further contributed to global inequalities. The main rationale of WAD was to increase interactions between men and women rather than just implementing strategies of women’s inclusion. Besides, WAD considered the class system and unequal distribution of resources to be primary problems, as it’s women and men who suffer from the current system. On a theoretical level, WAD strongly endorsed changes to the class system; however, it proved impractical as it ignored the reason for patriarchy and failed to answer the social relationships between men and women. 

Gender and Development (GAD):

In the 1980s, further reflection on development approaches started the debate of Gender and Development (GAD). As GAD followed and learned from the weaknesses and failures of WID and WAD, it was a more comprehensive approach. GAD paid particular attention to social and gender relations and divisions of labour in society. The GAD approach strove to provide further rise to women’s voices while simultaneously emphasising women’s productive and reproductive roles, contending taking care of children is a state responsibility. As a result of GAD, in 1996, the Zambian government changed their department of WID to the Gender and Development Division (GADD). These changes made it easier for women to raise their voices more constructively in an African country. Gender development is a continuous, current phenomenon. Women have choices today that they did not have in prior or even the last generation. 

The main point is that instead of discussing whether to mainstream gender or not, it needs to be discussed how it can happen in a better way. Gender mainstreaming is considered a theory of change in GAD. 

The above discussion has offered an overview of how gender mainstreaming’s theoretical approaches and expectations have met with the praxis; however, some scholars critique the concept of depoliticising and diluting equality struggles. These considerations are also worth inquiry and, accordingly, are discussed below. 

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