Taking My Dream to the Grave: Afghan Women Under Taliban Rule

Photo Credit: Human Rights Watch Farzana Ahmadi had dreamed of holding a government office after graduating university. Now, she says, she will take her dream to the grave. When the United States military left Afghanistan on August 31, 2021, the U.S. had in place a peace deal with the Taliban. The problem, however, is that … Continue reading Taking My Dream to the Grave: Afghan Women Under Taliban Rule

The Impact of Women’s Involvement in Foreign Policy and Peace Agreements

FARC fighters stand in line during the opening of a ceremony before ratifying a peace deal with the government. (John Vizcaino / Reuters) In 2011, Nicholas Kristof highlighted in a New York Times blog that, “When girls get educated, when women enter the formal labor force, when female talent can be realized, then all society … Continue reading The Impact of Women’s Involvement in Foreign Policy and Peace Agreements

The Mystique of the Female Soldier: Portrayals of Ukrainian Women in Western Media

Dozens of news outlets worldwide have reported on Miss Ukraine Anastasiia Lena’s viral Instagram story.  The conflict in Ukraine is one of the largest Europe has seen since World War II. While warfare has changed a lot in 80 years, the way we perceive women’s roles in wartime has remained largely the same. When it … Continue reading The Mystique of the Female Soldier: Portrayals of Ukrainian Women in Western Media

Women: Terrorism’s Secret Weapon

Photo Credit: The Institute for Security Studies Recent studies of women’s roles in jihadi terrorism debunk the widely held belief that women are either passive victims or fanatical jihadi brides. Women participate – both willingly and unwillingly – in terrorist activities for a variety of reasons.[1] Women’s participation in jihadi terrorism is not binary, it … Continue reading Women: Terrorism’s Secret Weapon

Bodies, Bullets, and Blood: How Masculinity Influences Mass Killers

Photo Credit: John Locher/AP Images. For decades, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. has steadily increased. From 1966 to 1975, the U.S. experienced a total of 12 mass shootings; during the time frame of 2006 to 2016, the U.S. has witnessed 183 mass shootings.[i] Many argue that easy access to firearms is to … Continue reading Bodies, Bullets, and Blood: How Masculinity Influences Mass Killers

The Role of the Media in Normalizing Women’s Political Violence

Photo Credit: Getty Images In March 2011, Vogue ran a now infamous article on Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad titled “A Rose in the Desert.” The author, Joan Juliet Buck, extolled the glamour of the al-Assad family despite the well-known authoritarian nature of Bashar’s regime. As the Syrian state responded violently to the Arab Spring … Continue reading The Role of the Media in Normalizing Women’s Political Violence

Gendering Security: Making Public Places Safe

Photo Credit: Kateryna Kyslyak / EyeEm Earlier this year, on March 8, women were celebrated all around the world for International Women’s Day. It has become a tradition that, on this day, speeches are spoken about the tremendous roles that women are playing in our societies and photos are shared about women we care about … Continue reading Gendering Security: Making Public Places Safe

Rape as a Weapon of War in Tigray

Photo Credit: Courthouse News Service The recent violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia along the country’s northern border with Eritrea has been disproportionately victimizing women and children. The Ethiopian government and regional forces are using rape as a weapon of war to demoralize and terrorize local civilians.[1] Even once women flee to refugee camps … Continue reading Rape as a Weapon of War in Tigray

Who’s in the Room? Part II: The Case for Women’s Voices in National Security

Businesswoman explaining new business strategy to coworkers sitting around table in conference room. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Jacob Lund Over the last 40 years, women have gained greater representation across the United States national security establishment.[i] From 1992-2012, the proportion of men and women in the general scale of federal service came closer to approaching equality overall; … Continue reading Who’s in the Room? Part II: The Case for Women’s Voices in National Security

Where are the Women and Where are They Not: Why it’s Important

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo Credit: Getty Images/ The Washington Post As the world mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her legacy continues to illuminate the gender disparity present throughout the United States. As the first woman to lie in state at the US Capitol,[i] and only the fourth woman to serve … Continue reading Where are the Women and Where are They Not: Why it’s Important