NEW YORK: The recent abduction of 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria essentially underscored why militarism and armed conflict are a major concern for the women of this world, especially women of color. Living in areas which are often sites of armed conflict over power, control and resources, women become “collateral damage” in a masculinist ideology of dominance that feeds into corporatism.
On June 21st, AF3IRM’s Summer School of Women’s Activism will tackle the ways by which women, often through no choice of their own, become integrated into armed conflict. Facilitated by Gebar Areha and Leani Auxilio, both of whom have close experience of militarism and armed conflict, SSOWA’s 3rd session will look into the ideological foundations of militarism, its links to the corporate competition for and control of the world’s resources; and how even “peaceful communities” are becoming more militarized as inequality has grown in the corporatized world.
The recent abduction of 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, their use in a power game between the prevailing government and dissident organizations, confers an urgency to this discussion. The United States, which is already involved in armed conflict in 73 countries, has pledged help in recovering the girls. What this will mean for current and future women and girls who become “trading coins” in the war for power and control will be discussed in this session.
As women enter public life for their own survival, the issue of how militarism looks at and uses women becomes more and more a deadly consideration. With an impending redivision of the world by old and emerging imperialist powers and the threat of a series of proxy wars like that now rending Ukraine apart, it is but wise for women and girls to understand the roots of militarism, its relationship to the state and to imperialism.
The SSOWA is an annual project of AF3IRM NY/NJ, in fulfillment of its objective to enable women to develop their activism in a comprehensive manner. The first two sessions of SSOWA discuss women’s history and the rise of patriarchy, followed by the issue of reification, trafficking and prostitution. While the school is open to any woman, analyses are through a transnational woman of color lens, thus filling in a gap in feminist thought and practice in the US, where the perspectives of women of color are often neglected.
Now in its fourth year, the SSOWA remains unique in both its approach and methodology. While it is recommended that all four sessions be attended for a wholistic understanding of women’s activism, women may audit one or more of the sessions. Contact [email protected] for more information and to make arrangements. — #