Rethinking human security : taking into consideration gender based violence

Bjornberg, Karin (2012-12)

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The human security concept challenges the traditional view of state security. The very essence of human security means to respect human rights. The Commission on Human Security did not focus on women as a special area of concern in the 1994 Human Development Report. The report does not recognise that being subject to gender hierarchies increases women’s insecurity and that women experience human security differently from men and shows that the human security concept does not include gender based violence (GBV) because there is no specific attention paid to issues that predominantly pertain to women. This study is conducted from a feminist perspective. It is reflexive research and based on standpoint theory. The data is gathered through analysis of secondary data and primary data, collected through interviews. GBV in South Africa tends to be continuous and the perpetrator is most likely to be a spouse or partner. Studies show that women are seen as being dependent on and weaker than men. Many men view women’s rights legislation as a challenge to the legitimacy of men’s authority over women. Women who try to be more independent in their relationships are regarded as threats and violence against them becomes a way for men to show control. The criminal justice system in South Africa has made progress in protecting women from GBV but myths, stereotypes and social conventions still prevent women from receiving justice. Traditionally, the state regards what happens in the private sphere as outside its responsibility. The public/private dichotomy challenges state regulations and norms which is evident in the case of domestic violence. It is often argued that GBV has remained imperceptible because it takes place in the private sphere. However, this research indicates that due to the socio-economic situation in South Africa, the abuse is often publicly known by those in the immediate environment as people live in informal housing. This research shows that a human security framework that targets GBV has to be developed for those who bear its consequences. When women are not viewed as subjects, issues that mainly affect them remain invisible. It is necessary that analysis of human insecurity starts from the conditions of women’s lives. Many women in South Africa live highly traumatic lives. Fighting GBV requires that we know the victims of GBV and let them decide what they need to feel secure. Creating human security requires that other threats which contribute to GBV, such as poverty, gender stereotypes and prejudice are also addressed. GBV has become an epidemic in South Africa and is a permanent constraint in women’s lives and impacts society as a whole. The security of the state rest on the security of women and as long as the state fails to treat GBV as a serious crime and protect women the state is more likely to use violence on a larger scale against its citizens.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Menslike Veiligheidskonsept daag die tradisionele siening van staatsveiligheid uit: die kerbetekenis van Menslike Veiligheid is om menseregte te respekteer. Die Kommissie op Menslike Veiligheid het nie op vroue as ‘n spesiale area van kommer gefokus in die Menslike Ontwikkelingsverslag van 1994 nie. Die verslag het daarin gefaal om te erken dat die realiteit van geslags-hiërargieë vroue se insekuriteit verhoog, en dat die ervaring van menslike sekuriteit van mans en vroue verskil. Hierdie navorsing sal toon dat die menslike veiligheidsbegrip nie in staat is om geslags-gebaseerde geweld (GGG) in ag te neem nie, aangesien daar geen spesifieke aandag verleen is aan vraagstukke wat hoofsaaklik op vroue betrekking het nie. Hierdie studie is vanuit 'n feministiese perspektief gedoen. Die navorsing is reflektief en op standpunt-teorie gebaseer. Die data is deur die analise van sekondêre data, asook die gebruik van primêre data i deur middel van onderhoude ingesamel . GGG in Suid-Afrika is geneig om oor ‘n uitgerekte tydperk plaas te vind en die mees waarskynlike oortreders is ‘n eggenoot of lewensmaat. Navorsing toon dat gemeenskappe geneig is om vroue as swakker en afhanlik van mans te sien. Wetgewing op die regte van vroue word deur vele mans as ‘n uidaging van hul legitieme superioriteit, ten op sigte van vroue, gesien. Vroue wat dus onafhanklikheid in hul verhoudings probeer uitoefen, word as bedreigings gesien en geweld word gebruik om hulle “in hul plek te hou”. Die Suid-Afrikaanse kriminele regstelsel het al vordering gemaak in terme van die beskerming van vroue teen GGG, maar mites, stereotipes en sosiale konvensies belemmer steeds die volle gang van die gereg. Die staat het in die verlede die private sfeer as buite sy jurisdiksie gesien. Die openbare/private sfeer digotomie bied uitdagings vir staatsregulering en vir die implementering van regulasies , en dit word veral duidelik in die geval van huishoudelike geweld. Daar word aangevoer dat aangesien GGG in die private sfeer plaasvind, dit onsigbaar bly. Hierdie navorsing het egter bevind dat GGG in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks dikwels in die openbare gemeenskapsfeer (deur diegene in die onmiddelike omgewing) opgemerk word, omdat baie mense in Suid-Afrika informele nedersettings woon.Hierdie navorsing het verder bevind dat ‘n GGG raamwerk vir menslike veiligheid ontwikkel moet word wat diegene wat die gevolge van GGG dra insluit. Indien vroue nie spesifiek as navorsingssubjekte geag word nie, bly faktore wat hulle spesifiek beïnvloed onsigbaar. Dit is belangrik dat analise van menslike insekuriteit begin om die omstandighede van vrouens se lewens in ag te neem. Vroue in Suid-Afrika leef in hoogs traumatiese omstandighede. In die bestryding van GGG is dit belangrik dat die slagoffers van GGG in ag geneem word en dat dit hulle toelaat om dit duidelik te maak wat hulle onveilig laat voel. Die skep van menslike veiligheid vereis dat bedreigings wat bydra tot GGG, naamlik armoede, geslagstereotipes en vooroordeel , ook aangespreek word. GGG in Suid-Afrika het ‘n epidemie geword, en plaas ‘n permanente beperking op vroue se lewens. Dit het ook ‘n blywende impak op die samelewing as ‘n geheel. Die veiligheid van die staat rus op die veiligheid van vroue. Solank as wat die staat versuim om GGG te bekamp en as ‘n ernstigge misdaad te erken, en vroue nie die beskerming van die staat geniet nie, is daar ‘n hoër moontlikheid vir die gebruik van geweld deur die staat teen sy eie burgers op ‘n groter skaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71706
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