Security is a broad subject and is understood on several concepts. The term may be defined as the levels of protection of people from various dangers whether material or cultural goods possessed by an individual or society (Beridan, 2001). Gender refers to the particular roles and relationships, personality traits, altitudes, behaviours and values that society ascribes to men and women. A gender relation refers to the classification of power between women and men that tend to disadvantage women. The term gender does not simply signifies the biological identity but also recognizes the product of socialization, be it cultural, political and social structure of both males and females.
From a historical perspective, since ancient times that are from 1780 before Christ was born. Women were not guaranteed rights or an access to hold a spear or bow and arrow which were recognized as military weapons. The trend is also traced from the first civilization in Mesopotamia to ancient Greece. Later in 1929 it was observed that Joan of Arc, the first female showed up as a warrior on the European continent during the first and Second World War. The development led to a foundation of an involvement of women in social activities and the field of security though it was subject to resistance following poor strength and capability.
There are several factors or areas under Human security where I will hold my discussion in this essay. The suggested factors would portray the relationship between gender and security; Personal security, Economic security, Food security, Environmental security community security and Political security.
To begin with, Personal security refers to any form of violence be it physical or mental by the State, community or an individual. Women are recognized as vulnerable and in most cases they are victims of different forms of violence’s. Citable examples could be during wars and conflicts. During the attack of people of Kuwait by Iraq, women were victims of rape and sexual assaults the development which invited the United Nations intervention. To second, the incidents of women being harassed by Peace keepers in areas of conflicts like the Democratic Republic of Congo and others. Locally, women have been in great challenges as victims of gender based violence.
In support to the above elaboration, Economic security is another area of concentration. The thesis refers to an access or possibilities to work and earn their living and in failure of that the society or the State should address such challenges. It composes of access to basic needs contributing to good health, education, good housing and work related conditions to support an individual present and future standards of living. Further encompasses a condition of stable income in relation to social security. The possible solution to meet the economic status is through employment of an individual interest and conjucive working environment. A thing which has not gone well with gender. Globally, women generally have less employment security than men and account for a small share of formal jobs despite being victims of work insecurity. A report by International labor Organization supported the existence of harassments in both developing and developed countries. Whether verbal, physical or sexual the source has been and is co-workers, supervisors and managers. Some of the programs which may enhance individual living standards include; micro economics initiatives, cash transfers and distribution of farming tools with orientation in relation to the improvised tools.
Food security is another important factor. The development refers to a situation where people should have food be it physical or economical stable, so that they can afford to purchase enough for their good health. This is another devastating problem in developing countries. The main challenge is distribution of such essential services by political institutions during crisis of hunger. The challenge does not spare women. A close example is during hunger situations, where women could hardly spent three to four days in Admarc selling depots only to access a 20kg package of maize.
Natural and man-made actions have contributed a lot on human life problems. The situation is described as environmental security. In developing countries due to high population, trees are carelessly cut down meant for housing construction, in addition to support their economic status large forests are cleared for charcoal making business leaving the land bare. The resultant remedies being floods due to siltation of rivers ending up damaging property and loss of lives. Excess deterioration of natural environment has also led to strange developments like global warming, which has heavily contributed to scarcity of water resources leading to unavailabity or unaccess to clean water. In developed countries such problems are as a result of emissions from greenhouses gases.
The sense of belonging to a certain grouping basing on norms, beliefs, culture and values is termed to be societal security. Losing the identity is the main threat to a particular society. The phenomenon plays a great role in the preservation and cohesion of a particular grouping identity. The main elements to be maintained are mostly ethno-cultural and religious identities. Examples of such societal threats include cultural cleansing and ethnic cleansing. Harassments, killings and deportation mostly affect women, girls and children. According to Buzan, notes that depopulation may be another source of insecurity for societies, either from conflict or ethnic cleansing, disease to decline in natural population growth. An organized grouping may facilitate the equal participation of people of all genders in security issues and equal consideration. On the constructivism perspective, security threats could easily be addressed to than monolithic. A very good example of ethnic scenario could be incidence of the Hutus and the Tutsis as well as Muslims and Christians in the country or areas of conflict.
Human rights are entitlements and respecting one another human rights is paramount to political security. This entails the ability to honour basic rights. According to a survey by Amnesty International political repression, human rights violations have been on an increase in such countries which have undergone un rest situations. A very good example could be in Liberia; following the escalated torture women succumbed they rebelled leading to a transition of leadership which saw Mrs. Sir leaf Johnson assuming position. Other related evidences are scenarios in the regions of Middle East and Southeast Asian where women rights are neglected due to customary practices which are still prevalent, such violations include, honor killings, burning brides and widows, child marriages exists without considerations and in Africa the Rwandan genocide. On local scene young girls have been victims of human trafficking.