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The Question of Gender in (Re)orienting to the Civil Military Relationship within Humanitarian Space

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Technical Report

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Defence R and D Canada Ottawa Canada

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Shifting globalization and securitization processes and concerns about the militarization of humanitarian space have introduced new theoretical-critical questions regarding the civilian-military relationship. Given significant value differences, the goal of effective civil-military collaboration has proven to be a challenge. Contributing to this is the question of gender, as militaries consist mostly of men, while humanitarian civilian organizations tend to include comparatively more women. As few psychologists have examined gender in this context, this analysis sought to address this gap theoretically and critically. Two main gender-related themes emerged from qualitative interviews with military and civilian workers involved in recent international engagements 1 challenges faced by civilian women in terms of not being viewed by military men as an equal collaborative partner or credible leader, and 2 perceptions that women and men do humanitarian work differently. The themes are considered in light of liberal and cultural feminist theories and work on transformational dialogue.

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