Professor Jutta Joachim about the course Gender, Conflict and Security

Portretfoto Jutta Joachim
Becoming aware of these underlying mechanisms and critically reflecting upon them, is a first step toward sustainability and change
Jutta Joachim
Current role
Associate professor International Relations

Jutta Joachim teaches the sustainable course Gender, Conflict and Security. This course is meant for master students.

The course Gender, Conflict and Security in brief …

'The course problematizes the role of gender, race and class in the case of violent conflicts and with respect to security. Gender has always been part of conflicts. Not only has it shaped perceptions of soldiers and warriors, but also of who is seen as the victim and who needs protection. During the seminar, we look at security actors and institutions such as the armed forces and examine how military masculinity, on which they are premised, defines who can serve and is the source of discrimination or sexual harassment and abuse. We also discuss how sex-based violence is used as a strategic weapon in times of war to harm the enemy. The course is taught seminar-style and limited to 25 students which makes it particularly conducive for active participation, lively discussions as well as small-group projects.' 

This course is relevant because …

'We live in a volatile world. Consider the war in Ukraine as well as ongoing conflicts on the African continent, climate change, migration, all of these are challenges to security today. Gender, race, ethnicity or class and societal perceptions with respect to them play an important role. What skin color, sex, or religion individuals have affects whether they are granted protection, shelter, or assistance, whether they are seen as trustworthy or perceived as a threat. Drawing attention to these processes and dynamics is the aim of this course as is to discuss how security policies would need to be designed to ensure greater inclusion, equality and diversity.'

One concrete assignment students will do is …

'During the course, students have different assignments. For example, they examine the online presentations of armed forces of different countries and the extent to which these are gendered or they explore media reporting about war and conflict and how the alleged perpetrators and victims are portrayed. Students also get to meet and discuss with practitioners as, for example, the gender advisor of the Dutch Chief of Defense, who is regularly deployed in peacekeeping missions.'

Engaging yourself in sustainability is important ...

'From my perspective, a sustainable society cannot exists without diversity. Gender, but also race or class, often function as barriers in this respect because they are constitutive of perceptions and, in turn, determine who gets what, including wealth, education, health care, etc. Becoming aware of these underlying mechanisms and critically reflecting upon them, is a first step toward sustainability and change. This is why I feel lucky to teach the course because it allows me to make a small contribution in this respect.'


Do you want to know more about the course Gender, Conflict and Security?

Read here the testimonial of student Johanna Klemt

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