Foreign Policy Analysis (2008) 4, 45–65

Nation Building and Women: The Effect of Intervention on Women’s Agency Mary Caprioli University of Minnesota-Duluth Kimberly Lynn Douglass University of Tennessee Regardless of the primary motive, international military intervention aimed at nation building is partly intended to establish democratic societies. And scholars have demonstrated that intervention does have a positive impact on democratization. With democratization generally follows greater support for human rights. Feminist scholars, however, have questioned definitions of democracy in which at minimal, women’s political rights are absent. This brings into question the impact of intervention on the status of women. Particularly in both Iraq and Afghanistan women’s rights have become prominent in the post-invasion American political rhetoric. Since intervention seems to be associated with the spread of democratic principles, we seek to discover whether intervention actually moves societies toward gender equality. We examine all six cases of completed military intervention aimed at nation building in sovereign states during the post Cold War period. Three of the cases—El Salvador, Mozambique, Namibia—evidence democratic change; whereas, the remaining three states—Cambodia, Haiti, Somalia—remain undemocratized. We test the extent to which intervention has or has not improved women’s equality and find no dramatic effect, either positive or negative, of intervention on the status of women in any of the six states.

When states intervene to aid in nation building is women’s equality increased? Clearly civil war represents a breakdown of civil society, which reduces overall security. For women, however, this breakdown can be particularly pernicious as it allows underlying norms of violence against women to escalate (see Caprioli 2005). Because gender equality greatly increases the likelihood of long-term peace, economic growth, and democratization (Coleman 2004), gender equality ought to be prioritized by both the UN and U.S. who lead most interventions aimed at nation building. Although UN efforts at nation building tend to be more successful when measured in terms of long-term peace and democratization (Dobbins, Jones, Crane, Rathmell, Steele, Teltschik, and Timilsina 2005), scholars have provided evidence that US military intervention promotes democracy (Meernik 1996; Hermann and Kegley 1998; Peceny 1999). Because democratic regimes offer the best protection against human rights abuses (Poe and

 2008 International Studies Association. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK.

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Tate, 1994; Davenport 1999; Poe, Tate and Keith, 1999; Zanger 2000; Keith, 2002), democratic progress is assumed to advance human rights as well. Yet scholarly literature on nation building generally fails to take a gendered perspective. Scholars often make a critical mistake in assuming that democratization increases human rights for both men and women, for women’s security is a crucial yet largely overlooked dimension of democracy and human rights (see Caprioli 2004). Because democracies do not necessarily promote gender equality, and the empirical literature is largely silent concerning the effect of intervention on women, we examine this puzzle to ascertain the effect of intervention on women. We focus on the effect of intervention on the change, if any, in women’s status from pre- to post intervention to better understand the implications of intervention for women and to bridge this gap in the foreign policy literature. After a brief discussion on democratization and intervention, we explore the literature on both women and democratization and women and intervention. Ultimately, we examine the evidence to ascertain the reality of women’s equality subsequent to intervention. A finding that intervention has either failed to improve or has diminished women’s equality suggests that the UN and U.S. may be spreading certain democratic institutions but failing to diffuse democratic norms of equality into both public and private life. Nation Building and Military Intervention Because the terms nation building and military intervention are central to our argument, they warrant some discussion. It is important to note, however, that we seek to assess general trends in the status of women and build on the conclusions of the Rand study (Dobbins et al. 2005), which is the most comprehensive study on nation building and which finds certain states to have democratized after military interventions aimed at nation building. We draw from that research to assess the effect of those nation building efforts on women. We, therefore, examine all such efforts, both those states that were and were not democratized after military intervention aimed at nation building, to see if women in those states faired differently. Theoretically, nation building efforts that lead to democracy should benefit all citizens as discussed below. We recognize that democratization, military intervention, and nation building are contested terms. In order to build on previous research, however, we adopt the same definitions as used in the Rand study. Military intervention shall be understood as the use of armed force by one party, such as the UN, in a target state. Thus far in the post-Cold War period, only the UN and the U.S. have led nation building efforts. Nation building is understood as ‘‘the use of armed force in the aftermath of a crisis to promote a transition to democracy’’ (Dobbins et al. 2005:xv). Furthermore, nation building requires ‘‘an expeditious process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration; encouraging political reconciliation; holding democratic elections; and overseeing the inauguration of a new national government’’ (Dobbins et al. 2005: xvi–xvii). The goals of nation building are ‘‘peace, economic growth and democratization’’ (Dobbins et al. 2005:xxi) with democratization measured as fair democratic elections leading to a national government. The procedural definition of democratization in terms of holding democratic elections is limited though it is popular benchmark for democracy amongst the policy community. Thus, we hope to assess the utility of this procedural definition and subsequent assumption regarding human rights in terms of its ability to measure women’s status. As we are assessing all known instances of military intervention aimed at nation building in the post Cold War era and our main concern is in identifying any changes in gender equality trends pre to post intervention, the variations in

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each case are beyond the scope of this analysis. Thus any differences in U.S. versus UN lead interventions and among each military intervention—duration, military presence, and so forth—are not relevant for identifying trends. Should we discover substantial differences among these interventions, then subsequent research should focus on case study analysis. Democratization and Intervention The world has witnessed an increasing number of foreign interventions carried out on behalf of human rights (Falk 2000). In light of these developments, Reiff (1999) notes that over the last 50 years the human rights cause has prevailed. In particular the end of the Cold War created an opportunity for the international community to ‘‘become more involved in efforts to bring relief, peace, and stability to countries experiencing internal conflict’’ (Morrison Taw and Grant-Thomas 1999:53). When the international community intervenes in the affairs of other states, do women directly benefit? Although interventions aimed at nation building have a mixed success rate when it comes to democratization, it remains unclear, even when democracy and peace prevail, whether women’s status improves relative to their pre-intervention status. The literature on the impact of U.S. intervention on democracy (Meernik 1996; Hermann and Kegley 1998; Peceny 1999) supports the notion that democratic change is more likely subsequent to intervention under certain conditions. Though other types of foreign policy tools other than military intervention might best promote democracy (see Art 1999), military intervention can foster democratic change. And democracy has been shown to reduce repression (Davenport 1999; Zanger 2000). We cannot, however, assume that an intervention leading to democracy improves women’s status. Although U.S. citizens are currently bombarded with rhetoric regarding the meteoric rise in women’s status in Iraq and Afghanistan subsequent to US intervention, these political claims rest largely on anecdotal accounts with little empirical evidence provided. Moreover, these claims fall in stark contrast to feminist scholars’ critical analysis of the link between women’s security and both democracy and human rights (Peters and Wolper 1995; Bunch and Carrillo 1998; Hilsond et al., 2000; Zoelle 2000; Bilgin 2003). More specifically, Caprioli (2004) reveals the gender bias within traditional measures of democracy and human rights; and Paxton (2000), on definitions of democratization. The lack of a gendered empirical analysis on the effect of intervention on women calls into question the effect of intervention on women. Even though evidence suggests that nation building efforts have lead to democracy, democracy does not necessarily take into account women’s political, economic, or social status. Democratization and Women A rich body of feminist literature examines the relationship between the state and women, the impact of conflict on women, and the policy prescriptions for improving women’s equality (see Rao 1995; Sullivan 1995; Hansen 2001; Kumar 2001; Meintjes, Pillay, and Tursher 2001; Moser and Clarke 2001). Yet insights from this literature examining the impact of intervention on women are often overlooked. Perhaps one of the most common mistakes occurs when scholars and practitioners conflate procedural democracy with democratic norms. Although democratic norms may support human rights, peaceful conflict resolution, and rule of law, democratic regimes, measured procedurally, are not necessarily harbingers of democratic norms. For example, community leaders in Rajasthan, India—a democracy—gang raped a female leader of the Women’s Development Programme because she was campaigning against child marriage

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(Heise, Pitanguy, and Germain 1994). This woman continued to occupy a formal leadership role after the gang rape, yet could exercise little power. This serves as a stark reminder that democratization does not necessarily advance or ensure women’s rights. To further complicate matters, the American understanding of liberal democracy may be inadequate for globalizing women’s rights (Zoelle 2000). Indeed, the very notion of democratization has come into question. For example, Paxton (2000) examines the exclusion of women from measures of democracy and specifically argues that the exclusion of women’s suffrage from measures of democracy compromises dates identified for democratic transitions and for our understanding of both the emergence of democracy and the causes of democratization. In other words, scholars have misidentified states as being democratic before they actually were and as such, cannot properly understand the causes of democracy. Thus our understanding of democratization is gender biased and once women’s suffrage is included, a far different picture emerges with dates of democratization sometimes placed more than 20 years later than originally identified. In short, notions of democracy and of democratization are gender biased. Thus any benefit of an intervention for women, even when democratization results, comes into question. At the same time, it may be unreasonable to expect social conditions to change dramatically, for social change is rarely instantaneous with general political–cultural orientations changing both slowly and incrementally (Eckstein 1988). Slow social change further hinders women’s rights, for culture is often an impediment to women’s rights (Dirlik 1987; Mayer 1995; Wali 1995). Democratization leading to an increase in women’s rights would need to include the diffusion of democratic norms into both the public and private spheres in order for the pernicious effects of social violence to be minimized (see Howard 1992). Yet politicians have yet to comprehend the staggering difference between procedural democracy and democratic norms that become part of social norms in the public and private spheres. This lack of awareness or even indifference is not unique to politicians as it is shared by many workers in humanitarian organizations, though not necessarily for the same reasons (Mertus 2001; Bouta and Frerks 2002). A March 20041 statement made by President Bush on International Women’s Day illustrates the prevailing misconception among policy makers that democracy—political and economic rights—leads to women’s rights: The best guarantor of the rights of women is freedom and democracy. Free societies allow for free elections, free markets, free press, and free labor unions. They guarantee religious liberty, protect property rights, and educate their people. They protect their freedoms with the consistent and impartial rule of law.

Democracy, however, does not necessarily lead to women’s rights, thus democracy does not necessarily enhance women’s status (see Forsythe 1992; Paxton 2000; Caprioli 2004). The issue of women’s rights is far more complicated. The Disruption of Intervention as an Impediment to Women’s Rights The second important yet largely ignored dynamic of an intervention’s effect on women is the disruption created by the intervention. Indeed, literature shows that violent social upheaval does harm women, thus the opportunities for improving women’s rights subsequent to an intervention seem limited. Although an intervention may spur a democratic transition, the violence inherent to the 1

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040308-19.html.

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intervention alone can have devastating effects on society (see Mertus 2000; Meintjes et al. 2001). Violence against women is related to broader cultural norms permissive of gendered violence, which escalates during conflict. Indeed, the violence inherent to conflict can be ‘‘linked to the gender-based violence and abuse of women in ‘normal’ life (Bunch 2004:78). The gendered nature of conflict and decreased security for women is well documented (see Menon 1998; Enloe 2000). This heightened level of violence often becomes the new norm post-conflict. And social violence is an insidious component of structural inequality that further legitimizes and perpetuates violence against women (see Caprioli 2004). Bunch (2002) and Tickner (2002) provide compelling evidence that women are further victimized by intervention. Specifically, Seymour (2005) reports that women’s rights have decreased during the U.S. led occupation of Iraq largely because previously suppressed groups violent towards women are asserting themselves through insurgency. Seymour adds that women are more likely to find themselves unemployed and impoverished during occupation. Beyond Iraq, the condition of women in other countries that experienced an intervention is in question. Although Kuwaiti women, as reported in 2003, could drive and travel alone, work, and choose their attire (Hanley 2003), women in Kuwait could not vote or hold public office until 2005 (US State Department, 2005a). These legal rights, however, when not supported by norms of equality cannot necessarily be exercised and do not automatically translate into practice. Although states may institute legislation to promote equality, these laws have little impact on societal values deleterious to women (Kerr 1993). Indeed ‘‘the ideologically based power of men over women results in general political repression of women in defiance of their individual liberties and human rights’’ (Goldberg 1995:351). These structural norms (see Galtung 1975, 1990; Tickner 1997; Caprioli and Trumbore 2003a; Caprioli 2004, 2005) create a poisonous environment conducive to violence against women. Thus foreign intervention would be one more hurdle in the continuing plight of women—a continuing plight even after states officially declare conflict over (Meintjes et al. 2001). One might assume that the restoration of a central authority would create greater security for women, though such is not necessarily the case. Women suffer extreme violence during and post conflict even as ‘noncombatants’ (Handrahan 2004). For women, the post conflict period is fraught with additional challenges: After a conflict, it is more likely for trafficking in woman [sic] to be established and consolidated; for women to be forced, through economic necessity, into prostitution; for domestic violence to increase; for female slavery to be organized; for ‘honour’ killings and suicides to occur; and for gang rape to be prevalent. (Handrahan 2004:434)

As discussed above, societal norms of gendered violence tend to escalate during and post conflict in part due to the heightened masculinization of society linked with militarization (Enloe 1989; Tickner 2001). All too often combatants fail to transition to pre-conflict norms of behavior. ‘‘Many things contribute to the increase in domestic violence—the availability of weapons, the violence male family members have experienced or meted out, the lack of jobs, shelter, and basic services’’ (Rehn and Sirleaf 2002:14). Even peacekeepers contribute to sexual violence against women, including prostitution. Children born from liaisons with peacekeepers and other international personnel are not uncommon (Rehn and Sirleaf 2002). Policy recommendations aimed at promoting greater security for women exist but are not necessarily heeded. Specifically, Rehn and Sirleaf (2002) document the impact

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of conflict on women and provide policy recommendations, which include addressing domestic violence during and post conflict, improving codes of conduct for peacekeepers, and promoting gender equality. Part of the issue may be the relative absence of women from the peace process. Indeed, former Ambassador Swanee Hunt wondered why during the peace process there were no female negotiators from Yugoslavia, a country with the highest percentage of female PhD’s in central and eastern Europe (Mertus 2004:184). Despite literature documenting the effect of conflict and intervention on women, much of the literature on intervention and on democratization and human rights assumes that with political advancements for men, soon too will women benefit. In short, scholarly literature unconsciously assumes a male gender bias, which provides little information on the effect of intervention on women. Consistent with this approach, American foreign policy rhetoric mirrors the gender bias of much of the foreign policy scholarly literature or touts the benefits of military intervention for women. Feminist analyses, on the other hand, would lead us to expect either little change or a decrease in women’s rights subsequent to intervention due to the upheaval created by the military intervention and the lack of democratic norms because democratization is often narrowly measured by elections. We examine this conflict in the scholarly literature: military intervention resulting in democratization is uniformly beneficial in terms of human rights, versus military intervention is deleterious to women. Political Rhetoric: Women’s Rights as a Consequence and Goal of Intervention Because the notion that women benefit from intervention has most recently been based on the rhetoric of U.S. politicians rather than specific international relations theory concerning women and intervention, we provide an overview of these political claims. Interestingly, the issue of women’s rights failed to enter political rhetoric full force until the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Weber (2005) directly examines this shift in the Bush Administration’s justifications to include humanitarian issues for the war in Afghanistan. Though difficult to consider the elevation of women’s rights from obscurity to a pawn of political rhetoric as progress, one can only hope that the current lip service regarding women’s rights will eventually affect policy focused on advancing women’s rights. Not surprisingly, American political rhetoric and the reality of women often stand in stark contrast to one another. For example, President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address; January 29, 2002, noted that ‘‘The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters in Afghanistan were captives in their homes, forbidden from working or going to school. Today women are free, and are part of Afghanistan’s new government.’’ More generally, President Bush placed women’s rights as a central component of American values: ‘‘But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women…’’ Gender slipped into President Bush’s January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address as well: ‘‘Our founders dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity, the rights of every person, and the possibilities of every day life. … In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild their society, and educate all their children—boys and girls.’’ In his February 4, 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush once again made reference to the great advance of freedom, providing as evidence the right of women to vote in Afghanistan. Habiba Sarobi, an Afghani politician, however, argues that although legal equality for women exists, little has changed for

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women in practice with even high-profile female political appointees afforded little political power (AP, March 7, 2005d). This reality, however, seemed not to bother Mrs. Bush, who made the following statement: ‘‘We are only a few years removed from the rule of the terrorists, when women were denied education and every basic human right. That tyranny has been replaced by a young democracy and the power of freedom is on display across Afghanistan’’ (AP, March 30, 2005c). A similar picture to that of Afghanistan emerges in the case of Iraq. In another Bush Administration statement, Paul Wolfowitz, then Deputy Defense Secretary, was explicit in advocating women’s equality as a basic human right. He equated the liberation of women in Iraq to the liberation of Iraqi society in a 2003 speech to a U.S. tour of Iraqi women (US Department of Defense, 2003). Yet we see the same low priority given to improving women’s rights in Iraq as we saw in Japan from 1945 to 1952. In Japan, this low priority persisted despite the occupation rhetoric specifically related to the liberation and transformation of Japanese women (Koikari 2002). Similarly, while the U.S. committed $21 billion to the reconstruction in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, only a portion of $500 million (allocated to support democracy) was specifically aimed at the social and political development of Iraqi women (US State Department, 2005b). Assessments coming from outside the U.S. on the status of women in Iraq do not necessarily corroborate U.S. statements. In summarizing the situation in Iraq, the UN Commission on Human Rights, (2004:24) notes that The Iraqi women interviewed in Amman complained about the lack of adequate representation of women in political and public life during the last year. After the occupation, CPA appointed three women to the 25-member Interim Governing Council (none of the three served on the Presidential Council, and were thus not able to serve as President). Out of 25 ministries established, the Governing Council selected one woman to serve as minister. The five posts of deputy minister promised to women were not filled. No women were chosen for the committee established to plan for the selection of delegates to the constitutional convention, nor to the committee that drafted the Transitional Administrative Law.

Clearly, women’s reality in Iraq is far more complicated than American political rhetoric would have us believe. The case of Iraq provides a solid example of the gap between legal and social rights. On paper, Iraqi women might share equal rights with Iraqi men. Their social reality, however, continues to be mired in gender hierarchy and inequality, thus highlighting the contrast between progress toward procedural democracy versus democratic norms. Iraq serves as an important illustrative example of women’s rights during U.S. intervention. Although the U.S. ambassador to Iraq called for the protection of women’s rights in the new Iraqi constitution (AP, August 02, 2005a), a section on civil rights in the draft constitution seems to undermine women’s rights, particularly those associated with marriage, divorce and inheritance (AP, July 26, 2005b). Not only does this failure to exercise influence run contrary to the rhetoric but also fails to recognize that issues of gender inequality have an impact on the future stability of Iraq (Caprioli and Trumbore 2003a,b, 2006; Hudson and den Boer 2004; Caprioli 2005). Democracy, freedom, human dignity, and women’s equality, all seem to underscore post 9 ⁄ 11 U.S. foreign policy rhetoric. Yet reality may be far different. We seek to discover whether women’s rights beyond political rhetoric improve subsequent to an intervention. Even if we were to discount references to gender, this rhetoric generally invokes more deliberative and participative definitions of democracy. Although the rhetoric explicitly sets an inclusive standard of

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democracy that includes gender equality, the very concepts of deliberative and participative democracy generally suggest that, at the very least, political equality is a defining characteristic, if not a necessary condition for democracy (Holden 1993). Unfortunately, the gender bias contained within existing literature on interventions and democratization provide little theoretical guidance specific to women. Given the feminist theoretical critique of this literature, we cannot expect women’s rights to increase subsequent to intervention. Indeed we would expect women’s rights to either remain unchanged, particularly in those cases in which democracy resulted, or to decrease as a result of military intervention. Research Design and Methodology To assess the impact of intervention on women’s equality, we mirror aspects of the methodology employed by Meernik (1996) in his examination of the impact of military intervention on democratization. Specifically, we compare measures of women’s equality prior to and post military intervention to analyze the effect of intervention in order to discover whether women’s status improved, decreased, or remained unchanged. We focus on the post Cold War period, as the end of the Cold War witnessed an increase in the number and scope of UN peacekeeping missions when the U.S. and Russia began to disengage from proxy wars in Latin America, Africa, and Asia (Dobbins et al. 2005). We examine the interventions as identified by Dobbins et al. (2005) in their assessment of the UN’s and U.S.’s nation-building efforts. We do, however, limit our analysis to those involving recognized sovereign states and to those cases in which the intervention has ended. This restriction of cases is necessary for our analysis because most data is only collected for sovereign states and an on-going intervention would preclude a post-intervention assessment. Operations in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and Iraq were ongoing as of 2005, thus post conflict data is unavailable for assessment (Dobbins et al. 2005). We focus on the six remaining instances of military intervention aimed at nation building: Cambodia (1991–1993), El Salvador (1991–1996), Haiti (1994–1996), Mozambique (1992–1994), Namibia (1989–1990), and Somalia (1992–1994). Of these cases, only the military intervention in Haiti was U.S. led. In representing diverse geographical locations, these cases provide a useful cross-section of states. Additionally, El Salvador, Mozambique, and Namibia serve as examples of successful democratization to which Cambodia, Haiti, and Somalia stand in stark contract (Dobbins et al. 2005). Thus the democratization literature that ignores feminist arguments would lead us to expect women’s equality to increase in El Salvador, Mozambique, and Namibia. In this study, we employ the methods used by Meernik (1996) by averaging variables three years prior to and three years after intervention. Upon averaging these variables, we subtracted the pre-intervention average from the post-intervention average to determine a positive result (+1), no result (0) or a negative result ()1). For example, intervention in Cambodia took place between the years 1991 and 1993. We average the variables for 1988 through 1990 and compare the pre-intervention average with the post-intervention average, between 1994 and 1996. We also calculate2, data permitting, difference of means (two-tailed) tests to determine if the observed differences in the gender equality variables from pre- to post-intervention are statistically significant. We chose our gender equality variables in keeping with Caprioli’s (2004) discussion of gender equality variables measuring political, economic, and social equality. Our variables for women’s equality are fertility rates, percent women in the labor force, and the difference between women’s and men’s literacy. We also 2

The SPSS statistical package is used to run the analyses.

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include a description of the trend for the percent women in parliament. Upon identifying our gender variables, we compile data from the World Bank Development Indicators Database (2003, 2006) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (1995, 2000, 2007). For the fertility variable, we filled in missing data by subtracting the rate prior to the missing year from the rate after the missing year; dividing the difference by the number of missing cases; and adding the quotient to the rate prior to the missing year. We would like to note that although we chose the best indicators of women’s equality, the measures are not perfect. Measures of gender equality, beyond those chosen, are neither routinely nor systematically collected, thus leading to a deplorable lack of comprehensive data necessary to obtain a more complete understanding of women’s equality. Although these measures fail to capture class, ethnic, or regional based variances in women’s status, they do, however, serve as a proxy for gender equality at the state level. The data studied provides only a partial understanding of women’s status, thus we also provide brief illustrative examples of women’s status in the early twentyfirst century for all six states. These descriptions are based on data from WomanStats Database (2006). Although identical data is not necessarily available for each state, we provide comparable social and economic indicators of women’s status. Discussion We see no clear, positive impact on the status of women subsequent to a military intervention aimed at nation building. Military intervention aimed at nation building does not have a consistent impact on the status of women. Tables 1–5 compare women’s equality in the 3-year period prior to the intervention to the 3-year post-intervention period. Figures 1–6 show the trend in women’s status from the 3-year pre conflict period through the 3-year post conflict period. Interestingly, Dobbins et al. (2005) show El Salvador, Mozambique, and Namibia to be democracies and at peace by 2004. Thus based on a political and economic analysis of the broader society, we would expect conditions for women in El Salvador, Mozambique and Namibia to improve after intervention. Indeed, there are broad gains in women’s rights for El Salvador and Namibia. In El Salvador, we see reductions in fertility rates and slight decreases in the gap between male and female literacy. In Namibia, we see a narrowing of the gap between male and female literacy, we see an increase in the number of women in the legislature and an increase in the number of women in the labor force. The results for Mozambique, however, are less positive; the gap between male and female literacy and the female labor force remained almost constant. While fertility rates went down, the change occurred at a slow pace. Cambodia, on the other hand, was not considered a democracy by 2004 (Dobbins et al. 2005). Yet with regard to the gap between female and male literacy, the decrease in Cambodia clearly suggests that conditions are improving for women. These findings, however, are contradicted by the statistically significant reductions in the female labor force in Cambodia (using both tests) and by the decrease in the number of women in the legislature. It is interesting to note, as Tables 1–5 reveal, that the general trend in the measures of women’s equality shows an increase in women’s equality prior to intervention. As Figures 1–6 illustrate, fertility rates were declining or constant prior to intervention. Thus we would expect a continued decline after the intervention. We see similar improvements with percent of women in the labor force and with the difference between female and male literacy rates. Given the uneven effect of intervention and the continuation of existing trends in women’s status on states that did democratize subsequent to the intervention, women’s

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Nation Building and Women TABLE 1. Pre to Post Military Intervention Measures of Gender Equality—Increase, Decrease, Unchanged (3-year Results)*

Cambodia Correlation Difference of means El Salvador Correlation Difference of means Haiti Correlation Difference of means Mozambique Correlation Difference of means Namibia Correlation Difference of means Somalia Correlation Difference of means

Fertility

% Women in Labor Force

Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) 1.000** .750** Change <1, negative direction 1.000** .650** Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) 1.000** 1.330** Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) 1.000** .280** Unchanged (0)

Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) .877 .960** Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) .992 3.493** Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) ).992 1.713** Change < 1, negative direction ).842 .193 +1post ()1 pre, )1 post)

.999** .493** Change <1, negative direction .500 .040

).086 1.537 Unchanged (0)

Difference in Female versus Male literacy Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) .998** 3.087** Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) .889 3.347 Unchanged (0) ()1pre, )1post) .997** 1.138** Change < 1, negative direction ).995 ).687** Change < 1, negative direction

).856 .563**

*Blank spaces indicate missing data. **Meets or exceeds p < .05.

TABLE 2. Pre and Post Military Intervention: Fertility Rate

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Cambodia

El Salvador

Haiti

6.09 5.92 5.75 5.67 5.59 5.51 5.43 5.35 5.18 5.01 4.84 4.67 4.50 4.42 4.35 4.28

4.14 4.02 3.90 3.82 3.75 3.67 3.60 3.52 3.45 3.38 3.31 3.24 3.17 3.11 3.06 3.00

6.05 6.00 5.94 5.71 5.48 5.25 5.02 4.79 4.70 4.62 4.54 4.46 4.38 4.30 4.22 4.14

Mozambique

6.30 6.28 6.26 6.24 6.22 6.20 6.14 6.08 6.02 5.96 5.90 5.82 5.75

Namibia

Somalia

6.23 6.19 6.15 6.08 6.00 5.93 5.86 5.78 5.58 5.39 5.19 5.00 4.80

Shaded area is war period. Source: Fertility Rate, World Bank, World Development Indictors, 2006.

7.00 6.92 6.84 6.76 6.68 6.60 6.63 6.66 6.69 6.72 6.75 6.69 6.62 6.56

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Mary Caprioli and Kimberly Lynn Douglass TABLE 3. Pre and Post Military Intervention: Women in Labor Force Cambodia 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

53.12 52.90 52.81 52.68 52.56 52.35 52.17 51.98 51.77 51.70 51.70 51.73 51.77

El Salvador

Haiti

37.59 38.30 39.14 39.81 40.53 41.17 41.16 34.92 35.99 36.65 35.83 35.59 35.82 37.59 37.93 38.01

43.80 43.65 43.55 43.45 43.37 43.33 43.50 42.62 42.43 41.84 41.56 41.70 41.74 41.79 41.90 41.86

Mozambique

52.42 53.01 53.59 54.00 54.04 53.89 53.82 53.79 53.77 53.60 53.68 53.82 53.77

Namibia 48.92 47.99 46.56 46.49 45.28 44.12 44.34 44.79 44.32 44.61 44.61 44.75

Somalia

40.07 40.05 39.97 39.92 39.80 39.68 39.55 39.44 39.28 39.28 39.35 39.37 39.38 39.39

Shaded area is war period. Source: Women in the Labor Force, World Bank, World Development Indictors, 2006.

TABLE 4. Pre and Post Military Intervention: Female versus Male Literacy Cambodia 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

53.12 52.90 52.81 52.68 52.56 52.35 52.17 51.98 51.77 51.70 51.70 51.73 51.77

El Salvador

Haiti

37.59 38.30 39.14 39.81 40.53 41.17 41.16 34.92 35.99 36.65 35.83 35.59 35.82 37.59 37.93 38.01

43.80 43.65 43.55 43.45 43.37 43.33 43.50 42.62 42.43 41.84 41.56 41.70 41.74 41.79 41.90 41.86

Mozambique

52.42 53.01 53.59 54.00 54.04 53.89 53.82 53.79 53.77 53.60 53.68 53.82 53.77

Namibia 48.92 47.99 46.56 46.49 45.28 44.12 44.34 44.79 44.32 44.61 44.61 44.75

Somalia

40.07 40.05 39.97 39.92 39.80 39.68 39.55 39.44 39.28 39.28 39.35 39.37 39.38 39.39

Shaded area is war period. Source: Male and Female Literacy, World Bank, World Development Indictors, 2006.

rights seem not to be linked to democracy at least not to democracy as measured procedurally. The UN and U.S., therefore, are either unwilling or unable to spread democratic norms. Clearly, women’s rights within these states require a

56

Nation Building and Women TABLE 5. Pre and Post Military Intervention: Females in the Legislature

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

Cambodia

El Salvador

Haiti

19.7 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4 5.8 5.8 5.8

6.7 6.7 6.7 11.7 11.7 11.7 8.3 8.3 8.3 10.7 10.7

8.5 8.5 8.5 1.3 0 0 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6

Mozambique

Namibia

15.7 15.7 25.2 25.2

6.9 6.9 6.9 6.9 18.1 18.1

Somalia

Shaded area is war period Source: Females in the Legislature, Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Cambodia: Trends in gender equality 1988–1996 60.00 Female labor (% of population)

Values

50.00 40.00

Female minus male literacy (%)

30.00 Total number of women in legislature

20.00 10.00 0.00

Fertility (total births per woman)

1989

1988

1990

1991

1992

1993

1995

1994

1996

Years FIG. 1. Cambodia: Trends in Gender Equality 1988–1996.

Values

El Salvador: Trends in gender equality 1987–1998 44.00 42.00 40.00 38.00 36.00 34.00 32.00 30.00 28.00 26.00 24.00 22.00 20.00 18.00 16.00 14.00 12.00 10.00 8.00 6.00 4.00 2.00 0.00

Female labor (% of population)

Total number of women in legislature

Female minus male literacy (%)

Fertility (total births per woman) 1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Years

FIG. 2. EI Salvador: Trends in Gender Equality 1987–1998.

1997

1998

57

Mary Caprioli and Kimberly Lynn Douglass

Values

Haiti: Trends in gender equality 1987–1998 46.00 45.00 44.00 43.00 42.00 41.00 40.00 39.00 38.00 37.00 36.00 35.00 34.00 33.00 32.00 31.00 30.00 29.00 28.00 27.00 26.00 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00

Female labor (% of population)

Female minus male literacy (%) Fertility (total births per woman)

Total number of women in legislature

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Years

FIG. 3. Haiti: Trends in Gender Equality 1987–1998.

Mozambique: Trends in gender equality 1989–1997 60.00

Female labor (% of population)

Values

50.00 40.00

Female minus male literacy (%)

30.00 Total number of women in legislature

20.00

Fertility (total births per woman)

10.00 0.00 1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Years FIG. 4. Mozambique: Trends in Gender Equality 1989–1997.

separate campaign. The relatively poor record of successful nation building may be related to an insufficient emphasis on women’s rights. Military intervention aimed at nation building even when democratization occurs does not necessarily benefit women. We now examine the results more generally from the perspective discussed above that intervention increases social violence, which in turn harms women. We would expect the gap between female and male literacy rates to increase if the intervention is detrimental to women. The gap narrowed in Cambodia, El Salvador and Haiti. In Cambodia only, however, were the changes large enough to be considered statistically significant at the .05 alpha level. While the gaps narrow after intervention in El Salvador, Haiti and Cambodia, the gaps had already begun to narrow before intervention. Conversely, when we compare pre-intervention conditions in Mozambique to postintervention conditions, the gap between genders actually increases.

58

Values

Nation Building and Women

Namibia: Trends in gender equality 1987–1994

50.00 45.00 40.00 35.00 30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00

Female labor (% of population)

Total number of women in legislature Fertility (total births per woman) Female minus male literacy (%)

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

Years FIG. 5. Namibia: Trends in Gender Equality 1987–1994.

Somalia: Trends in gender equality 1989–1998

Female labor (% of population)

45.00 40.00 35.00

Values

30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00

Fertility (total births per woman)

10.00 5.00 0.00 1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Years FIG. 6. Somalia: Trends in Gender Equality 1989–1998.

In an analysis of the number of females in a country’s legislature, we would expect the number to decrease if intervention were detrimental to women. Complete data for this variable were only available for Cambodia. When we conduct a 3-year pre-intervention and 3-year post intervention comparison, we see a significant reduction in the number of women in the Cambodian legislature, from about 21 to about six female representatives. We would expect interventions if detrimental to women to be linked with a decrease in the number of women in the labor force. Our results indicate a slight decrease in the female labor forces in Namibia before and after intervention. The results for Namibia were not statistically significant because of the slow rate at which the change occurred. The trend in Somalia is similar to that of Namibia with the percentage of women in the labor force decreasing but at a statistically insignificant rate. Based on these same tests, we find that the female labor force remained almost constant in Mozambique. Conversely, we see statistically significant reductions in the female labor force in Cambodia. We would expect an intervention if detrimental to women to be linked with an increase in fertility rates. While we find that fertility rates (based on both tests) declined after intervention in Cambodia, El Salvador, Haiti, Mozambique,

Mary Caprioli and Kimberly Lynn Douglass

59

and Namibia these reductions occurred at slow rates. In each case, however, the fertility rates began to decline prior to the intervention. Also in El Salvador and Namibia, the reduction averaged less than one. The rates in Somalia remained constant before, during and after intervention. Although the empirical results seem to warrant optimism, a more detailed examination of women’s reality reveals fewer benefits from either the intervention or democratization for women. El Salvadorian women live in a rather insecure society rife with sexual violence. Domestic violence and rape are high both within and outside marriage. A husband can murder his wife with legal and social impunity if he catches her in the act of adultery. The same is not true for the wife. Clearly we are not arguing that women should be able to murder adulterous husbands. We are, however, highlighting the gross gender violence and inequality that posits women as subservient to men. Women earn 35% less than men for commensurate work, and sexual harassment is common. On the other hand women in El Salvador have relatively high access to contraceptives with about 8% of women expressing the desire to use contraception but having no accessibility to them (WomanStats Database 2006). In Namibia3, we see a narrowing of the gap between male and female literacy and an increase in the number of women in the legislature. The number of women in the Namibian legislature rose from 7 to 18. Fertility rates remained low and static post intervention. As with El Salvador, Namibia has a high rate of domestic violence and rape. Rape in Namibia is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse, thus men are free to rape their wives as such rape is not legally defined as rape because it is within marriage and thus ‘lawful’ sexual intercourse. Polygyny impacts one out of eight married Namibian women in this highly hierarchical and patriarchal society. Indeed, the culturally prescribed role of women in Namibia is as mothers, thus limiting choice. Twenty-two percent of Namibian women would like to prevent or delay their next pregnancy but have no access to contraception (WomanStats Database 2006). The empirical results for Mozambique, however, are less positive than for either El Salvador or Namibia. The gap between male and female literacy actually increased, thus representing a statistically significant4 decrease in relative literacy for women. Whereas the female labor force remained static, fertility rates continued their pre-intervention decline. In Mozambique there is no age of sexual consent, thus rape is difficult to track. Domestic violence against both women and children is prevalent. There is no law against trafficking with many women trafficked to South Africa. As such, Mozambique joins Cambodia and Haiti as noncompliant with the Trafficking in Persons Act. There is a relatively high rate of polygyny, with the rate somewhere between a cultural ideal and a widespread practice. Under law, the husband is considered the head of household and his wife needs his approval for any economic venture including starting a business and obtaining a loan or lease. Although each state in this study has a lower average marital age for women than men, the difference is notable in Mozambique with 47% of women, but only 3% of men married between the ages of 15 and 19. Clearly women are coupled with older men, which may signal a lack of choice for the women. Interestingly only about 7% of women have a need for, but no access to contraceptives. This figure seems quite low and may be an indicator of ignorance and ⁄ or their subordinate position in society. Only about 6% of women use contraceptives. In general, women want reproductive choice and lower contraceptive use and accessibility is

3 4

There is insufficient data available for the pre-intervention period to provide more than description. Difference of means ).685, p < .05.

60

Nation Building and Women

associated with a greater demand for contraceptive availability (WomanStats Database 2006). Cambodia, unlike the first three cases, was not considered to be a democratic success by 2004 (Dobbins et al. 2005). Yet with regard to the gap between female and male literacy, the statistically significant5 decrease in Cambodia clearly suggests that conditions are improving for women. It should be noted, however, that literacy rates for women relative to men were increasing prior to the intervention as well. These findings, however, are contradicted by the statistically significant6 reduction in the female labor force in Cambodia and by the decrease in the number of women in the legislature. The number of women in the Cambodian legislature fell from 21 to 6. The percentage of women in the legislature was rapidly increasing prior to the intervention yet declining rapidly post intervention (WomanStats Database 2006). As with El Salvador, Namibia, and Mozambique, domestic violence and rape in Cambodia are widespread both inside and outside marriage. Both are considered to be a private, rather than a public matter with dire consequences for women’s security. Although polygyny is decreasing, extramarital sex has increased along with a heightened risk of sexually transmitted disease, including HIV infection. Nearly 33% of Cambodian women would use contraception if it were accessible. In other words, 33% of Cambodian women have no control over their reproductive health. Cambodia with its rampant sex trade, including widespread trafficking in women, is considered noncompliant with the Trafficking in Persons Act. Finally, women are paid 30% less than men for commensurate work (WomanStats Database 2006). In Haiti fertility rates revealed a statistically significant7 decrease post intervention. The relative difference in women’s literacy also showed a statistically significant8 improvement. Though once again, these decreases follow the pre-intervention trend. Unfortunately, the percentage of women in the labor force continued its pre-intervention decline, which was also statistically significant9. In Haiti, a similar picture to that of the other states emerges in that sexual violence, including rape and domestic violence, is prevalent. As in El Salvador, Haitian men can legally murder their adulterous wives, but women cannot murder their adulterous husbands. As in Cambodia, Haiti is considered noncompliant with the Trafficking in Persons Act. Nearly 40% of Haitian women have a desire to use, but no access to contraceptives. In Somalia the measures of women’s equality remained constant before, during and after intervention. The percentage of women in the labor force decreased at a rate less than one, and fertility rates were decreasing slightly. No data is available for women’s literacy. Socio-economic data, especially gender data, is extremely scarce for Somalia. Somalian culture is, however, hierarchical and patriarchal with women’s inferiority religiously ordained. Domestic violence and sexual violence are prevalent. Nearly all Somalian girls between the ages of 4 and 11 experience Pharaonic female genital mutilation—the most extreme form. As further evidence of female inequality, the mortality rate for girls under the age of 5 is higher than that for boys. Given equal care, female children are biologically heartier and have a lower mortality rate. As with Mozambique and Namibia, Somalian culture includes polygyny, which is considered a cultural ideal but is limited in practice (WomanStats Database 2006). 5 6 7 8 9

Difference Difference Difference Difference Difference

of of of of of

means means means means means

3.088, p < .05. 1.44, p < .05 (labor force). .807, p < .05. 1.132, p < .05. .22, p < .05.

Mary Caprioli and Kimberly Lynn Douglass

61

The illustrative examination of women’s status in all six states underscores the need for caution in interpreting the data, which itself reveals minimal, if any impact of military intervention aimed at nation building on women’s status. Clearly women’s status in the new democracies of El Salvador, Mozambique, and Namibia has not dramatically improved, thus underscoring the importance of policies particularly targeting women’s equality within both the public and private spheres. Furthermore, literature (see Coleman 2004) suggests that these states are more likely to strengthen their democracies if women’s equality is high. So too, might Cambodia, Haiti, and Somalia be more likely to democratize when women’s equality increases. Women, therefore, are ignored at the peril of successful nation building—assuming democracy as an objective. Implications Women fare no worse, but they fare no better. Our findings indicate that military interventions aimed at nation building have no clear negative or positive impact on women. This finding challenges the feminist argument that intervention in an impediment to women’s equality and supports the feminist expectations that interventions do not improve women’s status (Tickner 2002). Thus our findings lead credence to Blanchard (2003) and Young’s (2003) call for a reconstruction of the notion of security to consider gender, for clearly democracy as currently construed does not necessarily increase women’s status or enhance women’s human rights. Women are still collateral when it comes to security concerns (Ferguson 2005). How women’s equality is affected seems to be a matter of circumstance, not a predictable outcome of intervention. These findings certainly provide no additional justification for intervention in the name of women’s security. Justifications for forcing states to democratize suggest that by installing freedom, global security increases. The question in this study is whether or not that security extends to women. Our data reveals no clear, positive impact on the status of women. Huntington (2002) argues that an increase is U.S. influence in global affairs more often than not results in an increase in liberty and human rights worldwide. We, however, are not so confident that this increase in liberty and human rights includes women. Intervention seems to hold little or no influence on the status of women within those states. Despite the limited impact of interventions on women’s equality as demonstrated herein, UN findings suggest that interventions may be useful to the extent that they provide an opening for nongovernmental organizations whose work often results in improved conditions. ‘‘As a result of government cooperation with NGOs [in Croatia], a number of gender equality commissions had been formed at the county level, which would form part of a network of institutional mechanisms at the local and State levels’’ (UN, 2005:2). Despite the limited impact of intervention to democratize, we are still confronted with the notions that a deliberative type of democracy contributes to peace in the international community and that an improvement in the status of women helps ensure this peace. The question now becomes, how do we most effectively promote a deliberative type of democracy that improves the status of women? This research examines a critical question whose answer creates the basis for further research. Intervention does not uniformly increase women’s rights, thus the U.S. and the UN are not successfully spreading the democratic norms crucial to the democratic peace (Caprioli 2000, 2003; Caprioli and Boyer 2001; Caprioli and Trumbore 2003a,b, 2006). To further our understanding, an examination of a longer time frame with a comparison to states in which the no intervention occurred would help isolate the effect of military intervention. Of equal interest

62

Nation Building and Women

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