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Welcome to the December issue of our e-newsletter, bringing you Saferworld’s latest news, comment, analysis, and resources.
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Masculinities, conflict and peacebuilding
A group of young men in Aromo parish, Lira district, Uganda play a local game called 'omweso'. In many parts of Uganda, poverty, violence and internal displacement resulting from conflict has made traditional avenues for achieving a sense of manhood much more difficult for many men, including marriage, fatherhood, and protecting and providing for the family.
All around the world, men are the primary perpetrators of violence, making up 95% of people convicted of homicide, as well as being the majority of combatants in conflicts.
However, this does not mean that men are naturally more violent than women: rather, socially constructed gender norms in most cultures associate violence with men and boys in a way that it is not associated with women and girls. Furthermore, these gender norms can play a role in driving conflict and insecurity.
Through our report 'Masculinities, conflict and peacebuilding: perspectives on men through a gender lens', we argue that peacebuilders should include efforts to promote notions of masculinity which favour non-violence and gender equality in their programming.
France's sale of Mistral warships to Russia is undermining EU arms transfer controls
In 2011 France agreed a contract to supply Russia with two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships - the first major arms sale to Russia by a NATO state. In this comment piece, Roy Isbister, Saferworld's Arms Unit Team Leader, argues that the sale of the Mistrals puts the credibility of the whole EU Common Position on arms transfers at stake.
Saferworld's recent briefing 'An ill wind: How the sale of Mistral warships to Russia is undermining EU arms transfer controls' makes a series of recommendations about the specifics of the Mistral sale to Russia and about wider and longer-term EU arms transfer control policies and practices.
Bridging ethnic divides between young people in Kyrgyzstan
Relations between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Bazar-Korgon, a predominantly Uzbek village in the Jalal-Abad district of Kyrgyzstan, deteriorated after violent conflict in 2010 between the two ethnicities shook southern Kyrgyzstan. Several years on a particular cause for concern remains the risk of clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbek youth, who are usually from schools in mono-ethnic communities. These incidents have the potential to escalate into larger-scale violence.
A new case study looks at the work of a Community Security Working Group in this district of Kyrgyzstan that is playing a key role in diminishing conflict between local Uzbek and Kyrgyz youth.