Girl Soldiers: Human Security and Gendered Insecurity

Authored by: Mary-Jane Fox

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups
Region: No Region
Year: 2004
Citation: Fox, Mary-Jane. "Girl Soldiers: Human Security and Gendered Insecurity." Security Dialogue 35, no. 4 (2004): 465–479.

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The aim of this article is to make a preliminary attempt to explore the extent to which the subject of girl soldiers might fit into discussions of security. The empirical study of girl soldiers falls within the larger issue of child soldiers, which has received wide exposure in recent years, though there have been few attempts to conceptualize or attach theory to it. This is even more so in regard to girl soldiers, who until recently were barely acknowledged or noticed, though they are currently estimated to comprise somewhere between one-tenth and one-third of all child soldiers. Gender and security literature has also tended to overlook girl soldiers, and there are limitations on applying gender theory to the plight of recruited girls. Although the subject of girl soldiers is difficult to locate within traditional state-military security or social security discussions, it appears to fall squarely within the human security approach. In spite of the weaknesses of the human security concept, its strengths create a secure space in which the gendered insecurities of girl soldiers can be recognized and addressed.