Military spending worldwide has been consecutively increasing for the past 7 years. In 2021 it reached an all-time high of $2.1 trillion. Not much attention has been given in politics to how this increased military spending impacts other dimensions like welfare or gender equality. There is a need to reflect on military spending from a feminist political economy perspective. With this online event, we will look at trends among European governments to deliver weapons to Ukraine and elsewhere as well as increase their defense budget.
- Heidi Meinzolt will reflect on: ‘What are the impacts of having increased military budget spending on the available budget for social welfare, environmental sustainability and on gender equality from a cross-dimensional feminist perspective?’.
- Anne-Floor Dekker will answer: ‘What are the impacts of an arms race (not only regarding Ukraine) on women’s rights?’.
- Annemarie Sancar will focus on: What are the unintended and not considered impacts including harmful consequences of military budgets, and what are the democratic possibilities in western States to control and regulate money flows?’.
About the Speakers:
Heidi Meinzolt is a transnational political activist since the 1970s. Between 1983 and 2000 she was a member of the Green Party in Germany. During that time she took on multiple roles and responsibilities on a national, regional, and European level with a major focus on peace politics. Since the 1980s, she is a committed member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), https://www.wilpf.org/, She is a Member of the WILPF International Board for Europe since 2018 up to 2022 and Coordinator of OSCE CSO Working Group on Women and Gender Realities, www.civicsolidarity.org.
With her work, she aims to close the gap between theory to practice. She is a strong believer in Feminist Peace and believes in the need to stop the arms trade, sign the nuclear ban treaty, feminize the UN Security Council, and move the money from war to peace. She emphasizes that the meaningful participation of women on all levels is very valuable for the better future of humanity. Additionally, Heidi Meinzolt is passionate about putting a stop to gender-based violence.
Anne-Floor Dekker is trained in International Relations and Social Psychology and works as Programme Manager for Gender, Peace & Security at WO=MEN, the Dutch Gender Platform, https://www.wo-men.nl/. She is a passionate advocate of freedom and equal rights for all people and for the implementation of (women) human rights worldwide. She advocates for gender justice in conflict-affected countries and the meaningful participation of women and girls in peace processes. Previously from 2014-2018 she was a Dutch city council member of the Democrats 66 (D66) and she has worked with refugee women, men, and youth addressing harmful traditional practices and gender-based violence female genital mutilation, honor-related violence, forced marriages, and homophobia).
Anne-Floor Dekker coordinates the lobbying and advocacy of WO=MEN on inclusive peace and security issues. She focuses on the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Justice, and Security as well as NATO, the European Union, and the UN Security Council. She is also the civil society coordinator of the Dutch National Action Plan 1325. NAP 1325 is a collaboration between more than seventy social partners and five ministries. Together they make agreements about the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in the Netherlands.
Annemarie Sancar holds a doctorate in social anthropology with a focus on migration, peacebuilding, and development cooperation. Her expertise evolves around feminist perspectives on political hotspots, debates on social justice and sustainability, feminist peace politics, and gender justice in development cooperation. In addition to her many years of experience in feminist networks such as WIDE Women in Development Switzerland and the Gender Working Group of the OSCE’s Civic Solidarity Platform, she is involved in gender projects with a focus on economic literacy, peacebuilding, and migration. She was a member of the city council of Bern for the Green Coalition (Grünes Bündnis Bern) and a parliamentary speaker for 1 year.
She has also been responsible for monitoring the National Action Plan “Women, Peace and Security” at Swisspeace, for the implementation of the gender strategy at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, and for CFD – the feminist peace organization for peace and migration policy. She worked as a freelance lecturer at universities of applied sciences on gender and women’s rights in migration, security, and development policy. Currently, she is the Network Coordinator at PeaceWomen Across the Globe, https://www.1000peacewomen.org/
Deniz Ceren Canlı is a previous intern of WIDE+ and is currently the Programme Officer for the web seminar series “Feminist reflections to promote peace in Ukraine and beyond” at WIDE+. She is a Global Studies Masters student at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her passion is creating social impact, specifically focusing on gender equality. She studied International Relations and minored in Sociology and specialized in Gender Studies, Global Political Economy, and Global Learning and Leadership Program during her undergraduate study. She has done multiple internships ranging from NGO’s, social enterprises, and international organizations. And she has co-designed multiple social impact projects.
The event is part of WIDE+ new web seminar series “Feminist reflections to promote peace in Ukraine and beyond”. War is the most extreme form of violent patriarchy and nationalism against which we as feminists struggle. From a feminist perspective, we will discuss in this series what strategies there exist to promote peace-building and what we can do to minimize the harm to women and girls, especially regarding conflict-related sexual violence, human trafficking, any other form of gender-based violence, and lack of access to sexual reproductive health rights.