Our Forgotten Girls: Securitized Development and the Gendering of Militarism in Northern Nigeria

Authors: Temi Ajibola*,
Topics: Africa, Feminist Geographies, Development
Keywords: African feminism, securitization, critical development, militarism, gender
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, I argue the US response to the #BringBackOurGirls movement is a form of securitized development. Securitization development in the Global South has long become a strategy of the Global North due to the belief that developing states are “breeding grounds'' for terrorism (Abrahamsen 2014). Foreign states provide arms to smaller developing states to combat potential international security threats. This agenda is even written into our international laws such as the UN Arms Trade Treaty and related multilateral initiatives especially post 9/11. Yet, these measures have a damaging relationship with female security in the Global South, and America’s response to The #BringBackOurGirls movement is very telling of this. African feminist scholars along with feminist political geographers have confirmed this harmful relationship between female security, claiming the heavy-handed approach of governments isn’t conducive to promoting security. However, Nigerian women activists are responding. My research answers three questions 1) What is the historical relationship between militarism and development and how has this shaped particular forms of securitization in West Africa today? 2) What are the specific ways this securitization is gendered, and in particular, how does this impact already vulnerable women and girl-children in vulnerable areas? 3) How are women activists responding and mobilizing under this?

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