EMILY C. SCHEPPEGRELL, THE ECONOMIST
Debate intensified between member nations at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) Saturday morning as controversial cultural issues were brought into question. Some African and Middle-Eastern countries formed a working paper, named “CASA,” to address the issue of peacekeeping reformation. However, these delegates clearly affirm the importance of sovereignty regarding measures for reformation. Culturally, Islamic states follow the Quran and believe that women have different responsibilities than men and should not be militarized. Women are not legally permitted to be in the military in these countries.
CASA delegates conceded that females in peacekeeping have a positive effect and so allowed them to take administrative or engineering roles in peacekeeping but will not allow them to take military jobs in respect of Islamic culture. The Syrian Arab Republic fervently encouraged administrative roles for women instead of militarized roles, citing instances of higher sexual abuse in these positions. In addition, the issue of sovereignty was voiced by several states supporting CASA.
Colombia responded to the answers given by CASA delegates by supporting the advancement of women in military roles in order to increase effectiveness of peacekeeping as well as gender equality. The concept of inherent abilities ascribed to separate genders was questioned, with follow-up remarks from the Syrian Arab Republic, Iran and other delegates hastily raising placards to chime in. The topic of increasing female peacekeepers in military roles remains a key difference between the multiple working papers, which are alike in the majority of other aspects.
Photo 1: The Syrian Arab Republic defends their stance on female militarization
Photo 2: delegates raise placards to respond to press questions