Paragraph 143(d) – Beijing Platform for Action. Chapter IV: Strategic Objectives and Actions

How does reduction in military spending while keeping “legitimate national defense needs” needs in mind help with the status of women?

Strategic objective E.2.

Reduce excessive military expenditures and control the availability of armaments

Actions to be taken

143. By Governments:

d. While acknowledging legitimate national defence needs, recognize and address the dangers to society of armed conflict and the negative effect of excessive military expenditures, trade in arms, especially those arms that are particularly injurious or have indiscriminate effects, and excessive investment for arms production and acquisition; similarly, recognize the need to combat illicit arms trafficking, violence, crime, the production and use of and trafficking in illicit drugs, and trafficking in women and children;

Beijing Declaration (1995)

Paragraph 143 deals with military expenditures and the actions of government entities, of governments and associated institutions. The call for the reduction in the military expenditures of the world can be problematic because governments have placed a specific portion or an apportionment of the military expenditure on the “things we want” list.

This can raise questions about “legitimate national defense needs” within the context of military expenditures, because many of the Member States may find their current expenditures fine, as is, so a problem for the possible reduction in the military expenditures; it can depend on point of view. Nonetheless, putting this concern to the side for the moment, there is a call, circa 1995 and probably earlier, for a recognition and a need to address the dangers with armed conflict and then the negative effects of excess military expenditure.

It makes a logical sense. If wars, progress or development become difficult. If lots of arms, and if war, then this prevents a proper development of the flourishing of communities and nations with spillover effects that can damage neighbouring societies who may, by necessity, become embroiled in national and even regional wars. All these create conditions for the creation of refugee women and girls, and the various forms of extreme violence against women that be seen in war contexts.

Those who deal or war or trade in armaments become complicit in negative effects, including the downstream effects of violence against women. These become “particularly injurious or… indiscriminate” in negative impacts. One of the main recognitions listed is illicit arms and then the associated issues of “trafficking, violence, crime” and drugs. These become tied up with the trafficking of women and girls.

(Updated 2018-11-10, only use the updated listing, please) One can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights:
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