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Sex, Women and Global Security

31 May 2017
By Professor Valerie Hudson

Research shows that the security and status of women are strong predictors of a country’s overall stability. Women’s exclusion leads to risky, parochial decision-making, while domestic violence provides a problematic template for resolving disputes outside the home.

Professor Valerie Hudson has been named one of the top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine for her research showing gender imbalances have global consequences. She argues that legal prohibitions against gender discrimination and violence are insufficient to solve the problem. Education programs are needed so that women know their rights and men can embrace non-violent models of manhood.

Shortly before Dr Hudson’s presentation to the Perth USAsia Centre on 29 May, she sat down with Flavia Zimmermann of the Australian Institute for International Affairs for Western Australia. They discussed the effects of gender inequity on national security, the positive impact of women’s empowerment on governance and decision-making, and the continuum between domestic violence and large-scale conflict.

Valerie Hudson is Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Her most recent book, with Patricia Leidl, is The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy.

Interview by Flavia Zimmermann.

Filming and editing by Nancye Miles-Tweedie.