Feminist scholarship focusing on security, gender, and conflict indicates gender norms that privilege the masculine and inferiorize the feminine are particularly pronounced within militarized security institutions (Whitworth, 2004). The male-dominated security sector promotes a particular type of masculinity (Connell, 2005), which reinforces gender-blind security institutions (Bastick, n.d.; Valasek, 2008; Enloe, 1983; Enloe, 2007). In this article, I will explore the ways in which this dynamic is produced in the context of Lebanon. I will investigate how social constructions of gender are reinforced by, and shape the nature of Lebanon’s highly militarized police force, and the potential impact of this on its capacity to respond to gendered needs. I will begin by demonstrating the importance of gender perspectives to security theory and discourse. I will then explore the ways in which gender norms manifest in the militarized Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the reasons for, and the impact of this manifestation on their capacity to be a gender-responsive institution. Such an analysis will touch on the role of the police in preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV), and women’s participation in the ISF.
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