The disarmament program Reaching Critical Will hosted a roundtable discussion on May 26, 2021, in which feminist voices from New Zealand/Aotearoa, Australia, Italy, Japan, and Germany spoke and critiqued what militarization means in their respective contexts.
In this webinar, Jennifer Menninger from WILPF Germany reported that although Germany claims to be a civilian power in the world, it is also one of the largest arms exporters. The defense budget has been steadily increasing for years. This is a global trend that can also be clearly seen in Germany. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the health and education sectors are globally underfunded and that multiple disadvantaged groups are particularly affected by crises. Financial resources should therefore be used to fight social inequality, gender equality, strengthen the health system and the education sector instead of the defense budget.
In addition, Anna Hauschild went into more detail in the discussion about the role Germany can play in achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. Seeing nuclear weapons as a means of patriarchal demonstration of power and questioning the concept of nuclear deterrence as a whole is part of a feminist critique of these weapons. Real security can never be established by the mutual threat of mass destruction. U.S. nuclear weapons are still stationed in Germany and the German government continues to adhere to the concept of nuclear deterrence. A change in political discourse and political action is needed that takes into account the humanitarian and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons to date and the potential consequences in the future. This includes Germany joining the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which recently came into force.