Women, Peacekeeping and Peacemaking: Gender Balance and Mainstreaming

TitleWomen, Peacekeeping and Peacemaking: Gender Balance and Mainstreaming
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsStiehm, Judith Hicks
EditorOlsson, Louise, and Torunn L. Tryggestad
Book TitleWomen and International Peacekeeping
PublisherFrank Cass

Until the end of the Cold War peacekeeping was primarily a UN, a military, and a male enterprise. In its classical form the UN's Blue Helmets assumed their military observing and monitoring duties only with the consent of the opposing forces, observed strict neutrality between them, and used force only for self-defence and as a last resort. In the last decade different operations referred to as peacekeeping have violated each of these tenets. Further, the responsibilities of peacekeepers have greatly expanded to include humanitarian relief, refugee return, demining, civilian policing, demobilization, human rights monitoring, elections, and nation building. These new activities directly affect women. And women clearly have the capacity to participate in and even direct these new activities. Recognizing this, the UN has recently established policies related to gender balance and gender mainstreaming which apply to all UN components including peacekeeping operations. To implement and institutionalize, this article argues, these new policies will require commitment, resources and sound strategies to overcome institutional inertia and, sometimes, resistance.

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