This paper discusses the need, rationale and mandates for mainstreaming gender throughout Peace Support Operations (PSOs), raising challenges and suggesting recommendations for action for the UN, governments, international and regional inter-governmental institutions. The following issues are discussed:

• Mandating gender and peacekeeping: Legal instruments and international law
• Gendered impact of armed conflicts: Making peacekeeping more effective
• Gender and PSOs: Key mainstreaming factors and its interface with policy mandates
• PSOs and gender-based violence: Challenges of mainstreaming gender within PSOs.
• Current initiatives: Potential mechanisms and existing challenges