Issue Brief on Women, War, Peace and Peacekeeping

Sunday, January 1, 2006
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations concludes thatwomen make a positive difference to peacekeeping, and that“women's presence improves access and support for local women itmakes me peacekeepers more reflective and responsible; and itbroadens the repertoire of skills and styles available within themission, often with the effect of reducing conflict and confrontation.Gender mainstreaming,” the report says,” is not just fair, it isbeneficial.” Each component of the peacekeeping involves theparticipation of women and each has crucial consequences forwomen and men of the host country. In contemporarypeacekeeping environments, military and civilian personnel aretaking on new functions that increase their contact with women;both in providing protection and in supporting women's role inpeace building. Military observers are taking on more complexresponsibilities traditionally carried out by civilian, humanitarianand human rights officers, e.g. humanitarian assessments ininaccessible areas. Women do more than act as gender advisers inpeace operations, but participate throughout, although not in senior positions.

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