A Few Kind Women: Gender Essentialism and Nordic Peacekeeping Operations

Citation:

Valenius, Johanna. 2007. “A Few Kind Women: Gender Essentialism and Nordic Peacekeeping Operations.” International Peacekeeping 14 (4): 510–23.

Author: Johanna Valenius

Abstract:

This article examines constructions of gender in UN documents and peace operations. The focus is on gender mainstreaming: the kinds of notion of men and women that are produced in gender mainstreaming and what kind of effect mainstreaming has. Based on an analysis of the key UN documents and the fieldwork among Finnish peacekeepers in Kosovo, the argument is that gender mainstreaming documents and practices tend to rely on essentialized notions of women as victims and inherently peaceful. The consequences of this are twofold. On the one hand the international community is not able to see local women as agents of their own future. On the other, the participation of women in peacekeeping forces is promoted on the basis of an alleged pacifying effect on their male colleagues. As a result traditional gender roles are reinforced and the variations in masculinities and femininities are ignored.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2007

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.