Gender and Peacekeeping


Karim, Sabrina M, and Marsha Henry. 2018. "Gender and Peacekeeping." In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict, edited by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Naomi R. Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji, 390-402. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sabrina M. Karim, Marsha Henry


This chapter examines three manifestations of gender in peacekeeping: the gender of those serving as peacekeepers; gendered hierarchies within peacekeeping missions; and the gendered discourse used by the United Nations when discussing women peacekeepers. The chapter provides statistics on the numbers of female peacekeepers historically and by assignment. Using the concept of hegemonic masculinity, the chapter explores how protection masculinity and militarized masculinity complicate the work of female peacekeepers in various ways. Finally, the chapter critiques the problematic rhetoric used by the UN to promote female peacekeepers, which largely relies on an essentialized view of women and downplays the impact of other identities such as culture, language, and class. The chapter argues that rather than seeking to simply increase the numbers of women in peacekeeping roles, a focus on gender equality at a structural level is critical to improving the efficacy of peacekeeping missions.

Keywords: peacekeeping, female peacekeepers, hegemonic masculinity, gender hierarchies, United Nations, female stereotypes

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peacekeeping

Year: 2018

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