Pre-Deployment 'Gender' Training and the Lack Thereof for Australian Peacekeepers


Carson, Lisa. 2016. "Pre-deployment 'Gender' Training and the Lack thereof for Australian Peacekeepers." Australian Journal of International Affairs 70 (3): 275-92.

Author: Lisa Carson


In the area of peacekeeping training, Australia has a reputation of promoting ‘best practice’ internationally. Training for Australian police peacekeepers has been described by the United Nations as ‘one-of-a-kind’ and ‘a world-class model of best practice’. This article provides a case study of how gender training is conducted, and how ‘gender’ is understood from a critical feminist perspective. This article focuses only on the pre-deployment training stage and is informed by confidential interviews with staff from the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Defence Force, as well as observing training in 2013–14. The findings suggest that the training is inadequate because it is not carried out for all peacekeeping personnel, despite international and national requirements to do so. In addition, the findings suggest that ‘gender’ is understood in a very limited way that does not problematise power relations between the sexes and is only covered as a way of understanding the peacekeeping context, and not in relation to the attitudes and behaviours of peacekeepers themselves. This raises the question of whether and how other troop-contributing countries conduct the training and to what standard, given the documented problems of Australia's supposedly ‘best-practice’ training.

Keywords: Australia, gender, gender training, National Action Plan, peacekeeping training, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2016

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