Sylabus Topic

Peacekeepers and Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict


Bastick, Megan, Karen Grimm, and Rahel Kunz. 2007. Peacekeepers and Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

Authors: Megan Bastick, Karen Grimm, Rahel Kunz

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women

Year: 2007

Training the Uniforms: Gender and Peacekeeping Operations


Mackay, Angela.2003. “Training the Uniforms: Gender and Peacekeeping Operations.” Development in Practice 13 (2-3): 217-222.

Author: Angela Mackay


The fact that war changes roles and responsibilities within society, while exposing men and women of all ages and classes to new threats and opportunities, has become increasingly recognised. Civil wars disrupt and destroy civilian life. Men leave, die in combat, are brutalised, lose employment, or resort to despair, violence, or apathy. Women assume enormous burdens of work and all manner of different tasks and responsibilities, lose their security and their protectors, and are victimised and marginalised. Yet few members of peacekeeping missions have any training in dealing with the civilian population, much less the specific issues relating to gender relations. In response to this, a basic training package titled Gender and Peace Support Operations has been designed for use in pre-deployment induction. This article describes the background to its development and outlines how it is expected to be used and evolve in the future.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Men, Peacekeeping

Year: 2003

Military Women in the NATO Armed Forces


García, Sarah.1999. “Military Women in the NATO Armed Forces.” Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military 17 (2): 33-82.

Author: Sarah García


In June 1998, officers (men and women) assembled in Brussels to discuss means to improve equity and expand the employment of women in the NATO armed forces. About 90 comrades in arms from fourteen allied nations, plus guests from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, now new NATO members, as well as from  Sweden, met to discuss the committee's goals and objectives. This first-time participation by Partner nations unequivocally enhanced the committee's work, especially where it involves mentoring, equality, and recruiting programs. The dialogue and cooperation between Allied and Partner nations at the conference was mutually advantageous to NATO's mission readiness capabilities and efforts to ensure the recognition and empowerment of all military personnel. The Committee prepared an "Issue Book" containing recommendations and rationales for the Military Committee and national authorities to consider when determining integration policy/initiative within their armed forces. That was the first time the committee had developed such a comprehensive product geared specifically to focus NATO in this process. In support of NATO's Enhanced Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, which began five years ago and centered on "fostering military co-operation between NATO and non-NATO states to, among other aims, strengthen the ability to undertake peacekeeping and humanitarian missions and developing military forces better able to operate with those of NATO members," 8 the 1998 Brussels Conference sparked the beginning of the Committee on Women's cooperative dialogue with PfP nations. For example, discussions centered on equality, in terms of training and promotion (rank and career opportunities); utilization and development via recruitment, mentoring, and retention; and improving the quality of life for women in uniform by eliminating gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Since then, Partner nations have expressed  interest in the committee, its goals and objectives, and assistance from the Women In the NATO Forces (WINF) office. In the five decades of its existence, the NATO alliance has "evolved from a traditional military alliance for collective defence into a political-military organisation for security cooperation, with an extensive bureaucracy and complex decision-making processes." The alliance is now redefining its mission as a result of the end of the Cold War. In an even briefer span of time, the position of women in the military has undergone meaningful change in many NATO nations, and "As these changes take place, the disparate gender politics among its member governments take on even more importance." The debate over women's participation in the military is far from over. Despite those debates, new threats to NATO's collective security, the reorganization of armies and international staffs, advanced weapons technology, and new peacekeeping operations challenge traditional military structures and functions and make the utilization of all available human resources, men and women, imperative. Integrating women into any military is an evolutionary process, now underway in all NATO member nations. Personnel policies that insure a military establishment of the highest quality possible with the resources available are an essential part of this process.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping Regions: Europe, Central Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Sweden

Year: 1999

“We’ll Kill You If You Cry”: Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict


Taylor, Louise. 2003. “We’ll Kill You If You Cry”: Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Author: Louise Taylor


The 75-page report, “'We’ll Kill You If You Cry:' Sexual Violence in the  Sierra Leone Conflict,” presents evidence of horrific abuses against women and girls in every region of the country by the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), as well as other rebel, government and international peacekeeping forces. The Human Rights Watch report, which is based on hundreds of interviews with victims, witnesses and officials, details crimes of sexual violence committed primarily by soldiers of various rebel forces—the RUF, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and the West Side Boys. The report also examines sexual violence by government forces and militias, as well as international peacekeepers.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Women, Girls, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militaries, Militias, Non-State Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2003

Gender and UN Peace Operations: The Confines of Modernity


Vayrynen, Tarja. 2004. “Gender and UN Peace Operations: The Confines of Modernity.” International Peacekeeping 11 (1): 125–42.

Author: Tarja Varynen


The essay seeks to problematize the recent UN discourse on gender, peace and war by demonstrating how modernity sets the limits for the discourse, and therewith confines the discourse to the pre-given binary categories of agency, identity and action. It engages in an analysis of modernity and the mode of thinking that modernity establishes for thinking about war and peace. It is demonstrated in the text that new thinking on post-Westphalian conflicts and human security did open up a discursive space for thinking about gender in peace operations, but this space has not been fully utilized. By remaining within the confines of modernity, the UN discourse on peace operations produces neoliberal modes of masculinity and femininity where the problem-solving epistemology gives priority to the ‘rationalist’ and manageralist masculinity and renders silent the variety of ambivalent and unsecured masculinities and femininities.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Security, Human Security

Year: 2004

'Doing Gender’ After the War: Dealing with Gender Mainstreaming and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peace Support Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone


Nduka-Agwu, Adibeli. 2009. “‘Doing Gender’ After the War: Dealing with Gender Mainstreaming and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peace Support Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.” Civil Wars 11 (2): 179–99. doi:10.1080/13698240802631087.

Author: Adibeli Nduka-Agwu

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

The Impact of UNSCR 1325 and Peacekeeping Operations in Sudan


Eltahir-Eltom, Gihan. 2010. “The Impact of UNSCR 1325 and Peacekeeping Operations in Sudan.” In Women, Peace and Security: Translating Policy into Practice, edited by Funmi Olonisakin, Karen Barnes, and Eka Ikpe, 138-54. New York: Routledge.

Author: Gihan Eltahir-Eltom

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2010

Gender Training for Peacekeepers: Lessons from the DRC


Puechguirbal, Nadine. 2003. “Gender Training for Peacekeepers: Lessons from the DRC.” International Peacekeeping 10 (4): 113-28.

Author: Nadine Puechguirbal

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacekeeping Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2003

International Intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Cost of Ignoring Gender


Rees, Madeleine. 2002. “International Intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Cost of Ignoring Gender.” In The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities, and International Peacekeeping, edited by Dubravka Zarkov and Cynthia Cockburn, 51–67. London: Lawrence & Wishart.

Author: Madeleine Rees

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2002


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