Women and men experience conflict differently and therefore understand peace differently. Recognizing and integrating these differences – known as gender perspectives – into all aspects of UN peace operations, is essential for the success of the UN’s peacekeeping efforts.
Peacekeeping Operations are obligated to implement the Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security across all peacekeeping functions. The blueprint for gender and peacekeeping work for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is rooted in Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) which was the first resolution to address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women. An additional seven resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122, 2242) have since been adopted stressing the importance of women’s equal and full participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts; addressing the impact of sexual violence on women’s lives; promoting the development and use of indicators and standards for monitoring women, peace and security, including on sexual violence in conflict; raising awareness of gender issues through training and capacity building for peacekeeping personnel; engaging with civil society more comprehensively and the active promotion of linking root causes of conflict with prevention and protection. To support this work Gender Advisers are deployed to peacekeeping missions to guarantee that a gender perspective is integrated across all peacekeeping functions.
How does UN Peacekeeping integrate gender into its work?
Gender mainstreaming allows for full recognition of the impact that conflict has on women and men in post conflict situation and their contribution in conflict resolution and peace. Integrating gender equality and Women Peace and Security principles into all aspects of peacekeeping is essential for sustainable peace and security.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations promotes gender equality through many different approaches including implementing its own gender mainstreaming strategy. You can view the DPKO/DFS Policy on Gender Equality in Peacekeeping Operations, and the DPKO/DFS Gender Strategy to understand more about how gender perspectives are integrated across all areas of our work including Security Sector Reform, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, Police and Military.
How do peacekeeping missions mainstream gender?
Gender Advisers are deployed to all multi-dimensional peacekeeping missions, as mandated by the Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security to oversee gender mainstreaming. Gender Advisers and their teams work tirelessly to make sure that the voices, needs and priorities of women and girls are included in all areas of peacekeeping to promote their political participation and ensure that they are protected from sexual and gender based violence.
The work of Gender Advisers includes:
- Leading and guiding a gendered contextual analysis;
- Supporting local women to participate in peace processes;
- Coordinating efforts to protect women and girls from sexual and gender violence;
- Advocating and promoting the inclusion of women in political and electoral systems;
- Providing support to disarmament of women combatants in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programs;
- Designing and implementing capacity building programs on gender and engaging women's voices in legal and judicial procedures.
Stories from the field
Read some examples of how peacekeepers are working to empower women and implement Security Resolution 1325.
- UNAMID: In Darfur, the Gender Unit established UNSCR 1325 Committees to monitor how the state governments implement their commitments to Resolutions 1325 and make sure women’s experiences are included in peace and security initiatives.
- MINUSTAH: In Haiti the mission radio station, MINUSTAH FM, has a weekly programme dedicated to gender issues, for example, during the electoral period, this programme focused on women’s participation in elections and encouraged women to vote.
- MONUSCO: In the DR Congo, women’s civil society are often involved in protection mechanisms at the grassroots level, such as Local Protection Committees trying to increase community resilience.
- MINUSCA: In Central African Republic, we identified the protection needs of female ex-combatants, and introduced initiatives that encouraged women to develop skills to generate their own income, preparing them for employment and keeping them away from taking up arms.
- UNMIL: In Liberia, the Public Information Office conducts community outreach activities, using community “traditional communicators” and through the distribution of education and other materials, to sensitise communities on sexual and gender-based violence.
- MINUSMA: In Mali, the Gender Unit supported women's participation in the drafting and disseminating of the Malian national reconciliation Charter.
- UNFICYP: In Cyprus, the mission organized a series of round table discussions addressing violence against women and women’s participation in peacebuilding bringing together women’s organizations from Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.
- UNMIK: In Kosovo, radio programmes on UNMIK’s Radio Ophelia, broadcasted in Albanian, Serbian and English include programmes on highlighting women’s property rights in Kosovo.
- UNIFIL: In Lebanon, our gender expert reviews quick impact projects to guarantee the inclusion of women specific projects.