Panel Discussions - Monday, October 07, 2013
Panel: Women’s Participation in Peacekeeping Improves Operational Effectiveness
Using the recently published IPI report Not Just a Numbers Game as a springboard for discussion, participants at an IPI panel on October 7, 2013 brought home the key message that women’s participation in peacekeeping improves the operational effectiveness of UN missions, and there are many tools available to UN staff and member states to increase this participation.
Panelists included Sahana Dharmapuri, author of Not Just a Numbers Game; Comdt Jayne Lawlor, Gender Advisor for the Irish Defence Forces; Izumi Nakamitsu, Director of the Asia and Middle East Division in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations; and Hester Paneras, Police Commissioner for the AU-UN Mission in Darfur.
The panelists considered strategies for better integrating a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations, increasing the number of women involved, and implementing UN policies in this regard.
A number of insights emerged from the meeting:
1. An emerging body of literature shows that women’s participation and a gender perspective enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations—for example, through better situational awareness, improved communication with host communities, and increased credibility of the mission in the eyes of the population it is serving. Nonetheless, more research is needed to better understand this impact.
2. Less than a third of civilian staff in UN missions are women, while women make up just 10 percent of UN police and 3 percent of uniformed peacekeepers. Such low participation rates can be explained by a lack of understanding about the contributions that women can make to peacekeeping, social biases that perpetuate gender inequality, and failure to implement UN policies and guidelines in practice.
3. Engaging with troop- and police-contributing countries is crucial to increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping, since in many states the recruitment of women in national police and armed forces remains very low and national policies and procedures can serve as barriers to entry for women.
4. In addition, the link between women’s participation and improvements to peace operations needs to be better communicated to male and female leaders in this field. Training, awareness, and expertise on gender issues and existing UN policies is needed at every level of a UN mission—strategic, tactical, and operational. This includes and goes beyond the important work of gender advisors and focal points.
5. Achieving greater gender equality in UN peacekeeping is not just about the numbers. It’s also about integrating a gender perspective—exploring the roles, status, needs, and priorities of women and men as they relate to the mission’s mandate. This requires the involvement of both men and women. And balancing family life and a career in peace operations needs to be part of the conversation.
The event was part of IPI’s Women, Peace & Security Series and Providing for Peacekeeping project. It was moderated by Adam C. Smith, IPI Research Fellow and Manager of Peace Operations Program.
The Global Observatory
Aid Workers, More on the Front Lines, Suffer Increased Attacks: Interview with Abby Stoddard
Aid worker attacks were at their highest levels last year.
Key Global Events to Watch in March
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
February 26, 2014
Roméo Dallaire: Neutralize Child Soldiers Without Destroying Them
“We believe that by better training both police and military and a whole new dimension of working much closer, particularly information-wise, with NGOs and other agencies on the ground, we can work at neutralizing without destroying children as a system of weaponry in this era,” said Lt. General Roméo Dallaire (Ret.) at an IPI event on February 26th.
February 19, 2014
Gary Bass: Forgotten Genocide May Portend Future Stain on UN Inaction
The inability of the United Nations Security Council to halt mass atrocities in East Pakistan some 40 years ago has parallels to current inaction in North Korea, argued Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, on February 19th.
February 18, 2014
Jok: Near Collapse in South Sudan Is Shocking but Not Surprising
The events that recently brought South Sudan to a near collapse were “extremely shocking, but they were not surprising by any means,” said Jok Madut Jok, Executive Director of The Sudd Institute, at the International Peace Institute on February 18. “It was only a matter of time before the country returned to this kind of situation,” he added.
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]