Perceptions of Women Peacekeepers

Event Video 

On May 18th, IPI’s Women, Peace, and Security team hosted a virtual policy forum on “Perceptions of Women Peacekeepers.”

Policymakers and scholars claim that women peacekeepers will improve the credibility and legitimacy of peacekeeping operations. However, public perceptions of women peacekeepers can vary greatly across contexts, and assumptions that women will improve perceptions of peacekeeping operations may rely on gender stereotypes and place a double burden on women peacekeepers. This event explored how the general public perceives women peacekeepers both within host communities and within troop- and police-contributing countries (T/PCCs). It also examined how the claim that women peacekeepers impact operational effectiveness by increasing legitimacy may risk stereotyping and instrumentalizing women peacekeepers.

The event included a short presentation of the results of surveys exploring how the deployment of women peacekeepers impacts attitudes toward peacekeeping in T/PCCs. These surveys examined whether the general public in India and South Africa react differently to both the deployment of and casualties among women peacekeepers compared to men peacekeepers. This event and the related research are part of the Women in Peace Operations (WIPO) project, a multi-year initiative of IPI’s Women, Peace, and Security program funded by the Government of Canada’s Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations.

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Jenna Russo, IPI Director of Research and Head of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations
Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, Chief of Staff, Chief Professional Conduct and Culture

Dr. Laura Huber, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Mississippi
Ms. Suzy Nyuon William, Lawyer and Independent Researcher, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
Dr. Lindy Heinecken, Professor and Vice Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Colonel Md Mamun Azad Salehin, Armed Forces Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Dr. Phoebe Donnelly, IPI Senior Fellow and Head of the Women, Peace and Security Program