n Conflict Trends - Women in peacekeeping : the emergence of the all-female uniformed units in UNMIL and MONUSCO

Volume 2013, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


For decades, political analysts, peacekeepers and the like have tried to demonstrate to the world that women are not just victims of war, but agents of peace. Although significant, international commitments towards the realisation of women's rights, their protection and participation in all stages of peace processes - for instance, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action - did not yield the expected results, in particular with regard to women in peacekeeping. It was not until October 2000 - 52 years after the United Nations (UN) Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) had commenced operations - that the international community, through United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325, recognised the undervalued and unutilised contributions of women in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Corresponding to the extension of peace operations' mandate to peacebuilding, securing peace and post-conflict reconstruction was an increasing demand for experienced and qualified staff to implement peacekeeping obligations productively. The idea that women could contribute to peacekeeping operations had been developing and was slowly being accepted, though many women still served as civilian rather than uniformed personnel.

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