Improving Gender Training in UN Peacekeeping Operations

written by On May 31, 2018

By Velomahanina T. Razakamaharavo, Luisa Ryan, and Leah Sherwood.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 expressed a global commitment to the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Many policy statements and guidance on gender mainstreaming have followed in the 17 years since UNSCR 1325’s passage, yet peace operations on the ground appear little affected. They continue to overlook the many roles women play in conflict and conflict resolution, fail to engage fully with women’s organizations, and fail to include women fighters in reintegration and security sector reform programs. They even perpetrate exploitation: Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) continues to be widespread within peace missions themselves, despite increased SEA and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) training for operation forces. Further, peace operations have failed to address the more inclusive Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) agenda and the broader role gender plays in conflict dynamics. For example, while missions may seek to address the effects of conflict-related sexual violence on women and girls, they may miss similar impacts for male victims and their families.

Improved gender training could help ameliorate this mismatch between policy rhetoric and practice. This policy brief outlines current gender training practice, identifies gaps, and recommends ways to strengthen training in order to help peace operations personnel better understand how to apply a gender lens to their missions.