An assessment of the role of uniformed women’s participation in peacekeeping operations in Africa: The case of the United Nations missions in Liberia and Ivory Coast
Gunduza, Lioba Tendai
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This study assesses the participation of uniformed women peacekeepers in UN multidimensional peacekeeping operations in Africa using the Liberian and Ivory Coast (also known as Cote D‟Ivoire) peacekeeping missions. The study examines the constraints militating against the full participation of uniformed women peacekeeping in UN peacekeeping operations. This study evaluates the contribution of uniformed women peacekeepers in peacekeeping operations and whether they are competent like their male counterparts and interrogates whether the UN gives uniformed women peacekeepers support in multidimensional peacekeeping missions. The study was based on the hypothesis that although the multidimensional nature of contemporary UN peacekeeping promotes equal participation of both male and female peacekeepers, uniformed women peacekeepers remain under-represented in peacekeeping operations. The study was qualitative and relied on documentary study, interviews with key informants and the data was analysed following the thematic approach. The study concludes that gender stereotypes, lack of uniformed women peacekeepers in senior leadership within the UN and the troop contributing countries were some of the key factors negatively affecting the participation of uniformed women in multidimensional peacekeeping operations. It was also revealed by this study that uniformed women were equally competent as their male colleagues in peacekeeping operations. The study noted that the UN has to do more to support uniformed women in multidimensional peacekeeping missions. The participation of uniformed women can be enhanced if gender mainstreaming is done in full accordance with UN Resolution 1325.