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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Within UN peace operations, the concept of gender mainstreaming and the introduction of gender advisors represented the first systemic effort to recognize and respond to the particular experiences and perspectives of women and girls in, and after, conflict. Drawing on the author’s experience of leading three UN peace operations, this chapter explores how this approach has worked in practice, including whether the ground was adequately prepared; whether attention was given to the understanding of this (contextual, gendered) issue by senior mission leadership; and the importance of this agenda as communicated by the Secretary-General. It considers WPS in the context of the breadth of peace operation mandates; whether there has been a focus on [programmatic] activities at the expense of analysis; and whether the narrative around female victimhood in conflict obscures a focus on their rights and agency. This chapter argues that creative and coordinated strategies are needed to ensure the WPS agenda remains a focus of UN Peace Operations.

Keywords: mandate complexity, UN Peace Operations, gender mainstreaming, gender advisors

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