Gender and conflict

UN Peacekeeping Operations and Gendered Threats to the Protection of Civilians

International Peace Institute
South Sudan Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Sudan,

The intersection between the protection of civilians (POC) and gender has been addressed in Security Council resolutions on POC and on women, peace, and security (WPS) since the late 1990s. Nonetheless, understanding how POC and gender converge, and translating this convergence into implementable action plans, are challenging tasks for peacekeeping missions. Neither UN policies on POC in peacekeeping nor UN policies on making peacekeeping gender-responsive focus on the intersection between POC and gender. Likewise, the language in peacekeeping mandates does not always include firm and clear language related to gendered POC threats. At the mission level, POC strategy documents vary greatly in the extent to which they mention gender mainstreaming, and few provide concrete guidance. Accordingly, most missions do not undertake a structured, gendersensitive analysis of threats. To address these challenges, UN peacekeeping missions could consider developing “safeguarding frameworks” on the intersection of POC and gender. They could also dictate that missions need to assess the gender aspects of every threat and could help move missions from coordinating to integrating their work on POC and gender.

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