Training the uniforms: gender and peacekeeping operations

The fact that war changes roles and responsibilities within society, while exposing men and women of all ages and classes to new threats and opportunities, has become increasingly recognised. Civil wars disrupt and destroy civilian life. Men leave, die in combat, are brutalised, lose employment, or resort to despair, violence, or apathy. Women assume enormous burdens of work and all manner of different tasks and responsibilities, lose their security and their protectors, and are victimised and marginalised. Yet few members of peacekeeping missions have any training in dealing with the civilian population, much less the specific issues relating to gender relations. In response to this, a basic training package titled Gender and Peace Support Operations has been designed for use in pre-deployment induction. This article describes the background to its development and outlines how it is expected to be used and evolve in the future. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives