Gender Mainstreaming In Peacekeeping Operations Liberia 2003 – 2009: Best Practices Report

Authored by: United Nations Mission in Liberia and Office of the Gender Adviser

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform (SSR), Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Liberia
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2010
Citation: Gender Mainstreaming in Peacekeeping Operations Liberia 2003 – 2009: Best Practices Report. Monrovia: United Nations Mission in Liberia, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and German Development Cooperation, 2010.

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The Office of the Gender Adviser (OGA) commissioned in 2009, the documentation of best practices for gender mainstreaming in the Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia that have proven to promote women’s rights and gender equality, covering the period, 2003-2009. Since the United Nations Mission In Liberia was established under
United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1509 (2003), the OGA 2004 mandate to mainstream gender in the work of the Mission, has been guided by the DPKO Policy Directive on Gender Equality in UN Peace Keeping Operations, UNSCR 1325 on women, Peace and security and UNSCR 1820 on sexual violence.
The promotion and support to gender-sensitive approaches has supported UNMIL’s mandate to promote sustainable peace and stability in Liberia. The 14 years of civil conflict had a devastating effect on women who survived sexual violence and exploitation and abuse and further exacerbated the inequalities they faced even prior to the war. During the conflict, women picketed, galvanized support and mobilized to attend the peace negotiations and are signatory to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) 2003 in which they secured seats in the National Transitional Government. In their continuing desire to ensure their participation in the recovery, reconstruction and development of Liberia they worked to vote into office Africa’s first female president and have tapped on her political good will to further gender mainstreaming in the country. This broadened the space for UNMIL OGA gender mainstreaming work in Liberia.
Given the impending drawdown of the Mission, the OGA deemed it essential, therefore, to assess the impact of its work over the last six years to determine the results, and the gains and gaps in gender mainstreaming. Therefore, the objective of this initiative was to identify, describe and present evidence-based best practices among six key areas of the work within UNMIL. The areas include: disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration; the police; advocacy and policymaking; sexual and gender based violence; female peacekeepers and the electoral process. Each of the six sections describes the gender-related best practice element, the results and outcomes it garnered, and identifies keys to success. The OGA used a two prong approach to documenting the best practices in UNMIL: literature review and interviews held with 87 key stakeholders in the UN system, international organizations, the government of Liberia and women non-governmental
organizations and individuals. Eleven focus group discussions with community members were also held in a variety of locations and sectors to arrive at the findings. The meetings occurred both in Monrovia and in the rural counties of Liberia. The criteria used to identify the best practices included: significance of impact; effectiveness and efficiency to achieve gender-related objectives; repeatable procedures that have proven themselves as effective over time; innovation, creativity and originality; partnership for successful learning and capacity development; and informing the experience from the beginning.