Just Add Women and Stir?

Authored by: Sahana Dharmapuri

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Region: No Region
Year: 2011
Citation: Dharmapuri, Sahana. “Just Add Women and Stir?” Parameters (Spring 2011): 56–70.

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Executive Summary

Military officials and policymakers rarely credit gender equality as a factor in increased effectiveness in peacekeeping and security operations. However, a growing body of evidence from the field shows that the inclusion of women improves operational effectiveness in three key ways: improved information gathering, enhanced credibility, and better force protection through enhanced legitimacy. The inclusion of women is a key factor, but additional training of military planners and policymakers is required in order to apply a gender perspective more consistently. Additional field research is also required in order to further develop policies on how to best apply a gender perspective in daily operations, and ongoing monitoring and evaluations are necessary to assess the effectiveness of these activities.