The Absence of Masculinity in Gender Training for UN Peacekeepers

Authored by: Dean Laplonge

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Region: No Region
Year: 2015
Citation: Laplonge, Dean. "The Absence of Masculinity in Gender Training for UN Peacekeepers," Peace Review, 27:1, (2015), 91-99.

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Executive Summary

To what extent do existing practices of gender training for peacekeeping personnel include any consideration of masculinity? The effect of masculinity on behavior can be problematic in peacekeeping missions. The author suggests that short-term gender trainings are not effective in curtailing this kind of behavior. The article analyzes the UN training materials to assess whether the concept of masculinity is included and its effect on peacekeeping operations. Three gender training materials are used as case studies: United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Standard Generic Training Module (SGTM) 6C on Gender and Peacekeeping, issued in 2003; DPKO’s Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations, issued in 2004; and DPKO’s Gender and Peacekeeping Operations In-Mission Training, issued in 2001. Overall, the materials all focus on gender as an external factor, experienced by those affected by the conflict, rather than discussing how masculinity has affected the peacekeepers themselves. The author argues that this omission may come from reluctance by the UN to risk being seen to interfere with the cultural norms of member nations.