The Impact of Peacekeeping Missions on Women’s Empowerment

Authored by: Shannon Lindsey Blanton, Dursun Peksen, and Robert Blanton

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peacekeeping, Peacemaking
Region: No Region
Year: 2023
Citation: Blanton, Shannon Lindsey, Dursun Peksen, and Robert Blanton. "The Impact of Peacekeeping Missions on Women’s Empowerment." Political Research Quarterly 76, no. 4 (June 6, 2023).

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What effect do peacekeeping operations (PKOs) have on women’s empowerment? The gendered consequences of peacekeeping have long been an issue of contention. Stung by multiple cases of peacekeepers directly engaging in sexual exploitation and abuse, the United Nations took measures to mainstream gender equality within PKO goals, ranging from protection from sexual violence to the encouragement of female participation in peacebuilding processes. Yet while a growing body of research has begun to provide insights into the gendered aspects of the PKOs themselves, much less is known about the broader gendered impact of PKOs on the host countries. To better understand these effects, we examine the extent to which PKOs serve to advance female empowerment in terms of women’s participation in official political channels as well as women’s civil liberties and active involvement in civil society participation. Examining these linkages from 1970–2013, we find that multidimensional PKOs are conducive to growing levels of women’s empowerment, though such growth decreases considerably after the conclusion of the PKO.