In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Women and Peacemaking/Peacekeeping

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews

International Relations Women and Peacemaking/Peacekeeping
Sabrina Karim, Kyle Beardsley, Tessa Devereaux Evans, Laura Huber, Angie Torres-Beltran
  • LAST REVIEWED: 03 May 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 May 2021
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0146


Peacemaking and peacekeeping are most often used in the context of a negative definition of peace—the absence of or relative reduction of violent conflict. Studies of peacemaking thus typically describe and analyze the means by which periods of armed conflict move toward periods with less armed conflict, such as through negotiation, mediation, bargaining, confidence building, disengagement, etc. Studies of peacekeeping similarly describe and analyze the means by which relatively low levels of armed conflict can be maintained and relapses of violent episodes can be prevented. In addition, peacekeeping typically refers specifically to the use of third-party enforcement as a means to stabilize tenuous but relatively peaceful security environments. Peacekeeping in this context involves the deployment of third-party military personnel. “Multidimensional peacekeeping” missions also include military, police, and civilian “peacebuilding” elements that focus on cultivating the development of political and economic institutions and advising transitional justice processes, as well as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration activities. The study of gender and the study of armed conflict (and the resolution thereof) intersect on a number of dimensions. Gender perspectives have been used to advance our understanding of the occurrence of war, patterns of violence, the efficacy of peace processes, and the legacies of violence in post-conflict periods. We not only cover works directly related to women and peacemaking and peacekeeping but we also contextualize this literature within the broader literature on gender and war, sexual violence in conflict, women and peacemaking, women and peace building, masculinities in peacekeeping operations, the inclusion of women in national-security sectors, sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations, and gender mainstreaming. In doing so, we provide a more thorough understanding of the role women play in post-conflict settings. Moreover, by considering the role gender plays in peacemaking and peacebuilding, the literature is better able to speak beyond a negative definition of peace and to incorporate more-positive conceptions of peace that prioritize gender equality, consideration of the victims of violence, social justice, and other issues fundamental to a high quality of peace.

General Overviews

Twenty years or more after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), which institutionalized the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda and set the stage for women and peacemaking/peacekeeping, there are several notable aggregate studies on the subject. Together, Gentry, et al. 2018; Aoláin, et al. 2018; and Davies and True 2018 comprise three handbooks that broadly discuss this agenda including women and peacemaking and peacekeeping. More specifically, Gizelis and Olsson 2015, an edited volume, provides a systematic evaluation of all parts of UNSCR 1325, more than a decade after its adoption.

  • Aoláin, Fionnuala Ní, Naomi R. Cahn, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Nahla Valji, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Addresses war and peace, humanitarian intervention, countering violence and extremism, the UN WPS agenda, sexual violence, criminal accountability, autonomous weapons, peacekeeping, refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) status, the political economy of war, and the economics of conflict, as well as health and economic security. The edited volume addresses the differing roles of multiple national and international actors, as well as the UN-led WPS agenda.

  • Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Examines the significant and evolving international WPS agenda. The Oxford Handbook synthesizes new and enduring knowledge, taking stock of what has been achieved and what remains incomplete and unfinished about the WPS agenda.

  • Gentry, Caron E., Laura J. Shepherd, and Laura Sjoberg, eds. Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security. London: Routledge, 2018.

    Provides a comprehensive look at the study of gender and security in global politics. The edited volume looks at various aspects of studying gender and security including gendered approaches to security, gendered insecurities in global politics, gendered practices of security, and gendered security institutions.

  • Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene, and Louise Olsson, eds. Gender, Peace and Security: Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution. New York: Routledge, 2015.

    Brings together a collection of contributions that evaluate the implementation of USCSR 1325 on a number of dimensions. The volume particularly focuses on three themes: participation, protection, and gender mainstreaming.

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