SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Peacexploitation?: Female Peacekeepers from the Global South

Dr Marsha Henry

Date: 24 February 2011Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 February 2011Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4421

Type of Event: Seminar

As peacekeeping missions embark on recruiting more female peacekeepers, questions are raised about what this means for 1) women in national militaries 2) local women in peacekeeping missions and 3) for militarized laborers from 'developing' worlds.  The  UN is keen to decrease incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations, improve local women's security, and balance out the number of women and men in the police and military.  While countries such as Uruguay have been sending increasing numbers of female peacekeepers to various UN missions, it was not until 2007, that an all-female contingent was deployed from India to Liberia and hailed as a gendered success.  But in altering the gendered landscape, will the UN merely continue to exploit the cheap military labor of the Global South? Will countries like India and Uruguay (major troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations) continue to bear the burden of providing security? I suggest that in maintaining the conventional focus on gender and gender relations in thinking about peacekeepers, a discussion of the role of geography (and therefore 'race', empire and colonialism) in the politics of peacekeeping deployments is potentially foreclosed.


Marsha Henry is a Lecturer in the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research has looked at various aspects of gender in South Asia, focusing on connections between the 'developed' and 'developing' worlds. Her recent research examines gender relations in peacekeeping missions.

Organiser: Bloomsbury Gender Network and the Centre for Gender Studies (SOAS)

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