Enhancing Operational Effectiveness? An Analysis of Pre-deployment Training for Rwandan Tactical-level Female Military Peacekeepers

Monday 12 February 2018 13:00 to 14:30
IDS Convening Space

POSTPONED - new seminar date to be advertised soon

This seminar explores how gendered peacekeeping roles and identities are constructed in the pre-deployment training programme for tactical-level military peacekeepers delivered by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

Recent high-level policy reviews reassert that an increase in female peacekeepers supports the UN’s efforts to reform peacekeeping and improve the implementation of the protection of civilian mandates in complex, multidimensional peacekeeping operations. Yet, despite the UN’s emphasis on the potential of female peacekeepers to enhance operational effectiveness, the ways in which female uniformed personnel are trained, socialised and deployed as peacekeepers are under theorised in the peacekeeping literature. 

It is argued that the RDF’s institutional culture, norms and training practices introduce additional structural limitations into the UN’s core pre-deployment training curriculum. Consequently, female military peacekeepers find they are not being adequately prepared for the more difficult and challenging situations they find themselves in when working in multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations. 

About the speaker:

Dr Georgina Holmes is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading. Her research, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, focuses on gender and security sector reform, pre-deployment training and the integration of African uniformed personnel into UN peace operations. Georgina is also an Internal/Change communications specialist with experience delivering large organisational change projects, including for the UK’s Department of Health and its policy implementation bodies. She is an Associate Chair of the Africa Research Group, Department of War Studies, King’s College London and Co-Chair of the Gender Cluster for the West Africa Peace and Security Network. She has published in several peer-reviewed academic journals and is the author of Women and War in Rwanda (2013, I.B Tauris).


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