As the need for UN
peacekeeping forces has expanded around the world, women have been right at the forefront. Women peacekeepers suit up and are deployed in all areas of peacekeeping operations — including police,
military, and civilian forces — and play a critical role in building peace and protecting women and girls' rights in regions torn apart by conflict.
When women participate in the peace process, it not only promotes gender equality, but also provides strong female role models in regions torn apart by war — where all too often those two critical elements are missing.
The presence of women peacekeepers can help to reduce conflict and confrontation; improve access and support for local women; and provide role models for women in the community.
Between 1957 and 1989, only 20 women served as uniformed UN peacekeepers.
Today, there are more than 5,000 female uniformed and civilian peacekeepers.
In 2012, women constituted around 30% of the approximately 7,500 international civilians working in peacekeeping and special political missions worldwide.
Out of approximately 113,000 peacekeepers, women
constitute 3% of military personnel and 10% of police personnel in UN
Three women lead peace operations as Special
Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and one as acting head.
Three all-female UN police units have been deployed: in Liberia, Haiti, and the DR Congo.
The UN Security Council has adopted five resolutions on women, peace, and security that address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, and stress the importance of women's equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping.