Reducing Barriers for Women in the Norwegian Armed Forces' Peacekeeping Contributions

Sep 2020 - May 2021

​Since the 1990s, the UN has sought to increase the number of women personnel deployed to peace operations. The degree of success can be described as limited at best. Most notably, in the military contributions, the proportion have long remained around 1-4 percent although with substantial variations between contributing countries. For example, in August 2020, Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia reached the targets for participation set up by the UN while both Norway and Sweden continued to struggle. This research project aims to assist states in identifying both the main barriers and the existing opportunities for improving the number of women they deploy to peacekeeping.

​As we approached the 20th anniversary of the first UN Security Council resolution on Women, Peace and Security, UNSCR 1325, in 2020 there was a surge in the effort by the UN and by Member States to improve women's opportunities to participate in peacekeeping. An area which is central for ensuring such progress is improved collaboration between researchers and decision-makers.

The aim of the Barrier project is to "create evidence-based policy and programmatic recommendations to reduce barriers to uniformed women's deployment". The project builds on and helps develop the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) assessment method­ology. This consists of a representative survey of about 400 participants, a fact finding form covering data on all the barriers, and elite interviews.

The project is led by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) and Cornell University where PRIO contributes with a case-study of military contributions from Norway. Other countries contributing to this study is Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Jordan, Mongolia, Senegal, Uruguay, and Zambia.


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