Making a Difference in Peacekeeping Operations

Voices of South African women peacekeepers, 2000–2018 1

Authored by: Angela Alchin , Amanda Gouws , Lindy Heinecken

Routledge Handbook of Conflict Response and Leadership in Africa

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367332228
eBook ISBN: 9780429318603
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Recruiting more women into peacekeeping operations due to the perceived unique contributions they are said to make to missions has been widely advocated by the United Nations (UN) and other agencies as a means to overcome the unintended consequences of deployments. One example being the ongoing reports of sexual abuse of locals by male soldiers. Taking into account the broader gender debates surrounding women’s contributions to peacekeeping and by considering the experiences of women in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), this study reveals the challenges women face in realizing these widely advocated contributions. These challenges include the current recruiting processes, the self-perception of female soldiers, the deeply patriarchal ideologies within South African society, and the hyper-masculine culture which marks the military. The study concludes that, for women to be properly utilized, a reassessment of recruitment processes in the SANDF is necessary, gender training should be prioritized, and an androgynous soldier identity should be advocated.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.