Gender, Peace and Peacekeeping Lessons from Southern Africa

"This paper alludes to the tensions between achieving gender equality (as a requirement for a just peace) and the maintenance of indigenous culture and religious traditions. The primary focus, however, is the teasing out of transformation opportunities presented during times of conflict and an analysis of the role of women in traditionally male domains of peace processes, in this case, peacekeeping. The paper compares the United Nations Observer Mission to South Africa (UNOMSA) to that of the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), both located in Southern Africa, as models of change. The paper argues that the movement towards gender equality and peace is accelerated when societies risk breaking traditional moulds and when they step forward into new ways of thinking and being for both men and women."