Roundtable on women in peacekeeping operations

Introductory speech by the President of UNAS at the event. (Photo - Jana Mahorčič)

On Tuesday, September 27, the roundtable on women in peacekeeping operations took place at the United Nations Association of Slovenia. The roundtable was moderated by Dr. Janja Vuga, an assistant professor in the Chair of Defence Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, and an expert on military sociology and peacekeeping operations. Other participants were Major Nataša Zorman, a member of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Deputy Commander of ISAF contingent in KFOR, Anita Baltić, a member of the Slovenian Police, head of the Slovenian police contingent in EULEX Kosovo and Melita Šinkovec, civil functional expert.

At the outset, Dr. Vuga presented the issue of women in peacekeeping operations and the role that women play in the co-operation with the local population and within peacekeeping operations. She also highlighted the role of women in post-conflict reconstruction as well as the perception of sex, focusing on different aspects, such as physical condition, military culture, work organization, etc.

The other guests presented their views on women in peacekeeping operations. As women who are members of peacekeeping forces and civilian female professionals they shared their experiences of working in peacekeeping operations. They highlighted the gender dynamics within the peacekeeping forces as well as cooperation with the local population. The discussion touched on a variety of prejudices, diverse perceptions of sex in cooperation with peacekeepers from different countries, preparation for peacekeeping operations and practical field experience. The round table was followed by questions from the audience.

Prepared by: Urška Učakar

Translated by: Tjaša Pele