Title page for ETD etd-04122010-145809

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Loots, Lizle Jani
Email lizle.loots@mrc.ac.za
URN etd-04122010-145809
Document Title South African women as peacekeepers : experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Degree MSocSci
Department Sociology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Schoeman Co-Supervisor
Prof K Naidoo Supervisor
  • Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag
  • Verenigde Nasies vredesmag operasies
  • gender equity
  • gender mainstreaming
  • gender
  • gender equality
  • peacekeepers
  • United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
  • South African National Defence Force
  • vredesmag werkers
  • geslags-hoofstoming
  • geslags-billikheid
  • geslags-gelykheid
Date 2009-09-01
Availability restricted

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) currently deploys peacekeeping forces as part of the United Nations’ (UN) peacekeeping operations in Africa. Until recently, few women in the military had been employed in peacekeeping positions. Little is known about what these women experience on a daily basis, how they interact with local populations and, finally, how they are supported by the UN and the SANDF in terms of gender mainstreaming and gender equality. This study sets out to explore the experiences of South African peacekeepers, particularly women, during their deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The findings from a survey of 63 women and men SANDF peacekeepers who had recently returned from deployment to the DRC revealed that women peacekeepers are predominantly restricted to performing administrative tasks and patrol duties within the safety of UN bases. Male participants were generally apprehensive with regard to women’s participation in the mission which highlights the hyper-masculine culture in the peacekeeping context. The women surveyed reported that, although they had not been actively involved in the field, they had developed close social bonds with local populations. Some women reported that they had engaged in discussions with local women about gender equality and women’s rights, and that they had attempted to inspire local women to educate and uplift themselves. These findings have important implications for peacekeeping and the role that female peacekeepers can play in the lives of local women. This study has shown that women peacekeepers are not supported or empowered and that an expanded role for women peacekeepers needs to be considered.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Loots, LJ 2009, South African women as peacekeepers : experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MSocSci dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04122010-145809/ >

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