A Few Good Women: Gender Stereotypes, the Military and Peacekeeping

TitleA Few Good Women: Gender Stereotypes, the Military and Peacekeeping
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsGroot, Gerard J. de
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Date Published11/2001

Gender stereotypes of peaceful, nurturing women, common to almost all cultures, have traditionally limited the participation of women in the military and in combat. When women have participated in war, by subterfuge or in an emergency, their contribution has subsequently been discounted in order to limit the effect upon gender dynamics. Thus, though women have participated in war, their participation has not brought privileges of citizenship in the way male service often has. Advocates of gender integration in the military have tried to refute the validity of gender stereotypes, arguing that women, through effective training, can become efficient soldiers. Lately, however, the increased deployment of military units in peacekeeping operations has led to an appreciation of the qualities women supposedly possess - regardless of whether they are genetically or socially determined. Thus, militaries of the future might want women for the very same reasons they have rejected them in the past.

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