Gender is about far more than “taking care of our women”: getting familiar with gender terminology.
Gender refers to the social roles and relations between men and women in a society. Contrary to popular belief, gender does not solely refer to women; rather, it is a set of norms and practices that define the way in which both women and men behave, or are expected to behave, in the social, economic, religious, and political spheres of a society. Gender is changeable, dynamic and unstable: it varies from society to society, time to time and culture to culture. Certain shifts at society’s level may trigger deep modifications in gender relations, such as: new economic opportunities, different political choices, the toughening or loosening of religion, and also peace or conflict situations.
For gender is present in every aspect of society, it affects every facets of women and men’s lives (family, community, state etc.). Hence, the cross-cutting nature of gender intrinsically participates in conflict, post-conflict and peace construction.
Thankfully the very changeable, dynamic and unstable nature of gender makes it possible for both women and men to have the opportunity to modify the way in which they participate in society. Gender equality can be promoted in ensuring equal opportunities and equal rights for women and men in the realms of education, health, work etc. Using the changeable nature of gender to their advantage, societies can benefit from the potentialities of both women and men, contribute to development and install a sustainable peace.
It refers to violence that targets individuals or groups on the basis of their gender. This includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, the threat of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.
Gender-based violence and violence against women are often used interchangeably, as most gender-based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls. Yet, this does not mean that all acts against a woman are gender-based violence, or that all victims of gender-based violence are female.
Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women.
Sexual violence is a form of gender-based violence that refers to any act, attempt, or threat of a sexual nature that result, or is likely to result in, physical, psychological and emotional harm. Sexual violence includes sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
It refers to any act of a sexual nature perpetrated by combatants, including rebels, militias, and government forces. It represents a violation of the International Humanitarian Law, and it can become a war crime and a crime against humanity when used systematically in conflicts, and as a weapon of war. Conflict-related sexual violence does not only refer to rape, but also to sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilisation or pregnancy, perpetrated against men, women, children, elders. Sexual violence in conflict can impede the restoration of international peace and security (UNSCR 1820).
Human rights are the basic rights that fundamentally and inherently belong to each individual. Human rights violations are actions perpetrated by combatants and/or representatives of the state authority (rebels, militias, government forces, representatives of state institutions etc.). Usually, peacekeeping operations are mandated to protect and respond to human rights violations committed against civilian population.
An act or omission prohibited and punished by law. The primary role of peacekeeping operations is to protect the population from human rights violations. Yet, in some instances, they may act directly to prevent and respond to crime in order to support the national institutions of the hosting country.
It refers to military and police peacekeepers participating in a field operation (military contingents and UN Police, included Military Observers).
It indicates the set of sections, offices and units of a field peacekeeping mission mainly composed of civilian personnel (non-uniformed personnel), such as Political Affairs Section, Civil Affairs, Human Rights Office, Gender Office, Sexual Violence Unit etc. It is important to note that there exists “mixed sections”, such as DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration), constituted of civil and military staff; or that within military contingents, there can be civilian personnel, such as in the case of the Community Liaison Assistants.
It refers to the whole set of international, national and local actors (UN Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations etc.) that intervene, each one with its expertise, in crisis situations (conflict contexts, natural disasters etc) to provide assistance to affected population (health, food, shelters, education etc). Humanitarian actors are privileged partners of peacekeeping operations, even if sometimes the mutual cooperation can be challenged (especially by the principles of neutrality and impartiality). People working in a peacekeeping operation are not supposed to conduct humanitarian activities: rather, they are tasked to avoid situations that may require humanitarian interventions, and/or facilitate them when necessary.
In a peacekeeping context, it refers to the range of activities implemented by peacekeeping military forces to develop relations and support the local community in which each contingent operates. This cooperation was created in order to spread a better understanding of the peacekeeping mission’s mandate, as well as to establish a relation of trust with the local population. Quick Impact Projects are an example of Civil-Military Cooperation in peacekeeping scenarios.
It refers to the coordination framework in which humanitarian and peacekeeping actors, including military and political components, develop strategies to support humanitarian prevention and response in emergency contexts. Regular coordination meetings between humanitarian and peacekeeping structures (usually referred to as CIMIC meetings) provide for a broad understanding of humanitarian actions, and guide political and military actors on how to support such actions. These meetings are essential in complex emergency and high-risk environments in order to facilitate humanitarian access, the protection of civilians, and the security of humanitarian aid workers.
Quick Impact Projects are small-scale, rapidly implemented projects (usually no longer than 3-6 months) executed by military or civilian components of a peacekeeping operation. These complement, rather than substitute, the longer-term development initiatives of other agencies and actors. They aim to respond to the needs of local communities that are not of a humanitarian nature, or related to long-term development. Such projects are supposed to be elaborated and implemented in cooperation with the community itself.
It is the nation that hosts the peacekeeping operation. The hosting government represents an essential partner to coordinate with for each peacekeeping operation
It refers to the set of political, socio-economic, and peace-building interventions implemented by the state, and supported by peacekeeping actors, in order to re-establish a legitimate presence in territories affected by conflicts.
It indicates the countries that contribute to peacekeeping operations with military troops and police.
It refers to the set of political, military, humanitarian and socio-economic actions implemented by national, international, peacekeeping and humanitarian actors in order to prevent, protect and respond to widespread threats of violence, coercion, and the deliberate deprivation of aid that can affect civilian population (non belligerent actors) during an armed conflict.
Sexual violence in conflict (or Conflict-related sexual violence)
Human rights violation (HRV)
Civilian component of a peacekeeping operation
Quick Impact Projects (QIPs)
Restoration of State authority
Protection of Civilians (PoC)